The 3 Fundamentals of Facebook Ads for Ecommerce

Do you want to know the best ways to run Facebook ads for your online store to drive sales and increase your revenue? We have the answers! Our agency spent over a million dollars on Facebook ads for eCommerce companies.

In this article, I could tell you how we turned ten thousand dollars in spend into over seventy thousand dollars in revenue managing Facebook ads for an online clothing store. Or how we turned nine thousand euro into forty thousand in revenue for a personalized gifts store.

We've also researched the largest eCommerce companies and have analyzed their Facebook ads to learn their secrets to produce more sales through the internet. But, if you're reading this, you seemingly want to know less about what we've done and more about how you can achieve these results. And that's what I'm going to reveal here.

Three words summarize the fundamentals of Facebook advertising: Creative, Data, and Funnel. But these words solely mean nothing. Let's take a deeper look so you can build thriving Facebook ad campaigns for your eCommerce business.

Facebook ad creative
Do not underestimate your business data

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Date: July 1, 2021
Word count: 2163
Reading time: 9 min

Facebook ad creative

Let's start with ad creative. Here's a quick story to help you understand how important creative is in your advertising campaign. We worked with an online store that sells kid's toys. The company's owner was not happy with her sales through google advertising, so we decided to do Facebook ads.

We wrote bright advertising copy and used beautiful photos of her products. Long story short, we started running our advertising campaign. We had Reach and Impressions, we did drive traffic, and we did start seeing some Sales from our trials, but then we ran into a big dilemma.

The sales were not profitable. And some of our Facebook ads just were not delivering. In other words, the cost to get a customer was higher than the revenue we were making.

So we made what most agencies would do. We produced more ads, but with one slight difference to the campaign that changed everything.
There was a single factor that cut 50% of the CPA, and that was video.
We used a video ad type that showed the game process. In that video not only could parents see the quality of toys. But they also watched how happy the children were and how passionate they were about playing with these toys. That went into developing more trust and ending in more conversions for our client.
Facebook ads for ecommerce
If you look at the best eCommerce companies' websites with multiple products, you will see that most of them are using video. Many of these videos are very simple. You don't have to have a 1000$ production for a single video. Better be sure that you're showing real customers using your actual products.

Video is the best thing you can do to create the first-person experience of your products. People do not buy because they don't trust your business, especially in an online environment. And they don't understand how it's different from the other products of your competitors. Video can help you with it.

Video is not the only way you can be successful through Facebook ads. Professional photos and graphics can also help. But there are four rules to follow if you're going to use these methods:

  • Use high-resolution photography, especially when you make carousel ads and dynamic product ads. People rely on what they see to make a purchase.

  • Avoid stock images at all costs.

  • Use high-resolution video. Easy things like background music, good lighting, and various views of your products will make an amazing impact.

  • Use people whenever possible. Users get on social media to connect with other people. If there are no people in your videos, then your videos become less engaging.

Do not underestimate your business data

Data! This single component is the reason why more than 80% of Facebook advertisers fail. They are not leveraging their business data.
Facebook advertising - is all about data! The more data you have, the lower your cost to obtain a customer.
Since we set up our agency, we've run many advertising campaigns. We also offer a Free Facebook ad account audit, so we have lots of statistics.

The one thing we see is the bigger the account size was, the more results they had. Even in cases where some of our startup clients had better websites, ad creatives, and offers, they still saw worse results. So, the question is, why?

The answer is data. The larger accounts have more data to leverage to run their advertising campaigns. Facebook allows you to target users based on data. And that is the reason why Facebook is such a powerful advertising tool.

You can target Facebook users based on their gender, age, interests, behaviors, and so on. Let's look at a behavior called engaged shoppers. Many eCommerce companies use this one in their ad campaigns. This behavior allows you to target people who frequently shop online. Amazingly, the Facebook algorithm allows you to target people like this, right?
Facebook target audience
Wrong! Behavior and Interest targeting is the most ineffective way to advertise your business. The basic targeting, available through Facebook ads is likely not going to increase your sales. Online stores that are succeeding at Facebook ads are not even using these options usually. You can read more about behavioral targeting on Facebook Ads vs. Boosted posts here.

The second secret of Facebook advertising is lookalike audiences and retargeting. Lookalike audiences are target audiences within Facebook that look like your existing customers. Facebook can match and sync users with your excel customer list. The more customers are on your list, the more accurately Facebook can understand who your clients are and find people alike.

And this is why startup businesses fail with Facebook advertising. Usually, they have no customer list, and they have to rely on limited targeting, available on Facebook to start making it. Most of them look at their ROI and cannot justify continuing after spending a few thousand. Unfortunately, they tend to give up when they have the most data at their hands.

Forget profitability for just a second if you can generate some purchases, emails, and website traffic. Then you can use that data to leverage lookalike audiences and use the true power of Facebook advertising.
Facebook lookalike audience
There are eCommerce businesses that are growing rapidly. Because they know how to milk the data inside of Facebook advertising, and you can do the same.

Now let's go on to retargeting, as Facebook calls it. Retargeting audiences have the highest conversion rate amid any audiences you can target within Facebook.

These are the people who have visited your website shopping pages and added items to their shopping cart. They can also be anyone who has engaged with your business on Facebook or Instagram. Anyone who has clicked, liked, commented, or watched more than three seconds of your video ads.

The people who view your checkout page are more likely to buy than people who just have visited your website. And the people, who have engaged with you on Facebook, are going to be more likely to buy from you, than the people who are seeing your ads for the very first time. The more traffic and engagement you're driving through your Facebook advertising campaign, the more data you're going to be gathering. And this data can be used to drive conversions later.
Facebook dynamic product ads
Again, if you're just starting, then this is going to require patience. You're probably not going to see a high ROAS (return on ad spend) until you have a lot of people in your retargeting and lookalike audiences. Then you'll start driving conversions at a higher rate.

If you have a long customer list, or maybe you're already generating a ton of traffic through PPC or Google ads, then you will likely have more data that you can use for Facebook ads. And as a result, you will see success sooner. Lookalike audiences based on purchases and retargeting audiences based on traffic and engagement is the best way to leverage data from Facebook advertising.


Now let's organize all this stuff with a last Facebook advertising secret, funnels.
Never start running Facebook ads without a marketing funnel in place!
In our agency, we talk to eCommerce business owners every day. Some of them have never touched Facebook ads. Others spent a few hundred dollars or sometimes a few thousand dollars. Most of the time they struggle with their campaigns.

When I talk to these business owners who are already running ads, I simply ask: How does your marketing funnel look?

Usually, they're confused by what I mean. So, I rephrase this, break this down and say: Hey, where are your ads going? What is the destination of your ads? Where is your audience landing once they click it?

Most of the time ads are directed to their product page or product catalog. And unless your product is an impulse purchase this isn't the best approach. The more expensive your products are, the more psychological resistance people will have to buying them.

Therefore, you're going to have some steps between someone seeing your ad for the very first time and then you asking those people to purchase your product. For example, there's no way in the world a bunch of strangers will click the ad and buy a 1000$ product immediately.
Marketing strategy
You can start with a few ads to engage people first. Make educational videos, blog posts, or simple quizzes. It's all about helping people, educating them, giving them some value, in other words. These types of ads represent the so-called top-of-funnel ads.

The objective of these ads is to move people from awareness to engage in your marketing funnel. You can't sell to people who have never heard of your business. And these types of ads make them aware of your business. And also engage them by the added value.

The metrics that you should use for your top-of-funnel ads are traffic, engagement rate, and views. Not sales! You have to fill your funnel with engaged leads before you even start to think about increasing your sales.

Now, let's move on to the middle-of-funnel ads. The purpose of these ads is to move users from engaged to interested in buying your products. Now you can start offering your product to your engaged audience. Since they've already engaged with you, they'll be more ready to look at what you have to show.

The point here is, you should spend your advertising dollars on selling to them, not the entire world. They may be people who watched your ads, liked them, commented on them, read your blog, and so on. Any action that people took on your ad is considered engagement, and you should catch that action into a custom audience and then advertise to them.

Finally, you have to run the bottom-of-funnel ads. The goal of these ads is to move users from interested to purchasing. You have to show these ads to your hottest audience. To the people most interested in buying your products.

These are the people visiting the product pages on your website, adding goods to their carts without purchasing, or just spending a ton of time reading your blog.

When done accurately, your ads in this group should have the highest conversion rate. Eventually, you have to fill in your funnel with enough people for all of this to work properly. You're not going to be very successful at advertising on Facebook if you only have ten people at the bottom of your funnel.

Hence, your success at Facebook ads will depend on your skill to interest people and engage them. Only then you'll be able to milk the data linked with people at the bottom of your funnel.


So, let's summarize.

These are the three fundamentals of Facebook advertising for eCommerce businesses:

  • Video ads drive the most engagement clicks and conversions than any form of media. It will help you to fill up your funnel quickly. You should also consider professional photography with people in it.

  • Facebook advertising is all about data! The more data you have, the more thriving your ads will be. And you'll pay less money to acquire customers. Be sure to leverage lookalike audiences and retargeting audiences to get the best conversion rate.

  • Although the Facebook algorithm is advanced, you can't advertise to people based on their exact needs, only their interests and behaviors. So you must engage your audience and build their interest in your product. You can do this with the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel ads.

I hope you found this informative. If you have a project in mind and would like help from a reliable social media advertising agency, don't hesitate to contact us! We would love to hear from you, and we are always ready to help you with your marketing strategy and enhance your Facebook campaigns!
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