If you are selling products online, you have to face the harsh reality: It’s almost impossible to scale up your business without spending money on ads.
And, when it comes to the best advertising platforms for online sellers in India or anywhere else for that matter, Facebook and Google Ads are undoubtedly the top options – particularly if you are in a B2C industry.
After launching my online clothing store in 2018, I regularly wrote blog posts and followed all the SEO best practices. A few months went by without any significant growth in sales and audience building. I’ve also worked with many online sellers and built ecommerce sites for them. They too face the same challenge. They tell me: Growing an online business organically is hard.
There is no denying the fact that Facebook Ads played a major role in my success as an online seller. It helped me take the revenue of my ecommerce business from zero to Rs 2 lakh per month in less than six months.
The problem most online sellers in India face is that they don’t know how to set up a Facebook campaigns for selling products online the right way. Facebook can end up being a money pit if you don’t know what you are doing.
Here are three most important things you should keep in mind when setting up a Facebook campaign for selling products online:
Don’t be too specific with interest targeting
If you are selling fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) or low-cost products such as clothes, you shouldn’t be too specific in interest targeting.
Let me explain it to you with an example.
I recently ran a Facebook campaign and spent a few thousand dollars on Facebook ads – nearly 54,000 to be more specific. You probably already know that you can run campaigns for different objectives on Facebook: Clicks, catalogue sales, engagement (likes & shares) etc.
I first ran a campaign with an objective of catalogue sales. I was too specific with interests. The interest I targeted included ‘Kurti Top’, ‘Anarkali Salwar Suit’, Salwar (Punjabi) Suit etc. I ended up spending nearly Rs 1500 and got only two sales. It means that I spent Rs 700 per sale. The profit margin for the product I was selling was just Rs 300, so I sold the products for a loss.
On the other hand, when I created ‘Look Alike Audience’ based on the Facebook Pixel and ran an ad with an objective to get more sales, the cost per click was just 18 paisa and the cost per sale was Rs 120. So I made a profit of Rs 180 from each sale.
The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t be too specific if you are selling low-cost products.
Use Facebook Audience Insights as much as possible
A ‘Look-Alike Audience’ is the perfect option if you have been getting a lot of traffic to your site, but if you want to target new customers, you should also use Facebook’s Audience Insights tool.
Let’s say for example I want to target customers for selling ethnic wear such as kurtis.
Go to Audience Insights tool and choose the location and gender (obviously women in this case).
Put in ‘Kurti top’, Anarkali Salwar Suit’, Salwar (Punjabi) Suit etc as interests one by one. You will get the following demographics data:
- Relationship status
- Job titles
- Education Level
- The kinds of pages the people from these demographics like
- Location within India
- Which devices they use
For example, I searched for Kurti Tops and I got the following data:
- 60% of the women are married
- 80% are college graduates
- 32% work in management industry, 28% in Education and Libraries and 18% in administrative services.
Now I can set up a campaign using these demographics. I found the cost-per-click to be 28 paisa in this particular campaign and the cost-per-sale was Rs 130, slightly more than the ‘Look Alike Audience’ campaign. But I consider this to be a good campaign because I found new customers without suffering any losses.
Segment your audience
If you have just launched an ad campaign, you should initially try to get as much as clicks to your product pages as possible.
Once you have got a decent number of clicks, you should set up Facebook campaigns based on the audience activity.
Many of these people will add products to carts, add them to Wishlist and initiate checkout.
You should set up separate ‘retargeting’ campaigns for these people. With retargeting campaigns, you can show ads to these people again and again.
You can offer them discounts and coupons in order to persuade them into buying products from your store.
Promote ‘Hero Products’ as much as possible
My online clothing store has more than 300 products on sale at the time of writing this blog post, but only a few of them become the best-sellers.
When setting up campaigns, you need to identify these products based on the feedback from your existing customers and promote these products as much as possible.
When you set up a Facebook catalogue for paid promotion, you should include these products.
I have seen many online sellers promoting random products from their stores. This mistake costs them thousands of rupees in wasted ad spent.
Most so-called PPC experts advise people to be very specific about interests and demographics targeting when running Facebook Ads. It could be true for certain types of products, but being too specific can cause the ad cost to go through the roof.
Facebook is an outbound marketing tool, so try to target a broader range of audience when running Facebook campaigns for your online store. It will keep the ad cost lower and get you better results in most cases.
Also, if you don’t know how to write good copy for your Facebook Ads, you can spy on the Facebook Ads run by your competitors or big brands. Read this article to know how to spy on the Facebook Ads of your competitors.