Marketing Bootcamp

How the Three-Layer Facebook Advertising Funnel Can Get You New Customers

In their book Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, online marketing and Facebook ad experts Perry Marshall, Keith Krance and Thomas Meloche explain the game-changing tactics of paid Facebook Ads and how you can gain more on your investment—in clicks, customers and profits. In this edited excerpt, Marshall and Krance describe a three-pronged approach to advertising on Facebook that will help you craft a long-term strategy.

If you want to really stand out from your competition and make Facebook a never-ending gold mine that you can be digging into for years to come, then you need to put some time into thinking very strategically about everything you do on Facebook and start thinking about everything you do as part of a three-layer Facebook funnel.

The funnel's layers are:

  • Build audience
  • Engagement
  • Conversion

With your Facebook ads, you should always be thinking of how you can focus on all three layers. But don’t try to create one ad that does all three. Instead, create multiple ads or posts that will each achieve one of these goals. Here's how to do that.

1. First layer: Build audience. Think of the first layer of the funnel as meeting your husband, wife or partner for the first time. Your goal is to get them to like you.  

There are several ways to run audience-building campaigns, some of which include:

  • Page like ads: using Facebook’s “page like” objective when running campaigns
  • Running “click like if you love baseball” types of ads
  • Using a like-gated landing page, where the user must first click like in order to view the rest of your message
  • Running a contest or giveaway encouraging or requiring people to like a page
  • Running news feed page post ads, as a certain percentage of people will “like” your page during these campaigns

2. Second layer: Engagement. If you're using an email autoresponder at any level, then you'll understand the engagement level. This is where you deepen the relationship with your prospects, where you nurture them with your high-value content. (If you're not already using an email autoresponder, please start ASAP. You cannot be successful on Facebook without having some type of lead generating and nurturing campaign in place. Period.)

Engaging on Facebook is obviously different than sending emails to your subscribers. However, the reason I use this as a comparison is to get you into the frame of mind of creating compelling content to keep your audience engaged and moving toward eventually becoming a customer or client. And great marketers understand that for every one promotional email they send out, they'll send four, five or more content-rich, nonselling emails.

This is how you engage on Facebook. Yet the best part about Facebook is that your audience isn’t required to subscribe to your email list. They don’t even need to become a fan.

Related: Want to Advertise on Facebook? Ask Yourself the 'Coffee Shop Question' First

Is it better if they become a fan first? Yes, of course it is; once they’re fans, you know they've raised their hand telling you they want more content from you. However, even if they're not fans but you know they are inside your exact, ideal target audience, then you can still create high-value content and amplify that content into the news feed of those folks!

Creating high-value, nonselling content and amplifying that with Facebook ads in the news feed is how you engage with people and move them from strangers to friends, and eventually to customers.

3. Third layer: Conversion. The final layer of your Facebook advertising efforts is conversion. This is where your sole purpose is to convert visitors into leads, prospects and customers. The one very important thing to understand about this layer is that you may have some campaigns running that are taking new, cold traffic right into the conversion phase.

Example: ads driving traffic to a free lead magnet offer. And you may have some campaigns running that are taking users that you have already engaged with in the past.

80/20 Your Three-Layer Facebook Funnel Budget

Assuming you've designed an offer that can convert cold traffic on Facebook into leads or customers, you'll want to start thinking about getting more strategic with your ad budget and content that you promote with Facebook.

Even if you have an offer that's converting, you still want to look for ways to scale out into broader targeting groups, have longer lasting power and build a community of raving fans and followers along the way. The way you do this is by implementing this three-layer funnel strategy.

Here's an example of how you might use your Facebook ad budget:

  • Dedicate around 10 percent of the budget to building your audience and getting new fans.
  • Dedicate between 10 and 20 percent to amplifying high-quality content with Facebook ads and increasing engagement.
  • Dedicate 70 to 80 percent of the budget to driving traffic to high-converting landing pages to your lead magnets or other offers.

Please understand that these numbers can sway in a big way, depending on your company or brand or according to your promotional schedule. For example, during some periods, maybe close to 100 percent of your budget is dedicated to promoting blog content only, and no opt-ins-required or selling is happening. This may be leading up to a big product launch where the budget may shift to 90 percent conversion focused and only 10 percent content and engagement focused.

Use your best judgment here for your specific situation.

Related: The Overlooked Advertising Opportunity Small Businesses Should Not Miss