Brands are leaving lots of money on the table by using just 1 marketing goal — Facebook ads review
There’s a widespread practice among advertisers (both at brands and agencies) of only relying on 1 marketing objective when doing paid growth campaigns. An e-commerce brand may, for example, target conversions on their site, and decides to only use the conversion goal on their advertising platform. What this approach reflects, however, is a misunderstanding of the sales funnel and its different stages, which I will quickly describe below.
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU): These are the people who have NEVER heard of or had contact with your brand. This is the COLDEST of the coldest audience.
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): People that have previously interacted with your brand in any way (liked one of your posts, commented on them, viewed one of your video ads, liked or visited your page, etc.). The degree of user commitment can vary a lot, but as we will later see, nowadays, most platforms let us create as many user segments as we want, based on their online behavior.
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU): These are people who have bought from you in the past. This is, of course, the WARMEST of your audiences.
The key concept to understand here is user engagement. As you can see, it is not the same for each of the funnel stages mentioned above. Your ads and messaging should always consider this “temperature” (how engaged your customer is) and be tailored to a specific audience. This is the main reason why people ignore/hate business ads these days; In the words of Curt Maly, it’s just brands constantly saying: “buy my shiny stuff. Buy my shiny stuff. Did you buy my shiny stuff?. By the way, we have a 25% offer on my shiny stuff. Seriously did you see my shiny stuff? it’s 50% off”. How would you feel if that happened to you in a physical store? Pretty annoying right?
What advertisers should always strive for is to create rapport with audiences; this will ultimately make our customers move down the funnel. How do we do this? Well, that’s what the different marketing objectives were made for. To see an example, below are Facebook’s current marketing objectives:
Some things to consider about some of these goals:
- Reach: Works really well for increasing exposure in short periods. For example, if you’re organizing an event and want many people to show up, you might want to run this goal.
- Brand awareness: Targets users who will remember your brand the better. In fact, Facebook even states that clicks are really not that useful to predict brand awareness. Offering great content and a great experience will result in much higher awareness for your brand. There’s no need to include a CTA (Call to Action, such as a link); the people who interact with the content will “warm-up” and will be targeted with more purchase-oriented advertising, as they advance down the funnel.
- Video views: Video views are in the consideration group, but they can also be very powerful for brand awareness and cold audiences, as they do not require a lot of commitment from the user. Video views can be cheap if your content is good (I’m talking cents here…), and will create tons of rapport with users: they will not only be entertained but also get to know your brand. Facebook can currently track how many minutes of a video each user watched, letting you use that information to create user segments that you can then target with your ads.
- Lead generation: This marketing goal has made the collection of user emails really simple. So simple, in fact, that many do not even remember when you send them an offer to their email. One key aspect to consider: email marketing alone could get some sales, but if you use it with some TOFU/MOFU advertising, it can perform really well.
- Conversion ads/Product catalog: Works best with warm audiences. Segmenting your audience based on their behavior will let you target users who have interacted with your brand the most (remarketing), users who have bought from you in the past, and new users who are similar to your current customers (lookalike audiences). These are all warmer audiences that you could target with this type of ad.
- Traffic: This one is probably the most used marketing goal, as traffic has traditionally been linked to good results. Clicks, however, do not correlate with ROI (90% of purchasers never clicked on an ad) and come from just a portion of our audience: the clicky users. You should always keep in mind that there are video viewers, long posts readers, and many other consumer personality types that do not necessarily click on ads and that you’re probably not targeting with a traffic ad.
Another aspect to consider is the ad formats (see image below). Social platforms offer different options for brands to communicate their message. Depending on your product/service, audience, industry, and marketing goal, different formats may be more or less effective.
There is no golden format, copy, or goal that will save your business. As it is always the case in performance marketing, it’s very important to keep a scientific approach of continually testing different goals and formats in your campaigns. The best approach is to continually have some ads running, targeted to different stages of the funnel with low budgets, so you can identify and scale up the most efficient ones. Many people will tell you that brand awareness is only for TOFU, or that conversion ads are only for BOFU, but a good strategy is to use different objectives in different parts of the funnel. Who said people who have interacted with your brand should only get conversion ads? (buy muy shiny stuff example once again).
How should your advertising mix then look like?
Ideally, you should test different paid channels (ex: Facebook, Linkedin, etc.) where you think your audience is, and stick with those that better perform. Your advertising mix could look something like this (just an example to have more clarity on the topic):
- (TOFU) 30-minute video with video views objective. The goal here is to explain to users why they have a problem (that your product solves). You will identify the users for whom this really is a problem (your potential users)
- (MOFU) Post content to your page. Organic reach is very limited these days, then you might want to pay for post boosting, so you’re able to check how your posts resonate with your audience. Your top-performing posts will become your golden ads.
- (MOFU) Build custom audiences (video viewers, website visitors, etc.) and target your golden ads to them. As these are consumers who have interacted with your brand before, you can start explaining more about why your product is the solution to the original problem.
- (BOFU) Have splinter offers (“offering a piece of the core offer for a lower price”) to highly qualified segmented audiences. You can retarget these users with MOFU nurturing ad pieces, so they have more chances to see your brand.
- (BOFU) Create new lookalike audiences with your existing customer base. These audiences are built by the platforms (Facebook, Linkedin, etc.) based on your users’ interests, demographic information, and many other aspects. These people should be then, more responsive to your ads.
If you’d like to learn more about leveraging paid channels to grow your brands or growth marketing in general, I strongly recommend you to have a look at CXL’s Growth Marketing program. I started the program 4 weeks ago, and even as an experienced performance marketer, I’ve been able to learn a lot of things from the industry’s most renowned experts.
Finally, if you want to learn more about APPLIED growth marketing strategies, make sure to follow me on LinkedIn and listen to our Podcast El Antipodcast: El cliente NO tiene la razon.
https://cxl.com/. Facebook Ads training module.