If you are a local business owner trying to use social media to reach new customers, then it is important to understand the three stages of Facebook marketing. The three stages represent the buyer’s journey that begins with company awareness of making a purchase. Understanding how customers get from stage 1 to stage 3 is crucial to the success of the company’s social media strategy. This article will help business owners understand how to create Facebook marketing campaigns that focus on the lifecycle of potential customers and outline how to nurture them into a loyal following.

Statistics show that 70% of the customer’s journey is complete before a person decides to make a purchase. Marketing teams are in the process of adjusting their digital marketing strategies to enhance the way a company attracts their customers. It is important to figure out what is missing in the 70% of the buyer’s journey, understand what people are doing and how to develop effective strategies to keep the attention of potential customers.

Thanks to social media, people look at advertisements every day. It may seem difficult at first to determine a unique way to attract new customers. It is important to remember that people don’t want to feel like prospects, a demo of a product or pressured to make a purchase. When developing advertisements like that, there are zero chances anyone will want to do anything with the company. People turn to the online communities for information. Perhaps they are looking for a great place to eat or are looking for a new car. Whatever the case, the social media marketing strategy a business develops must provide context to the sales process throughout the buyer’s journey.

Maybe you are wondering what the buyer’s journey means. It is a pathway that connects the selling process with a person’s interest. For example, a person isn’t going to make a purchase without having some idea of what they are buying and from who. Also, when a person is ready to make a purchase, they don’t want to read endless amounts of information with no clear direction to make the purchase. The buyer’s journey allows local business owners to conceptualize a framework that directs people from becoming aware of the company to become a customer. Let’s take a closer look at each stage of a Facebook marketing strategy to help nurture potential buyers into customers.

Stage 1: Awareness

The awareness stage of a Facebook marketing strategy is the introduction of the products and/or services a company offers. People are generally looking around for information for something they need or to learn more about places around them. When developing ads for this state of the buyer’s journey, it is important to provide value. Information should not include any sales pitch or sales hooks to bate a customer into making a purchase. After all, they are simply looking for information.

Advertisements should focus on directing people to:

  • Blog content
  • eBook Guides
  • White Papers
  • Industry/analyst reports

To effectively attract people in the awareness stage, local businesses should identify the customer’s mentality and develop a marketing message that provides information about the type of questions they ask. There must be a purpose behind each piece of content a company shares through social media that is outlined by a goal. Using words like “How To” or “X Ways to” help grab the attention of online users. Add words like “prevent” or “improve” to emotionally connect the message with the persons want.

Brand Awareness Advertisements

Brand awareness advertisements help connect people with local companies nearby. Facebook helps small business owners reach people who share the same interests of the company. Brand awareness ads are easy to implement using the Facebook Ad Manager to place advertisements in communities near the local business. The best feature of this type of online advertising strategy uses a recall lift algorithm to help optimize the life cycle of the marketing campaign. When running brand awareness ads, Facebook tracks people who show interest in the ad and optimizes the recall lift to keep a company in the minds of people. When people show interest in ads they see, Facebook uses the reach to maximize the number of people who see the add and recall the ad to help drive brand awareness.

Reach Advertisements

Reach advertisements help small business owners promote their company throughout local communities around them to increase sales. These types of ads help a company reach as many people as possible to help introduce the business, find customers, and use a strategic call-to-action. Reach advertisements allow business owners to control the budget of marketing campaigns to target people by demographics, interest, or behavior information. Call-to-actions allow reach ads to focus the marketing effort that help get a person to learn more information about the local business. Options to call, get directions, or sent a message allows people to connect with a company. Reach advertisements are great for promotional offers and give a person an incentive to visit the store location.

Stage 2: Consideration

The consideration stage is how a local company evolves a marketing strategy that provides a deeper understanding of a business. While the information still focuses on developing interest, people want a deeper understanding of the products and/or services a company has to offer to make a purchase. The goal is to help provide reasons why the company is better than their competitors.

Types of advertising campaigns for the consideration stage are:

  • Product information
  • Interviews or video
  • Reviews and Testimonials
  • Price comparisons

When people enter the consideration stage, they want to know more information to make a purchase. People know they need something and now want to know who has the best solution. Whether a person is looking for a place to eat or a lawn mower service, they turn to the internet to find information available to them. Information a company provides must be able to help educate a person. This may include how the service the company offers is different, information that outlines the quality of each product and/or service, or a visual aid to help a person see what they can expect.

Website Traffic Advertisements

Traffic ads in the Facebook Ad Manager allow local businesses get more traffic to their website. Traffic ads allow a company to reach people who show interest in the products and/or services the business offers. When potential customers land on a company’s website, information can be collected that allows business owners to remarket to people that clicked to the website and develop lookalike audiences to find similar potential customers.

User Engagement Advertisements

Engagement advertisements are a great way to retain the interests of people and reach new people. Local business owners can extend the reach of the content they share by promoting content to encourage online users to like, comment, and share. Using insights for post engagement ads will help the business owner understand what type of content their audiences want to see. Engagement advertisement encourages people to like and follow a company profile. This allows owners to continue to grow their online exposure to develop a loyal group of customers that love the products and/or services the business offers.

App Install Ads

Businesses use apps to help grow their audience in the digital world. Facebook app installs help owners build loyalty with customers by connecting with them in the digital world. App install advertisements allow business owners to reach people through Facebook, Instagram and the Audience display network. The audience display network allows business owners to run App Install ads to promote mobile applications that are available on Amazon, Google, and Apple store. Insights can be collected and implemented to attract online users who share the same interests as people who already use the mobile app.

Video Views

Capture the attention of customers with short bursts of in-feed video advertisements. Video can act as snapshots of information about a business and show people new products and/or services the local company offers. Video content can invite people into the company story and enjoy the virtual experience of the excitement from the store. Videos can help nurture potential customers by allows owners to pair video ads with product images and carousels to provide a deeper understanding of the business and entice them to stop by.

Lead Generation

Filling out forms online can be frustrating for potential customers. The major issue that people hate about online forms is the need to leave where they are to go somewhere else to enter in information. Facebook Lead advertising has fixed this problem. A lead advertisement campaign allows potential customers to stay on Facebook when filling out a form for more information from a business. Even better, the form pop-up is already pre-populated with the user’s information that they have shared through Facebook. Leads can be collected and stored in the Customer Relation Management (CRM) system that is connected with the business.

Messages Ads

People using the Facebook messenger to stay in contact with their friends and family. Messenger advertisements allow people to learn about local companies around them. One of the best features that messenger ads help owners with is by introducing potential customers to the business with the ability to start a conversation directly with the company. Maybe a person is interested to reserve a table at a restaurant or may want to know when the next available opening is to schedule a haircut. People will be able to experience the local business right from the home tab of the messenger app and allow them to start a conversation to learn about the products and/or services a business offers.

Stage 3: Decision Stage

When a person reaches the decision stage, they begin deciding on which solution meets their needs. It is important to have a strategy in place to fulfill the needs of the person to convert them to a customer. Content should focus on pushing the person over the fence to make a purchase. Remember that they already have a good understanding of the products and/or services a company offers, but they may need an extra push to feel confident to make a purchase.

Types of information that will help convert people into customers are:

  • Price/Feature Comparison
  • Case Studies
  • Limited Promotion

The key point a local business owner wants to get across to a potential customer is why the company offers the best solution. Reviews and testimonials of past customers will help allow a potential customer to determine the quality of service a business offers. They will check over the prices of the products and/or services to compare against similar business. A promotional feature may be just what it takes to convert a person into a customer. When developing a promotional ad, it is important to express the limitations of the promotion. By making the promotion a “limited time only” event, company owners are creating scarcity that provokes a person to take action quickly in order to not miss the discount.

Conversions to Generate Leads

A conversion advertisement helps a local business understand how potential customers spend time on their website. Small business owners can collect data on people who view their website, makes a purchase or custom actions to optimize advertisements to continue to nurture leads. Data can help develop Facebook ads to encourage potential customers to convert them into loyal customers. Conversion ads work best when an owner installs the Facebook pixel on their website.

Catalog Sales

Advertising for Catalog Sales allows business owners to promote products and/or services to potential customers. The way Catalog Sale ads work is by uploading each product or services into the catalog and set up ad campaigns for each item. These ads will continue to work for the length of time of the owner’s choice. The advertising campaign will help a company find the right people for each product and/or service and develop a relationship to convert them into a loyal customer.

Store Visits

The local business owners dream is to find ways to drive people to their store location. Facebook Store Visit ads help alert people near the store location about promotional offers and events happening at the local business. Mobile devices are completely changing the way people search for information. Facebook Store Visit advertisements help bridge the gap between offline and online communities. Store Visit campaigns can work for single and multiple business locations for retail, restaurants, pizza shops and almost any type of business who has a brick and mortar location.

Don’t over overcomplicate the buyer’s journey

It can be difficult to implement an effective strategy at every touch point of the buyer’s journey. Customer personas can help a local business owner determine who their ideal customers are and how they plan to nurture them through their sales funnel. It can be easy to overcomplicate the marketing message by running the wrong type of ad to attract potential customers. This is a mistake that happens quite often with a lot of organizations.

Look at what the business offers in the perspective of the customer. Think about how the message will resonate with a person who is looking for a product and/or service a company offers. Is the messaging informative or is it an obvious sales pitch? When the marketing message doesn’t provide value to a person, a company puts themselves in a difficult position to grab the attention of a potential customer.

By understanding each stage of the buyer’s journey will help small business owners effectively market their company through appropriate online channels. Be sure that the sales and marketing team is on board with the development of the sales funnel to nurture the buyer’s journey. Each customer touch point should speak the right message to connect with a person at the right time. The main goal of the buyer’s journey is to develop an effective marketing strategy that takes advantage of social media platforms to find and retain customers. The better a business positions itself in their industry, the more effective the marketing message will be to address the needs of their target audience.

Share This