If you could only select one channel to promote your online store, you’d likely choose Facebook.
And you’d be smart do to so.
Facebook now counts over 2,2 billion monthly active users. If Facebook users formed a country, it would be the most populated country in the world. There is literally no other platform or community that gives you access to that many people…
…or that’s growing so rapidly and consistently:
And with the decline of organic reach of Facebook page posts, it’s no surprise that Facebook is the top ad channel for both B2C and B2B marketers.
Here’s the problem, though: only 49% of marketers feel like their Facebook efforts are working.
Place yourself in the shoes of an ecommerce marketer that runs successful Facebook advertising. To get to that point, you’d have to:
- Select the perfect advertising objective
- Target your ideal audience
- Place your ad where users are most likely to positively react to it
- Spend less budget than the campaign earned back
- Choose an ad format and visuals that are attractive and fit the context
That’s a long list.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, one thing’s clear: choosing the right advertising objective for your campaign is paramount. Even if you do all the other steps right but select your objective poorly, your campaign will fail.
And we’d never want to see that happen. Buckle up and let’s dive into Facebook campaign types.
Why breaking down your advertising goal matters
“But I just want sales.”
Going into Facebook advertising with this mindset might align with your end goal, but there are two things to consider beforehand:
- Not everyone in your target audience is ready to purchase at every moment
- Facebook is an advanced, robust platform that understands more about a user’s purchase intent and context than (probably) any other technology
Let’s say your ultimate advertising objective is an increase in sales and revenue.
Just go with the catalog sales campaign, right?
If you sell products worth around the $50 mark, that might work.
But if you sell something that costs $400, the reception to your ad might look more similar to this:
In most cases, your ideal customer will need to interact with your brand multiple times to consider you as an option.
In fact, less than two decades ago, the average consumer needed two brand touchpoints before buying an item from them. Nowadays, it takes six!
You can’t risk any mistakes with Facebook campaign types.
Best case scenario, you’ll waste some money. Worst case scenario, you’ll waste a lot of money and damage your reputation in front of your target customers!
Facebook campaign types in the sales funnel
Now that the warnings are out of the way, it’s time for the fun part.
Facebook campaigns are driven by advertising objectives.
These advertising objectives are divided into:
Here are the goals that each stage of the sales funnel offers:
We’ll get into more details as we get to each stage, but here are some key details about each:
Awareness stage is designed to generate interest in your brand and offers by reaching people who are more likely to recall your ads later on. (See why multiple touchpoints matter?)
Consideration stage is aimed towards people who already know the type of solution they need (i.e. your product), and they are now considering all their options (and your products as a part of that).
Conversion stage targets people already interested in your brand and products and entices them to purchase.
The campaign objective you select with impact your optimization and bidding options, available ad formats, placements, and creative options.
1. The awareness stage
Awareness campaigns on Facebook are driven by generating interest in your products.
Essentially, you’ll pick one of the awareness objectives when you want to reach new audiences and get on their radar.
Here are some of the best ways you can use these campaigns:
- Target locations, age ranges, genders, and languages
- Go into detail with demographics, interests, and behaviors of your target audiences by including or excluding particular audience features
- Create lookalike audiences to build awareness with people similar to your existing customers
If you’re looking to directly sell to as many people as possible, you might want to scroll further down this guide. But if you want to work on becoming the go-to brand name for the range of products you sell (which can later turn into more sales), let’s dive into two awareness objectives.
The brand awareness campaign is designed to help you reach people that are more likely to recall your ads and increase awareness for your online store.
Facebook analyzed huge datasets and campaign results and found that the longer someone spends with an ad, the more likely they are to remember it.
In fact, they’ve gone so far as to create a metric called Estimated Ad Recall Lift that you can use to track how your ads resonate with people and how many remember them.
This campaign can best be used to build awareness and interest in your brand and products with potential customers while concurrently building loyalty and brand warmth with existing customers and audiences already familiar with you.
A great example comes from Santander, whose brand awareness ads featured a playful tone with ordinary people doing extraordinary things:
Thanks to this campaign, Santander saw a lift in ad recall, favorability, and likelihood to be the recommended option for their target audience—and in less than two months!
The reach campaign helps you show your ad to the maximum number of people in your audience. It is perfect for maximizing the number of impressions your ads receive, and creating or changing the perception of your brand.
You can use this campaign to:
- Maximize your reach over the full length of your campaign thanks to the reach and frequency buying tool
- Make sure you don’t annoy your target audience with frequent ads by setting the minimum number of days before the same person sees your ad again
- Reach people within a radius of a business location by using location targeting
Ultimately, reach campaigns can help you tap into new markets and locations, which can in turn drive the success of later-stage campaigns and fuel your sales.
A massive success story comes from Twistshake, a baby products company, that was looking to expand into new territories and get to know their audience in these new markets, so they’ve cast a wide net:
They used the reach campaign with worldwide targeting and achieved a low conversion cost compared to focusing on each smaller market individually. As a result, they saw a lift in sales and an 8X return on ad spend for their best campaigns.
2. The consideration stage
The consideration campaign is a step further than awareness. It’s not just about someone learning about you for the first time, but about figuring out whether you’re worth their time.
Consideration campaigns get people to start thinking about your business as the best solution and look for more information about it.
In this stage of their customer journey, your potential customers want more details and value from you. They have questions.
Luckily, Facebook has optimized every corner of the consideration objective to help you serve exactly what your target audience needs.
The traffic campaign is pretty self-explanatory: it helps you send more people to a destination on or off Facebook, and this can include:
- A website, including blog posts, podcast episodes, and landing pages
- A mobile or desktop app
- A Messenger conversation (our favorite!)
The most important thing to keep in mind: the traffic campaign aims to drive link clicks as opposed to post-click actions.
When I said that Facebook optimized the tiniest things about the consideration stage ads, I meant it. As a result of that, Facebook shows ads to the people most likely to do what you want them to do—in this case, to click on a link you’re advertising.
If your goal is to drive signups after they clicked (for example, to receive a special offer) or conversations after they’ve opened Messenger from your ad, you can choose campaigns tailored to drive exactly those actions.
Facebook even shows this warning when you select a Messenger conversation as a place to drive traffic to:
We’ll cover these more specific goals later on.
Takeaway: make sure to use the traffic campaign for when you truly want traffic and not more specific actions post-click.
The engagement campaign is quite straightforward: it helps you to get more people to see and engage with your Facebook post or Page.
This includes post engagement such as comments, shares, and likes, as well as event responses and offer claims.
With the engagement campaign, Facebook will deliver your ads to those people who are most likely to engage with it based on their past behavior.
You will see the best results if you use the engagement campaign to:
- Generate buzz and spark organic reach by attracting valuable interactions and comments on your ad
- Attract Page likes from your target audience, which you can use in later campaigns
- Promote in-person or online events, like sales, to an audience that matters to you
The perfect example of an engagement campaign is Hur Nusrat, a clothing brand that grew into a full-fledged business by *only* selling through their Facebook Page. They used engagement ads to increase brand awareness and grow sales—which they ultimately did through Messenger!
As a result, they’ve multiplied their monthly sales, as well as messages, compared to the previous year. All that without an ecommerce website!
The app installs campaign is as simple as they get: it helps you send people to the app store where they can download your app.
Obviously, this will only be useful to you if you have an app for your online store that you can send your potential customers to.
More than 1.6 billion people use their mobile devices to shop online globally, so it might make sense to think about going the mobile app route. However, remember that the cost of getting an app built can get into the 5- or even 6-figure fees…
…and you can actually sell your products directly on Facebook, without having your customer ever leave the platform:
Of course, if you do have your own mobile app—or you’re having one built—the app installs campaign will do wonders in getting eyeballs on it.
Any campaign including video content is definitely a hot topic and a wanted item for most businesses. Video views campaigns will help you raise awareness of your brand and products by showing your behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories.
They are optimized to get people to watch your video—as opposed to take any other action—and remember you for it.
Ecommerce businesses can gain a lot from video views campaigns as there are many ways you can use video to present why your product fits into your target viewer’s life with:
- An unboxing video by you or your customers
- A demonstration video that places your product in real life
- A slideshow video of your most popular products
Based on these three examples, you can brainstorm ideas for a video views campaign that fits your store and your industry the most.
Also remember to keep your videos short—ideally up to 15 seconds as this helps with the video completion rate—as well as on-brand and designed for sound off so that you don’t interrupt or inconvenience your viewer.
Finally, make sure you are following the video ad format best practices for the format you chose.
With lead generation ads, you can collect lead information, such as email addresses, from people interested in your business. They help you stay in touch with your potential customer off the platform.
Here’s the thing. Having a large social media following and engaging with your followers on their favorite platforms is a huge advantage for an online store. However, any platform that isn’t yours is the one that defines the rules about the content that gets prioritized.
Hence, lead generation.
You can grow your email list by offering something in return for an email address, like a valuable eBook, a coupon code, or insider deals.
Here’s how a lead generation campaign can empower your efforts:
- Contact forms are included in your ad
- You can choose and customize the questions for your lead to answer
- You can easily download your leads from Facebook
- There are many CRM integrations to help you take real-time action with new leads
You can use lead generation campaigns for your online store for anything from applications and preorders through to sign-ups for deals, coupons, and offers.
And when you want to get more specific, you can adjust your form based on whether you want a higher volume of leads or a higher-intent leads that might be more valuable for your business.
Running this kind of campaign can increase your customer’s lifetime value, loyalty, and ambassadorship, along with directly driving your bottom line.
In fact, when Audi ran a lead generation ad, they saw a 22X return on ad spend and a 6-figure total sales value from Facebook campaigns.
On social media, there is one thing companies often forget to do—be social.
With the messages campaign, you can drive direct conversations with your existing and potential customers to generate leads, offer support, and encourage purchases.
There are three extraordinary benefits of doing this:
- 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can message
- Facebook will deliver your messages campaign to people who are more likely to open Messenger and respond
- You can turn these conversations into sales without forcing the user outside of the app with jumper (which massively streamlines the process and almost eradicates friction)
Use messages ads to either open new conversations in Messenger, or retarget customers who you already had a Messenger conversation with.
When using messages campaign, make it clear to people that they are clicking through to Messenger and communicate the value proposition behind it.
As your campaign goes on, track its performance by adding a Messenger Engagement column to see the messaging metrics.
And finally, don’t forget to make it extra easy for your user to buy from you directly from that conversation! You can start selling in Messenger right away, risk-free, with a free jumper account.
3. The conversion stage
The conversion category is likely the most valuable set of Facebook campaigns you can take advantage of.
All the previous ones are important because they take your customer from not knowing you to being ready to give you their money, but this is where that return on investment happens.
The conversion campaigns are made up of objectives that drive user actions that are the most valuable to your ecommerce business. This includes sign-ups, adding payment, or making a purchase.
In this stage, your potential customers are ready to part with their money, and it’s your job to show up in the right place at the right time to make that happen.
Conversions are completions of activities that your online store deems beneficial and profitable.
For example, if you’ve noticed that customers who add payment info to their account complete their purchases more frequently, adding payment info is an important activity for you.
Likewise, if it looks like adding products to wishlist usually ends up in higher order value, you’ll want to encourage that action.
The range of conversions is quite broad and it allows you to hyper-optimize it to your online store and its goals within the campaign setup:
By setting this up, you can track your return on investment even if the conversion you set up isn’t a direct sale. This is thanks to the monetary value you can assign to your conversion.
You can drive conversions by sending traffic to your website, app, or Messenger. To be able to track conversions after your visitor leaves Facebook, you must enable:
Facebook pixel is relatively easy to set up, and if you can’t manually install the code yourself and you don’t have a developer to do that, you can use any of the ecommerce platform integrations or the Google Tag Manager.
Once you’ve identified the conversion you want to make happen and ensured the correct technical setup, Facebook’s optimization engine will ensure your ads appear in front of those users that are the most likely to take that particular action.
Catalog sales campaigns, also known as dynamic ads, look just like any other ads, such as carousels or single images.
However, instead of you having to select individual products and images to advertise, dynamic ads promote your inventory to people who have expressed interest on your website, app, or elsewhere on the internet.
This helps you retarget shoppers of items they viewed but haven’t bought, reach people who have shown interest in similar products, and scale your advertising without having to configure each individual ad.
There are three steps to setting up catalog sales for success:
- Set up the Facebook pixel on your website or Facebook SDK in your mobile apps
- Create a catalog for all the items you want to promote, including price, location, and availability
- Create a dynamic ad for the items you want to promote in Ads Manager
The options to target a unique and highly interested audience are super detailed and give you plenty of power to reach your sales goals:
Because of how specific it is, this approach just works.
PIK Group, Russia’s leading real estate developer, used dynamic ads in combination with their own CRM database to show listings that aligned with the style of apartment that the visitor had already viewed on their website.
They stood out in a highly competitive market and saw overwhelmingly positive results:
Finally, if you have multiple physical stores, you can use the store visits campaign to drive store visits and in-store sales.
The store visits campaign is great for reaching people around each of your store’s locations, whether they’re living or visiting nearby. Just like the catalog sales campaign, it’s scalable as it localizes ad content for each store location.
A few things to keep in mind for the store visits objective:
- Your business locations need to be added through your Facebook Page settings
- You might be eligible for store visits optimization and store visits reporting
- Ensure you can track in-store purchases by using offline conversion tracking
If you’re looking for success with in-store sales in multiple locations, this is the way to go. In fact, Carrefour in Italy saw incredible success with 285,000 people visiting a store after seeing a Facebook ad:
Your future customers are waiting
By now, you should have no confusion as to the Facebook campaign that will help you reach your goals.
You can (and will!) see massive success with Facebook advertising by simply understanding what it is your future customer needs at the moment they find you in their Facebook feed.
Dig deep into the awareness, consideration, and conversion stages present in your industry and for your products, and you’ll be on your way to long-term, repeatable advertising success.