There was a time when Facebook was considered by some as a passing fad and perceived as something businesses could never really benefit from. Over time, the skeptics were proven wrong. Today, Facebook is not only the world’s biggest social network, with 1.5 billion users, but it’s also one the biggest drivers of social referral traffic and it provides the largest digital advertising opportunity since search. It’s the one social network that ALL marketers simply cannot ignore.

The dilemma is that Facebook advertising offers a limitless number of affordable options to grow your business. The platform gives you the ability to create multiple ad creatives and emphasize unique value propositions to highly-targeted audience segments on different devices and at different times. With so many possibilities, it’s incredibly easy to mess up or waste money on objectives that never convert into leads or sales.

Instead of a simple one-step process of targeting people who don’t know your brand or product, you instead strive to understand the customer journey of your target in order to market them more effectively. All people will go through an awareness, consideration, and decision stage at various times and speeds, so it’s important that you touch upon them all at one point or another.

Here’s how to set up a Facebook advertising sales funnel that will help you to avoid flushing your Facebook ad budget down the drain and give you more consistent results. We recommend focusing on three objectives at a time — all the time:

Step 1: Attract Relevant Visitors (Top of the Funnel)

When constructing your Facebook Sales Funnel, the initial goal is always to attract visitors to your website and build a large audience in the most efficient and cheapest possible way. Problem is, 99% of visitors aren’t ready to purchase or convert. They need to discover and engage with you first.

This step helps separate those who are potential customers from those who aren’t by providing no-strings-attached, helpful content. Because there are millions of stories to compete against within users’ newsfeeds and attention spans, the content needs to be awesome, unique, and highly relevant. Instead of highlighting your company info or products, highlight your target audience’s interests, quirks, and their problems.

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Setup:

  1. The objective of this campaign should be Clicks to Website.
  2. Within this campaign, promote a blog post or a unique content piece that solves a problem and doesn’t sell anything. Those who would be interested in the solution that this blog post offers need to be your target audience.
  3. Audience targeting for initial website visitors should be relatively broad to start. That means you’re looking for people with a specific interest in mind, within a certain area (like the countries where you sell).
  4. Since the goal is driving site visits, the lowest Cost per Website click is ideal. So set up a bid optimized for website clicks or engagement (oCPM).
  5. You’ll also need to place the Facebook pixel on your website, so that you can create a website custom audience from the people you will attract to your site with your content (more on that in step 2).

Step 2: Lead Generation (Middle of the Funnel)

Great, you got a bunch of relevant traffic in the door. Now it’s time to sell, right? Of course not! You don’t yet have full trust.

At this point, we have people who have read our helpful blog posts. This tells us that they are in our target audience. So now let’s take them a step further in the Facebook Sales Funnel to get those web visitors to become leads before selling them.

We do this by offering something of value in exchange for pieces of their contact information. You’ll want to provide immediate gratification in a quick, easy-to-digest format. Think lead magnets: host a webinar, offer an ebook, send a reminder to sign up for your newsletter, or present them with a similar free offer.

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This is an important step that is often missed. By collecting email addresses, you can reach these potential customers with your promotions in two places: Email and Facebook.

Setup:

  1. Your objective should be Website Conversions.
  2. Audience targeting will mostly include people that you just attracted in the last step with your low-barrier, helpful content. Since you placed a Facebook pixel in the previous step, you can now create a create a website custom audience. Specifically, your website visitors over the past 30 or 60 days.
  3. Optimize for conversions, and stick primarily with Facebook defaults.

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Step 3: Convert Customers (Bottom of the Funnel)

The hardest part is over. Now it’s time to ring the cash register by converting hot leads into paying customers.

If you attracted the right visitors and were successful in building trust with them, getting this audience to convert should be a straightforward process. That means you don’t need no hard-selling tactics.

Setup:

  1. The objective of your campaign for this step should be Website Conversions.
  2. The key to creating effective ads that convert is to intimately focus them on a specific buyer persona. Keep things simple and to the point, highlighting benefits.What you don’t want to do is now push away those people you’ve spent so much time nurturing.
  3. If your product is very expensive, and usually requires a high-touch, consultative approach, make them an offer they can’t refuse.
  4. Audience targeting should again be specific, focusing on custom audiences made up largely of your existing leads (while excluding any customers).
  5. Your bidding should be optimized around Daily Unique Reach instead of sticking with the defaults. Why? Because we’re targeting a much smaller, much more relevant audience and we want our ads to reach as many of the people who registered in step 2 as possible. That way, if they don’t buy after a month of ads, we can stop wasting our money on them.

This is one of the processes that separates the most successful brands on Facebook from everyone else who claim that it “doesn’t work for them“. In all cases, they are focused far too much on quantity and not enough on quality.