Updated: Mar 29, 2019
Are you looking for effective, actionable steps to generate huge ROI and gain tons of new, loyal customers? Are you sick of hearing about the power of influencer marketing, but failing to see the results for yourself?
Well, you can either pass over your marketing to The Brand Army and let us crush it for you, or you can do it yourself by following our comprehensive, tried and tested 4 Stage Guide to combining micro-influencer marketing with Facebook Ads for massive ROI.
Stage 1: Awareness
Your goal here is not to sell products, but to build touch points. Touch points are moments of contact between your audience and your brand. It has been proven that customers require between 5 and 7 touch points before they trust you enough to buy from you.
Our first step is to find the perfect micro-influencers for our client and use them to generate touch points and to build custom content that we can use for ads further down the line. Finding the right influencers for your brand is an art in and of itself, and we’ll leave that for another article, but you want to focus on highly relevant micro-influencers with between 1,000 and 20,000 followers who have an engagement rate of 5% or more.
You’ll want to get as much content as possible out of each micro-influencer. The Instagram post itself is secondary to the content they produce. We try and get at least one testimonial and at least one additional photo or video from each influencer. Remember to have them sign a waiver that allows you to use their content in perpetuity.
Once they’ve posted and delivered you with the custom content, it’s time to move on to Facebook Ads. You’re going to take the videos and images and testimonials generated by your micro-influencers and launch them on Facebook, bearing the following in mind:
Your goal in this stage is NOT to sell but to generate touch-points.
Use long copy that introduces them to your brand and tells a story.
Try and align your influencer content with your targeting but keep it as broad as possible.
You’re going to launch ads using the following objectives:
If your micro-influencers have given you videos, you’ll want to run video views campaigns. Use broad targeting apart from country, age and gender (if necessary). Facebook rewards video views highly. You’d ideally have videos of your influencer using or talking about your product.
Boosted posts on your page can generate you a lot of organic reach and Facebook likes pages with lots of content on them. You can use influencer-generated content like testimonials accompanied by photos.
Facebook will automatically show your ads to the people most likely to remember them. This is great for awareness as it creates valuable touch points with people who are likely to remember your brand in the future.
The Awareness stage serves to generate a bunch of touch points on both Facebook and Instagram. Not only does this increase your brand exposure, but it generates data that you’ll use to build custom audiences later on.
Stage 2: Consideration
Your goal here is still exposure and touch points and you’ll still be serving your ads to cold traffic, but you’ll be using the conversion objective on Facebook. These ads will also likely break even or even make a loss, but that’s fine because you’re going to make it all back later… and then some!
You’re going to use the same content made by your micro-influencers for these ads bearing the following in mind:
Your goal at this stage is still NOT to sell so don’t use aggressive selling language like ‘Buy Now’, ‘Free Shipping’ etc.
You’re going to use interest targeting - you should know your ideal customer inside out already so this should be easy. Facebook's Audience Insights tool is a great way to find interests.
You’re going to use the Purchase objective right out the gate.
The goal with this phase is to generate more touch points, but with people who are more inclined to buy on impulse. You’ll likely get a few sales here, but massive profitability isn’t our goal yet.
You’ll want to use the following types of ads (all with the Purchase objective):
Single image ads
Use as many different influencer creatives as possible and try to use your influencer’s testimonials as ad copy whenever possible.
Once again, you’re introducing cold audiences to your brand and generating data that you’ll use for custom audiences later on.
Stage 3: Remarketing
Finally! Money time.
It’s at this stage that we shift the audience’s mindset from clicking to buying. We’re going to target all of the people who we’ve reached in stages 1 and 2 using custom audiences. This involves creating a whole bunch of audiences and using a wide range of ad types. The exact process will differ based on the types of products you’re selling, but you should come out of this with a clear idea of how to proceed.
Dynamic Product Ads
These will be your bread and butter if you have a large catalogue of products. Facebook will do most of the work for you by automatically retargeting each unique customer with the exact product they showed interest in.
You’re going to build the following audiences for your dynamic product ads:
People who Added To Cart but did not Purchase within the past 3 days
Optimise for Clicks
People who Added To Cart but did not Purchase within the past 7 days
Exclude the above 3 day audience
Optimise for Clicks
People who Added To Cart but did not Purchase within the past 14 days
Exclude the above 7 day audience
Optimise for Purchases
People who Added To Cart but did not Purchase within the past 21 days
Exclude the above 14 day audience
Optimise for Purchases
People who Viewed Content within the past 3 days
Optimise for Clicks
People who Viewed Content within the past 7 days
Exclude the above 3 day audience
Optimise for Add To Cart
Purchase Objective Ads
These are ideal if you only have one product. You’re going to use the same audience structure as above, but you’ll run standard Conversion Ads with the Purchase objective instead. You’ll want to use more of your influencer content here. Try and use stuff that you haven’t used before for the best results. A good practice is to set aside the most impactful influencer content for this stage.
Cross Sell Objective Ads
You’re going to create a custom audience out of everyone who has already purchased and target them with these powerful ads. Once again, these will only work for brands that have a larger catalogue of products, but they work great. Facebook will decide what to cross sell your customers based on their prior purchases.
Right Column Like Ads
You’re going to create a custom audience out of everyone who has visited your Facebook page or Instagram profile and hit them with right column like ads. Not only are these ads super cheap, they also have very low competition. You’ll want to use more of that super-effective influencer content for these ads. These are great at keeping your brand at the front of your customers minds’ and function much like a billboard they drive past every day on their way to work.
There are tons of creative custom audiences you can build, and your approach here will once again differ based on your brand and products, but here are some custom audiences that have worked well for us in the past:
People who loaded a number of pages but didn’t Purchase
People who Added To Cart but didn’t purchase
People who viewed 3+ pages on your side but never bought
You get the idea - now get creative!
Layering Influencer Content
Remember all that stuff about touch points? Layering influencer content is another great way to generate multiple touch points with a single person. Create a custom audience out of people who watched 75% of one video and show them with a different one. Or show the people who liked one influencer’s photo another photo of the same influencer.
PPE & Page Likes
Never stop building those touch points! Run engagement ads and Page Like campaigns to your custom audiences. If someone Likes your Page, Facebook allows you to show them an ad up to 4 times instead of the normal 2. Don’t underestimate the power of this when it comes to retargeting.
And that’s it for the Remarketing stage, or as we like to call it, the money stage. This is where sales start pouring in thanks to the foundations laid in stages 1 and 2. The final stage is equally powerful, and potentially even more profitable!
Stage 4: Loyalty
The goal of this final stage is to generate repeat purchases, increase brand recall and build brand loyalty. You’re going to target the people who Purchased from you and take them on a post-purchase journey that will hopefully turn them into returning, loyal customers. You’ll ideally deliver these ads continuously on a daily basis for 7 days each.
Thank You - 7 Days After Purchase
In this ad, you’re simply going to thank them for buying from you and allay any fears and suspicions they may have in regards to their order. We’ve found that the best way to do this is to have a thank-you video directly from the founder, a video of the product being made or an image of your product packaging accompanied by an ‘On Its Way’ message.
Social Proof - 14 Days After Purchase
This is where your influencer content comes in handy again. Use it to remind your customers that people they like and respect are proudly using your product. You can also offer them a small loyalty discount here. Nothing major, just something minor like Free Shipping.
Upsell - 21 Days
By this point, they should have their product and we can upsell them with a solid deal. There are countless ways to execute this ad, but we like to give the customer a reason to purchase again. They ordered gloves? Upsell them with socks to complete the look. They ordered skincare lotion? Warn them that they could run out soon.
Final Incentive - 28 Days
This is your last chance to reclaim them as a customer so we tend to offer them a large discount. Use all of your hard sales tactics here, like scarcity, urgency and big discounts.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is that. I hope you found it useful! We've used these exact methods for many of our clients with incredible results and we hope to see you find the same success.
In case you didn't already know, The Brand Army is a full-stack agency with a major focus on micro-influencer strategies. We analyse brands, build micro-influencer armies for them and apply techniques like the ones featured in this post to scale their ads, make them money and attract them new customers.
So, if you're too lazy to do it all yourself, let us do it for you!