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How to Customize Facebook Ads for Every Stage of Your Funnel

Written by Mary Hartman, Account Manager

Facebook advertising overview


Facebook is one of the oldest social media platforms out there, debuting in 2004. They really got into the game early, and their two billion monthly users tower over other platforms and the competition is really hot.






We’re hearing over and over that cost per click and cost per conversion is just getting more and more expensive on Facebook. This is a common problem as everyone and their brother is trying to get on Facebook and get the most they can out of the platform.




Create a Roadmap: Facebook Conversion Strategy



Even when you’re just starting to re-evaluate an older campaign, it’s always good to take a bird’s eye view of what you’re doing on Facebook, as well as when you’re launching new products or new campaigns.



On average, it takes 6 to 8 touches to create a viable sales lead. We’re also starting to see a funnel that’s longer and longer. As a lot of people do more research and info gathering, there’s a lot more to people making that conversion and getting into that funnel. Some industries are longer than others, like travel and software, while simple Ecommerce tends to have a shorter funnel.





You really need to take your funnel into consideration when creating your Facebook plan. The nature of social demands it. Social is a different animal than search because it is interruptive. People on social aren’t there to see your ad and buy your product, so you have to think about that and take a different approach. Consider the whole funnel process and introducing your brand to someone who’s brand new.



First step: Set Your Goals



Every company is different, but it’s really good to consider your ideal CPC or CPL. That’s going to be different depending on what conversion you’re going for. So if going for an email list sign up, you can have a lower goal for your CPL and it can be less expensive to convert someone like that. Whereas if you’re trying to set up a sales meeting or content download, it’ll be more expensive.



With your starting blocks, make sure you evaluate your average close rate, the sales readiness of the customer, lead to close rate, and value per sale. Put a proper dollar amount on the lifetime value of that sale as well as upsell value.



Did you know?




I really like to pull this information out. 74% of millennials and Gen Z consumers gravitate to information they find on their own. There’s a lot of evidence that people interact with social differently than when they’re searching, and you have to be able to deliver ads that are giving really quality information and not just trying to sell a product and tell the consumer how great your company is. Most consumers don’t care how great your company is at the very beginning; all they want to know is the benefits that you’ll be giving them.



High Funnel: What does the User want?



Starting at the top of the funnel, you want to start with what the user wants. They want relevant, informational, entertaining, tantalizing, and low-commitment ads.





This is a great example of a CRM company, who is letting people know how you can get over a fear of follow-ups. They’re not talking about the benefits that their company can give you; they’re focusing in on that fear and the hunger of the consumer.



Another great example is from Lowe’s – say you have an audience who’s doing remodeling on their home. You could run out and try to sell them a product right away, but it’s better to give those new, top-of-funnel customers the information that they’re hungry for.





Give those consumers the information that they want to see that doesn’t have to do with you. It’s kind of like a first date or first impression. You really want to pay attention to your consumer right off the bat and treat them well…but you don’t want to ask them to marry you on the first date.




Mid-Funnel: What does the User Need?




In the middle of the funnel, you want to re-spark the consumer’s interest. They might know you already or have engaged with your sales team already, but you want to nurture that relationship along. Portray yourselves as the thought leaders with a little more interaction like  a webinar or an event.




Litmus addresses the pet peeve of the users with impersonal emails, but also mentions how they can solve that problem.




Bottom of the Funnel: Reassure and Close the User




At the bottom of the funnel, you’re typically aiming at your remarketing audiences, or your current customer list that you have in Facebook so you can re-engage those customers. Give them a proof of quality and build your brand’s reputation with testimonials, organizations of influence, and special offers.






With all of these levels of the funnel, you can really create audiences based on that engagement. So when you post something on a blog and you want to boost that post to a brand new audience, based on their engagement you’re really feeding the entire funnel. We like to encourage you to cast a wide net, bring in a large variety of people to your site, and then really pinpoint your bottom of the funnel offers that you put out. It helps solidify and find those customers that are worth the extra spend.




Audience Building




Like we said, it is so important that we cast a net, and we want to go as wide as possible, but we don’t want to push out our content to people that aren’t in our ideal customer profile (ICP). You want to utilize your limited budget, and whether you’re spending a million dollars a month or a thousand a month, we all have some cap in our budget.




Targeting is critical to digital as a whole. As digital marketers, we levearage a wide variety of targeting. We use specific keywords, day of the week, location, gender, age, job title, industry, etc.







By understanding who your target audience is, you can really refine your ads. Like we mentioned, Facebook has been around a long time but Facebook Ads haven’t been around as long as Facebook as a whole. From the beginning, Facebook users give this social platform a lot about themselves – what things they “like”, how old they are, where they live, if they just had a baby, etc.




Think about the wealth of data advertisers can use for targeting: demographic data, interests, behaviors, life events, and first party customer data. This is why digital marketers are using Facebook as a full-funnel tool. In 2017 alone, the US spend on Facebook Ads reached $17 billion.






1st Party Data for Targeting




Inbound calls are an invaluable data set that can signal buying intent, lead quality and engagement preference. All of this data that you collect from site visits and conversions you can then re-upload back into Facebook to create specific bid strategies and cater your ads and landing page message to that specific audience. A call attribution and analytics solution like DialogTech can tell you not only what marketing interaction drove each call, but if the caller was a good sales lead, what products/services they were calling about, and if they converted to an appointment or customer. You can then add them to the right Facebook audiences, or exclude them from seeing your ads altogether.




How to Build Audiences




Anyone who is running paid search ads through Google Ads knows that there is a shared library. The great thing is that Facebook also has a shared library where you can upload all of your audiences. By utilizing the Ads/Business Manager tool, you can create specific audiences that you can use in every campaign.






If someone comes in online, they might prefer to engage with your brand online. If someone comes in through a call, use messaging that would make them call again. By uploading these audiences you can build a retargeting audience or a lookalike audience. With lookalike audiences, Facebook will create audiences that look like those who have converted with your brand.



Retarget Callers and Build Lookalikes



Now let’s break these out. You can build in custom audiences to try and re-engage past callers with unique messaging. Facebook even gives you a percent of how closely you want them to match. You can use this omni-channel experience to personalize each user’s experience that they have with your brand.







Upsell and Cross Sell




If your brand has multiple business units and product lines with separate ad accounts, share your data amongst partners and service lines as long as you have access to the business manager.











We’re starting to see the technique of uploading your current customer list and letting Facebook identify the qualities of those users and create lookalike audiences. Lookalikes are a great way to identify similarities of those in your customer list. Use audience insights to find qualities of your audiences that you want to target.







Do make sure that your root source of your users is solid and reliable so that you don’t find people from Reddit or other sources coming to your site with no intent to convert. There are a million ways you can use lookalikes to identify the demographic similarities within your audiences, so definitely make sure you’re taking advantage of this tool.





Facebook Conversion Tactics



With this content-based approach, first things first is to take stock of the content you have. No matter how large or small you might be, most businesses have a good amount of content or it’s easy to put something together as a blog post or PDF.



Offer language is also super important – using words like these can drive more clicks. Notice that “hacks” isn’t on here.






Don’t forget to target the easy wins too, and make sure you have a distinctive brand voice. Remember, you’re not just painting the picture of your brand with colors and graphics – you want your voice to be recognizable too in the language that you use.









Video for Brand Recognition



You can cast video out to your lookalike audiences and to more general audiences and then take your engaged viewers and make an audience based on those. Based on how long your video is, if they’ve watched the whole thing, you can remarket to them and create a specific audience for them in Facebook.



For example, if you have videos for certain products, you can remarket that specific product to those who watched the whole video.






Use of Pictures



Pictures draw the eye. Keep the message simple and brief, especially for mobile users. If you give just a taste of the data or quote, it won’t be so overwhelming for the user. Also include humans in your photos.








Did you know that 54% of site visits on Facebook come through a mobile device, and 93% of total monthly users access Facebook on their mobile phone?






Let’s take it a step further. 62% of total monthly users ONLY access a mobile version of Facebook.






Does that blow your mind or what? We’ve really moved away from the days where people were just accessing Facebook on their desktop. Having your messages be super short and punchy is ideal for capturing those mobile users.




Facebook Direct Lead Ads




If you don’t have an ideal mobile site, a great alternative is to use Facebook Direct Lead Ads. These ads basically allow a user to click a CTA, fill out a form and send it through without having to go to your website, and a lot of big CRMs are integrated with these.






Facebook Mobile Friendly Tips



Make sure to preview your ads in mobile, and obviously with mobile, video and images reign supreme. Ensure that your copy complements the image, there’s visual interactivity, and avoid copy cutoffs. The ideal number of characters is 40-80, but it’s been shown that there is 86% more engagement with ads that have under 40 characters on Facebook. Keep it short and sweet.




Facebook Conversion Tracking


The way Facebook organizes their conversions based on the level of the funnel.






The conversion leads a little more into Ecommerce conversions, but it does depend on your offer in your ad.


When you’re doing your conversion tracking, think about what’s most important to you. Try breaking it out into three categories:

  • Transactional conversions: Basically just money in the bank – bottom of the funnel conversions.
  • Informational conversions: leads, downloads, email list growth, webinar attendees – anyone who you’re reaching with your brand
  • Conversational conversions: Very top of funnel. Engagement, page likes, brand building, feeding the funnel




Facebook Attribution Settings


Under the Facebook ad settings, the attribution window is automatically set for a 28-day click-through and a 1 day view-through. But this is not universal for all businesses and you should take this into account, how long it takes for your business to close a sale or how much engagement it takes to get to the ideal conversion. Make that attribution more personalized to your business.


Offline conversions and events have the longest attribution window of 60-90 days but you can change those settings in Facebook.


Tracking Offline Conversions


When you pass offline events, such as call conversions, into your Facebook Ad Account, you can create custom audiences (retargeting and lookalike) along with custom conversions to showcase performance.


Reporting Offline Conversions


The custom conversion you created from your offline data (e.g. Phone Calls) can be pulled into every report: Campaign, Ad Set, Ads.




Break out all of your conversions so you can really understand what types of audiences are converting online vs. offline and segment those audiences out. You can also see what kind of creative is working online vs. offline. It’s a one-time setup that will flow into the rest of your campaigns.





It’s so important to consider your funnel. On Facebook, they didn’t ask for your ad – they’re trying to look at cat gifs. So, you want to be eye catching and you want your ad copy to reflect the needs and wants of your audience. Feed that top of funnel – keep uploading into your audiences and create those really detailed lookalikes. If you have the traffic, it’s a no-brainer to keep creating those custom audiences and using the audience insight tool to identify who they are and understand them further.


As you develop your remarketing lists, put out those strong offers for high-engagement users. Create audiences based on interaction with your ads.


Also make sure you’re speaking to mobile audiences with interactive content, and you’re track those users correctly. The Facebook advertising space might be competitive and expensive, but if you utilize these tips, you’ll still stand out in the crowd.