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FB ADS 101

Imagine a life where you casually check your Facebook reports once a week with your Friday morning coffee. You smile at the positive returns and additional profits they’ve earned for your business during the week, and before you even finish your coffee you’ve made the necessary adjustments to your advertising budget, campaigns, and strategy. You put your coffee down, close your ads manager, and move onto more important tasks: business development, nailing out new partnerships, and managing the operations and many moving parts of your ecommerce business.This guide’s purpose is to provide that lifestyle to you.Even if you’ve never touched a Facebook ad before, or if you’ve tried your hand and put it on the shelf for when you had “more time,” this guide will walk you step-by-step through the tools and systems you need to have a customized and automated Facebook Ads machine fueling your ecommerce business.It first begins with an understanding of why Facebook and ecommerce are so compatible, progresses into the technical set-up and implementation, and ends with the strategy and funnels necessary to drive long term sales.

Facebook’s Unique Value Proposition

Facebook is a place where we go to connect with family and friends, and - as much as we’d like to say otherwise - to have a fun distraction. Unlike so many other ad platforms (like AdWords), Facebook is not about demand fulfillment, but instead, about demand generation.On Facebook, businesses generate curiosity, interest, and - eventually - sales of their product. Most people on the app aren’t “searching” for a product that will add more value to their lives; they’re searching for that next funny or emotional status update.For you, as an ecommerce store owner, Facebook is your theatre to display your product to the world. It’s an opportunity to showcase the additional value you can bring to someone’s life. It’s a place where you can reconnect with previous customers and a venue where you can start new relationships with people who would have otherwise never even seen your business.

Facebook and Ecommerce: Skyrocketing Growth

In 2015, retail ecommerce sales worldwide amounted to 1.55 trillion US dollars and are projected to grow to 3.4 trillion US dollars by 2019.

In the USA alone, according to the US Census, ecommerce has grown 12% in just Q2 of 2016 alone, and over 24% in the last 2 years. In other words: it shows no signs of slowing down.Combine that with Facebook’s Q3 2016 results: 1.79 billion monthly active users, and almost 1.2 billion daily active users, and you can begin to see the simultaneous trend of explosive growth.

There’s more people on Facebook than there were alive 100 years ago (source: Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook profile).So while the growth of both ecommerce and Facebook is undeniable, the real question is this: how can you connect these two platforms together and grow your business? Before we dive into ad types, strategies and funnels, we need to first cover the absolute essentials: setting up your account. Many of those who give up on their Facebook Advertising efforts do so because they setup their foundations incorrectly or become too overwhelmed by Facebook’s myriad of options. So first things first...

What is Business Manager, and Why Do I Need It?

Simply put: Business Manager is a management system for your ad accounts and ad permissions.If you plan to ever have more than one ad account (in other words, more than one store, brand, or business) or if you will have a team of people that may need access to your ad account/s at some point, then create a Business Manager account. I usually suggest that everyone go ahead and create one for themselves before they get started with Facebook Advertising to remove any pain points down the road. The only downside to Business Manager is that once you switch to it, there is no turning back. You’ll no longer be able to access your ad account from your personal Facebook page anymore. However, you can easily log into your Business Manager at any point here to manage your Pages and Ads from here:

Regardless of the switch, even if you continue to use your personal ad account, you’ll still see the same two options of ad management and creation: Ads Manager and Power Editor.

Ads Manager and Power Editor

Ads Manager and Power Editor are two sides of the same coin; they are Facebook’s ad creation platforms. They’ve become so similar over the past year that it almost seems that they’ll fuse into one another at some point. Nonetheless, to keep it clear, you can use either of these platforms to accomplish your advertising goals.Starting out, if you’re going to use the default Facebook system, I’d suggest using Ads Manager as it is more user friendly than Power Editor. Once you’ve created a few campaigns with it, feel free to move onto Power Editor to see if you prefer it.

Power Editor has three distinct advantages:

  1. Campaign Import - For people with multiple ecommerce stores, it allows you to import multiple campaigns (i.e. hundreds of ads).

  2. New features are always released in Power Editor first - This may give you a competitive advantage for any new ad types or targeting options.

  3. Manually saving a draft - In Ads Manager, you can’t choose to “Save as a Draft”. Facebook will auto-save this for you, but I’ve had issues in the past where this “auto-saved” draft was nowhere to be found.

Occasionally these platforms can become overwhelming with information and technicality (a huge reason reason why we created AdEspresso), and reporting can be its own hassle-- but we’ll dive more into solutions later in the guide.In the meantime, let’s move on to what is arguably the most potential Facebook caveat of all: The Facebook Pixel.---The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code you place on your store that allows you to track and target visitors to your shop’s website. It allows you to create different audiences based on specific actions of your site’s visitors. Want an audience of all those who initiated the checkout, but didn’t finish? No problem. How about a very targeted audience of those who’ve visited your site multiple times in the last few days? Yup, you’ve got it. I’ll dive more into audiences in Chapters 4 and Chapters 5, but for now, let’s do the essential thing: install it.

How to Install Your Facebook Pixel

Go to your Facebook Pixel Tab in Ads Manager.

Important Note: There can only be ONE Pixel per Ad Account! This is new.

  1. Click Create a Pixel (if you already have a Pixel, you won’t see the “Create a Pixel” button).

  2. Enter a name for your pixel. Since there’s only one pixel per ad account, choose a name that represents your business.

  3. Make sure you’ve checked the box to accept the terms.

  4. Your Facebook Pixel can track multiple events with slight modifications of its code (more on that in a second).

This is your Pixel code:

Standard Events

This is where things can get a bit tricky. There’s tiny snippets of code you add to your “base” Pixel code to track specific actions.You’ll want this extra bit of code to determine when people do certain things like initiate their check out, view a few products, or purchase.

You’ll want to add the Pixel to all pages you want to track with these slight variations called “Standard Events” where necessary. There are 9 types of Standard Events: 

  • ViewContent

  • AddToCart

  • InitiateCheckout

  • AddPaymentInfo

  • Purchase

  • Search

  • AddtoWishlist

  • Lead

  • Complete Registration

But before you cringe with the thought of coding, you’re in luck.You’ll want the base Pixel code on every page of your site, along with those necessary Standard Events on certain pages. There’s no need to panic though: I’m going to list the integration tools that mean never seeing a line of code with Facebook Ads again.

Installing the Facebook Pixel with Your Shopify Website

Shopify natively supports the Facebook Pixel along with 6 of its 9 Standard Events: ViewContent, AddToCart, InitiateCheckout, AddPaymentInfo, Purchase, and Search.Just go to your Admin Dashboard -> (1) Settings -> (2) Online Store -> (3) Preferences

You’ll see Facebook Pixel section, and you can enter your Facebook Pixel ID.For more in-depth instructions, check out the full tutorial here.It really can’t get much easier than that, and it’s a huge reason why Shopify is one of the preferred ecommerce platforms.Installing the Facebook Pixel with WordPress

This plugin, PixelYourSite, allows you an easy integration like Shopify. You just install the plug-in, input your Facebook Pixel ID, and follow the commands that the pixel plug-in provides you.It’s a paid plug-in, but don’t fret: AdEspresso is releasing a free pixel plugin very soon that can do what it can with the Facebook Pixel - and a whole lot more! Sign up for our newsletter to get first-in on the launch.Installing the Facebook Pixel ManuallyYou’re best bet here is to hire a developer, as you’ll need place the Pixel code and it’s “Standard Event” variations between the <head> and </head> tag of each page of your website while modifying the “Standard Event” depending on which page it is (Checkout page, Purchase completed page, Home page, etc.). This can be a lot of work for anyone who isn’t familiar with coding.How to Check if the Facebook Pixel is WorkingIf you want to check to make sure your Facebook Pixel is working, download the free Google Chrome Extension, Pixel Helper.

What About the “Facebook” Shopify Shop?If you don’t have a website and are selling only on your Facebook page, you have a few limitations: you can ONLY sell physical products, Shopify payments must be used, and it must be in the same currency as the user (country-specific).For ways of utilizing the Facebook Shopify Integration, check Chapter 7 on Dynamic Ads.By this point, you’re probably aching to get into some ad types and creativity, so let’s dive into your options. You’re probably excited to see all the visual media and ad types you can use, but hold out on creating them just yet. -----------------------------------------------------In this chapter, we’re going to cover the main ad types that you can use for your ecommerce store. While the types of Facebook ads can get overwhelming, concentrate on these 8 types for your ecommerce store.

  • Domain Ads

  • Multi-Product Ads (Carousel Ads)

  • Offer Ads

  • Video Ads  

  • Lead Ads 

  • Canvas

  • Sponsored Mentions

  • Dynamic Ads (formerly Dynamic Product Ads)

To see different ad and placement types, make sure to check out the Facebook Ad Gallery.

Should You “Boost” Your Posts?

Most ecommerce owners first forays into advertising involves boosting an existing post. This is the most simple type of ad: you advertise an existing organic post on your Facebook Page.

While it might seem initially effective, there’s some issues with boosting posts in Facebook’s default system:

  • You have to “manually” hit Boost - taking up time.