Advertising on Facebook: Million Dollar Strategy

According to a popular opinion – ads on Facebook are not efficient. Social networking users use social sites to communicate with their friends and to entertain themselves, so why should they go to your site and make a purchase? Even if this is true – Zappos doesn’t believe it.

Thanks to the traffic delivered to the site by means of Facebook ads the company earns an annual $10 million ROI. Nate Luman, social marketing manager at Zappos.com, tells how do Facebook ads work for them and what one needs to know to manage Facebook ads and perform the same.

It is well known that Facebook ads guarantees a great number of impressions and allows gaining a lot of likes. But that was not enough for the Zappos.com’s team. They decided to use Facebook as a marketing channel to attract the traffic to their site.

Previously the traffic department was focused on the search engine advertising, but they decided to shift the focus on Facebook, after advertising in this social network showed great potential and consistently growing results.

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Zappos has developed an effective strategy for their large advertising campaign on Facebook. Below are given the five main principles that Zappos.com marketing specialists followed. 

1. Driving top purchase funnel traffic

People use Facebook to communicate and to entertain; they do not intend to do shopping. That is why it is logical that traffic from Facebook to your official website is mostly the top-funnel traffic. Advertising strategy should be developed in accordance with the purchase funnel your target audience is from. In other words –proceed gradually. There is usually a single product featured on Zappos ads – a shoe or an accessory. By clicking the ad users are delivered to a targeted landing page and get access to an extended assortment of products.

2. Matching expectations with real data

It is not worth comparing the results of FB advertising with search engine advertising. This social networking site if perfect tool for attracting top funnel traffic, while search engine advertising is targeted at various levels of a buying cycle.

It is more reasonable to correlate FB advertising with those paid search campaigns that are supposed to attract people exactly from top-funnel traffic. These may be the queries such as:

• Shoes;

• Accessories;

• Clothes;

• Handbags.

3. Optimizing top-funnel landing pages

As stated before, Zappos has a single product being featured on ads. But this doesn’t mean that users are encouraged to buy particularly that product. A customer is able to check the range of products (shoes, clothing, or accessories) on a landing page. Here are three essential features of Zappos.com landing pages:

• Targeting by style or a type of product – on a landing page there are the goods from the same category (or the same brand) as on the ad customers clicked;

• The product from the ad that was clicked must be necessarily available on the landing page;

• User-friendly navigation – the design of a landing page should be comprehensive and easy to navigate.

In 2012 Facebook released several new advertising tools with remarketing feature. The point of remarketing is that after the user has left a page without completing a purchase he or she is shown the targeted ad appealing to return to that particular website page (point of a buying cycle) left previously. Despite the fact that majority of traffic driven from FB is top purchase funnel traffic, remarking tools in Facebook ads create possibilities for improving conversion rate, when users are already familiar with a brand and interested in particular offers.

4. Targeting in accordance with users’ profile pages

Planning and organizing are important part of any campaign. When Zappos.com started developing their marketing programs for Facebook first of all they chose goods for ad and its design. After that, they had to find a relevant audience to target.   

For some period of time this algorithm has been developing on its own. And, according to Nate Luman the determinative factor while making decisions were testing results. Nowadays the organization of campaigns entirely depends on the audience.

Marketing specialists build their campaigns on users’ data instead of focusing on products. Correlation of various users’ characteristics helps specialists to understand what kind of products and brands is the most relevant for every particular case. For example, here is a list of profile page activities of a user who is going to Zappos.com and data you need to analyze:

• Website analytics;

• Social networking sites analytics;

• Comments;

• Interests, regions, demographics and other data usually available from social networks.

Zappos team selected interesting characteristics to receive the most complete profiles that allow developing customized approach to every customer and provide custom solutions. The following data were taken into account: favorite radio stations, films, books, etc.

After they succeed to make a rough portrait of each audience segment (by the way, a statistically average Zappos’s customer is a middle-aged female with above average household income) the most difficult part started: the team had to target a certain product or a group of products at defined audience to show them targeted advertising.

Facebook helped Zappos to carry this out: FB interface allows uploading a lot of ads at a time. Moreover, only effective ones (those that sparked interest) are shown to customers. That is how a team decides what product to use as a “bait”.

5. Targeting the lower funnel

Facebook continues implementing new technologic solutions that allow to target by users from various levels of a funnel, but not only form a top-funnel. Here are the two main latest innovations: 

Custom Audiences – the service that allows finding off-line audience on Facebook by telephone numbers and e-mails to hold targeted campaigns for particular segments. Facebook comply with privacy requirements and ensures the security of its users’ personal data: tracking telephone numbers and e-mails is possible only in case this information was public.

Remarketing and retargeting – in 2012 Facebook launched its own platform for delivering retargeted advertisings on the social network (Facebook Exchange). This means even more possibilities to hold successful targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook. With the help of DSP marketing specialists can show ads depending on the history of customers’ activities.

Thus, taking into account how much do Facebook Ads cost you – advertising on Facebook may be efficient regardless of the level of purchase funnel your target customers are from. You are able to increase the efficiency and expand the client database by means of DSP service and by developing efficient strategy.

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