Are you a marketer from a Software as a Service (SaaS) company looking to grow your business and promote your product? Then you should not ignore Facebook. There are 2 billion monthly active users on the social platform. That said, you should be able to find your customers there.
To ensure that your audience engagement will perform to its full potential, you need to make good use of Facebook ads. You don’t really have a choice, though. Facebook organic reach is pretty much dead. So it’s important that you prepare your ads wisely.
You’ll need to create your Facebook ads funnel in order to get started. Make sure you already have your Facebook pixel, Facebook page and product offer ready.
Now, let’s go through the process for creating your Facebook ads funnel. There are four steps for doing this: awareness, interest, evaluation and sale.
Note: Your funnel might look slightly different than this, depending on your business model and what you’re selling.
1. Awareness — Get People to Visit Your Website
Before you can get anybody to pay for your product, first you need to give them more information about it. Your site should have all the information they need to know. So take them to your website. At this stage, your mission is to generate leads.
Tip: By simply tagging visitors who come to your site with a cookie, you can increase your leads. This strategy will help you grow your remarketing audience. Using this information, you’ll be able to tell Facebook who have visited your website, who are interested with your offer or who can afford to buy your product.
To get people’s attention, use Facebook ads that are warm and friendly. Most importantly, your ad headlines need to tell people what your product or company is all about. Promote your most popular content because if people like it, they’ll definitely like it when they see it again on your ad. Of course, targeting and ad creative matter, too.
In order to create a Facebook ad, you need to first set up your Facebook Ads Manager. Alternatively, you can use the Facebook Editor. But in this article, I’ll be using the first option.
Once you’re on it, Facebook is going to ask you what your marketing objective is. Since you’re looking to bring in more traffic to your site, select the ‘Traffic’ option.
Give your campaign a name.
Then, you need to create different ad groups. Let’s create two different main groups: desktop and mobile. If you like, you can segment your ad groups by budget, audience and many more.
Give it a name. In this example, I’m using desktop, target audience and the country.
Now, let’s move on to targeting your audience. This is a very important stage as it will fundamentally impact the success of your Facebook ad. Your target audience can be individuals who are close to your target audience — or lookalike audience, which refers to people who resemble your existing leads and customers.
In order to find people who are close to your target audience, you’ll need to use core targeting. In order to use it, you must first know who your target audience is. With core targeting, you might not get exactly the people who would open a trial account with you, but they’ll be something close to what you’re looking for. It’s worth the shot.
With core targeting, you need to be specific about your target audience. For example, if you’re selling software for content marketers, you should include content marketing to your target interest. You can make it more detailed if you like. You can even exclude people from your target audience.
As for lookalike audience, Facebook is going to help you find more new leads that are similar to the prospects and customers you already have. Target between 1,000 and 50,000 people as recommended by Facebook. If you wish to target fewer people, do it at your own risk. Chances are you might get lower quality results.
To create lookalike audience, go to ‘Custom Audiences’ and select “Create New”. Add the source which could be your Facebook page or custom audience.
Let’s use a custom audience for now. Go to ‘Source’ and click on “Create new”.
Then, select “Custom Audience”. In this case, you’ll be using the information from your past customers or current leads.
Click on ‘Customer file’ and add customers from your own file or copy and paste data.
From your lead sheet, select the information you need for your ad such as email, first and last name, ZIP code, etc. Then, add the file. Optionally, you can copy and paste your data. After that, check your data. Later, you’ll be asked to choose your target location (I suggest you go with country) and its size. Try to target a small audience as they usually perform better.
Once you’re done, click on ‘Edit Placement’.
Then, select your device. For this example, select ‘Desktop only’. Do this again for your mobile audience.
For this ad, you’re looking at promoting your content. So under the platform section, choose ‘Feeds’.
Scroll down to set your ad budget and schedule. You are free to spend any amount you want. Usually you’ll get better results when you spend more money. Try starting with a small amount of money first. You can always increase your budget next time.
After setting your budget, you can then create your ad. Click on ‘Continue’.
Since you’re going to have multiple ads on desktop and mobile, as well as different texts, images and call-to-actions, be specific when naming your ad. This will help you a lot when you need to run different tests for your ad. Just make sure that your ad is easy to remember and analyze.
Once you’ve named your ad, it’s time to select your Facebook business page.
Then, select the photo you’d like to use. Scroll down and add your post’s URL.
Move on to crafting your ad copy. Generally, a short copy performs better than a long one. At this stage, you won’t need a long copy. Your mission is to drive people to your website. You can use the title of your post in your headline if it fits the bill. As for your ad description, you can choose to add information to it or simply leave it blank if you like.
Click on ‘Confirm’ once you’re done.
Repeat this process for all of your other ad groups.
2. Interest — Get Them to Sign Up
Now that you’ve set up your ad campaign, it’s time to drive more leads to your website. For this purpose, use Facebook lead ads. There’s no need to send leads to specific landing pages anymore just to get their information. This can simply be done by using users’ behavior particularly on mobile devices.
The lead ads make mobile sign ups more convenient as they automatically obtain contact information from Facebook users such as their emails.
The process for this is quite similar to the one about traffic generation we’ve discussed earlier on. The only difference is that it uses a custom audience from the crowd that visited the page where you got your traffic.
You’ll go through the same process as the one you do when creating an ad using your lookalike audience. In this process, however, you’ll only be targeting traffic to your content page only.
To create your ad, go to the campaign creation page and choose ‘Lead generation’ as your marketing objective.
Then, go to ‘Audience’ and select ‘Create New’. Choose ‘Custom Audience’, which are the people who have already interacted with your business.
This time you’ll need to select ‘Website Traffic’. Here you’ll need to add the URL of the content page that you had used for your ad. Give it a name and click on ‘Create Audience’.
Scroll down and set your budget. Here, you’ll be asked to choose your bidding strategy. You can choose between:
- Lowest cost
- Target cost
Set whatever budget that makes sense to you. Try starting with a small amount first.
Click on ‘Continue’ once you’re done.
The process for creating this ad is pretty much like creating the first ad.The only thing you need to pay attention to is the call-to-action. You can choose: sign up, subscribe, learn more, get quote, download or apply now.
Last but not least, you need to create your Facebook lead form.
3. Evaluation — Convince Them to Say Yes
This is the stage where you’ll need to pitch your offer even further to your prospects and convince them that they need it. You can offer them whatever you like, from e-books to free trials — any valuable content they’ll appreciate.
To create this ad, again, go to the ads manager creation page. Select ‘Lead generation’ again. Go through all the same steps as the previous campaign. What’s different this time is the audience. This time you’ll want to create another custom audience for the people who have visited the thank you page from your previous offer.
Select ‘People who visited specific web pages’. Add the URL of your thank you page. Click on ‘Create Audience’.
Set your budget and move on to creating your ad.
By now your audience should already be familiar with you and might be more interested with your product offer. Use this opportunity to convince them on how your product can benefit them. Show them a case study to prove your claims. It can’t get any more convincing than that.
4. Sale — Convert Them to Paying Customers
This stage is very important because it is the stage where conversions happen. Your main goal is to close the deal. It’s time to convert your prospects to paying customers.
To create the ad for this stage, go to Facebook ads creation page again and select ‘Conversion’. Then click on ‘Conversions’.
Under conversions, you’ll be asked to specify the type of conversion you’re looking for such as view content, add to wishlist, purchase and so on.
Your selection will be based on what you’re trying to sell. For example, if you’re offering a free trial, then you should choose the ‘Complete Registration’ option. Of course, you’ll need to track your conversions. To do that, you’ll need to install the conversion tracking.
You are going to need a custom audience, which are the people who have signed up for a previous offer such as webinar, free consultation and so on.
For this example, use desktop placement. Repeat the same process for your mobile placement. Your ad can appear on both Facebook news feed or the right column. If you choose to have your ad appear on the right column, you may need to create a separate ad set for that to achieve better optimization.
Set your budget, whatever amount that makes sense to you.
And your ad is good to go.
Phew! That was quite a journey, wasn’t it? Don’t let all of these stages discourage you. It’s not always easy to create a Facebook ads funnel for your SaaS business after all.