Data, Then Sales: A Layered Approach to Facebook Ads

Say hello to a pal of Deane & Co, Jarrah Brailey of Socials By Jarrah. Jarrah is an award winning social media strategist and she also manages our ad accounts - because it really is a job for a specialist! Jarrah is here today to share why her mantra is ‘first we get the data, then we get the sales’:

Why taking a layered approach to Facebook Ads is crucial for long-term success.

Too often, I notice a common misconception that with the right strategy, Facebook ads should be generating huge and fast results for any business. While this isn’t exactly impossible, it’s certainly not an expectation or mindset we should have when we start running paid campaigns.

As a [self-proclaimed] Facebook Ad nerd, I’m here to challenge you to take a layered approach to your ads and start thinking about setting up your campaigns for long-term, consistent success rather than for immediate results and instant ROI.

Before you even start *thinking* about generating sales, you need to be focusing on the first ‘layer’ of paid social ads – and that’s collecting data (lots of it).

One of the best things about Facebook ads [or the Facebook pixel, to be exact] is that you can retarget people who have engaged with you in the past - your “custom audiences”. Your custom audiences include your website visitors, email subscribers, your abandoned carts, etc.

Once you have defined your custom audiences, you can then use them to identify your “lookalike audiences” (these are people with similar attributes to your custom audiences, meaning their more likely to convert) which basically means more long term sales and ROAS (return on ad spend).

Have you ever browsed through an online store, checked out a certain product, abandoned it, checked social media and BAM… the exact same product is right there at the top of your newsfeed screaming “BUY ME”?

Yep. That’s retargeting, and it’s where the majority of your conversions are going to come from.

Sounds pretty amazing, huh? Well, before we can begin utilising this incredible tool, Facebook needs to know exactly WHO to retarget.

Which is why, to begin with, the results will come in slower.

This is because the initial stage of Facebook Ads is spent buying data rather than instant results. The more data you have, the more Facebook knows about your target audience, the more ROI you can expect.

In other words, you’ll have to pay to reach the right users.

During this important phase, you might not get a single sale, and that's completely normal. Think of this initial stage as an investment in data so that you can begin retargeting your custom and lookalike audiences down the track.

Like anything, Facebook ads are rarely an overnight success. They can take weeks or even *months* of split testing, tweaking and optimising until Facebook fully understands your audience and puts your ads in front of them.

First we get the data. Then we get the sales.

So. What do you do from here?

Well, if you haven’t already, a great place to start would be installing the Facebook pixel.  Whether you intend to do Facebook Ads now or in the future, I can’t stress enough how crucial the Facebook pixel is when it comes to not only measuring and tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns, but actually maximising your conversion rate and return on ad spend through retargeting.

If you’re not sure how to do this (don’t worry… it’s really, really easy), Facebook has easy to follow instructions here.

The next step? Either look to start building some custom audiences making use of the data you already have (email lists, for example), or talk to someone like me about how to set these up right the first time round so the ads you run in the future have a higher ROAS.

Claire Deane