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Facebook Ads Strategy: Learn the E-Commerce Portfolio Approach

Published: March 20, 2013

Author: Molly Shotwell

Today’s post is by Nadja Yacker, media analyst at Ampush.
ad portfolioIn order to fully leverage all that Facebook has to offer, brands need to be ready to adopt a portfolio approach to their Facebook strategy. A portfolio-based approach to Facebook advertising means creating a strategy that integrates all of the advantages News Feed and Open Graph provide in order to drive awareness, engagement, Fan acquisition, and direct response/purchases.
In other words, it’s not enough to focus on “Likes” anymore, and we’ll show you how to diversify your strategy and which ad types to use to suit new goals.
With Facebook’s recent ad product releases centered on driving purchases and direct response metrics through News Feed and Open Graph, now is the perfect for e-commerce brands to re-evaluate their Facebook strategy for Q2-Q4. Many of these new ad products let advertisers reach their marketing goals in several ways, including retargeting through Facebook Exchange (FBX), Offers (for purchases), and Custom Audiences (to personalize and better target creatives). Sophisticated marketers are combining Facebook ad products to not only build a fan base, but to also educate the Facebook audience outside of their Page about their products by using the voice of their fans.
Facebook users generally fall into 3 distinct categories in respect to their connectedness to a brand:
– Non-Fan: Those who are either unaware of the brand or not yet connected to the brand
Fan: Individuals who Like the brand but may not be active advocates of the brand
Super Fan: Users who have liked the brand and want to be an advocate (will continue to purchase, comment/engage with the brand content, and want their activity and interaction with the brand to be shared as Sponsored Stories with friends).
The following is a “how-to” guide in leveraging the different Facebook advertising options available for capturing users at each step in the marketing funnel:
Awareness: How brands should promote awareness and engagement:
– Marketplace Ads: Marketplace Ads are best for generating impressions with right-hand-side only placement. They can also be used to drive traffic to an off-site link.
marketplace ads FB
– Page Post ads: Page Post Ads with News Feed placement generating high CTR% and low cost per click are the strongest ad unit for driving engagement. Brands should take advantage of the refreshed News Feed layout to promote rich visual content in Page Post Ad form. Page Post Link Ads can also be used to drive traffic off-site or within a brands’ Facebook Page, which can be used to drive off-site conversion.
Example of the updated Page Post ads:
new page post ads
Growing your Fans: How brands can continue to grow their fan bases, converting “non-fans” into “fans”:
– Sponsored Page Like Ads:  Show users stories about their friends liking your page.  People are more likely to Like a Page their friends have liked, and consequently this ad unit has high CTR% and low CPCs. Sponsored Page Like Ads in the News Feed are, cost-wise, the best ad unit for driving Likes.
– Creative Page Like Ads: Promote specific initiatives, increase brand awareness, and acquire fans by using images and different ad copy.
page like ad updated
Direct Response and Driving Purchases: How to push users through the funnel, turning “fans” into “super fans”:
– Custom Audiences: The Custom Audiences feature lets you create a lot of hyper-targeted lists, including email lists of past customers (who are more likely to make additional purchases), to identify and serve ads to those individuals. Custom Audiences can also be used to tailor specific offers and ads to specific individuals (e.g. show past customers products similar to what they purchased previously).
custom audiences
– Offers: Offers can be used to promote deal or coupon offers from your brand on Facebook. Brands can use targeted offers ads to run promotional offers to audience segments as sponsored stories. This allows brands to leverage social context in ad units, increasing the likelihood that others users will check out the promotion. Offers can also be run in conjunction with Custom Audiences to entice past customers to purchase new items.
facebook offer ad
– OGSS: Open Graph Sponsored Stories can be used to leverage social context around purchase behavior (e.g. your friend “wants” a “pair of shoes”; installed a certain app, achieved something in a game, etc.). Brands can set up custom actions that will create stories about users’ friend’s behavior and interaction with a brand’s Page. Being able to show someone that their friend ‘bought’ a pair of shoes makes it more likely that that user will purchase as well.
– Domain Sponsored Stories: Domain Sponsored Stories can be used to take advantage of social context to drive purchases. If a user’s friend shares, comments on or Likes a product, that user himself is more likely to check out the item and ultimately buy it.
domain sponsored story
– Facebook Exchange (FBX): Every e-commerce brand should be utilizing retargeting capabilities on FBX, which uses cookies to track potential customers who visit your website and view products but do not purchase. When the user logs into Facebook, brands may retarget them with ads featuring product specific images and track their purchase activity. This can be combined with Marketplace Domain Ads to initially drive Facebook users to their off-Facebook domain, where a cookie can be dropped and the user subsequently retargeted with ads like:
facebook exchange ad
Given the refreshed News Feed design, brands now possess a greater ability to serve richer quality content in the form of Page Post Ads featuring photos, links to external sites, and videos. News Feed delivers higher click-through rates, and better visibility as people browse their updates leading to more views of photos, links, etc.
The multi-product approach described above is the optimal way to effectively channel the voice and actions of users in order to achieve your marketing objectives. Advertisers who engineer their virality now will be best positioned on Facebook for 2013 and beyond.
nadja yacker ampush Nadja Yacker is a media analyst at Ampush, a San Francisco-based social technology company helping brands and direct response advertisers achieve performance at scale with Facebook Ads. Prior to working at Ampush, Nadja attended Carnegie Mellon University.

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