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Updated: September 28, 2022

A Guide to Facebook Marketing for Ecommerce

Facebook has 2.85 million users that drive sales across borders via its integrated eCommerce functionality. The platform asserts 40% of global eCommerce buyers start shopping online through Facebook Chat alone.

If you want an integrated eCommerce social media advertising solution to build your brand, find new customers and create frictionless shopping experiences, Facebook offers unlimited opportunities
It lets you sell directly on its platform and delivers granular data for targeted advertising. Currently, Facebook has more than 200 million small businesses wielding its tools worldwide.

In this guide, we reveal best-in-class Facebook advertising tips to help you leverage this social media giant’s immense market reach.

Why Does Facebook Advertising Work So Well?

The reason Facebook advertising works so well comes down to its targeting. Targeting is also what makes digital marketing so effective. Facebook campaigns allow you to access specific groups of individuals within your client base and advertise the best services and products that meet their needs.

If you sell meal kits, you can reach out to people interested in organic products. If you’re an HVAC company, you can target those who’ve visited your Facebook page.

Here are some of the detailed ways you can target Facebook ads:

  • Location—reach users by city, state, or country.
  • Interests—target users according to specific lifestyle interests like fitness, entrepreneurship, fashion, literature, gardening, etc.
  • Gender—advertise to audiences based on what they identify as.
  • Custom audiences—be visible in front of existing customers or leads.

Additionally, the platform offers a range of ad formats to reach customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Nearly all feature text and visual elements, providing an opportunity to describe and showcase your business.

The Best Facebook Advertising Tips for Ecommerce

Marketers across the board believe paid Facebook ads for eCommerce yield a competitive edge over organic reach at every stage of the sales funnel.

Despite the rise of TikTok and other newer social media platforms, Facebook is still the largest social media site, with more than two billion people using it every month, which equates to 36.9% of the world’s total population.

eCommerce stores at the top of their game understand the true value of running Facebook ads and use the following Facebook ad campaign tactics:

Utilize Different Facebook Ad Formats

Different Facebook ad formats utilization

Facebook Ads Manager offers tons of targeting options and ad campaigns to choose from. Successful brands will pick a variety depending on their Facebook advertising strategy. We encourage you to learn about the advantages of each format.

With all the options available, you can be really innovative and create ads that attract high-quality leads.

  • Image ads— These feature a still image with copy and a call to action (CTA).
  • Video ads— Mostly the same as image ads except it is videos.
  • Instant Experience ads— A full-screen experience that opens after someone taps the ad on a mobile device.
  • Poll ads— Allow you to survey your target audience, offering them two answers to choose from.
  • Carousel ads—Feature up to 10 images or videos in a format users can swipe through.
  • Slideshow ads—A slideshow video format with images.
  • Collection ads—These ads feature a primary video or image with three smaller accompanying ones.
  • Lead ads—Collect information from prospects directly from mobile, i.e. use lead capture forms.
  • Dynamic ads– Automatically promote your entire product catalog across Facebook, Instagram, and your Audience Network.
  • Stories ads – Run ads on Instagram’s Stories.
  • Messenger ads—Start instant-message conversations with individuals or launch an ad to appear within the Messenger app.
  • Augmented Reality ads – Allow users to experiment with your brand’s AR camera effects in just one click directly from the ad.

Structure Your Facebook Ads the Right Way

Google Ads and Facebook ads for eCommerce have some key differences. For instance, Facebook budgets are controlled at the ad level set instead of the campaign level, which allows for much greater control over how much you spend on specific audiences.

To run Facebook ads successfully, you’ll want to follow the steps below:

  1. Choose a Facebook campaign based on your specific marketing objective. If you want to drive traffic to your homepage as well as grow your customer base with a lead capture form, then set up two different campaigns.
  2. Break out paid ad sets based on refined targeting and budgeting.
  3. Cycle those ads sets through your existing campaigns to determine where your lowest cost-per-acquisition (CPA) lies.

New Facebook advertisers tend to make the mistake of creating different promotional ads at the ad level, which becomes chaotic for managing and optimizing campaigns.

Instead, you should always create each promotional campaign at the campaign level, i.e. create a conversion campaign for each promotion, product and/or group of products.

Get the Right Ecommerce Marketing Plan to Achieve the Results You Need
Get the Right Ecommerce Marketing Plan to Achieve the Results You Need

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Create Custom Audiences for People Who Have Already Viewed Your Posts

Did you know 92% of an eCommerce store’s visitors will leave without making a purchase?

Even if you create a highly persuasive Facebook ad to target the most targeted audience, there are still many factors that can dissuade a potential customer from making a purchase the first time around.

Coupled with this is that most customers have to be exposed to a new product at least seven times before they’re motivated to act. Hence, the importance of retargeting Facebook ads.

Retargeting is a marketing strategy that involves putting your Facebook ads in front of people who have already seen your ads or interacted with your website or Facebook page or marketing material.

The cool thing about Facebook is that you can create a Facebook Custom Audience. This functionality allows you to import email addresses and transform them into a customer list for retargeting on the social media platform.

With it, you can craft creative ads for specific segments of your target audience, like a bottom-of-funnel email list or upsell new products to current customers.

Creating a personalized audience that focuses solely on people viewing your site will help convert those visitors into buyers.

Post at the Right Time

If you want to run eCommerce Facebook ads that generate sales, you need to know the frequency and the best time to publish them. In terms of the former, Facebook recommends posting ads at least once a week but says it’s possible you may want to post daily, depending on your campaign goals.

As for the best time to post, there are conflicting reports. However, from what we can gather, and from what our data tells us; engagement is the highest on weekdays between 10 am and 5 pm, and the lowest on Sundays and every day between 10 pm and 4 am.

Generally speaking, it’s best to aggregate your brand’s individual data and industry relevance. As a Facebook page owner or admin, you’ll have comprehensive access to Facebook Insights to help determine which times offer maximum exposure.

Grab Attention with Visuals

Grab attention with visuals

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running remarketing campaigns, multiple campaigns or creative video ads, your eCommerce brand’s visual identity must be unique and consistent in its messaging and quality.

Your visuals and text should always look and sound professional. When it comes to producing marketing assets, we recommend hiring professional help. Sure, anyone can record a video on their smartphone and post it online.

But think about it like this: Would you rather buy a product from a brand that has professional ads or from a brand whose ads look DIY and cheap? That’s not to say you shouldn’t try, but rather have the discernment to know which option is going to work best.

In general, video content performs exceedingly well, with over 500 million viewers watching 100 million hours of Facebook video every day. Although Facebook Ads Manager makes advertising look easy, you still need to know what the maximum and minimum content specs are regarding video and image quality to retain the highest quality.

Engage with Customers

Social media is precisely what it purports to be; social. Therefore, your Facebook ads should engage your audience. Brands that connect with audiences build better track records and set themselves up for future success.

Quick Facebook Chat, for example, permits customers to send messages directly to businesses via the Messenger live chat widget, providing an opportunity to turn conversations into conversions.

Similarly, a poll ad is more engaging than a carousel ad, for example. Just because you’re advertising doesn’t mean you can’t create a dialogue with customers. There’s even the option of livestreaming product launches and events!

While not strictly related to advertising, you’ll also want to take advantage of chatbots. The quicker brands respond to customer queries, the higher the chances a customer will do business with them.

And you don’t have to be online 24/7. Most online stores already have FAQ sections and AI integrated into their Facebook Shops and customer service processes.

Don’t Forget to Add CTAs

Calls to action convert viewers into leads. They’re part of a webpage advertisement or a piece of content that drives various actions depending on the content’s goal. “Buy Now!” or “Get a Quote” are common CTA examples that persuade a visitor to act immediately.

The main purpose of a call to action is to extend marketing outreach and get customers involved with the buying process, which can be tailored to any part of the sales funnel.

Marketers never assume customers know what to do once they arrive at a landing page, web page or advertisement. Instead, they know leads need to be nurtured.

Consequently, they use CTAs to clearly guide customers through a sale and eliminate confusion. A persuasive call to action contains three things:

  1. A no-obligation or risk-free aspect. Customers should feel they have full control to opt-in or out without being forced to decide.
  2. Contain clear instructions. There should be clear instructions about the next step. For example, “get a quote,” “subscribe,” or, “call this number.” If a CTA isn’t direct, they might not act.
  3. Promote urgency. Nothing encourages a purchase like urgency. Phrases like “order now” or “while stocks last” motivate customers to act as soon as possible.

Omission of any one of these marketing aspects may result in less effective conversions.

Create Special Offers for Your Followers

When you make your social media followers feel like they’re in on a secret, you foster brand loyalty and customer appreciation. Creating special offers makes customers feel important and drives organic growth to your products or services.

Promoting your online store on Facebook in the form of giveaways, discounts, and special offers boosts sales. For example, marketers often create special FOMO content (which emphasizes a great opportunity lost for not following its CTA) to encourage customers to act fast. They might even have a super-discounted flash sale for a limited time motivating customers to make impulse purchases.

Sell Directly on Facebook

Good product images support sales and build a strong and attractive image of your eCommerce brand. Facebook gives you the option of creating a product gallery that displays images, prices, and purchasing buttons next to each product you choose to promote.

Giving your audience the option to buy online without leaving Facebook can assist with capturing multiple purchases. It’s also easy to integrate Shopify into Facebook product galleries. In fact, your entire website can be sold through Facebook for hardly any cost.

What’s great about Facebook Shops is the platform accommodates all stages of the buyer’s journey. Users can discover your products, browse through your offerings and make an order without ever leaving the app. Direct sales place fewer friction points in front of customers, offering a seamless customer experience.

Monitor Your Facebook Ads

There is absolutely no point in going through the effort of setting up Facebook ads for eCommerce without monitoring and tracking their performance. This helps you see who you are reaching, which ads produce the best ROI, and if your Facebook ads are relevant to your custom audience.

Facebook recommends using Ads Reporting through Ads Manager and Audience Insights. You should also monitor your campaigns while they’re running to edit copy and visuals, and increase/decrease ad spend where necessary.

Effective Facebook campaign management instantly reveals what is and isn’t working, so you can adapt accordingly.

By default, your Ads Manager table should include:

  • Budget. For both campaign budgets and as set budgets, you can choose whether your budget applies to each day or over the entire lifetime of the Facebook campaign or ad set.
  • Attribution settings. The set period of time that Facebook will attribute conversion to a particular ad campaign.
  • Results. How many times your Facebook ads have successfully completed their objectives, whether that be impressions, likes, conversions, etc.
  • Reach. The number of Facebook users who saw your ad.
  • Impressions. The total number of times your ad was displayed on a screen.
  • Cost per result. How much the ad campaign has cost compared to the results generated.
  • Amount spent. The total amount of money spent on a campaign.
  • Ends. When your campaign is scheduled to finish.

By reviewing your campaign performance, you can easily understand where you’re at and where you’re heading. Reports include actionable and valuable insights that help develop future campaigns and improve your marketing funnel.

How to Set Up Facebook Ads for Ecommerce

Facebook ads setting up

While Facebook ads are a must for eCommerce businesses, many don’t know how to utilize the platform properly or even where to start. They’re unsure which campaigns to implement or even how to create an ad.

Below are a few expert Facebook advertising tips.

Use Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)

Dynamic product ads automatically show the right products to potential customers who have already expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the internet. They are probably the most important eCommerce Facebook ads.

With Dynamic Product Ads you can create personalized campaigns for your website users, showing product offers, blog posts, reviews, and benefits associated with buying your products. This raises brand awareness and increases the chances of them purchasing what you have to offer.

Facebook makes it easy for advertisers to upload a complete product catalogue in Facebook Ads Manager without requiring much technical knowledge. The social media platform then uses your customer data to select the merchandise that best matches your customer base.

The beauty of dynamic ads is they automatically deliver relevant content to consumers based on their unique behaviours and interests. They also constantly update on their own, so there’s no need to launch multiple campaigns because machine learning takes care of this for you.

Utilize Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is a piece of code you place on your website to monitor conversions from Facebook ads, as well as optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future adverts and retarget leads who have previously interacted with your online store.

The Facebook Pixel works by dropping a cookie to track visitors on your website. This helps you figure out what advertisements are most effective while allowing you to target audiences with increased relevance.

Facebook Pixel also measures cross-device conversions, which are becoming increasingly common as consumers navigate between their phones, tablets, and desktop computers to interact online. Thanks to pixel you can keep track of your audience wherever they are.

For example, you can track a customer who clicked on a Facebook ad on their smartphone but then later converted on their desktop computer and vice versa.

Set Up Conversions API

With Facebook Conversions API, you can send data you capture from your eCommerce platform directly to Facebook Ads Manager. This might sound similar to Facebook Pixel; however, the difference is that you track conversions through your website’s server, rather than through customers’ browsers.

The Conversions API does not rely on cookies, which means your website visitor’s browser setting and performance don’t affect its tracking capabilities. It’s basically an extra Facebook business tool that works together with Facebook pixel.

With Facebook Conversions API you can track many of the events you’re probably already familiar with like purchases, initiating checkouts, adding products to carts, product views and email sign-ups.

Using both Conversions API and Facebook Pixel improves reporting and Facebook ad management. You’ll be able to accurately measure your return on ad spend (ROAS) and other cost-per-metrics associated with your funnel.

Leverage Lookalike Audiences

Facebook allows you to create ads that reach new people who are likely interested in your Facebook business because they share similar characteristics to your current audience, hence why they’re called lookalike audiences.

However, it’s important to know you can’t start a new ad account with a lookalike audience since you don’t have enough data. As soon as you have 500 people or more that interact with your Facebook page or visit your website, you can leverage lookalike audiences.

You can get creative with these custom audiences. For example, you might narrow down audiences according to video ads they’ve watched, or recent website visitors or even those who are interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

Learn Facebook Attribution

Facebook Attribution is a tool that lets you measure and understand the impact of your ads across multiple publishers, channels, and devices. It’s useful for advertisers to measure the incremental impact of their ads in a customers’ path to conversion.

It uses a data-driven model that tracks a user’s interactions with Facebook ads across multiple devices and Facebook-owned channels (Instagram, Facebook’s Audience Network, and Messenger) as well as off-Facebook sources.

Using Facebook Attribution will give you a clear picture of a customer’s journey across multiple devices. Facebook Attribution windows reveal how long a user has taken to convert. Understanding these windows helps you improve your advertising performance and sales funnel.

Establish Your Bid Strategy

Facebook ads for eCommerce work on a bidding system. This is essentially an auction where advertisers bid for their ads to be placed in Facebook’s various ad placement locations. Usually, the highest bid wins the ad placement, yet your bid isn’t the only determining factor.

It’s easy to overspend on Facebook campaigns, which is why you want to maximize the value of your conversions by working out your optimal bid strategy, i.e. how to get the best ROAS.

With Facebook, you have the option to focus on high-cost, high-value bids, or on a cheaper strategy. How you go about establishing your bid strategy depends on your campaign goals in terms of budget, timeframe, and objectives.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, we recommend setting your bidding cap to less than the maximum amount you’re willing to spend for your desired conversion. For example, if you can’t spend more than $50 for a lead, then your cap should be $49 or less.

Structure Campaigns Using a Multi-Step Funnel

Achieving consistency in leads and conversions means you need your target audience to know, like and trust you. Converting a stranger into a loyal, returning customer takes time and strategizing.

You have to show your best Facebook ads to the right people at the right time. Doing so entails understanding the sales funnel and creating ads for your eCommerce store that attract customers at different stages of the funnel. After all, successful eCommerce brands don’t create ads in a vacuum.

To give you a brief idea:

  • Top of the funnel. At this stage, you’re looking to generate awareness by entertaining or educating your audience. Video ads, display ads and social display ads are most effective here.
  • Middle of the funnel. Customers enter the consideration phase once they’ve engaged with your brand in a meaningful way. Perhaps they’ve subscribed to an email list, are following you on social media, or have liked your Facebook Business Page.
  • Bottom of the funnel. This is the last place prospective customers go before they convert. When they arrive at the conversion stage, they already have a relationship with your brand. Shopping campaigns and remarketing ads are the best ways to offer them specific reasons why they should choose your brand over your competitors.

Keep in mind that customers experience the marketing funnel differently, and you should be running simultaneous campaigns for all stages of the funnel.

For example, you might create video ads for the top of the funnel, but because existing customers are already aware of their problem, they’ll jump directly to the bottom of the funnel.

A final word of Facebook advertising advice: Create a unique marketing funnel tailored to how your buyer wants to buy—not how you want to sell.

Accelerate revenue growth with expert marketing solutions
Accelerate revenue growth with expert marketing solutions

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Accelerate revenue growth with expert marketing solutions

Work with Facebook Advertising Pros

Running Facebook ads can be time-consuming and overwhelming for businesses new to the social media platform. There’s plenty to do from opening a Facebook ad account to defining your eCommerce strategy.

Luckily, Comrade is a specialist digital marketing and web development agency dedicated to helping eCommerce businesses thrive through effective Facebook campaigns and digital marketing

We have the right team to tell your brand story and make your eCommerce business grow faster, bigger and more profitable. Book a free digital marketing consultation or call us at (312) 625-0447 to improve your Facebook ads for eCommerce.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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