“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” – David Ogilvy, co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on commerce.
We were all confined to our homes through most of February, March, and April. This has dramatically increased our dependency on ecommerce for essential needs.
Since major lockdowns kicked in, Americans have spent more time on their mobile devices. U.S. adults have spent nearly 10% more time each day on social networks.
Daily time spent on apps on Android devices increased 20% year-over-year in Q1 2020, and consumer spending on iOS was up 15%.
What does all this mean to a seller or an ecommerce business owner?
Though Covid-19 may not decimate physical commerce, it has acted as an accelerant for greater ecommerce adoption.
So much so that the social media landscape is about to change dramatically.
Before we get to the ‘how’, what do social media platforms survive on?
Social media platforms are dependent on two things for survival.
1. People spending more time on their apps and sites
2. Brands spending money buying ads, consistently for audience attention
So far, social media platforms have invested heavily and innovated to make their apps and features enticing. To keep as many people active on the app as possible.
All the while allowing brands and marketers a greater degree of advertising freedom and accuracy to constantly increase ad-spend RoI.
This is all old news, though.
Recently, Facebook – who owns Instagram, WhatsApp – struck a partnership with Shopify to allow brands to create Facebook storefronts to sell products directly on Facebook (and Instagram and maybe on WhatsApp).
So, effectively, Facebook is now evolving from a mere product discovery platform to a purchasing platform.
This is good news for sellers who have another platform to sell their products on.
And since sellers spend money on social media for audience attention, now they can sell their products on the same platform. This means, customers, enjoy minimal-to-no-friction in discovering great products and buying them – all on one platform. At least this is what Facebook is playing at.
What does this mean to an ecommerce business owner?
As social media platforms become the same place for people to discover and buy products, brands will get a two folded benefit.
1. More bang for every buck spent on social media advertising
2. Less dependency on search advertising
Ecommerce industry’s dependence on social media advertising isn’t going nowhere
A 2019 Kenshoo report says that product ad spend growth on social outpaced search in the third quarter of the year.
Ecommerce advertisers spent 39% of their search budgets on Shopping campaigns and 37% of their social budgets on product ads in the third quarter of the year, according to new Kenshoo data.
Social had slowly started to outpace search in 2019.
Kenshoo reports that it’s users spent heavily on visual media platforms. Instagram’s video and product ads saw a 32% year-over-year increase, emphasizing the power of visual media in product advertising.
What should be your ideal social media advertising strategy?
How to define ad objectives?
Before you think about creating content for a great, visually appealing social media ad, you need to define your ad objectives clearly. Ask yourself these questions:
- Will this be a product ad or a brand awareness ad?
- Who is my audience?
- What type of ad should I run?
- How much money should I spend?
- Once the audience watches my ad, what action should they take?
- Which page should I direct ad traffic to?
These questions help you sharpen your ad objectives.
How to identify your niche audience?
Though most audiences engage on multiple social media platforms, there’s always a primary platform users stick to.
What we mean to say is that the Facebook audience is very different from users on Instagram and Snapchat.
So, the best way to kickstart your social media ad strategy is to identify your core audience.
Because the success of ad campaigns you run is driven by your audience demography.
Let’s understand the scenario with an example:
An ecommerce store which sells women’s workwear, wants to run a campaign on Facebook.
What is it’s ideal audience?
All women? No.
All working women? Maybe.
All working women who take a liking to a specific style of work clothing? Yes. Now we are getting to the right niche.
Facebook ad engine allows you to filter through age, location, job, and other segments to sharpen your ad targeting.
When users of Facebook spend time exploring updates, news, and other things – targeted, relevant ads blend seamlessly into their likes, dislikes, needs, and wants.
Remember. Facebook is a discovery platform. People love discovering relevant stuff. Not get bombarded with irrelevant products and services.
Side note: A recent Pew Research throws light on some interesting Facebook stats.
Among social media platforms, Facebook ranks second in terms of usage, just behind YouTube. And roughly a third of Facebook’s users visit the site/app everyday.
The research also tells us that the two fastest growing age groups that are active on Facebook everyday are 84% of 25 and 30 year olds, and 79% of 30 to 49 year olds.
What about ad quality?
As a business owner, you always want your ads to be of high quality.
However, stunning visuals and images and getting the sizes and orientation right is just the beginning.
AdEspresso has compiled the 5 common mistakes businesses commit when making ads on Instagram or Facebook. Their list of 5 mistakes goes like this…
- Mistake #1: Having No Goal-Focused Strategy
- Mistake #2: Not Targeting the Right Audience
- Mistake #3: Missing the Mark with Ad Content
- Mistake #4: Expecting Instant Results
- Mistake #5: Overlooking Image and Video Quality
How much does it cost to run an ad on Instagram or Facebook?
What’s an advertising strategy without an assessment about RoI, eh? To derive RoI, you need to first figure out the ‘investment’.
Many factors drive your ad budget. Here are some:
- ad placement
- ad format
- time of year
However, don’t you deserve a dollar figure at least for reference?
Yeah. We hear you.
At the end of 2018, AdEspresso analyzed advertising costs on Instagram. Their sole purpose in doing this exercise was to arrive at an average cost per click dollar value.
They found that on average Instagram ads cost-per-click is between $0.70 and $1.00.
A similar study was conducted by WordStream to find a dollar value for cost per click on Facebook.
They found that retail businesses had to spend an average of $0.70 per click.
Again, CPC rates vary due to many factors and we urge you to use these dollar values as a referential point only.
Ecommerce advertising on Instagram
Types of ads on Instagram
Instagram offers several ad formats:
- Stories ads
- Photo ads
- Video ads
- Carousel ads
- Collection ads
- Explore ads
- IGTV ads
- Instagram Shopping ads
Instagram has gone to great lengths to make each ad format suitable for multiple seller objectives. However, each ad type works for certain business goals and call-to-action options.
So, let us look at the top 5 use cases and call-to-action options for each ad type on Instagram.
With Instagram Stories ads, brands can take advantage of all Instagram Stories features, like adding face filters, video effects, and text to create fun and creative promotions.
These features help you make each ad story very personal and normal. The call-to-action takes the form of a swipe-up feature at the bottom of the Story.
Send WhatsApp Message
Photo ads on Instagram are very simple.
Create a stunning product image and promote it.
With the call-to-action button, you may choose to send visitors to your website, Instagram profile, or push them for conversion (product page). Here’s what a superb product Photo ad looks like on Instagram.
Video ads on Instagram can be as long as 60 seconds. This gives you more time to craft an intimate ad. However, the sweet-spot would be about 15 to 20 second long ads. The trick with shorter ads is to insert branding in the first few seconds of the video.
Carousel ads allow you to string a series of images or videos together to tell a detailed story. And at the bottom of the carousel layout is the call-to-action button.
Carousel ads allow you to tell a complex story through a series of images or videos. Or you may also highlight a series of products.
Instagram’s collections ad allows you to use images and videos. But its top feature is to allow users to make purchases directly from the ad. When users click on the ad, they’re directed to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront.
Send WhatsApp Message
Like any visual social media platform, Instagram’s party piece is to keep its users exploring new stuff, relentlessly.
Explore ads are exactly that. The ads appear once users tap on a video or an image from the Explore section.
Instagram is on the verge of turning IGTV into a YouTube-style ad platform. In a recent update, Instagram announced that it will be offering advertising on IGTV.
This will allow video creators to earn 55% of the ad revenue.
Besides this, we are still waiting for a detailed guideline from Instagram concerning IGTV ads. So, follow us and bookmark our blog for a detailed take on IGTV ads soon.
Instagram Shopping ads
Once you set up your Instagram Shopping ad feature, you can showcase a product and allow users to buy that product on your mobile site, but within the Instagram app browser.
So, users can make purchases without leaving Instagram at all.
What data should you track once your Instagram ad is live?
Can you assess the impact of your ads and its RoI without tracking relevant metrics?
The answer is a big No!
So, here are three common goals with metrics to track under each one.
Number 1: What metrics to track for brand awareness ads
- Follower count: A growth in followers corresponds to a growth in brand awareness.
- Impressions: You need to get your ads in front of as many people as possible. Impressions allow you to assess the size of your ad audience.
- Reach: Reach also tracks the number of views for your ads. The difference between reach and impressions is that reach refers to unique accounts (not the same account viewing your Instagram post multiple times).
Number 2: Lead generation and sales
- Website clicks: Track the number of clicks to the website or URL placed in your ad.
- Call clicks/email clicks: Generating leads via phone calls or emails can and should be tracked as well.
- Follower hours/days: If you want to know when your audience is active and trigger ads at precise time slots, then you got to analyze this metric.
Number 3: Building a community
If you deploy ads to build a community of fans, you need to pay close attention to these three metrics.
- Story replies
Ecommerce advertising on Facebook
Types of ads on Facebook:
Use videos to highlight or show off product features, and draw people in with sound and motion.
Use image ads to drive traffic to your website or product pages or apps through stunning visual images.
Create a catalog of products and allow Facebook users to explore a series of products. Remember, each product ad in the collection is customizable.
You may set up to 10 images or videos with a single ad. Each card within the carousel can carry its URL.
Instant Experience ad
This format provides a full-screen, mobile-optimized experience instantly from your ad.
Lead generation ads
Lead gen ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect info from people who are interested in your business. A lead gen ad is presented using an image or video.
You can share offers and discounts with your audience as an image or video or carousel format.
Post engagement ad
You can boost engagement on individual content posts on your Facebook page to achieve more Likes, Shares, Comments, and Views.
As the name says, you can target your audience to promote events and drive responses. You may design your Event ad as an image or a video.
P.S: Events need not be a physical gathering. Think of how you can help your audience through virtual events. How about demonstrating “Do’s and Don’ts” of using your product, or how to maintain or repair them?
And finally, use this ad format to boost your brand page awareness on Facebook.
P.S: Getting a lot of page likes isn’t a big deal, keeping your audience engaged through each post or ad is the holy grail of Facebook advertising.
What data should you track once your Facebook ad is live?
Here are four vital metrics you need to track to assess the value of your Facebook ad.
Number 1: Total conversion rates
- Lead generation: Track the number of people who sign up for your offer.
- Generating sales: Measure how many sales you generate out of this ad.
- Website traffic: Measure the total number of link clicks to your website.
Number 2: Frequency
This metric needs to be tracked only if you run Facebook ads each month.
As the name suggests, this number tells you the total number of times an ad has been served to an average user.
Number 3: Return on Ad Spend
Revenue alone, though, isn’t such a useful metric.
What if the revenue is less than the ad set spent to acquire the target audience or customer?
What you gotta do is set up a Facebook tracking pixel. This will help you get a clear return on investment value on your ad spend.
How else can Facebook Pixel help you understand the real value of your ads? Here’s what Facebook has to say about it.
“When someone visits your website and takes an action (for example, buying something), the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action. This way, you’ll know when a customer took an action after seeing your Facebook ad. You’ll also be able to reach this customer again by using a Custom Audience. When more and more conversions happen on your website, Facebook gets better at delivering your ads to people who are more likely to take certain actions. This is called conversion optimization.”
Don’t know how to set up Facebook Pixel? Here’s Facebook’s guide on how to do it.
Number 4: Cost per Click (CPC) and Click Through Rate (CTR)
While CPC gives you the average cost per click, CTR indicates the percentage of people who click on your website (or URL).
There are so many mediums to connect with and influence your audience, and the future will only bring you more possibilities to reach the right audience. Our passion at Autochat.io is to empower entrepreneurs in the ecommerce domain. Like you.
This has led us to create a repository of actionable content to help you make informed decisions and remove friction in:
- achieving tremendous scale in your business
- and scale your customer service speed, accuracy, and quality
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