There was a time you could simply post a pic or video of your product to Facebook and get instant traction. Then came boosted posts and Facebook ads and the rules of engagement changed. Now small businesses struggle to convert Facebook views to sales without being highly targeted. Here’s how to invest wisely to double your e-commerce sales.
You may have noticed that Facebook’s algorithms now limit the reach of brands’ posts, which means businesses need to invest in paid promotion and advertising to get the results they once achieved for free.
This is a massive opportunity for small businesses to evaluate their customers and build a solid foundation to use Facebook as a sales channel. Make your investment the right way by being highly targeted in honing in on your ideal market, and you can potentially double your e-commerce. These three practices will set you on the right track.
1. Create your ideal customer
Beginners should start by using past sales data to build a profile of a likely customer to create a lookalike audience. Details such as age, gender, likes and dislikes are often readily available.
Intermediate level practitioners go beyond simple demographics to extract the sales DNA of even more valuable buying segments. Aspects such as household income, education, and whether the person is employed may make a difference as to whether your business appeals to them. Don’t forget you can target an audience that has already bought things from Facebook. People who have used Facebook as a payment platform are more likely to spend money with you too.
The area that can generate huge returns is by using advanced level targeting. Laser targeting requires more effort but can really unlock high value customers. A customer who has bought from you once is valuable, but a customer who has bought from you five times is five times more valuable. Facebook allows you to create multiple lookalike audiences so you can invest in and tailor your messaging for each segment, increase conversion and drive sales.
2. Target more than customers
A ‘spray and pray’ approach where you push out a message and hope that people will see it, leads to a lot of waste and not a whole lot of sales. So be strategic about the timing of your ad, and the location of your audience. Profiles can tell you who is likely to care about your business but Facebook can also help you target the where and when.
If location is a factor in your business, use Facebook to go granular. If your business only services Australia, for example, don’t waste your money on luring an international audience. Or if you know your products are extremely popular for buyers in beachside suburbs, you can target people in those suburbs down to their postcode.
Also remember that Facebook is ideal for sharing news and milestones with friends and family so leverage these public life changes to introduce your product to a new market. According to The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, people undergoing major life events like getting married, having a baby, or getting a new job, are open to change—and that includes shifting their shopping patterns. This presents a prime opportunity for brands to put themselves in front of a new market and drive revenue for years to come.
Because Facebook is a sharing platform, it allows you to capitalise on people’s willingness to highlight these transitional times. You can therefore target new customers through Facebook using their recent life events, and select similar demographic attributes to people who currently buy from you.
Smart businesses will tailor their messaging to the life change. An organisation app, for example, might target a bride-to-be by showing her how it can be used to plan a wedding, or could interest new parents with its baby progress chart integrated with a calendar to keep track of paediatrician appointments, or catch the eye of a new employee with its time management features.
3. Seek advanced segments
Once you can confidently attain sales from the lookalike audience, it’s time to target more difficult markets.
The first place to start is your competitors. Facebook allows you to select brands your ideal customers already follow. If you can put your ad in front of your competitor’s customers and convince them that your product is better, you can increase your market share. This type of conversion requires tight copywriting and appealing imagery, so don’t skimp on getting the message right. Also remember to play nice—no one likes when brands get nasty.
Did you know you can filter your audience by the technology they use? This can help you sort the early adopters and tech savvy from the noobs and technophobes. If you have a product or service that suits a switched-on customer, you can just target the savvy audience; if you’re after the beginners you can aim for the technically challenged end of the spectrum. And if your product suits all of them, you can tailor your message for different segments to ensure you’re using language that’s at the right level.
Remember that there are some easy wins, but if you really want to double your e-commerce, take the time to understand your ideal customer with laser targeting, find opportunities to increase your market and create the right spectrum of ads. Continue to refine your offer as you collect more information on your target market. Track, improve, experiment, tweak and go again.