Build A Successful Ecommerce Facebook Advertising Campaign Part 1

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So you have an ecommerce store and need a source of traffic? Or are your existing Facebook ads just not working?

Either way, you have come to the right place!

It’s almost impossible for a small ecommerce store to generate any revenue without advertising. That’s why ecommerce advertising is such a prevalent topic.

By today, most fast-growing ecommerce stores acquire a large chunk of their traffic via Facebook ads.

Facebook ads are a great source of traffic, especially if you want to start small and scale as your revenue grows.

This is a 3-part guide in which we will help you:

  1. Get started with Facebook ads - You are here

  2. Optimize your store for Facebook ads - Coming soon

  3. Learn how to scale Facebook ads - Coming soon

Getting started

We will be creating display ads on Facebook. In that case, you should have a business page already setup.

If you don’t have one set up yet then get started here.

And you should already have an ad account. If not, then go ahead and create an ad account.

Make sure you have a payment method attached to the ad account.

Creating a campaign

Now that you are all set up. Go to the ads manager dashboard.

image of the Facebook ads campaigns dashboar

Click on Create and start with a new campaign.

You are probably wondering which ad format should you use to drive action?

With an ecommerce store, you can select one of the two options depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

The options are either Conversions or Catalog Sales.

Image of Facebook ads campaign objectives screen with conversions already selected as a campaign objective

So which one should you choose?

Well, it depends.

If you want to promote your store, not a specific product, then go for Conversions.

If you want to promote multiple products that sit in the same category and are very much alike, then go for Catalog Sales.

You should never promote completely different products with Catalog Sales.

Setting up a catalog

Facebook will ask you to set up a product catalog. So go ahead and do that.

For Catalog Type choose whatever type matches your business model best.

Facebook advertising dashboard e-commerce catalog setup menu

Since we are running an ecommerce store, we are going to go for ecommerce.

If you choose another type of catalog, the next step may not be the same as it is for us.

You can either connect your ad account to an ecommerce platform like Shopify or WooCommerce, or manually upload product info.

We are going to be uploading our product info manually, because our store is not 100% ready yet.

There are multiple ways to add products to catalogs, all of them are quite self-explanatory so we are not going to dive very deep into that topic.

IMPORTANT: Make sure a single product set has at least 4 products in it. If your product set has less than 4 products in it, then you will not be able to use the set in an advertisement.

Setting the daily budget

Now, this is important! Start with a low daily budget.

We recommend that you start with a daily budget that's between $2.00 and $4.00.

It may seem low, but don’t worry, people will see your ad, even with a low budget.

Starting with a low budget will help you find out what works and what doesn’t, without breaking the bank.

As for campaign bid strategy, go for Lowest cost for starters.

Creating an ad set

Now that we have the campaign objective setup you can move forward. You will have to create an ad set.

Selecting products

From the products list choose at least 4 products that sit in the same category.

If you already have sales, then choose your best selling products for the ad.

We will be leveraging existing customer data. That’s why it’s a good idea to use items that sell well.

You should not start out with offers, they are a more advanced campaign type and the process for setting up offers is platform-specific.

We will cover offers in a future article. Stay tuned!

Tracking actions

If you have not started tracking actions on your site then you should start right now!

It’s crucial to have a Facebook pixel in your ecommerce store.

Here’s how to install Facebook pixel for Shopify:

  1. Go to the events manager dashboard

  2. From the right-hand menu click on Connect Data Sources

  3. Copy the pixel code

  4. Log in to your Shopify store

  5. Go to Theme

  6. Click on Customize

  7. Paste in the copied code snippet

  8. Click on Save

By installing a pixel you can track actions that happen in your store and use the power of retargeting advertisements to create a successful ecommerce Facebook ad funnel.

We talk about retargeting and tracking actions in a future blog post.

How to define a target audience

Defining a target audience is the most important step of this guide.

Coming up with a good targeting strategy is really tricky, but if you get this part right, then you are a lot closer to building a successful Facebook ad campaign.

Luckily Facebook has made it really easy for you to build a good targeting strategy for your ads.

It’s really simple to define a target audience based on your previous customers.

If you have not created an audience yet, here is how you can do it using previous customer data.

If you use Shopify then follow these steps:

  1. Open you admin panel

  2. Click on customers

  3. Click on the Export button

  4. Export as a plain CSV file

Back on the Facebook ads manager dashboard. Go ahead and click on Business tools.

Then find the advertise submenu and click on audiences. advertise and audiences submenu image Facebook ad manager audiences submenu item selected

If you get a little popup asking you if you want to leave the page, click on Leave this page. Your campaign will be saved as a draft.

If you don’t have any audiences you should see something like this.

Image of no existing audiences on Facebook advertising dashboard

Click on the Create a lookalike audience button. For your lookalike audience source, we are going to use the list that you just exported from your ecommerce platform of choice.

So click on Create new source and choose Custom audience with LTV as your custom audience source.

For customer value choose the column which represents their purchase value.

Now click on Upload file and select the file which contains your customer data. Then click on Next.

Now Facebook will ask you to map fields. We recommend you map all the fields possible.

Minimum fields you should map:

  • email
  • first name
  • last name
  • phone number

The more fields you map, the more likely it is that your target audience will be similar to your existing customers. The more accurate your target audience is, the more effective your advertisement will be.

After you have chosen the fields to use. Click on Next.

Campaign audience

Now go back to your campaign creation screen and click on Find prospective customers even if they haven't interacted with your business.

From there click on Create New and choose Lookalike Audience as an audience source.

Click on the Select Your Lookalike Source and select the source you just created.

Example of how to create Facebook lookalike audience source and defining characteristics

Now you can use the uploaded customer list to create a lookalike audience.

If a large part of your customers are from a certain country, then the ads manager will recommend a country for you to use for the lookalike audience.

If not then go ahead and target whichever countries you are comfortable with targeting.

We suggest that you have a separate audience for each country you want to target.

As for audience size. If you have a small budget, stick with a smaller audience size. When using an existing audience as a source we recommend you go with an audience size between 1% to 3%.

The larger your budget, the larger your audience size can be.

For the Custom Audience field, you can now select the lookalike audience you just created.

Facebook ad creating screen, campaign view with audience selected

If you are promoting a product aimed at a certain gender or age, then you can use the age and gender options to narrow down your audience size.

As an example, you would probably promote pink gaming headphones to females, not males.

Or you wouldn’t promote toy cars to 45-year old females.

Advertisement placement

The age-old question. Where to place your ads?

We suggest you leave it be.

If you selected Conversions or Catalog sales as an advertising objective, then Facebook is good at optimizing ad placements for those objectives.

Optimization and spending

If creating ads for an ecommerce store you should optimize your ad delivery for Conversion Events.

For the Event Type go with Shop Now or Learn More.

Now must have a Facebook pixel set up on your ecommerce site.

That way you can track people who show interest in your products and then get them to make a purchase with retargeting ads.

It’s called warming up leads.

You can familiarize them with a store or a product. Afterward, you will show them products they are already familiar with, making it more likely that they will make a purchase.

As for the Conversion Window, go with 7 days click.

Creating an ad

Ad name

Give the ad a logical name so you can easily recognize it later on.

Format

We recommend you go with a dynamic format. Facebook is really good at optimizing the display format to maximize conversions.

Ad copy aka ad creative

The ad creative is the text and images seen by your target audience you previously defined.

In the future, we will also teach you how to A/B test your ad creatives.

What to not do!

Do not use images and videos that don’t belong to you or your company. Facebook is very strict with the content you are allowed to use for ads. Give their ad guidelines a read before posting an ad.

For now, let’s keep it simple. If you have video content for your products then definitely go ahead and use Dynamic Video for your cover media.

Now instead of trying to figure out the Facebook ad template on your own, we are going to show you a very effective shortcut that will save you time and money.

How can you craft the perfect Facebook ad template? Well, do you know who your competitors are?

If you don’t yet, then go ahead and find your most successful competitors and their Facebook pages.

Afterward, go ahead and go to the Facebook ads library.

Type in the name of your competitors Facebook page and click on it.

A competitors Facebook ad copies publically available by a simple search

As you can see, you have access to all of your competitor's advertisements!

An unlimited number of display ad examples right at your fingertips. Choose any ad creative that resonates with you and open it up.

You can go through all the products associated with the ad set.

Image of a Facebook ad that belongs to a direct competitor selling shoes. The image includes a very good advertising copy.

Clearly, your competitors would not use ad creatives that do not work.

You shouldn’t copy your competitor's ad creatives, but you can definitely use their ad creatives to inspire you.

By learning about your competitor's ads you also go through a lot of ad copywriting examples. It’s a great way to learn how to write a good Facebook ad copy.

We recommend that you create multiple ads with different ad creatives inspired by different competitors.

After running the ads for a bit of time you will be able to figure out which one converts the best.

We will be talking about analyzing results and optimizing your ads in a future post!

Facebook ad copy with mixed words and tactics used by a competitor

We took some inspiration from our competitors and crafted a compelling ad copy.

For the product headline and description, you should use the product’s name and description fields. Unless you are selling something very specific.

You should go ahead and use the Build a URL parameter to track website visits.

Here’s how we built it for our campaign.

Facebook ads URL parameter builder with all form fields filled

For the Deep Link To Website, you can click on the plus icon and choose product URL or just type in {{product.url}}. This is the link for your call to action button.

What call to action to use?

If you want to warm up leads choose View Content as a conversion event, then use Learn More as your call to action text.

If you have warmed up your leads with View Content ads, then select Purchases as a conversion event. For your call to action text go with Shop Now.

Unless you are trying to target multiple Languages then you should leave the Languages field untouched.

Now go ahead and click on Confirm.

That’s it. You have created your first Facebook ad campaign!

Before you start displaying your advertisement, we recommend that you optimize your ecommerce store to maximize conversions!

Facebook will still have to review your ad. If you use your product pictures, texts, and videos for your ad copy, or are allowed to use 3rd party assets, then you are good. Otherwise, your ad may not get approved.

In our next post, we will talk about optimizing your newly created ads and ad sets. So stay tuned for that!

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