You used to be able to whack up a Facebook ad leading to a webinar or challenge, get lots of people signed up for a super cheap price and then sell from that webinar or challenge. And while that sometimes still happens occasionally, for most people the cost of getting those sign ups is increasing, especially if you are asking people who don’t know you to sign up.

Facebook ads are getting more and more competitive as people learn how powerful they can be, particularly in terms of targeting the right people. Facebook is running out of room, particularly in the news feed, to show ads so there is more competition to get your ad shown there and of course with more demand comes a higher price. (I knew my economics degree and study of supply and demand would pay off one day!)

Facebook has been steadily releasing additional places where ads can be shown: the audience network, Instagram stories and Instant articles to name a few. But these placements (as Facebook calls them) can be difficult to get to convert. People may click on your ad in the audience network but they are harder (ie more expensive per person) to then get to sign up and turn in to customers. This may be because they were accidental clicks – though I have no hard evidence of this.

But all is not lost. Just like any other piece of marketing whether it is your organic social media, your email marketing or your face to face networking, Facebook ads are all about building a relationship with people.

That is where your Facebook ad funnel comes in. It is about using ads to get found and help build a relationship to the point where people hand over their email address and hopefully eventually their cash.

What does your Facebook ad funnel look like?

Awareness Raising Ads

At the top of the funnel are awareness raising ads. These ads are going to be shown to more people than the other two ads. The aim of these ads it to get you found and demonstrate that you offer great content and value. You don’t normally ask for an email address here though if you are directing people to a blog post, having a content upgrade at the bottom of the post is a great way to start list building. But the main aim of the ad is just to share value.

List Building Ads

Then comes the list building ads. With these ads, you are asking people to hand over their email address to get your content.  If you are anything like me you are probably feeling overwhelmed with email and only want to hand over your email address to get stuff you know is going to be good. You can do this by (at least initially) showing your ad to people who have already engaged with you – either through your posts or videos on Facebook or by visiting your website ie your warm audience. These audiences having been boosted in size by your awareness raising ads so you have a good-sized base to work with.

It is still worth showing these ads to people who don’t know you but even more worthwhile if you have already built some social proof around the ad with your warm audience sharing, liking and commenting on it.

Sales Ads

These are ads that I normally only recommend showing to people who know you as you are going to be asking for money. If you have a cheap product you may get sales from them with a cold audience. But chances are pretty slim of someone who doesn’t know you buying a $1,000 package from you based on a Facebook ad. And even over $50 is difficult, in part because people aren’t on Facebook to shop. They are there to socialise.

And when I say know you, I mean people who * really * know you. Like your email list or who have watched 95% of your video or have spent lots of time on your website.

Awareness Retaining Ads

Not everyone on your list is going to be ready to buy from you today. Which is where the awareness retaining ads come in. These are similar to the ads you use for your awareness building – they are sharing value so that when someone is ready to solve that problem you can help with you are top of mind. They can be the same ads as the awareness building ads or they may share more advanced information. Upgrading the information can be particularly effective if someone has say bought your lower price product, say your book and you want them to move them towards buying your more expensive product or service, like a group program.

By building relationships with people using the awareness raising and retaining ads you are going to bring down the cost of your list building ads and started to build a hive of people who are creating a buzz around your business, at a reasonable cost.


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