How to Start an eCommerce Business | Step 10: Facebook Ads and Sales Funnels

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We’ve made it to Step 10 of How to Start an eCommerce Business: Facebook Ads and Sales Funnels. It’s been quite the journey to get to this step, but you now have your online store launched, debugged, and ready to bring in new customers and sales.

If you haven’t already, head back to steps 1 through 10 to learn more about how you can get your eCommerce business off the ground and to the point where you are ready to start utilizing Facebook Ads and sales funnels to really drive traffic to your new store.

Step 1: Choose a Product Niche
Step 2: Choose a Fulfillment Strategy
Step 3: Build Supplier Relationships
Step 4: Choose a Store Building Platform or Online Marketplace
Step 5: Build an Online Store with WooCommerce
Step 6: Create Pricing Formulas and List Products
Step 7: Create Customer Service Policies
Step 8: Set Up Operations
Step 9: Launch Online Store

In this column, I’m going to introduce you to the idea of driving traffic to your new online store using Facebook Ads and then placing that traffic into different sales funnels that can help you to convert potential customers into paying and repeat buyers. Similar to the old saying, “build it and they will come,” no one is going to buy from your new online store if they don’t know about it and if they don’t see something different from what others are offering in the marketplace. These Facebook Ads and sales funnels strategies will help you to target specific types of buyers that will be interested in buying from your store.

In addition to this article, I highly recommend subscribing to the Perpetual Traffic Podcast by Digital Marketer and starting to listen to their episodes on how they are making the most of Facebook Ads at a high level. They offer action guides for how you can get started, take it to the next level, and eventually be at a place where Facebook ads and sales funnels are driving millions of dollars of sales for your online business. It has been an amazing resource for me as I have been educating myself on Facebook advertising.

The Secret to Driving Traffic to Your Online Store

Get Your Content and Message Right!

If you want to drive real traffic to your online store, you need to start with your content. In one of Digital Marketers podcasts, they had a guest on who was an expert storyteller. He spoke about the 7 core elements of any story and how it has been that way for thousands of years. He explained that every great story starts with a hero and that hero having a particular problem. In our case, this hero is your customer. They have a problem then they meet a guide. That guide is you, the online store owner. You guide them towards a product that solves their problem and you legitimize why you can be their guide based off of your experience. Finally, you depict how their life will be different once they have listened to your advice.

I know…a bit deeper than what you were looking for, but let me break it down.

When you creating your ad copy, you need to put yourself into the shoes of your ideal customer and then target your content to the reality that they want. If you are selling high end pots and pans through your online store, you need to communicate to the target customer by showing them how happy they will be when they have the pans and what great dinners they will be able to make for their friends and family. Maybe you show a picture of a family sitting down around the dinner table with a beautiful dinner set out on the table.

What does that do? It creates nostalgia for your potential customer. When they see that, it makes them think of something in their life, sometime in their life that makes them feel something. For most, it will be a feeling of happiness or safety or longing.

Just by getting your content right, you now have your customers really feeling something from your ad. You aren’t telling them what you do (you sell pots and pans online), you are telling them WHY you do it.

Communicate Your Message with Facebook Ads

Once you have your message, it is time to target people that are going to be most nostalgic in that situation. This is where Facebook Ads comes in and it’s becoming quite the powerful tool to target exactly who you want to be selling to. You just have to be committed to testing and iterating until you find the perfect formula for your online store and your product selection.


Driving Traffic to Your Online Store with Facebook Ads

If you haven’t noticed already, Facebook Ads are becoming more and more utilized by online businesses trying to sell their own products. Whether it be educational courses, actual products, or monthly subscription services, Facebook Advertising has become a major source of focus that is proving to bring in customers that want to buy and that have a greater chance of converting than from other ad spaces.

In this column, I want to introduce you to the basics of setting up a Facebook Ads campaign so that you can get started with the concept for your online store.

Over this past weekend, I sat down and I went through these 6 steps to build a Facebook Ads campaign for the book that I will be releasing at some point in the second quarter of 2017. The book is going to be focused on my startup theory of The Four Pillars of Startup. It will guide you through a journey of starting with your new business idea and transforming it into a well-structured and customer driven company that is set to make customers happy and generate profits. When I went through these steps, I was able to clearly create a Facebook Ads strategy that would speak directly to people interested in my book’s content.

Step 1: Choose a budget

First and foremost, set a budget that you are comfortable with for the first month of testing your Facebook Ads. The first month are going to be your worst you’ll ever see so there is no where to go, but up. It all comes down to testing and finding the perfect people to target with your message.

Step 2: Create your ad copy

Using the storytelling methods that I outlined above, create copy for your Facebook Ads that will speak directly to your end customer. You can create short content ad copy, long description ad copy, and even video content that can compel Facebook viewers in a number of different ways. Just another aspect of your ad to test.

Step 3: Choose a Facebook Ad Objective

One of the biggest decisions to make when setting up your Facebook Ad is the objective. This will be the first question that you are asked when you go to make a Facebook Ad and there are many options now that Facebook has been developing this feature even more.

To review all of the different Facebook Ad objectives, click here for more information.

There are a few great episodes on Digital Marketer’s Perpetual Traffic podcast that you can listen to that will really break each ad objective down so that you can make sure you are choosing the correct one.

Step 4: Set up multiple ad sets to test different markets

Depending on your budget per day, you definitely want to set up multiple ads that test different markets so you can learn more about who your ad content is appealing to.

For example, my book is going to be all about startups, entrepreneurship, and starting your own online business. For one of my ads, I may target publications that have to do with those topics. I’ll choose people like or follow Entrepreneur.com, Fast Company magazine, and Business Insider. For my second ad set, I may choose to target authors and books about entrepreneurship. This may include The Lean Startup, Business Model Canvas, and so on.

In general, you want to aim for audiences that are between 500,000 and 2,000,000 so you can really see if there is even a sliver of that audience that would be a great fit for what you are advertising.

Step 5: Pay attention to CPC, impressions, and sales conversions

Once your ads are up and running, you need to track your progress by keeping an eye on the Cost Per Click of your ad. A good CPC for an ad is anywhere between 10 cents and 30 cents. Keep your ads running for 10 days and if they are not even below 50 cents, you need to seriously reconsider your targeting, your objective, and your ad copy. If you are seeing your CPC below 50 cents and continually going down throughout the 10 day test period. That is a great sign. Once those 10 days are up, you want to run another similar ad set, but slightly change the ad content to see if you can decrease that CPC even more.

The lower you can drive your CPC, the more visitors that you will have to the landing pages that you create. The more visitors you have, the more people that you can convert to email subscribers or even paying customers. When you can make either of those conversions, your Facebook Ads have done their job and you have a customer that you can now go back to with more offers for the rest of your business (or until they unsubscribe from your email list :))

Step 6: Iterate, iterate, iterate

Keep up to the 10 day tests and continue to make changes. Dive into the analytics of your ads to see how they are performing and where people are responding the most. Maybe you find that the lowest CPC for your one ad is in Virginia. Well, then you can start to target more specifically to Virginia with your next ad set to see if your CPC goes down even lower.

There are so many tests that you can run to improve your connection to your target customer. It just takes time and effort to get it to where it needs to be.

Converting Facebook Ads Traffic Into Sales

After you’ve set up for Facebook Ads, you want to make sure that you are sending them to a page where they have the highest chance of converting on buying your product. There are many different best practices of how to do this with your traffic, but the most common boils down to a process that has been tried and tested by the best digital marketers. That process is setting up an online sales funnel.

Here’s what it may look like.

1. Facebook Ad: Customer is shown your Facebook Ad and they are intrigued. They want what you are offering or they relate to the message that you are conveying and so they click on the View More link on Facebook.

2. Landing page/Lead magnet: They arrive on your custom built landing page that tells them more about the product that was featured in your ad and why they should buy it…now.

3. Thank You page: After making the purchase or giving you their email address, they are brought to a Thank You page where they are given another call to action.

This is as simple as a sales funnel can get, but I want to start you off with the most basic so that you fully understand the power of it before adding in other aspects of the funnel that can increase your revenue per customer. If set up, tested, and iterated correctly, Facebook Ads and sales funnels can be a deadly combination for your online store. You could end up selling millions of dollars worth of product just through the combination of the two. Check out Ezra Firestone and DollarBeardClub.com if you want case studies of how eCommerce entrepreneurs are making it happen.

This Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

In this column, I’ve introduced you to the core concepts of setting up a Facebook Ads campaign and a simple sales funnel to bring more potential customers into your online store where you have a better chance of converting them into real paying customers. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Facebook Ads and sales funnels are topics that digital marketers have been testing and studying for years upon years and many of the best understand that the best results occur when you, as the marketer, can tap into the psyche of the customer and paint a picture for them that they have longed for for a long time. This column teaches you how to get the basics of your ads and sales funnels set up. If you take the time to listen to Digital Marketers podcast, you will see how much farther you can go with the concepts.

In order to run a profitable eCommerce business, you will need to get involved in advertising and sales funnels to some extent within the growth of the business. If you are starting your own online store or are already running one, I highly encourage you to get these campaigns and sales funnels set up for your business. They will add additional revenue and profits to your business where you did not think they would have been able to months and years down the line.

If you have any specific questions about setting up your Facebook Ads or sales funnels, leave them in the comments.

If you’ve made it to the end of this article, I ask that you please LIKE my Facebook page and SUBSCRIBE to my weekly email course where you’ll receive more information about growing your online business with experiences from my life running multiple online companies.

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About Connor Gillivan

In the past 10 years, I’ve started 7 businesses & built two to $10M+ in annual revenue, teams of 30+ & an exit in 2019. Today, I run SEO & growth for my 4 B2B companies while teaching millions how to make SEO simple.

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