Social media ad campaigns are marketing methods available to businesses of all sizes. These days, even small startups can afford a small-scale campaign on platforms like Facebook. Regardless of size, all businesses worry about wasting their budget and spending money on ads that don’t convert.
How do you adjust social media campaigns so that they generate e-commerce sales? Today, we’re talking about how to increase e-commerce sales through social media campaigns. The world is steadily moving away from physical shopping, so this area of marketing is continually growing in importance.
First and foremost, you’ll find hundreds of marketing methods on the internet, so why should you spend time with paid advertising? Not only is paid advertising a great method of growing exposure and awareness, but it also encourages leads through the various stages of the process.
To succeed in marketing, businesses should advertise where people gather. In the modern world, this place is social media. Facebook has 2.8 billion active monthly users and Instagram has around 1.15 billion. Meanwhile, other platforms like Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest receive hundreds of millions of visitors each month. In short, paid advertising works.
We aren’t saying that you should pull your funding from SEO because organic traffic is still important. However, SEO takes time. For those seeking fast results, paid advertising is the way forward. Assuming the targeting is correct, businesses get instant results as their ads appear in front of people with an interest in the niche.
Every year, targeting capabilities improve with social media advertising platforms. Additionally, social media users are now more open to advertising than ever before. Look back 15 years to where Facebook users just wanted to see what their friends did over the holidays. Now, they’re receptive to adverts and even make purchasing decisions baked upon social media.
Some businesses will already have an SEO strategy up and running, which makes for a sensible starting point for understanding advertising (with an eye on e-commerce sales). Firstly, you’ll notice a difference in the level of targeting between paid search and organic search. Organic search is designed to target a wider audience whereas the settings on paid ads allow for granular targeting. Want to focus on a particular demographic, interest, or psychographic? It’s possible through paid advertising.
As well as the audience, there’s also a difference with keywords. When writing articles, you’ll prioritize three or four keywords and then patiently wait to see if it generates interest. On the other hand, paid advertising generates quicker results. Rather than guessing what will work, you’re acting on the keywords that are already performing.
Experienced marketers will tell you that there’s a delicate balance between traffic and competition. The keywords with lots of traffic are more expensive (supply and demand). Whereas, the keywords with less traffic are cheaper, but also less effective.
Another difference between the two is where you invest your time. We wish we could tell you that there’s a magical marketing technique that takes seconds and is guaranteed to generate thousands of conversions, but there isn’t. Otherwise, everybody would use it. The very fact that we need to focus on several marketing techniques proves that there’s no magical solution.
This being said, you’ll invest your effort differently with paid ads compared to organic SEO. With the latter, you design a content schedule and adjust as the audience reacts to different types of content. Organic search is very much a slow-burner, paid search occurs in the moment and changes need to happen so fast that it’s often best to implement artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize automatically.
With these differences in mind, how do you shape advertising campaigns so that you generate e-commerce sales? Here are some best practices:
Social media platforms accommodate numerous styles of ad campaigns because businesses create ads for various reasons. For example, some ads are designed to generate awareness and exposure. When pushing for e-commerce sales, these campaigns are no good. If they’re only just discovering a problem or researching products, you’re unlikely to generate many sales. Instead, you need to target people with buying intent.
One platform good for this strategy is Google, where some people search for advice and others search for solutions. If you sell guitars, you could focus on the following keywords - purchase an electric guitar or where to buy an acoustic guitar. Both of these keywords suggest that the user is ready to spend their money, which is where you want to appear.
To get started, research the keywords with high buyer intent in your niche. It might be as simple as our examples, or it could lead you down a more complex path.
You’re targeting people with an intent to buy, so the next step is to send them to a product page. After clicking on your ad, you want to make the purchasing process as seamless as possible for customers. They shouldn’t have to click through, watch a video, sign up for a newsletter, and then click 17 more times just to buy your product. The customers are ready to buy, show them your great product.
At all times, keep the user interface simple and welcoming. Often, having too many features gets in the way when the customer is ready to buy.
Every day, people click onto your website or interact with your brand on social media without taking action. Some people will even click on your ad without purchasing a product. Now, it’s time to reach out to these people with an ad campaign.
Somebody clicking away, doesn't necessarily mean that they decided against buying from you. They could have been distracted or something else may have grabbed their attention. A retargeting campaign, is a gentle reminder that they have unfinished business with your e-commerce platform. Hopefully after seeing the notification, they click back onto your page and finally buy the product.
As an e-commerce service, you’re probably driven crazy daily by people adding items to their basket and then clicking away. In 2019, the global average cart abandonment rate was nearly 78%. This means that only 22 people in every 100 who add something to their cart see the process through. If you can increase this number even slightly, it makes a huge difference to your business.
Use a custom ad campaign to reach out to all those who have added a product/service to the cart before clicking away. Some people close tabs accidentally and forget about the purchase. A simple campaign can remind them and increase your e-commerce sales instantly.
When people first enter the realm of digital marketing and paid ads, they create one ad and hope this achieves all of their goals in the coming weeks, months, and years. Unfortunately, this is an unrealistic expectation. After the ad goes live, perform A/B testing as you play around with different creatives, CTAs, headlines, and copy.
You don’t need to perform all A/B testing manually (great news, right?). Upload several creatives to an A/B testing platform and let it do the rest. Like life, you’re on a constant path of learning and progression with paid ads, and this is especially true with regards to e-commerce. Don’t assume you have an amazing creative or CTA. Always be willing to explore other possibilities.
As an e-commerce service, you probably have a range of different products. If so, segment the audience and create social media campaigns for each group. As long as you A/B test in each group, the performance of each campaign improves continually as the weeks pass. With segmentation, you create ads that resonate with each group rather than trying to reach everybody with just one ad.
If you want to learn more about how social media campaigns help with e-commerce sales, we recommend reading the stories of BeautyMNL and Roller Rabbit. In these scenarios, the marketing budgets were cut but the companies still managed to achieve their goals by focusing on niche ad groups rather than more general ones. With the help of an agency, they gradually added special promotions, eliminated overlaps with campaigns, and took advantage of high-converting categories. Revenue generated by paid media increased by 95% and they enjoyed a 1,200% Facebook ROAS.
Social media campaigns can boost e-commerce sales and the advice in this guide should help you get started!