Sarah Abhoulhosn
November 17, 2019

3 Step Social Media Advertising Funnel for E-commerce Brands

Try this social media advertising funnel for e-commerce brands, to help you drive more awareness, traffic and conversions through Facebook & Instagram ads.

The buyer's journey is nothing new. But when it comes to paid advertising, the road can get a bit more complicated. In place of the traditional sales funnel, e-commerce brands are turning to paid ads on Facebook and Instagram as a significant part of their marketing strategy. When it comes to paid ads, the best way to get the most out of your investment is to build a three-step funnel that increases brand awareness, engages your audience, and converts them into paying customers.
In this article we’ll detail how to create the best strategy for each of these phases by building the right type of ad for different parts of your audience's journey.

Phase 1: Increase brand awareness

The majority of phase one entails prospecting for new customers by building awareness of your brand to your target audience. You want to expose your content to as many people in your target demographic as possible. When they interact with your content on Facebook or Instagram either by watching a portion of a video or liking an image, your Pixel compiles that data so you can retarget those people in phase 2 of your funnel.
The most effective type of content for this phase includes branded content such as videos or high-quality images that showcase your products and how they are valuable to your target audience. Using videos to increase brand awareness works well because video views are one of the simplest ways to collect data on your audience. The data from these video views can later be used to generate even more interest by creating retargeting campaigns and lookalike audiences.
TOMS is an excellent example of a company that creates well-branded content to hook its audience into wanting to learn more immediately. They used Facebook video ads to generate a massive amount of brand engagement by merely highlighting their brand values. They don't even mention their product until their retargeting campaigns.
The great thing about video ads is that you don't need your audience to interact with your posts to raise awareness. The simple act of them watching the video is enough to move them to the next phase of your funnel.
The objective of your videos in phase 1 is to get views. Make sure that the video gets to the point and immediately showcases the best of what your brand offers. Use copy that directly speaks to your target audience by addressing a pain point or teasing something that you know they want. Try to keep your message short and lead with value that will gain their trust and pique their interest.
Travel backpack brand Nomatic used videos and snappy text to build brand awareness among travel lovers on Facebook and Instagram. The stop-motion effect of this video makes you want to stop and watch the rest. This strategy is exceptionally clever because it makes you want to keep watching. The longer a user views the story, the better they will be able to retarget their audience in phase 2. The ad copy gives immediate social proof to build trust but doesn't distract from the user watching the video.
Your Facebook Pixel will know who watched your video, and you will be able to use that information to retarget them with another campaign.
When targeting a potential audience for this phase, you should be prospecting for new customers by targeting specific interests in your niche. You can also use lookalike audiences if you have enough data from previous campaigns.
Quick Flick uses a similar strategy with an eye-catching thumbnail that auto-plays into a clear product demo that you're compelled to keep watching. They also incorporated social proof into their ad to build trust by saying that they have 500k happy customers worldwide.

Phase 2: Engage your audience to improve retargeting

Once you've created brand awareness and introduced new people to your products, the next step is all about engaging your new audience. During phase 2, you want to use the information that your Pixel gathered in stage 1 to build even more trust with your audience.
Engaging your audience in this phase will narrow down your target market. The objective is for your audience to follow a call to action (CTA). The CTA can lead to a landing page, blog post, product directory or special offer. A user taking action on your post will help you improve your retargeting and get you even closer to a sale.
The copy for these ads can be longer than the ads for phase 1. The goal is to give your audience more insight into your brand and compel them to want to learn more. These posts work very well as carousel ads that showcase your product collections. You can share individual projects, pricing, and links to specific pages, like Pura Vida did with this campaign.
For phase 2 of their new backpack campaign, Nomatic retargeted viewers of their video with a new video ad that gives users a more in-depth look at some of the details of their backpack.
For these ads, you'll target Facebook and Instagram users and create custom audiences comprised of the people who viewed your video ads or interacted with your post in Phase 1.
To create a Custom Audience, click on 'All Tools' in the Ads Manager menu and choose ‘Audiences.’ Click 'Create Audience' and select 'Custom Audience.' Then you can decide how you want to create your audience. In this case, you will click 'Engagement,' and then you can choose to target people who have spent time watching your videos. You can choose to target people who have engaged with different parts of your brand either on Instagram or Facebook over a specific period. Then, you can name your audience and run new, even more targeted ads to this new audience.
Quick Flick also dove deeper into their brand story with a new video featuring their founder explaining more about the product while trying them herself. They keep their ad copy short and to the point and put a call-to-action directly in the message.

Phase 3: Convert your audience into paying customers

By now, your audience was exposed to your brand at least twice, which means it's time to step it up a notch and go for the conversion. To maximize your chances of converting your audience into customers, create dynamic retargeting ads that are based on your product catalog.
These ads should invoke a sense of urgency. You can give your audience even more incentive to click through and shop on your site by offering an incentive such as a special offer or promo code. The goal is to get your audience off of Facebook or Instagram and onto your site, shopping for your products.
In each Ad set you create, plan to remarket to 30-day, 14-day, and 7-day website visitors to capitalize on those people who are very interested in your brand. The more a person has been exposed to your brand, the warmer they are of a potential customer.
In phase 3, Nomatic goes in with the special offer to further incentivize their audience to click through the site and use the discount code to make a purchase.
This is a popular strategy among e-commerce brands advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Quick Flick took the same approach by offering 10% off their products. They continued to double down on the social proof by using a photo of their product and a favorable review shared by an influencer.
It's important to keep in mind that these three phases may be stretched out over months at a time. Even though this three-phase funnel is effective, most times it will take more than two touch points before you make a sale. Depending on what you're selling and how well you're targeting your audience, it may take up to seven touchpoints before you see a sale. The purpose of the funnel is to continue to nurture your audience and keep your brand top of mind so that when it comes time for them to buy, your brand is the one they think of.

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