Prospecting is the Key for Your E-commerce Brand’s Facebook Advertising Success. Here’s How to Do it.

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Before I begin –  what even is prospecting? A quick Google search told me a prospect is “a person regarded as likely to succeed or as a potential customer, client”.

Prospecting using Facebook advertising is a great way to both find and target these ‘prospects’. It’s also always the first step in any Facebook campaign to acquire more customers.

Today I’m going to be explaining why targeting those who are unfamiliar with your brand using Facebook advertising is important for the success and growth of your e-commerce brand. I’ll also be sharing some crucial tips to make your prospecting Facebook ad campaigns more successful and worthwhile.

Prospecting to Create Effective Awareness

When prospecting in Facebook ads, you are targeting a cold audience (people who are unfamiliar with your brand). Rather than putting all of your marketing efforts into nurturing your existing customers, prospecting is focused on attracting more people and expanding your current audience.

Rather than knocking on doors, trying to attend as many events and markets as you can, hanging posters all over the street or chasing customers to promote your e-commerce brand, (I’m not suggesting these are horrible ideas) you can get attention by using Facebook to promote your brand instead.

In my sub-heading just above I used the phrase “Create Effective Awareness” as opposed to “Create Awareness” because Facebook is all about targeting specific audiences that are more inclined to buy rather than targeting a generalised audience. For example, if you had a vegan makeup brand, would you want to waste ad spend (especially if you have a tight budget) on men who have a strong interest in eating meat? In most cases, probably not.

Is Prospecting Using Facebook Ads Worth it?

Facebook advertising prospecting is basically buying underpriced attention. The point is, when you advertise on Facebook, it reaches a high number of people with little effort or money involved. And even better, once the ads are running, a lot of the work is happening on it’s own. You’re almost promoting your brand on autopilot. Don’t get me wrong, it still requires time, skill, attention and strategy for it to work out properly.

The problem with Facebook advertising is you often need a large chunk of cash to get real results. If you’re struggling with cash flow, it makes it very difficult to scale. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, it might be worth even spending $1 a day. That way you’re still attracting some sort of awareness while not spending much money.

It also makes things difficult if you haven’t got much previous data. Facebook’s algorithm prioritises prospective customers (customers who are more likely to buy) and when it doesn’t have this data to work with, it’s harder and takes more time.

If you have some sort of cash to spend, of course it’s worth it! Be prepared to spend at least $2000-$3000 a month to make it worth it.

Make it Worth Clicking

Social media advertising is a form of ‘disrupt marketing’. You’re putting your brand and an offer in front of someone who has no intention of buying or even seeing your brand. I like to think of prospecting using Facebook ads as the digital alternative to door knocking (although a little less annoying). Most Facebook users are aware they will get ads on their Facebook feed, but they don’t know the specific ads they will be getting. 

In order to get clicks, you need to have a good product and a good offer. It’s likely your competitors are targeting the same audience you’re targeting, so you need to make your ad and offer stand out from the crowd.

The following are some ways to make your prospecting ads worth clicking:

A Click Worthy Offer

  • Think about what makes your offer so good (or click worthy)
  • Promotions (Sales – 25% off, buy one get one)
  • Scarcity marketing (limited time offers)
  • Objection handling – What might be stopping your audience from clicking the ad or buying? (Eg. Free shipping, having afterpay available, any additional costs).

Creative (Image/Video)

  • It is important to be advertising creative that’s effective according to design and marketing principles.
  • Videos are generally better for prospecting ads (this requires testing to see what exactly works for your brand)
  • 40% of Facebook advertising success comes from the creative, so make it effective.
  • Attention-grabbing ads are great for more clicks. Create thumb-stopping ads.
  • Influencer marketing. 

Copy (the text of your ad)

  • Use benefits!
  • Tell them what they want to hear.
  • Use social proof; testimonials.
  • Don’t be afraid to use emojis (if it’s relevant for your audience). 
  • Correct grammar.

Remember It’s important that your ad clickers are going to land on the other side of the ad too. Don’t lead them into something completely different to what they first saw. It would be disappointing for them to be drawn in by an amazing ad, only to find a rubbish website. It’s not just important to have an effective ad strategy, it’s also important to have an effective e-commerce set up to make social media advertising worthwhile for your target audience.

Targeting Your Prospecting Audience Correctly

Now that we understand the concept of prospecting, it’s now important to understand who the ad should be shown to.

Just because you’re targeting complete strangers (a cold audience) doesn’t mean you don’t have to think about who you are targeting. Your brand and your ad have to exist in the right market, not just any market.

Prospecting in Facebook advertising can be more worthwhile than other types of advertising, like TV commercials because you are able to control who your ad is targeted to, rather than just targeting the general public without targeting controls. When it comes to profit we want to become as efficient as we can with spending money. If you are going to spend money on advertising to only get shown to people who are not going to buy, then you’re wasting money. When you have loads of money to spend on marketing, that’s when something like TV commercials might be a little more worth it to generate awareness.

In order for your brand and product to exist in the right market, you need to understand two important types of targeting and audiences:

Lookalike Audiences

A lookalike audience is essentially cloning your existing customers and then targeting those ‘clones’. Facebook knows the type of people that visit your online store and the activities they do on your online store. Things like website views, add to carts, initiated checkouts and purchases (we also call these activities pixel events). Because of Facebook’s comprehensive tracking, Facebook is able to target people similar to those who completed a specific pixel event, hence why it’s called a ‘lookalike audience’.

Tip: When you’re prospecting using lookalike audiences, try creating a custom lookalike audience for the purchases on your site. Theoretically, you’re more likely to get more purchases this way as opposed to having a lookalike audience for website content views. The main goal for Facebook advertising for an e-commerce store is to get more purchases. If you don’t have enough purchases (Facebook requires 100 unique purchases to create this lookalike audience) to work with try creating an initiated checkouts lookalike audience since it’s the closest pixel event to a purchase. If you don’t have enough data to even do this, make a lookalike audience for add to carts and so on.

Interest-based Targeting 

Facebook allows you to do interest targeting based on the data they’ve collected over time. Generally, you have an idea of the types of people that might be interested in your brand and what they might be interested in. Having an idea of the type of audience that might buy your products can be quite helpful when prospecting.

Facebook’s Audiences Insights tool is great to play around with to see what your audience might be interested in. With this tool, you are able to see what the most engaged Facebook pages are based on the interests you’ve selected.

Next Steps

Now that you understand what prospecting is in Facebook advertising, how important it is and some great tips to get started, it might be time to start planning your next Facebook ad campaign. If you don’t have much cash to spend try spending $1 a day to get a feel for prospecting using Facebook ads. 

If you have more money to spend, it might be worth spending the time learning how to manage and scale your prospecting campaigns. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, it might be worth hiring a professional to help plan and manage your facebook campaigns.

Feel free to get in touch with me! I would be more than happy to discuss if Facebook advertising is something right for you.

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