Facebook ads funnels provide one of the most powerful – and evergreen – marketing strategies and one which is guaranteed to generate new leads and increase ROI while growing your brand awareness.
Facebook is a social media giant, it reaches 59% of the world’s social networking population and it’s the only one of the platforms to reach more than half of all social media users, which means the potential for finding new customers is almost limitless.
With its own ad platform offering exceptional targeting, Facebook has an advertising audience of 2.14 billion, allowing you to target incredibly specific audiences which are tailored perfectly for your brand.
Think about how when you start looking online for something you’re thinking of buying, whether it’s dog food, shoes, furniture, or a holiday, your Facebook feed is then filled with advertisers promoting that very thing you were researching.
Is Facebook spying on us? No, the FB pixel is on pretty much every website or app you could think of, which means that Facebook knows you much better than you may realise. Once you’ve visited a few similar sites, that signals to Facebook that you’re interested in something in particular and shows you relevant ads.
However, advertising is essentially push marketing and most users of Facebook are there for social reasons, not marketing ones, so getting their attention takes work.
What are Facebook ad funnels?
At their most basic, they’re the same as any other ad funnel. They’re a system of individual ad campaigns which intend to take a potential customer through the purchase journey and into a successful conversion.
The majority of ad funnels will begin with an awareness campaign, something which is simple and designed to get the message out that your brand exists.
As with any marketing funnel, you are hoping to give users the information they need depending on what stage of the buyer journey they’re at.
Ultimately, the aim is to get them nearer to your desired outcome – whether that’s buying your shoes or signing up for a content download – in as few steps as possible.
How Facebook ad funnels work
Facebook’s ad network offers three campaign marketing objective options for advertisers:
Facebook’s ad auction relies on algorithms and this starts with who’s seeing the ad through to where, and when, an ad shows on the network. The algorithms use a lot of data and need a lot of information to display the right ads to the right people.
When you set up your campaign audience, you give Facebook a lot of the initial information the platform requires so it’s imperative that you’re using a good foundation to build your audience target.
Breaking down Facebook ad funnels
The Facebook objectives of awareness, consideration and conversion match the three stages of the ad funnel:
- Top of funnel (TOFU)
- Middle of funnel (MOFU)
- Bottom of funnel (BOFU)
TOFU / Awareness campaign
The majority of the people you’re marketing to in the awareness stage will be a cold audience – ie they do not know your brand, company or product. Your cold audience will need to be exposed to your brand on numerous occasions before they switch to a warm one, so you’ll need to be using Facebook Pixel at this point for remarketing.
Most people are on Facebook to post updates, like other people’s content, comment or socialise, so in essence, you are disrupting their feed with your ad. Selling on Facebook isn’t easy and you can’t start with a hard sell.
That’s why one of the most powerful types of creative you can use at the awareness stage are Facebook video ads, as Facebook users love video!
Video forces people that are scrolling through their feed to stop and pay attention. Add subtitles and you can grab their attention and offer them an enticing reason to watch your video.
Carousel ads are also very effective, especially for clothing retailers, in getting users to self-select the product they want, which you can show them in your consideration stage ad.
MOFU / Consideration campaign
Single image ads
In the example of the Levis carousel ad which is making users aware of a new range of products, users that click on the ‘shop flannels’ item can then be targeted with a single image ad specifically for this product.
You can use Facebook’s metrics to retarget users who watched at least 50% of the first video in the awareness campaign and show them a second one which helps to move them along the funnel.
Facebook lead ads are designed to gather user information that’s easy for the user as you’re not taking them off Facebook. These can work well for event registrations or appointment settings such as shown in the example below of a car retailer using a Facebook lead ad for test drive appointments.
Using lead ads lets you move users towards conversion and lets you work with them on a one2one basis. People can simply tap your ad and a form pops up – it’s already pre-populated with their Facebook contact information and ready to be sent directly to you.
User reviews and ratings
As covered in our recent Marketing to Millennials blog, people like to have personal recommendations from friends and family, so use any reviews or client testimonials which show your credentials at this stage.
BOFU / Conversion campaign
The audience in this campaign has high purchase intent and so are one step away from buying. Run a final re-targeting campaign based on website activity, showing people the products they’re most interested in and offering either a discount, free postage and/or free returns or a money-back guarantee.
According to research from Visual Objects, this is the most effective way of persuading people to click through to a website.
Use content tailored to each buying stage
As you’ve seen above, you need to have the right type of ad creative for each stage of the Facebook ad funnel.
Beacon’s ads for its click fraud protection for Facebook (above) show two types of campaign creative. The first image shows a video ad used in the awareness campaign using a lookalike audience and the next ad is a single image ad targeted at those who have already shown an interest and are in the consideration stage of the Facebook ad funnel.
Adjust your campaigns for each channel
As Instagram is a visual platform, you can let your creatives be more abstract and use striking imagery and text to catch the eye with key hashtags, which put your content in front of a wider audience.
Omni-channel campaigns produce a 250% higher rate of purchase frequency than single-channel campaigns.
According to a 2019 report from ClickZ: “Omnichannel campaigns saw an 18.96% engagement rate, while single-channel saw just a 5.4% engagement rate.”
Use Google Ads to get targeted website visitors directly to product pages then follow up with Facebook marketing using the video ad campaign strategy mentioned earlier.
Or combine Google Shopping Ads with Facebook Ads in the same way, using Instagram to highlight visuals and – if you have a business account on that platform – direct people straight to your website to purchase.
How to measure a Facebook ad funnel
One of the benefits of advertising on Facebook is just how much information the platform itself can provide when you’re evaluating your campaigns. There are a number of metrics that it pays to keep track of.
Performance Metrics give you insights into how your target audience interacts with your ads and will include information like number of clicks, number of views and cost per click.
Engagement Metrics will show you what people do with your ads, do they visit your linked landing pages, are they subsequently following up call to actions, did they download something or share your ad?
Awareness Metrics are where you can find out not only about your campaign goals but also give details about estimated numbers of potential customers who remember seeing your ads within two days (when asked). This is only made available in the Brand Awareness Objective section of Facebook Ads.
Facebook ad funnel best practice
Because Facebook is so versatile, it’s almost impossible to highlight a single best practice that applies to each type of ad funnel.
Follow the basic premises for any ad campaign. Start with your warm audience and find a niche target audience which is large enough to make best use of Facebook’s re-targeting options.
Don’t make your target audience too small, otherwise you’ll have a tough time moving people through the funnel enough to make the cost worth it.
A/B test everything as you would with any other form of marketing campaign. This applies to PPC campaigns, email campaigns, and equally to your Facebook ad funnel campaigns.
And finally, when advertising on Facebook, always remember that you’re disrupting people whilst they’re socialising with friends online. Think of it as similar to how product placement in films catch your attention.
After all, we all know what car James Bond drives right?