With increasingly complex paths to purchase becoming the norm, the brands winning today aren’t waiting for their customers to come to them with purchase intent, they are creating it - think Simba mattresses, Mahabis slippers and Chilly’s Bottles.

Facebook and its family of apps and services - Instagram, Messenger and the Audience Network - is at the forefront of driving this intent. With this is mind, we thought we’d take a look at the suped-up audience targeting and sophisticated product ad capabilities making all of this possible.

Here are our top 3 strategies for ecommerce success on Facebook (and its network), plus a little bit about Facebook Attribution.

1) Dynamic Ads For Broad Audiences

Have you noticed that you’ll look at a particular product online and then have an Instagram feed full of similar products from brands you’ve never heard of? That’s Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences.

This feature enables you to find new customers based on in-market signals such as a person’s browsing activity and things they have engaged with on Facebook’s platforms. These intent signals are matched to products in your catalogue feed and dynamically displayed in either a static, carousel or collection format.

We can also use ‘Dynamic Ads for Travel’ to show ads to likely travellers. Product catalogues can be made up of items like hotels and flights, and we can use the same function to dynamically show inventory to those who are in-market for holidays.

This function in only available through the ‘Catalogue Sales’ campaign objective. It’s proven to be an incredibly successful strategy, delivering a higher volume of purchases than both ‘Interest’ and ‘Lookalike Targeting’ campaigns month-on-month.

What You Need

  • Facebook pixel
  • Product catalogue

2) Value-based Lookalikes

Lookalike targeting is a powerful prospecting tool, and its success lies with the quality of the ‘seed’ audience. Value-based lookalike audiences help advertisers find new customers similar to their most valuable clients based on their LTV (lifetime value). This gives Facebook the extra data it needs to find quality lookalikes that are likely to drive the highest revenue.

This can be done through both the pixel and a CRM file. With the pixel you can simply set this up using the ‘Purchase’ event - if there isn’t enough purchase data, you can set one up using other pixel events such as ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Product View’. This audience will keep refreshing based on the data the pixel collects.

With a CRM file all you have to do is add an extra column that reflects the value of that user to the business in the file upload. These values should be monetary, like total revenue or AOV. Then you can create a lookalike from that seed audience. Unlike the pixel, this lookalike audience will be ‘fixed’, so it’s worth regularly refreshing the seed audience.

What You Need

  • Facebook pixel
  • Custom audience with LTV metrics
  • Product catalogue (if running catalogue sales campaigns)

3) Intent Led Remarketing

Dynamic ads for remarketing is a no-brainer for pretty much any ecommerce business, especially if you’re already running similar activity across display channels. With a product catalogue and pixel it’s easy to serve customers ads with the exact products they’ve viewed, or added to basket, but not purchased, regardless of their original touchpoint.

What’s more interesting is advanced remarketing segmentations based on pixel data, where we can optimise towards audience segments with higher intent and basket value to drive better ROI.

When creating remarketing audiences based on pixel events in Business Manager, there are further options you can use to narrow this audience. For example, here we have set up an audience of basket abandoners over 14 days where the value of the basket was over £200. The volume of users in this segment isn’t especially high, but the CTR and ROI is higher than for other audiences.

For the same client we created an audience where the user has viewed a minimum of five products on the site, accounting for higher purchase intent. This is now one of our most successful remarketing segments.

What You Need

  • Facebook pixel
  • Product catalogue (if running catalogue sales campaigns)

Bring Together With Facebook Attribution

Setting up Facebook Attribution is straightforward and free to do, and offers another tool for measuring campaign impact and value. This is particularly important for the prospecting campaigns and for the broad audience targeting methods mentioned above.

With some extra tracking parameters we can bring Google, Bing, and DV360 impression and click data into Facebook Attribution to get a better understanding of how these channels perform.

Through Facebook’s Data Driven Attribution (DDA) system it’s also possible to analyse the lift as a result of advertising (how many users convert that wouldn’t have organically) and measure the incremental impact the activity has.

You can read more on Facebook Attribution here.

For this client, looking at an ‘Even Credit’ attribution model showed the value of Facebook and Instagram over the Black Friday period more so than ‘Last Touch’. In both instances, Google brings the strongest return and conversion volume, but investment in brand and acquisition campaigns before their key sales period - using dynamic ads and better remarketing segmentation - was the driving force for the lower funnel channels.

What You Need

  • Facebook Pixel
  • Line of Business
  • Tracking parameters across other publishers

If you'd like to talk in greater depth about Facebook and paid social to better understand how it can drive your business objectives, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Steph Iles on 01225 58 38 38 or email hello@search-star.co.uk.