Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Facebook allows eCommerce store owners to engage their customers on Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Facebook has a centralized control panel that manages your ads on both platforms. With careful planning, Facebook is a great tool for reaching a well-defined audience: your store's ideal customers!
What do you need to get started?
First, you will need to do some planning.
Ask yourself, What is my ad campaign's…
- target audience,
- and budget?
Second, you will need a Facebook Business Suite account with its Ads Manager and Commerce Manager areas. This is where you'll set up and control your campaign. You will need a Facebook account to access these services.
It will help if you already have an Instagram account and a Facebook page or group, but it's not necessary. You can advertise your storefront without a strong social media, presence, even though it's not ideal. If you already have followers on Facebook and Instagram, that will help. If you don't, now is a good time to start! Your ad campaigns can be used to grow your social media followers while also driving sales and brand awareness.
Identify your target audience
What do your customers like? Do you know their interests? What do they do that relates to your product? What are their demographic traits? By profiling your ideal customer with a buyer persona you can target exactly the people you want to reach. Your ad campaign should be designed specifically for those people. If you are doing this in a well-planned and coordinated way it can be very effective.
As part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, social media marketing is especially useful. It is much more than just buying ads and hoping to get clicks. It is about knowing your audience, reaching out to them, and being ready to respond to them on multiple channels.
Set your campaign goal
Once you know your target audience and their interests, ask how you hope they will respond to your ad campaign. Here are some common campaign goals:
- Awareness: Potential customers who are unfamiliar with your brand first need to know you exist. Just building awareness is a good ad campaign goal.
- Education: Informing customers about a particular product is a deeper level of engagement. You just want them to think about buying from you. This is deeper down the sales funnel but not yet a push for conversion.
- Conversion: A campaign pushing sales will be most effective with audiences who are aware, informed, and ready to buy.
Create your ad's content
Messaging: Focus on your target audience's main interest. Write to engage them with your goods or services through that interest.
Format: Instagram ads focus on images and video. Facebook ads are more traditional but can include video too. Video ads are incredibly engaging and effective on every platform but take more work to produce. Carousels and Collections are ad formats catering to physical products.
Design: The images you use are extremely important — make sure they stand out and are properly sized. Don't let their colors blend with the Facebook interface. Images of people's faces get the most attention, particularly women's faces.
🐵 Mailchimp has a good guide full of design tips for Facebook and Instagram ads.
Set your budget
Instagram ads will tend to cost between $0.20 and $2.00 per click (CPC). For Facebook, the average CPC is around $1.00 per click.
If you pay for impressions, the cost per thousand (CPM) will range from $4.00-$8.00 on Instagram and $7.20 on Facebook.
Paying for impressions makes sense when your goal is the increase brand awareness or to educate people about your product. Reaching potentially 10,000 people can be done for less than $100.
Paying for clicks is costly but effective for driving sales.
Facebook Ad Manager
With all the preceding planning out of the way, your last step is to set up your campaign in Facebook Business Suite. Business Suite requires a Facebook account. If you've advertised on Facebook before, you may have a Facebook Business Manager account, which is the same thing. (It's just an older version.) If you have an existing Facebook Ads Manager account, it is now part of Business Suite as well. Facebook Commerce Manager is still another sub-section of Business Suite you may want to use if you are a retailer. Commerce Manager helps you advertise a whole catalog of physical products on Facebook and Instagram.
You will probably want to set up Facebook Pixel, which connects your store to Facebook Business/Ads/Commerce Manage for tracking and remarketing. (Remarketing identifies returning visitors so you can treat them differently in your advertising.)
First, create a Facebook pixel using Ads Manager.
Second, add your pixel code to your eCommerce storefront.
Shopify is similar; just add your pixel code to your Shopify store settings.
Setting up and running your campaign
Facebook ads can be targeted to consumer location, behavior, interests, age, gender, education, and job. (They have good documentation and guides on this.) You can be very specific, but don't be too specific. Reaching 1,000 people or more is a good low-end benchmark for a small target audience.
Think back to the defining interest in your audience profile and buyer personas. You should have shaped your ad messaging to engage people with this interest. Now you can actually target them by that interest.
If you'd like to dig deeper into the topic of what makes an effective Facebook/Instagram ad, you can learn more about winning at social media marketing and ads here. 👉
🎯 Did you have a good result with your first digital ad campaign? Have Facebook and Instagram ads helped your eCommerce store? How has advertising worked for your business? Tell us what you've learned! 💬