Improve E-commerce Sales by Leveraging the Facebook Platform

How many times have we heard or repeated the famous phrase: "I was not born to sell" but the truth is that we are naturally gifted to do so, in fact, when we are passionate about a particular subject, we can find the most useful words to explain why we like it, why we follow it and even why we think everyone else should do the same.

That is why when our interest is to increase the conversion rate of our products and services, the best strategy is to expand the projection channels so that it reaches the largest possible audience, as we all already know, Facebook is one of the most powerful.

World-class brands frequently raise the percentage of investment that they have destined for this platform and manufacture their marketing campaigns around it. But like any powerful weapon, the katana of a samurai can be incredibly useful to defend himself if he has the necessary skills to handle it; otherwise, it could be devastatingly damaging to his life.

That is why in this article, I share some ideas that will not only serve to improve e-commerce sales by taking advantage of Facebook, but we can also apply it to the rest of our digital media endeavors.

First Task

There is no single project that comes to fruition without organization. The necessary bases and adequate information are needed to achieve a goal; even if you already know what I am talking about, I suggest you pay close attention to this section because repetition is the mother of perfection.

Indeed, we can never execute a 100% effective marketing strategy, especially if we're exploring and learning about a new avenue of exposure. But in the world of advertising, the more prepared we are, the more we will minimize the risk of failure, there is something that should be clear from the beginning, and that is that we have to be profitable, no matter the business model.

The objective is to achieve more with less, and when I speak of less, I do not mean to sacrifice quality but to reduce the expenses and time invested.

If we properly optimize our efforts, we can obtain excellent results and more significant benefits.

Here are some points that will be very useful to you.

Before taking action and starting an advertising campaign, take your time and carry out a detailed study of all the points that I will provide below. With the necessary tools, you can take advantage of this incredible platform and not be part of the statistics' negative side.

You will end up saving time and money because as you go through the creative and segmentation process of a marketing campaign, you will find yourself with these doubts sooner or later.

Who is Facebook?

Imagine that you have a physical store and require certain services and labor, so you will have to hire trained personnel to execute it. How do you do it? Well, very simple, you will make sure to place an ad looking for workers and accept job resumes, and then you will interview to learn more about your future employees; this way, you will be sure that they have the required skills to perform the tasks.

Facebook is the digital extension of your brick and mortar store.

Having the right individuals (this includes you) in place to capitalize on the Facebook platform can be the difference between companies that flourish and the others that succumb to an early demise.

We should see Facebook as a global spokesperson for our brand. It will lead the charge in saying who we are and what we do. Better yet, we can tailor and guide our message to reach the right people, but to do so, we must know the weaknesses and strengths of this powerful ally.

Although it may not seem like it, Facebook is still growing, and as of 2020, it is the most used social platform in the world.

It even ranks above behemoth YouTube. Thanks to its intricacies, Facebook can provide you with a wealth of consumer behavior data and the tools needed to capitalize on such information.

Knowing the Formats

Facebook can aid in spreading our brand image like wildfire.

Projections show that Facebook can reach millions of people on their electronic devices but wait, there's a cost. While Facebook is cheaper than its rival Google Adwords, you can still rack up a hefty advertising expense on the platform.

So how do we get the most bang for the buck?

Define clear goals and structure a plan to track your progress in reaching the goals. Lastly, hone in on the creative aspect.

I know it's easier said than done but try to ask yourself a couple of crucial questions. Does the creative fall in line with my campaign aspirations?

Are we looking for awareness or specific conversions? What would a successful campaign look like? Weight your needs and start piecing together your creative approach.

  • Are we doing stills or video?

  • Will it cover the whole screen or just part of it?

  • Does the same ad apply for a FEED as for a STORY?

These and many other uncertainties are common when segmenting our campaign. Although not impossible, it is challenging to cover every one of the ad formats adequately.

The format is the vehicle in which our Ads will be transported, so it is worth dedicating the necessary time to learn and use the tools, many of them free.

An assortment of creative software is available to do much of the work ourselves; many of the tools at the cost of limiting functionality have managed to simplify their interface to eliminate the need for graphic design experience. While these tools are less versatile, they appeal to a broader market and allow for more straightforward tasks to be resolved in-house.

In an ideal world, we would leave the production aspects in the hands of professionals who will make creative decisions while maintaining your brand's vision.

If you are reading this article, you may be seeking a DIY solution. Whether for budgetary constraints or you're simply one of those guys/gals who take the bull by the horns and know what's needed. The truth is that there is a reasonably extensive number of formats available. Although we should not create a campaign based on each of them, we should make adjustments during conceptualization and production to not condition the final result.

Take, for example, a video session for one of your products.

Some useful tips would be:

Execute proper pre-production in which we would set the guidelines to follow in terms of ad formats, which dictates how to make the best use of budget and resources.

Record with different devices at the same time, from professional cameras to smartphones.

Give yourself framing and aspect ratio options, mainly having the landscape and portrait formats covered.

Prepare a script that allows for re-spinning / repurposing, so structure your one minute video in a way that you can splice a 15-second stand alone bumper ad from it. If possible, film extra material to allow for flexibility on ad video variants. Always remember, too much coverage can be bad, but not enough content is worse.

If you're curious about why too much coverage can be bad, it's because it makes the editing process a tedious affair. Imagine trying to weed out mounds of bad footage to find the good ones.

Organic vs. Payment

An ideal scenario would be for your company to benefit from being known by millions of users and enjoy financial health such that it would dispose of enormous advertising budgets. Yet, the initial reality for most entrepreneurs who decide to expand their horizons in the digital landscape is bleaker.

The good news is that hard work makes the uncommon rags to riches fairy tale more likely. Fortune is no longer reserved for just a few; on the contrary, more and more people can now establish their businesses online; this, at least, puts you in the driver's seat. What you do from there is up to you.

There are two possibilities to get the desired exposure most companies want; organic ranking and advertising investment. Combining both strategies have proven to produce superior results.

Most of us have experienced providing a service. Hopefully, the quality of such a service is good because companies rely on good service for recommendations. Referrals from past customers create a slim margin that allows many companies to be profitable; otherwise, each sale or new customer acquisition expense would be disproportionate.

In other words, happy customers become an advocate for your company, and this bleeds into the digital world. How? Simple, satisfied customers are more likely to engage with your brand on the Facebook platform by liking and sharing your post. Post shares and Likes directly leads to improved exposure to your customers' friends and give Facebook a signal that your content is worth showing, leading to more organic exposure on the news feed.

Organic and paid strategies need to coexist since they have very different characteristics that can complement each other.

A very marked characteristic is when they generate results; cultivating a positive return-on-investment (ROI) when employing an organic strategy requires time to achieve.

The paying strategy wether, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Cost-Per-Impression (CPM), provides quicker results with which we can generate income during our efforts.

Another well-defined peculiarity is durability. The payment strategy usually works only when we are implementing it. Once we stop, it loses its effectiveness, contrasting from the organic method whose permanence is constant and safe.

To be clear, organic advertising is not free.

Let's talk about monetary viability; it is a mistake to say that organic advertising is free. We invest time and money in generating effective content; therefore, we enjoy the added exposure brought by our efforts, not much different from this very blog post.

Organic advertising usually taps into our resources to use what's available, skills, locations, etc. Still, we must be conscious to not overpay for the visibility, remember your time and resources have a money equivalent. For example, if 1000 impressions have a cost of $5.00 on Facebook, it may not be worth spending 8-hours crafting a blog post to promote a one-time product sale. In this case, a CPM campaign will lead to a superior return-on-investment.

Organic strategies are preferred on long-term plans when, over time, the cost to exhibit a product is higher than the cost of producing the material to promote it organically.

Plan your strategies meticulously, and with little or many resources, you should combine both approaches (paid / organic) into your marketing plan.

Facebook Business Manager

For those who are just starting to advertise on this platform, this is the tool to segment your campaigns; in addition to being free, it is straightforward to access and register for it, only requiring a Facebook account.

Using the Facebook Manager tool, we can create all kinds of campaigns, categorizing our ads, formatting them, and even providing editing options.

The Facebook Manager tool provides an assortment of metrics for the ads we run, so it would be impossible to mention them all in this article since there are many. This topic would be enough for a single blog, but I can assure you that alongside the Facebook pixel, which we will discuss later on, these tools provide a wealth of information on how users reacted to your ads.

By knowing how users respond to your ads, you can make adjustments to improve them.