How to Run Facebook Ads for an E-Commerce Site

December 7, 2018

The reason? You actually have products to sell which means everything is in place for you to capitalize on marketing and advertising efforts.

It’s far more difficult to start with nothing, build a product, and then start the marketing/advertising process – believe me as I’ve been there on both ends of this spectrum.

Mix in social media platforms (especially Facebook) and you’re creating a recipe for success:

  • It gets the buzz going about products (and future releases)
  • It gets word-of-mouth going about the offers you have
  • It gets people leaving feedback and opinions which can help grow your business
  • It allows you to reach new audiences and boost those sales

People want products from a great brand. They are already out there on Facebook liking product pages, leaving comments on branded feeds, writing reviews, and making recommendations to friends. All you need to do is tap into the social channel, initiate a bit of advertising, work in your marketing magic, and you’ll see your E-commerce store take off in popularity (and profits).

Here are some of the things that need to be done:

1. Use Website Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences

Perhaps one of the best offerings by the Facebook advertising platform is the ability to setup website custom audiences. The option is setup by installing a tracking pixel on your website and once that’s verified you can begin segmenting your audience by the pages they visit on the site.

The reason this is such a big win for marketers is that it allows them to see where people enter and where they’re exiting which can have a significant impact on improving conversion rates.

Example: You notice people are abandoning the cart after viewing X product; you can use that data to figure out a way to make the page attractive and refine the checkout process.

Website custom audiences has a lot of flexibility and can be used in many ways:

  • Segment the visitors to your home page which can be used as data for retargeting those visitors with items like branding ads, new sales items, and other promotional material
  • Segment by product page which can be worked in an attempt to bring visitors back to complete the checkout by showing them coupons, related items, or tailored ads to renew their interest
  • Segment by categories to get a broad understanding of what people want out of your site which can be used to funnel individuals into particular product pages based on their demographics

The Website Customer Audience feature is very powerful once you put it into good action. Soon you’ll find yourself setting up campaigns specific to the weeks, months, holidays, events, and other milestones in your business to capitalize on those sales spikes and social buzz.

2. Tap into that Email List

Email List

Quick… What is one of the most important assets you own in your business?

The answer should be the list.

Your email list is where you’ve collected all those leads (and conversions) over the years which means that you don’t have to go mucking around trying to bring in new ones since you have a great base to start with. On the Facebook advertising platform you can import your list and use that as data to drive your advertising and marketing campaigns directly to those individuals that are also on the network.

Imagine: You are a customer to Company X and love their Product Y but it’s been a while since you’ve ordered and you can’t quite remember their name. Suddenly an ad rolls through specifically targeting the product you had purchased before. Excellent! You remember the business, the product, and the service so you’re likely to take action on the ad.

There are plenty of great strategies when pairing your list to Facebook:

  • You could create a segmented list based around those people that signed up for a free offer which can become advertising opportunities for the premium products/services
  • You can segment the list into those customers that have been with you for X amount of years so that an ad shows them an exclusive discount for their patronage
  • You could segment the list so that it drives the individuals to a new list you’ve created which further refines the list into those that are most likely to take action and respond

The limits are truly endless when you have a list to begin with so if you don’t be sure that you’re building one now if you plan on including Facebook as part of your advertising toolbox.

3. Work around their Interests


The Facebook platform blows away other advertising platforms because there’s simply a ton of data on each and every user. Combine this with the data you’ve gathered (or from third-party sources) and now you’re putting that advertising into overdrive.

Think about how you’d go about doing advertising on search engines:

  • Research the market
  • Find a keyword
  • Create the ads
  • Add funds and hope for the best

In social it’s different. You could:

  • Start an ad solely based around an age group of your marketplace
  • Start an ad set to a specific region you’re likely to find customers
  • Start an ad that pairs up with interests, hobbies, and lifestyles

Example: Instead of just buying up keywords for “Tropical Vacation” in search engines you can specifically target those that live in Florida, on the East Coast, with an interest in fishing, traveling, and relaxing, median income of $100,000+, age 50 – 65, retired, and married.

Imagine the possibilities! It’s mindboggling to be honest and once you start playing around and really learning all that you can do through the platform (in terms of targeting) it’s hard to go back to older methods of advertising for your site.

4. Go Further with Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike Audiences

A very handy options to advertising Facebook brings to the table is very close to what we’ve discussed in terms of customer audiences. In this case it’s lookalike audiences and it works for just about any and every business that wants to give it a try.

Lookalike audiences are built around the action of creating a new list of targeted people based around a list that’s already been created.

Example: In your custom list you may have imported John Doe and based on his information, matched with others around the platform, you see that Jane Doe has similar interests which makes her a candidate for your advertising.

The tool takes in over 150 factors when you’re setting up a lookalike audience which means the people you’re finding through the tool are hot leads right out of the starting gate (so long that you provided it with information based around existing customer data).

You have a range of similarity so 1% is about as close as you can get to the type of person and the more you spread the wider range of people you’ll find (that may not be so-so targeted) so play around with it and find a sweet spot between people willing to buy and people that are more than interested.

Test, Learn, Repeat, and Reach

The last four things to remember:

  • Test everything you do on the Facebook advertising platform so you can find ways to improve your campaigns (this may seem tedious but it will greatly reduce your expenses and show positive returns on your involvement)
  • Learn from your mistakes (and wins) but don’t let it get you down (or over-inflate your ego); be humble about your losses and wins so that you can stay level-headed and logical so when you do start the next campaign it’s based on data and not gut reactions
  • Repeat whatever works and really ramp up the budget on the ads and marketing efforts that are showing positive return because what works today may start to fizzle out by next week so be sure to capitalize when the time is right
  • Reach out when you’re feeling stuck (such as talking to us a adQuadrant for your Facebook advertising/marketing needs) so that you don’t stall and start to slip back, allowing your competition to take the spotlight, and fall out of the routine; stay smart and outgoing with reaching those that can propel your business and its marketing efforts to the next level

E-commerce and social = a match made in Heaven, wouldn’t you agree? What’s stopping you from pairing the two and two together? Start doing it today!

Article inspired by SEJ.

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