How to build a 3-step in-platform funnel with Facebook Ads

Facebook’s dominance in the online advertising space is undisputed. Case and point: due to it’s continually increasing demand, it has been running out of ad space for years, but continues to create new places and ad formats to increase its available ad inventory. 

Most recently, Facebook increased it’s available video inventory by adding mid-roll video and has expanded into television placements. 

Performance marketers have found that Facebook’s Lead Ad format convert exceptionally well while brand marketers have found video and awareness-based ads are an effective storytelling medium while still being inexpensive with low CPMs.  

Why not use both to your advantage?

The truth is that Facebook Ads have been getting more expensive in the past 12 months. 

Your acquisition strategy can thrive by building your funnel right on Facebook by utilizing a series of ad formats that keep the user on the platform. These formats tend to be cheaper and underutilized. 

How is that possible? When a user stays on Facebook, they continue to make Facebook money from ad revenue. While this strategy does require you to have some creative chops, this is more than possible for most brands.

Building Your 3 Step Facebook Funnel

Step 1 – Create a large prospecting audience with video ads

You can reach a large number of users leveraging Facebook’s Reach campaign objective with a video ad type or the Video Views campaign objective. Regardless of which option you go with, using a video that drives interest is key, as you are looking to create custom retargeting audiences based on how long people watch your video. 

Selecting your audience at this point is very important. Larger lookalike audiences with sizes of 1 to 2 million or interest-based audiences of 500k to 1M are a great starting point. You can also use interest-based audiences by finding related brands and topic areas that have overlap your product offering. Not sure where to start? Review your Facebook Pixel data to see what your existing website visitors are interested in. 

At this point in your funnel you have a few tactical options for optimization. When setting up for video ad, build a custom video thumbnail that will drive interest and lift your click-through rate. Additionally, you should focus on building a hook with your ad copy by asking a question or making a bold statement — at this point you are just focused on building a custom engagement audience of video watchers. 

Step 2 – Targeting high-percentage video viewers with an instant experience ad

After capturing the interest of your prospective customer, you’ll now offer up an interactive experience using what Facebook now calls “instant experience” which now includes a more robust set of options to introduce your product features and benefits in a rich and interactive format. 

Setting up this campaign is a bit more complex than step 1. You will create a few different audiences based on how long someone watched your video, which Jon Loomer goes into great detail on setting up. 

Using custom engagement audiences you can create a number of ad sets that isolate your most interested prospects and prioritize these users over others with higher bids. Depending on your volume of video views and corresponding audience size, you can break each of these into a separate ad sets with a different manual bid. I recommend focusing on anyone who watched more than 25%, which includes the following pre-defined segments:

  • People who viewed at least 25% of your video 
  • People who viewed at least 50% of your video 
  • People who viewed at least 75% of your video 
  • People who viewed at least 95% of your video

Another aspect of this campaign is to utilize the “Clicks” campaign type, with maximize reach enabled. This means Facebook will optimize towards people opening your Canvas or Collection ad, your goal for this step in the funnel. 

At this point, you should be focused on building a high quality “instant experience”… which is similar to a landing page. 

  • Incorporate video and maybe 360 video
  • Strong messaging… build credibility… share examples

Step 3 – Target canvas ad engagement with lead ad 

At this point, the audience you’re targeting will have had 2 engagements with your brand over the 

  • Use lead generation campaign type
  • Create audience of those who clicked in
  • Create image and carousel ad types that drive to a Facebook lead form
  • Close the deal and send form submissions to your marketing automation tool or directly to the sales team
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