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How to Get Started with Facebook Ads

Posted by Springboard Retail on Apr 30, 2020
Springboard Retail
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Since the start of this year’s COVID-19-induced social distancing and business closures, online sales are up 30% over this time last year, proving that while customer priorities have changed, they are still shopping, as long as you're meeting them where they are.

Many brick & mortar retailers have taken to selling online for the first time (10% of Springboard Retail customers alone have implemented ecommerce in the last month). While this additional digital channel offers retailers a great opportunity to meet customers where they are now—at home—the high number also signifies the increased competition for online traffic and sales, and with that has come a shift in retail marketing strategy. Instead of seeking physical foot traffic and brand awareness, there is now a concentrated effort being placed on driving site visits and online sales. Retailers are seeking high-traffic, high-engagement, high-converting advertising outlets, and with over 1.6 billion people logging onto the platform every day, Facebook is—to put it lightly—a popular solution.

Brands and retailers are relying on their already-established social media accounts to convert followers into buyers more than ever before, but Facebook algorithms have made it particularly challenging to achieve that engagement via organic posts; we're forced to “pay to play” to fully drive the potential of the platform. The solution? Facebook Ads: A budget-friendly way to get your business and products in front of the most relevant audience. Yet with so many options for ad medium, format, goal, budget, and audience targeting, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and without having all of those in line, you won’t be seeing optimal ROI.

So, what do retailers need to know to get started with Facebook ads?

Know the battleground

Launching a Facebook campaign without the right knowledge and a game plan can lead to throwing money out the window, so take some time to learn the ropes.

The Facebook Ads structure has three different levels: the campaign, the ad sets, and the ads themselves. At the highest level, you pick the overall objective for the specific campaign. Whether you’re looking to boost conversions, brand awareness, or engagement, the platform will tailor the actions accordingly.

At the second level, you choose various ad groups based on your desired audience, placement, scheduling, bidding, and budget. You can create various sets, but each setting will automatically apply to all ads within the specific set. The more precisely you target your ads, the better, especially in regards to audience. Facebook offers three targeting tools:

  • Core Audiences: Demographics (age, job title, education), location, interests
  • Custom Audiences: Previous interactions with your brand, action on your page
  • Lookalike Audiences: New users with similar interests to those of your best customers, and your POS customer data will be critical here.

Finally, let your creativity shine at the ad level, where you craft the copy, visuals, and ideally a targeted, high-converting landing page.

Choose your arsenal 

Facebook offers a variety of creative media and layout options. Not only can you customize your ads for mobile and desktop, but you can also choose from video, project collections (great for retail), offers, page likes, and more. Consider your campaign objectives when selecting these; right now, you’re likely looking to drive traffic to your online store that ultimately results in purchases, so Facebook Collection is a promising ad format to start with.

You can also A/B test: Create ads with different messaging and duplicate them for each ad set to see which resonates the most with your audience.

To “stop the scroll” and ensure engagement, high-quality eye-catching imagery that is fully aligned with your brand is critical. But don’t underestimate the copy: messaging is half the battle in converting that view to a click.

Test, pivot, repeat

Even though Facebook as a platform is easy enough for your 83-year-old great aunt to figure out, Facebook Ads are hardly as simple. Succeeding on the platform is a learning curve, so set your goals and strategize, experiment with audiences and formats, and persist—and always use the data you collect to continue optimizing your strategy.


If you are a current Springboard Retail customer not yet selling online, we can get you set up to do so quickly and easily.

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Topics: Retail Marketing