16/05/2023 • Andrew Lowdon
In this article we'll talk about:
When it comes to Facebook ad campaigns, a one size fits all approach to creative doesn’t work. It's essential to match your creative to the intent and needs of the user depending on where they are in the buying process.
You’ll hear people talk about the different funnel stages in an advertising campaign with a mass of different phrases, whether that be your HFs, MOFUs, Prospectors or Basket Abandoners. This will mean nothing to your actual customer, but the account structure provides a basis to map out your creative. Overlay your account structure with the Consumer Making Decision Model and you can build an understanding of not only where a user may be when they come across one of your ads, but also what the consumer will need to see from you at that time to grab their attention and ultimately make a decision to purchase your product or service.
The ad funnel is a series of campaigns that guide potential customers through the buying process, from not knowing who you are to becoming paying customers.
The Meta Ads funnel involves several campaigns that feature different value propositions and are targeted to the right audience at the right time.
Whilst these are the core stages of a traditional funnel, an often underlooked area is the Post-Purchase stage, where the objective is to transform existing customers into loyal customers and brand advocates. This approach increases customer lifetime value (CLV), dramatically improves advertising profitability and when used correctly can also provide fuel to the overall funnel to acquire future new customers.
Facebook Ads enable you to reach and engage with users at all stages of the buying process:
Users unfamiliar with your brand (cold audience) - Those who are not yet aware of your brand or products/services.
Prospects (warm audience) - People who have some level of awareness about your brand and have shown some form of interest
Leads (hot audience) - Users who are highly interested and have shared their contact information, indicating their desire to learn more or try your product/service.
Customers - Individuals who have bought previously.
Loyal advocates - Satisfied customers who make repeat purchases and actively promote your brand to others.
The beauty of the Meta platform is that it’s a channel with the ability for you to move users from one stage to the next, showing them ads relevant to the stage of the buying journey they are at, which increases the cut-through you can have with the consumer.
So how can we ensure that our ad creatives are aligned with what a customer needs to see at each stage of the funnel and align with their buying journey?
The top of the funnel is where the heavy leg work needs to be done. Here you have two challenges:
Consumers may not realise they have a problem or may be actively looking to solve it.
You're targeting users who may not even know about your brand yet.
In this stage, your creative needs to capture attention and highlight the problem the consumer might be facing, or present a solution to a problem they're aware of.
With 2 seconds to grab the consumer's attention, your creative needs to be eye-catching to stop the scroll and get the user to begin engaging with your brand. We’re seeing a growth in the use and effectiveness of video to do this, especially with more of a Tik Tok UGC style format.
Don’t discount the humble static ad here. These can still be incredibly effective when targeting a cold audience who doesn’t know you, but you need to make sure you pay close attention to the messaging and creative used to cut through to the consumer quickly. A static doesn’t just need to be a headline and a product image. There’s a whole host of variations that can be used including before & after, reviews, press features, core benefit pullouts and even memes.
At the mid-funnel stage, users are considering your brand, but they need more information before making a purchase decision. In this stage, your creative needs to focus on building trust and highlighting your unique selling propositions (USPs). This is where you need to showcase why your product is better than what else is out there in the market. If you’re selling the same product as your competitors, why should I choose you over anyone else?
This is the time to build trust with your audience with social proof. Reviews are a key part of this. 92% of consumers read online reviews when considering a purchase and a staggering 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends & family. Make it easy for your prospective customers to find these reviews by including them in your ad creatives. However these shouldn't just be any generic 5-star reviews, they need to be your best reviews that really highlight how great you are and allow the user to see themselves in that situation and be confident that they can solve their problem right now by buying from you.
At the low-funnel stage, you’ve built a hot audience with users ready to buy and your creative needs to focus on closing the deal.
It’s the time to focus on selling directly to the consumer and you need to focus on what you can do to get the consumer to swing their purchase over to you rather than someone else. The creative needs to give them a reason to choose you and make that decision as easy as possible. These users are hot prospects for a reason and you need to act quickly.
Bring your reviews to the fore again. Consumers are looking for a reason to part with their cash and want to be confident that they can trust the brand they are buying from. Hero some of those fantastic reviews from existing customers to show that you have a product worth buying and it's the right one for them.
This is also the stage where you need to help the consumer get past any last-minute objections that they may have. If you’re more expensive than the competition, tell them why and how that value will come through in their experience with your product or service.
Everyone wants to feel like they’re getting a great deal. Offering promotional discounts or special offers acts really well at nudging consumers to finally make the purchase. Utilise creatives that either offer a discount code or a free gift that gives them a sense of getting the better end of the deal.
So you’ve guided the consumer all the way through your funnel and persuaded them to make the purchase, great job! But it shouldn’t end here. Now you should be looking at how you can turn these new customers into repeat purchasers and build a long-term relationship, which in turn increases their Lifetime Value. If you can increase the Lifetime Value, you can then be more confident about the value of a customer, which can then allow you to increase your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) to further scale customer acquisition in the future.
How can you do this with your creative? This all comes back to knowing your customers and how & why they use your product.
Find out how long it takes on average for a consumer to use your product. If you know this, set up a campaign with creative used to remind them to re-order before they run out. Alternatively, if a customer hasn’t re-ordered after the usual length of time for use of the product, remind them to re-order, but your creative might just need to refresh them on the great reasons to buy to re-activate them. You can also include a promotional offer to persuade them. Whilst you don’t want to be offering discounts to every customer all the time, a 10% offer will most likely be more cost-effective than the average CAC.
The post-purchase phase also provides an opportunity to fuel the creative you use across the full funnel in the future. Reviews play a huge role in persuading prospects that you are the right brand for them. Ensure you have a process in place to speak to your customers and get those all-important reviews so you have a growing bank of fantastic testimonials to utilise in future creatives. From speaking to your customers, you might even find out about new problems that the product solved for consumers that you weren’t aware of, which gives new angles to be tested in ads.
Matching your creative to user intent at each stage of the funnel ensures that you're giving your Facebook ad campaign the best chance of success. You're providing users with the information they need to move through the funnel and take action, whether that's making a purchase or signing up for your service. Remember, Facebook ads are all about capturing attention, building trust, and driving conversions, and by understanding user intent and tailoring your creative accordingly, you can achieve all three.
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