The “social proof” impact of Facebook ads acts like a word-of-mouth marketer’s dream. When someone views your ad on Facebook, it displays the faces of their friends who have previously interacted with the advertiser, automatically making the content more personal and trustworthy.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook may be the most powerful advertising platform ever known to humankind. Zuckerberg and company have more data about people’s everyday lives in general, and their online activity specifically, than anyone else. And they’ve done a spectacular job of parlaying all of this information into a formidable set of paid media targeting tools that anyone can use.
However, with so many options for targeting (location, demographics, interests, behaviors), objectives (conversions, clicks, engagement, likes), and ad formats (carousel, canvas, standard promoted “dark” posts), many ecommerce merchants avoid these complex features and instead stick with what they know: simple, website click-driving ads with product photos and descriptions.
This type of media buy might or might not work especially well for you, but it’s important to at least be aware of the additional features that can significantly impact your ecommerce sales.
Here are three types of ads to consider if you want to diversify and experiment with your paid social media impact.
1. Dynamic Product Ads for Automated Suggestions
Until last February, if you wanted to suggest specific products to specific audiences, you had to manually create individual Facebook ads and set custom audiences for each. But what if your online store carries hundreds, or even thousands of products? How do you systemize and scale that?
This is the power of Dynamic Product Ads. This tool allows you to connect your website’s database to your Facebook ads account, which can identify every Facebook user that has ever interacted with your website.
Facebook can then automatically generate ads that suggest products similar to those that specific users have viewed, added to their carts or purchased. This ensures that your targeting is far more specific and relevant, which, in turn, yields higher ad engagement rates and sales conversion rates. It’s like automated retargeting and upselling that takes onsite purchase intent signals into consideration.
All you have to do is build the template. After that, Facebook will pull every relevant product ID, name, description, landing page URL, image URL and product availability information from your site and create ads for each of them. These ads cost significantly less than manually booked ones and are capable of producing astounding conversion results.
2. Carousel Ads for Illustrating Real Use Cases
Carousel ads allow marketers to create and promote mini slideshows with up to five videos or images within one single ad. Within the carousel format, you have the ability to add individual links that will drive traffic to your website or app.
With this new tool enabling advertisers to unlock 30% to 50% lower cost-per-conversion than single-image link ads, carousel ads have become extremely popular.
There are multiple ways to utilize five-image carousel ads, such as creating product tutorials, highlighting multiple ways to use a product, giving users a tour of your website or app, or telling your product story. Essentially, it’s a flexible tool that allows you to showcase your product in a creative, interactive and in-depth ad format. After all, visuals generally deliver the best engagement, regardless of where you place them.
Customers can then engage with and understand your product better, even visualizing themselves using your product in real-life situations like those depicted, which takes them one step closer to making a purchase.
3. Page Like Campaigns for Audience Building
Today, plenty of marketers have been known to argue that Facebook Page likes no longer matter. Since organic reach for Facebook Page posts has been plummeting, many assume that it’s a waste of money to pay for “likes,” believing that there’s no chance these audience members will be any more reachable than non-fans.
Earlier this summer, the platform updated its newsfeed algorithm to make it even harder for companies to reach people without paying. But businesses that drive a lot of peer-to-peer shares will fare better. “If a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it,” Facebook Engineering Director Lars Backstrom wrote back in June, “there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.”
Ultimately, you can pay for anything on Facebook, but if the traffic isn’t relevant to your brand and those users won’t convert into customers, then it really is a waste of money. Quality is everything. This is true both for paid and organic activity. If you make sure to post with care, only providing relevance and value to the audience members you’ve acquired, then your posts can still reach them.
Focus on building a relevant, targeted following that values your brand and regularly likes your content. You can do this organically or with well-executed campaigns that have Page likes as their set objective. Over time, these users will become familiar with your brand and then consider buying your products. Trust is the key factor here. You can even set your Page up to capture fans’ email addresses, so you can turn Facebook likes into leads and reach them “organically” via the power of email marketing.
Additionally, when others view your ads and see that a solid number of relevant users have liked your page, they’re more likely to feel comfortable with and buy your product as well.
Give It a Try
The Facebook advertising platform is becoming more advanced and complex every day, supporting a virtually unlimited number of options for ad creation, exposure and goals.
Larger ecommerce brands are finding success with these sophisticated Facebook ad tactics and discovering strategies that are producing amazing results. If you’re interested in selling more units via referrals from the largest, most active social network, it can’t hurt to try these ad types yourself.