Facebook’s Ad Objectives are meant to be used like a traditional sales funnel. Learn how you can take full advantage of this and optimize your ads using the Facebook Pixel.
How to Use Facebook Ads & Pixel w Your Sales Funnel
Liz: Hello and welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We help companies and marketing departments control their business, their brand and get the word out. In today’s episode, we are continuing to talk about what we learned at the Facebook Boost event here in Cleveland. Sandro is going to be diving into Facebook ads and how to take them to the next level and specifically with the Facebook Pixel and leveraging kind of that traditional sales funnel approach.
Sandro: Exactly. Thanks, Liz. Yeah, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the Boost with Facebook event we attended a week or so ago. Last episode I talked about Messenger and the power of it. This time, let’s talk about the sales funnel. So Liz, what is a sales funnel?
What Is a Sales Funnel?
Liz: A sales funnel is a great visual representation of how customers move through the process of awareness, education, decision making and all the way down to that final purchase. So if you think of an actual funnel, you know the top is very wide, you’re casting a wide net in terms of awareness. And as you move down the funnel, you know, some people will drop off and that’s okay. And ultimately, you know, you’ll have a smaller subset or percentage of that wide net you cast that actually convert into customers.
Sandro: Gets narrower and narrower down the sales journey.
Liz: And so companies with a well-defined sales funnel are in a great position to get the word out. Capture leads at the top of the funnel. Move them through, educate them and convert much more quickly, much more effectively. I’ve never really articulated this, but maybe I will here for the first time. I mean, I think that’s really the big problem with a lot of small businesses. They don’t have a sales funnel. They’ve never put anything together related to a sales funnel. And hey, most small businesses don’t have a background in marketing, so they’re not even aware of what a, what a sales funnel is.
Sales Funnel Is Also Called Buyer’s Journey
Liz: I’ve mentioned it a lot on the podcast. I also sometimes refer to it as, well, as ‘the buyer’s journey’ is maybe a little different. I’m pulling that from HubSpot. And I think HubSpot now, they’ve moved away from a funnel and it’s some sort of circular graphic, I think. And the intent behind that is to, you know, once someone makes it through the funnel, you know, the traditional funnel is like, alright, yeah, we’re done with them. But no, again, you’ve gotta reengage and it costs less to get more business from an existing customer. So you just loop them back in and they’re kind of always going through this continuous loop of education.
Liz: Maybe you can upsell them to something else and so on and so on. So some people aren’t using the funnel so much anymore. Personally, I love it because it’s a really great visual and it’s really simple. I think HubSpot is overcomplicating things just a little. I mean, not if you’re a large business and you have all of the resources to do all of that. But for the typical smaller business or mid-sized business, let’s stick to the funnel.
Facebook Ads Manager Uses the Funnel
Sandro: It is a great visualization. You’re right. I think that’s why I like it so much also. Prior to this event, I didn’t actually know Facebook had this funnel in mind in its advertising platform. I mean, I guess I should have known, but I didn’t even think about that. And its advertising platform is Facebook Ads Manager.
Liz: And it’s not visually clear. That’s the other thing. The way that it’s laid out, like when you click that, ‘Create an Ad’ button, it’s not set up.
Liz: Visually in the funnel.
Sandro: It wasn’t until we came to, went to this event that I saw it, what they were trying to do.
Liz: Yes. Because it’s like turned on its side in ads. Kind of. Yeah. But the handout or I’m sorry, the booklet, the fancy booklet that we got at Facebook Boost. It is blatantly obvious and spells it out a little bit. It spells it out with much more clarity.
The Most Important Thing: Pick the Right Ad Objective
Sandro: Definitely. And on the big screen, they were presenting it as well. So what I mean by this is when you go like Liz said, you go into the Facebook Ads Manager and to create an ad, the first thing you do is pick an objective. And they kept stressing over and over in all of the sessions that this is the most important thing you can do to get your ad right and doing well. Pick the right ad objective. And when you open up Ads Manager to create the ad, you’ll see three columns: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Each column has two to six ad objectives underneath those three columns.
Top of the Funnel: Awareness
Sandro: And for some reason, I just never realized that those columns were part of the sales funnel. Awareness is at the top of the sales funnel and it’s the first column. It’s getting the word out about your small business. And under here you’re gonna find two ad objectives that get the most views, the most users reached per dollar spent. The most bang for your buck in getting people to learn about your business.
Liz: Again, casting that wide net. Because if you are a business…
Sandro: A new business owner.
Liz: A new business, if you are, you know, if you have a new concept that no one’s ever heard about, step one is just get the word out. Let’s you know, yes, we want to focus on that ideal buyer and in pinpointing who we can convert. But first things first, we’ve got to cast a bigger net.
The Next Step: Consideration
Sandro: The second column is Consideration, and that’s when you have a warm lead, when, let’s call it a warm lead, is that what they call it?
Liz: We could start to really split hairs and say that it’s maybe a cold, well, cold lead, warm lead, marketing qualified lead, a sales qualified lead. I mean, then, we won’t get into that now.
Sandro: But once they know about you, boom, there’s Consideration. And there are six objectives you can use to make that lead, make that person even closer to a sale or a sign up to bring them down the sales funnel even further. It’s the second step or the next step, the narrower step in the sales funnel, getting closer to a sale or Conversion. It’s Consideration. The second column.
Final Step: Conversion
Sandro: So the third and final column is Conversion. It’s the bottom of the sales funnel. It’s when your goal is to get that sale. Or it can be that sign up. It’s closing that sale or sign up or someone to download your white paper or make an appointment. And here Facebook gives you three choices to optimize your objective in that column for Conversions.
Why Not Run All Ads for Conversion?
Sandro: And so clients and you may be asking, why not just run ads for Conversions for that third column. Who cares about all the other stuff? I just want sales. And this is because Facebook optimizes their algorithm, the ads and points the ads towards people who are likely to buy your product. It’s a learning process for Facebook and its automation. They don’t know right off the bat what kind of person is likely to convert, likely to buy, likely to make an appointment or download.
Sandro: So the number that I learned at this event is 50. 50 conversions per week are the minimum Facebook wants to see before they’ll optimize for conversions. Meaning you need to be getting at least 50 sales from Facebook a week or 50 sign-ups a week or 50 appointments per week, or downloads from Facebook users or ads before Facebook will know: Are women more likely to convert? Or are men? Are certain age ranges or certain parts of the country more likely to buy or download or sign up or make an appointment?
Sandro: If you don’t have these 50 conversions per week, you need to get to that number. You need to go higher in the sales funnel. You need to go to the other objectives, such as awareness or consideration to let people know you’re out there or to reengage cold leads or reengage people and get them further down the sales funnel to raise that number to 50 and then start using the conversion ad objectives. We had a client who was only ad conversions and they were getting one sale a month from Facebook. How the heck is Facebook gonna optimize with one sale per month? They can’t.
Not at 50 Weekly Conversions? Move Up the Funnel
Sandro: We finally got them up to awareness, higher in the sales funnel to start letting people know about their product. Those were all things I kind of knew in the back of my head but didn’t really realize Facebook had its, really had its stuff together and was guiding businesses towards this path. We as marketers all know the funnel that Liz explained. Maybe small business owners don’t know.
Liz: I agree. I don’t, you and I have both been working with Facebook Ads Manager for a very long time and I don’t ever feel like that was clearly communicated to us, just the steps that they have taken to support our ads. And look, it makes sense. I mean, we say it about Google AdWords all the time. They want you to succeed. They’re going to try to put your ad in front of people who want to click it, because if you experience success with this platform, then you will keep spending money. And, hey, they really want your money. So, yeah, they are, they have some good things built into this platform and their algorithm to support businesses. And I felt like it was, that was the first time that it was really articulated to us.
How Does Facebook Know Your Conversions?
Sandro: Yeah. Visually, correct. So the last thing, the last question you may be asking is, how does Facebook know when someone converts or when someone visits your page from Facebook or when someone adds something to cart? And the answer is the Facebook Pixel. I keep forgetting the first question people ask when I say Pixel. Many times what they say is, “So it’s a tiny dot I put on my Web site?” No, it’s called a Pixel but really it’s just it’s twelve, sixteen lines of code, a snippet of code you put on your Web site very easily. Works in the background.
Liz: Very easy.
Sandro: So Facebook can track people on your Web site when they visit, when they add something to the shopping cart when they leave an abandoned shopping cart. When they actually buy something, which is a conversion. When they actually download something. Or when they actually make an appointment for your yoga studio or massage, that’s a conversion. So Facebook knows this is a conversion. This person bought something. This person signed up. It’s all through the Pixel.
The Facebook Pixel & Events
Sandro: And the basic code goes on every page, but there are events, so smaller snippets of code you add to each product or the checkout or the sign-up page or the thank you page once they purchase something. And it’s crazy easy to do now. Facebook has updated the way to do this. There’s something called an Event Setup Tool. And this tool basically takes you, once you click it, it opens up your site and it guesses, it looks at every single page and says, ‘I see an add to cart button here. Can I add the snippet of code that says “Add to Cart” on this add to cart button?’ Just click ‘Yes.’ Or ‘I see the checkout button. Can I add the checkout event code on this checkout button?’ And you’ll just click ‘Yes.’ I mean it’s really, really easy to do now.
Sandro: You don’t have to do a lot of coding or get your developer to do it as much. You may still want to use your developer but you don’t really need them if you know a little bit about your Web site. So it’s not that hard with the event setup tool to set up the little snippets of code to add to cart or checkout, things like that.
Facebook Ad Objectives & the Sales Funnel
Liz: And to build on what you’re talking about, just to paint a picture for everybody. Because I felt this visual was really helpful. Again, picture that sales funnel and up at the top you’ve got Awareness. What is the Facebook event that ties to that? Well, it’s a page view. It’s simply sending someone to your Web site. And as we know, you’re not going to send someone to your Web site and they’re gonna immediately convert. So we start with the page views. Little further down, it’s maybe they’ve viewed some very specific content that’s buried a little bit deeper on your Web site. Moving down the funnel, displaying that intent to convert.
Liz: So maybe they’ve contacted you and reached out for additional information. Moving down a little bit further, maybe they’ve started a free trial and really down the funnel that true intent to purchase is maybe adding to the cart and then actually making that purchase. So actually having them spell that out like here are five events, like you’ve got your Pixel. And we’ve talked about the Pixel a lot on the Podcast. But here are five events, basic events that you can set up to start, was like, great, love it.
Bottom Line: Really Think About Your Ad’s Objective
Sandro: Definitely. So our bottom line and lesson for you as a small business owner or a marketing agency, take another look at the Ad Objective options Facebook presents and really think about where you want to be and which one you choose before you start creating your ad. Look at it as a funnel and realize that’s what Facebook is presenting to you, a funnel. And make sure you’re using the Facebook Pixel and have it set up correctly and avoid Conversions unless you’re at that 50 Conversions a week mark. And that’s one of the huge things I learned at the Facebook event this week, or last week.
Liz: Well, this is great Sandro. I’m really glad you were able to hit so many sessions. I think these episodes are gonna be really valuable for our listeners.
Sandro: It was great. And I definitely encourage you to find one near you and attend it if you can.
Liz: Absolutely. Well, that’s gonna do it for today. Thank you for joining us. Don’t forget to find us and subscribe to us on your favorite podcast app. We are on iTunes, Google Podcast and Spotify. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Thanks so much. We’ll see you next time.