Funnels…chances are unless you live under a rock, if you’ve ever shopped online, you’ve come across one at least once.

Whether it’s a sales funnel, marketing funnel, marketing pipeline, sales process…it’s all the same. But what the blazes is a “funnel” and how can we use them to leverage Facebook ads?

For the majority of product based online store owners, sales funnels really are the trump card in your marketing toolbox. And yet many store owners – both new and established – have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or even how it works. Gasp!

The consequence of not fully understanding and taking advantage of this golden nugget means you could potentially be leaving a lot of money on the table and not building a business model with strong foundations.

A Simple Sales Funnel Explained

Let’s break down the most basic sales funnel. To begin, it usually consists of free content, which typically only exists to get the attention of your customer to.

The funnel could begin with blog posts, videos, live streams, social media content, and other information readers can acquire for free. This is the “top” of your funnel.

Next, you’ll have an attractive offer that requires a very small “exchange” – typically an email address or joining a chatbot list. You’ve definitely seen this type of offer on websites all over the internet, and probably even signed up for some (or too many to count).

This is the free ebook, guide, coupon code (percentage off a sale or free delivery) or other content the customer deems as valuable to them in exchange for “opting in” to an email list or gaining contact information.

Once you have their details, you’ll then showcase a series of low-cost offers. Perhaps you have a low-priced item or a trial subscription.

Customers who purchase your lower-priced product move further down the funnel, and are presented with more offers. As they continue to buy (increasing their lifetime value), they move closer and closer to your top-end offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel.

Your job as the business owner is to ensure that your funnel leads buyers naturally from the top all the way to the bottom. The more buyers you can Keep in your funnel, the more money you will ultimately make.

It’s like having a sales assistant working for you 24/7 that you don’t have to pay! Yee-ha!

Right, now we have that explanation out of the way, let’s apply this to Facebook ads.

When a customer goes through your funnel, there are 4 stages they usually go through; Awareness, Consideration, Intent and Decision. For some reason, people seem to ignore that and go straight for buyers first.

But the best buyers are the ones you’ve spent a bit of time warming up!

1) Awareness – At this point, the customer is skipping about their daily lives and probably does not have a Scooby of who you are. You want to change that by increasing the likelihood stoking their curiosity about you by attracting their attention.

Providing you’ve done all your homework and you have a pretty good idea of who your audience is, a brilliant way to gauge interest in running a few short video ads to see the percentage watched.

In theory, if they’ve watched more than 80% of your video, chances are they have an interest in what you have to offer. Take time to look back at the data; have they engaged with your video by liking or sharing? Is there a point where viewers dropped off or did they watch the whole thing?

These are valuable data points which can be used to tweak and refine the funnel.

2) Consideration – Ok, so now they are curious. They like what they see BUT at this point, you are just another option out of thousands. In their head, they are weighing up what makes you so special.

This is when we want to ramp up engagement and keep their interest by showing content that resonates with them. During the awareness piece, you were building up an audience with video views.

Now you can retarget your warm audience (those who watched more than 80% of your video content) with more pieces to keep you front of mind.

You could create ads which show more videos, attractive images, links to blog articles that educate the buyer about your brand and point of view, special offers and introduce your irresistible offer in exchange for their contact details. Don’t forget to include your branding to help them recognise you as you appear in their feed.

Measure the link clicks, where the traffic is going and what they spend most of their time consuming. You want to create content with them in mind and give more of what they love to deepen engagement.

3) Intent – Right! Not only does the potential customer know who you are and what product you serve, the next time they need to make a purchase, but it will also be between you and a couple of their favourite brands. So how can we tip the needle?

We can now start running conversion ads which go to the product itself. Create ads which showcase your offers in the best way possible. If they are a first-time buyer, a percentage off the basket spend or free delivery is a great way of enticing buyers.

At the checkout, offer Upsells and/or Cross-Sells to increase basket spend. Don’t forget to track your potential buyers’ journey using the Facebook pixel and tracking events such as “add to basket”.

That way if TOWIE is on and they get distracted and not finish their purchase, you’re able to retarget them in their newsfeed by reminding them to hurry up and buy!

4) Decision – Woohoo! Well done, you’ve got the sale by identifying their need and building relationships by nurturing them through their journey. Now it’s a matter of repeating and refining the good work.

You can now start to create conversions on Facebook. In essence, what those conversions will do is track the sales and you can find that data to optimise your campaigns bringing your costs down and find more of the same audience (plus Facebook will get much better at it, the more people who go through as a sale and complete the conversion).

A great place to put the conversion on your website is on the thank you page, that way you can be certain the sale is complete.

Taking time to build a proper funnel and guiding your customer through these stages is not only a highly effective way of using ads, but it’s also the only true way you’ll be able to track your actual ROI.

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