Facebook and Instagram ads can be a powerful tool for scaling an e-commerce store. Notice I said scaling and not growing. There are a few distinct and common differences I see with brands that have success with Facebook and Instagram ads. The purpose of this article is educate you on when you are ready to scale with Facebook and Instagram ads and why trying too early can leave you feeling like this strategy doesn’t work.
You Are Currently Making Sales On Your Site
This is important for a couple of reasons. First, you need to be making sales on your site before running Facebook and Instagram ads because you need a product to market fit. What does that mean? Well, is there a market for what you are selling? Do people want it and are they willing to pay an appropriate price for it? Second, making sales and knowing who those sales came from will help inform targeting on Facebook and Instagram. For example, is it primarily health and wellness-conscious moms that buy your product? Or is it women who are in their 30s, practice yoga, drink green juice and are a DINK (Dual Income No Kids) or a PANK (Professional Aunt No Kids)? These are just example but the answer to these questions will impact creative, copy and messaging and targeting. If you don’t know who buys your products yet or if there is even a market for your products, then you will likely waste a lot of money with Facebook and Instagram ads.
You Have Multiple Sources of Traffic
Sometimes you will hear agencies, advertising apps or ‘gurus’ in the space throw around numbers like 10 times Return on Ad Spend or 20 times Return on Ad Spend. I can almost guarantee you that they are referring to the return generated from retargeting ads. Facebook and Instagram offers e-commerce stores a massive platform and powerful strategy for retargeting people who have interacted with your store and brand in different ways. It’s in retargeting that you can see an impressive Return on Ad Spend and scoop up what otherwise would have been lost sales. So, if you have a healthy amount of traffic from multiple sources to re-target it makes your store prime for a retargeting strategy. Where might these traffic sources be coming from? Some common ones we see with clients in the agency is Influencers, organic traffic from Facebook and Instagram and Google Adwords.
You Have a Clear & Distinct Boutique Lifestyle Brand
This helps you stand out from the Macy’s, Ulta’s and Target’s of the online advertising world. Lifestyle brands have a strong philosophy, specific set of values and distinct style that come from a specific individual. As an example, for half a century, Ralph Lauren has embodied a lifestyle of American aristocracy, sophistication and refinement. You want to have a clear set of values, style and philosophy that resonates with and excites your target market. By branding yourself this way, you also set yourself up to charge more for products and have higher profit margins.
What Does This Mean For You?
To be honest, Facebook and Instagram is not the cheapest source of traffic out there. I don’t foresee these platforms being ideal to sell cheap t-shirts and jewelry for much longer. Which is why it’s critical you meet the criteria above. If you don’t, it’s ok. Take some time to set things in motion so in six months you do meet the criteria. Reach out to influencers, start consistently posting on Instagram and Facebook and focus on your branding and messaging. What is your brand philosophy and values? How can you get that across in your messaging?
If you do meet the criteria above, great! You are ready to implement a Facebook and Instagram Ads strategy. My recommendation would be to partner with an agency that specializes in e-commerce. You also want an agency that is going to drive traffic to your site from Facebook and Instagram but also has a robust retargeting strategy for all of your traffic! This really is key to success.
Furthermore, you want an agency that knows how to get you results like the back of their hand. If someone comes to our agency and they are looking for lead generation or need lead generation, I refer them to another agency. It would be a waste of their money and both of our time for my agency to implement a lead generation funnel. Why? Well, it’s not in our wheelhouse of expertise and I’m ok with saying that. On the other hand, when an e-commerce entrepreneur comes to us and wants to go from $10k to $100k per month, has their supply chain dialed in and is looking to build a lifestyle brand then I know without a doubt we can help them. How do I know? It’s literally all we do at the agency. All day, every day. It’s what we eat, live and breathe. Now that’s what you want in an agency.