Article author: Irina Mazur, head of SMM department
A sales funnel – the customer’s journey from the moment they are interested in a product until they make a purchase. Let’s recall how it looks:
- I am looking – the stage of attracting attention.
- I am thinking – the stage of thinking about buying a product/service.
- I am doing – making a purchase decision.
As practice shows, in most cases, the business wants to work with the third stage of the funnel, i.e., to work out that segment of the audience that has already shown interest in the brand and has gone through several steps on the way to purchase. However, such an audience is not endless, and over time it ends. That is why it is significant to understand where to get a new one. And that’s what for are the first two stages of the sales funnel exactly.
Stage 1. Video funnels
But how do we get this large audience interested in the first stage? Show it the video.
Shoot inspirational videos of your brand or service. Let your potential customer see themselves in them and want to be part of your story. Publish inspirational stories. Think of Nike’s motivating slogan: “Just Do It!”. Just do it, join these fit, determined people and go for a run in Nike sneakers.
Oreo makes cute videos about pressing issues, and of course, their protagonist, cookies, is the center of attention.
Coca-Cola attracts the attention of the audience by promoting a video in which it touches the ever-pressing problem of humanity – plastic recycling.
Videos may not always be entertaining. Expert videos with helpful and educational content also receive a good response.
In addition to attracting attention to the brand, videos allow you to gather an audience that is interested in our content to promote it further through the funnel.
Stage 2. Funnel building models
To do this, you will need Facebook’s tool to collect audiences based on video view share. For example, you can select an audience that has watched your video almost to the end.
Such an audience is maximally warmed up. Therefore, at the next stage, you need to launch an advertising campaign for this audience with a button that transfers you to the site;
We select Conversion Optimization as the goal of the advertising campaign and add an attractive offer or USP to confirm the benefits to potential customers; On the website, the client can already familiarize himself with the proposal in more detail and make a purchase. Schematically, it looks like this.
That is the simplest version of the funnel.
Let’s complicate it now to work out another scenario.
The first three stages remain the same, but then we connect another remarketing advertising campaign, for example, site visitors with abandoned carts. We understand that the client hasn’t just left – they were frightened off by something: incomprehensible terms of payment, delivery, or a generally complicated process of making a purchase.
Therefore, we include an advertising campaign that redirects to correspondence. We invite the user who clicks on the ad to go to the Facebook Messenger dialog and help resolve the issues that prevented the purchase from completing.
And here is the dialogue itself.
It turns out to be a mini-chatbot, which can be implemented with internal Facebook tools and connect sales managers for further communication.
Such a funnel will be helpful for stores with a small number of products, since at the stage of advertising, it is impossible to determine which product is in question, and it can be hard to dialogue more substantively because there are about a hundred these beige dresses with a cutout on the back in the online store;
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What to do if the company doesn’t have a website, but only a Facebook page
Now let’s consider the option when there is no website or online store, there is only a Facebook business page, and there is no need to take the client anywhere. Task: to communicate and bring to the purchase. To do this, we reconnect the advertising campaign with redirection to Messenger and, with the help of a short dialogue, find out the client’s need and work it out.
Publication Engagement advertising campaign
To draw the audience’s attention (the very first stage in our funnel), the use of videos is not necessary. With the help of posts on the page, you can also launch a funnel and accompany a potential customer until the very last stage – making a purchase decision.
As an example, let’s consider a wristwatch store.
So, our steps.
1. We start by promoting a series of engaging publications in which we talk about one of the brands represented in the store;
2. That follows by the process of collecting a base of an engaged audience that showed interest in these publications in a fixed period when they were promoting.
3. The next stage is to show publications with information about specific brand models that interested the audience.
4. Now we are gathering an audience based on those who showed interest in the demonstrated watch models.
5. We show this audience selling publications with a product carousel or canvas. The publication must contain the USP of the online store, as well as information about discounts/promotions;
By directing the user to the site, to the product page, we look at his behavior on the website and, depending on the actions taken, show him relevant product ads, which ultimately is the last trigger to purchase.
6. The final or extra step can be upselling with showing lead forms and offering discounts to all regular customers or gifts to motivate additional purchases.
Typical mistakes when choosing an advertising campaign strategy
Mistake 1. Improper choice of goal for the start of advertising activity
Most often, when choosing a goal for an advertising campaign, specialists in setting up targeted advertising, working with a new audience immediately go to the Conversion goal. But this is not entirely correct. Of course, this way, we can find people who are most likely to convert on the site, but we will lose everyone else that we initially targeted. They won’t see our ad; they won’t know that they need our product. So when choosing a goal, start with the strategies that work best with a large, cold audience: Reach, Video Views, Post Engagement.
Mistake 2. Wrong choice of conversion type for optimization
This mistake is often made when we move to the stage when it is time to launch an advertising campaign with conversion optimization.
Often, experts choose the wrong conversions/events to target.
In what user actions should you be interested? Viewing certain content, going to a specific page, clicking on the Buy or Book buttons; However, ad setup specialists often choose the hottest events, for example, adding an item to the cart. And there are usually few such events; this prevents Facebook from conducting high-quality optimization of an advertising campaign.
Always choose the type of events on the site that will happen more often. That will allow advertising tools to optimize on more data. Our experience: Minimum 50 conversions per week per ad group.
Audience types at each stage of the funnel
Now let’s compare what types of audiences we work with at each stage of the funnel and what other types of content are suitable for each stage.
We find cold audiences through detailed targeting, selection of interests, or lookalike audiences.
The lookalike is a Facebook tool that allows you to search for similar people to the audience that we give it as a source (for example, we have a customer base of phone numbers or email addresses, and we want Facebook to find users who are similar to people from this base);
Head of SMM department Irina Mazur
At the first stage, dynamics that can attract the audience’s attention are mainly suitable as ad formats.
Warm audience. These are site visitors, people who in some way previously interacted with our pages in social networks: subscribed, liked publications or watched our videos (both posted on the page and promoted).
It is most effective to interact with this audience with ring galleries or single banners with USP, but the dynamics also should be there.
Hot audience. The most engaging audience: site visitors by event (viewing depth, time spent on the site), the same customer bases, and LTV audiences (the most valuable buyers). We interact with this audience more often with product remarketing and lead forms.
It is important to note here that all audiences are quickly replaced by one another, as if “flowing” into each other. Therefore, when you create an advertising campaign for a cold audience, in parallel, you need to immediately start collecting a warm one and set up the next stage of the advertising campaign for it.
Also, you have to remember the accents in the distribution of the budget at each stage. At the very beginning, when you need to reach a large audience, you will need the most budget. Further, as the warm audience expands, the fund for its development needs to be increased accordingly. And at the third stage, the audience is the most expensive since it is the most converting. Therefore, you should prepare for the fact that at this stage, as well as at the very first, you will spend a significant part of the budget;
Tips for working with a funnel
Don’t set up a lookalike for everyone. For example, for the subscribers of a page in social networks or the audience of all site visitors. That is a quite large audience, and subscribers are not at all obliged to buy something from you. Better to target lookalike for customer bases, LTV, and site remarketing audiences for specific events on the site.
Narrow your lookalike audience by age, interests, and other settings;
Test different content types for each audience and analyze how this affects the transition to the next stage. Optimize your strategy based on this.
Don’t show the same content to different audiences at every stage. A person will not understand what you want from them. By changing the content and appeal of the ads, we influence the client’s subconscious and his path to buying a product;
Analyze the decision time from the first interaction to the purchase. As a rule, for cheaper products, the decision time takes 15 days, for expensive ones – from several months to several years. For such analytics, you can use the Google Analytics Time Lag report. There is a similar report in Facebook Analytics. To exclude the intersection of remarketing audiences of site visitors in different periods with which you previously interacted, exclude them from each other in the settings of the advertising campaign.
In this image, you can see which ads we use to interact with the audience: from emotional video, ads with USP to dynamic remarketing.
Social networks also affect the effectiveness of advertising activities through other Internet channels. In the image below, you can see how in the Google Analytics Assisted Conversions report, Facebook ads are chained as the first touch channel for the user and are also the last channel before making a purchase.
Funnel for B2B: nuances
Now let’s talk about implementing a funnel for the B2B segment.
Stage 1. Attracting the audience. At the first stage, it is better to enter from the side of expert content + connect the personal brand of the owner or directors of the company to increase audience loyalty;
Stage 2. Thinking about the purchase. Show that your company’s solution to a customer problem is the best on the market. The perfect way to demonstrate this is with case studies.
Stage 3. Making a purchase decision. To finally motivate a potential client, attract him with a lead magnet.
In the case of establishing cooperation on the B2B model, you need to understand that behind each business, there is a person, a decision-maker, or several people. How to find them? The easiest way is to target by job title.
To collect data using lead generation, you need lead magnets. Let’s conditionally divide them into two types.
1. Lead magnets for sales. These include discounts, coupons, or calculators for calculating the cost of services.
2. Lead magnets for contact information. These include shareware versions of the product, expert materials (review, analysis, market forecast), a form for subscribing to a newsletter.
You can check the effectiveness of an already implemented phased promotion strategy by building a funnel in Facebook Analytics. Thanks to this tool, we can visually see how many percent of people have converted to buyers.
In the conclusions, we would like to highlight four main features of the sales funnel with which SMM specialists work.
1. Sales are generated at the bottom of the funnel.
2. Users are increasingly looking for information before buying on mobile and buying from the desktop. Consider this when analyzing advertising campaigns.
3. The funnel length is constantly increasing, sales at the bottom of the funnel influenced by the attitude formed by the top of the funnel.
4. At the bottom of the funnel is extra competition.