While the audience on Facebook is evolving, so is the algorithm that gets your ads in front of the right audience. So here’s the big question: as an ecommerce manager, what do you need to know to successfully harness the power of Facebook ads in 2023 and beyond?
Host Francois Marchand is joined by Stacy Zeal—Chief Marketing Officer at Umba Daima—to talk about how your ecommerce brand can use Facebook its advantage and how to make the most of advertising on one of the world’s biggest social media platforms.
- Harnessing the Power of Facebook Ads [1:22]
- One of the key aspects discussed in the episode is the importance of understanding Facebook’s ad algorithms.
- The algorithms are constantly changing and evolving, making it crucial for ecommerce managers to stay updated.
- By understanding these algorithms, businesses can optimize their ad campaigns, reaching their target audience more effectively and efficiently.
- Effective Ad Formats for Ecommerce Brands [6:18]
- Stacy also highlighted the significance of crafting customer-specific content. This involves tailoring the ad content to resonate with your target audience, making it more relatable and appealing to them.
- One effective strategy for this is to leverage the influence of influencers. Influencers have a substantial following and their endorsement can significantly boost the visibility and credibility of your brand.
You can plan the best campaign, follow all the best practices, and it could still fail. So really, the name of the game is putting content out there, receiving signals, and letting the data guide your actions.Stacy Zeal
- Maximizing Facebook Ad Effectiveness, Preventing Fatigue [16:30]
- The episode also delves into the phenomenon of ad fatigue. This refers to the decrease in ad effectiveness over time as users become overexposed to the same ad.
- To combat this, Stacy suggests constantly updating and experimenting with your ad content. This could involve trying out different ad formats, such as video ads, carousel ads, or collection ads, to see which resonates best with your audience.
- Optimizing Ad Campaigns and Future Trends [20:43]
- Stacy emphasized the importance of staying abreast of future trends and the impact of AI on ecommerce advertising.
- She pointed out that AI is increasingly being used to personalize ad experiences, making it essential for businesses to understand how to effectively use AI while maintaining a personalized connection with their customers.
- AI’s Impact on Ecommerce Advertising [29:01]
- Stacy underscored the importance of testing new platforms and creating ad experiences that align with your ads.
- By constantly experimenting and refining your ad campaigns, you can discover what works best for your business and stay ahead of the competition.
Rather than trying to beat the algorithm or the system, focus on figuring out how to establish a strong connection with your customers through your messaging.Stacy Zeal
Meet Our Guest
Stacy Zeal is absolutely obsessed with taking online brands to new heights through strategic marketing. As a Strategic Marketing Consultant and Facebook Ads Expert, Stacy teaches CEOs how to make more money, gain their time back, and rapidly increase their visibility to impact the world with their brilliance.
She’s had the incredible opportunity to lead paid social efforts for big names like Zappos, UGG, Steve Madden, Adidas, Crocs, and many more generating over $150 Million in sales across channels like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and more.
When approaching advertising, it’s not just about getting one customer and being done; it’s not a transaction for transaction. It’s about building our subscriber base of loyal customers and creating brand awareness for those looking to join our community.Stacy Zeal
Resources from this episode:
- Subscribe to the newsletter to get our latest articles and podcasts
- Connect with Stacy Zeal on LinkedIn
- Check out Stacy’s website
Related articles and podcasts:
- Introducing The Ecomm Manager Podcast
- Ecommerce Analytics: How To Use Data To Understand Customer Behavior And Boost Your Sales
- 9 Best Ecommerce Marketing Strategies & Best Practices
- What Are The Stages In The Conversion Funnel? (Examples & Guide)
- Why Ecommerce Influencer Marketing Is A Must-Have Strategy For Your Business
Read The Transcript:
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Francois Marchand: Facebook ads. Few other ad platforms have had such a massive impact on ecommerce in the last decade. And while the audience on Facebook is evolving, so is the algorithm that gets your ads in front of the right audience. So here's the big question. As an ecommerce manager, what do you need to know to successfully harness the power of Facebook ads in 2023 and beyond?
Welcome to the Ecomm Manager podcast. Our mission is to help you succeed in your ecommerce journey with helpful advice from the experts who made it big. I'm your host, François Marchand.
Today, I'm very excited to be joined by Stacy Zeal. She's a fractional marketer and expert in all things related to advertising on Facebook. We'll be chatting about how she's helped multiple ecommerce brands grow through Facebook, why Facebook ads still make a huge impact in 2023, and how to shake hands with Meta's algorithm. So stay tuned to learn about how your ecommerce brand can make the most of the crucial space that is Facebook, and how to make the most of advertising on one of the world's biggest social media platforms.
Stacy, thank you so much for being here. Before we dive into how ecommerce managers and online store owners, entrepreneurs can best use Facebook ads, why don't you tell us a little bit about your background as a fractional marketer and expert Facebook ads manager for big brands?
How did you get to be the Stacy of today?
Stacy Zeal: I love that question. At first, thanks for having me. I'm super excited to be here. So I started in marketing about 11 years ago, and I remember when I had my first internship in college that was focused on marketing. And she was like, Stacy, we need you to figure out Facebook for business.
And so this is back when Facebook and social platforms weren't really being used for business yet, but people were starting to get on the platform, starting to use them for business. And so in that, I really kind of like was able to get the experience of starting with the platforms and seeing where they were 10 plus years ago to where they are now.
So did that, did my stint in corporate marketing, kind of worked for a lot of different kinds of brands. So I've worked with online service providers, I've worked with lawyers, I've worked with barbers, local businesses. So I've done the kind of the gamut of different things. And while I was in corporate, I always had a side hustle.
So my side hustle was me getting on my Facebook, my personal Facebook page saying, I can help you do your marketing. Like I can help you figure out how to market your book or your whatever it is that you have. And so started to get clients, so I kind of like had this dual career of like focused on marketing and getting that corporate experience, but then being able to bring that back and to help everyday small businesses kind of grow and compete with these bigger brands.
And then fast forward in my career, I really kind of got to be to work at Zappos. That was one of the things that was an amazing experience. I went to Zappos as the leading paid social there. So I've really got immersed into the world of social advertising and how we use it primarily for ecommerce brands.
How do we use it to scale? How do we use it to create volume rather than just focus on getting a sale or two extra? But really making it a big core part of your marketing strategy is really what I got to do at Zappos. And there I was working directly with Facebook and directly with Pinterest, Snapchat, all of it and TikTok.
All we had reps that were helping us to learn how to run ads better because they wanted us to spend more money on the platform. We had a lot of money to spend. And so they're like, we want to teach you how to do it so more efficiently. And so I got to really work directly with the background of the platforms, see how they work, see all the new features that come out, really give our inputs on different things and just kind of like get that experience.
And so there I worked with one brands like Crocs of New Balance, Adidas, all types of different brands, clothing brands, jewelry brands, all the umbrella of ecommerce retail. And then from there I decided like when I was thinking about my career, I had these moments in my life where I start to think about like, okay, what's next? Where I want to be? What does it look like?
And I had worked with hundreds of brands at this point. And so the next thing that I could see was I want to bet on myself, like it's time to go all in on my business and what I do. And so that's what I did. I decided to lead corporate. I left in April of 2021 and decided to just go out on my own. And so now I help clients as their fractional chief marketing officer.
So really kind of coming into brands that are scaling and looking to really kind of figure out how can I take what I've built now and just really kind of take it to the next level. And I also help people with my Facebook ads course. So I took all that knowledge that I learned at Zappos and over my 11 years.
Put it into a format that allows brands to be able to figure out how to do this in-house because I've seen the power of being able to run ads yourself in-house and having your team dedicated to it. And having the skills and the knowledge and the money to be able to take your business to the next level.
And so that's what I do. I really kind of package that into a course. And now I teach people how to do this themselves and how to bring all this extra money that's out there in these social media streets into their business.
Francois Marchand: I want to ask you to begin with, how do you think Facebook ads have transformed the landscape of ecommerce marketing and what advantages do they offer compared to other digital channels? Like you mentioned other digital channels as well, but Facebook's specifically, how does Facebook give you an edge?
Stacy Zeal: So one of the things I love about Facebook is that when you're thinking about advertising on Facebook, you're able to get your message in front of people who have a problem, but they have not been actively searching for your solution yet. And so, for example, with Google Ads, Google Ads is very purchase intent driven.
People are actively searching for specific things. I'm searching for these sandals. I'm searching for a candle. I'm searching for something specific. With Facebook, you get to put your message in front of people, your products in front of people who have that problem, but they may not be actively searching for a solution.
And so for one example that I always talk about is with LaserAway. So I've had laser hair removal before. I love it. It was years ago. I've been thinking about getting it again, but it's not top of mind enough for me to be going on Google and kind of looking for the places in my area.
And so I remember seeing an ad for LaserAway pop up in my Facebook feed, because what I do always is I'm on Facebook scrolling, Instagram or Facebook, right? And so I see an ad for LaserAway, I'm like, Oh! Yes, I remember I forgot to go and get the pricing and do all the things I wanted to do. And so what I did was I filled out their form because that's what they said to fill out the form to get the pricing.
Fill out the instant form on Facebook. They were using a lead generation form. Filled that out and then got put into their sales cycle. So I was getting emails. I was getting calls. All these things to try to help me to complete the purchase. But it really started with them understanding that there are plenty of people out there that have a problem that you solve.
They just either don't know you yet, they're not thinking about it all the time. What they are doing is being social, they are getting on Facebook, they are getting on Instagram and TikTok and all these platforms. And so if you as an ecommerce brand can find a way to take your messaging that talks about the problems that you solve, that talks about how you help your customers, and put that in front of people who have the problem but may not be Googling it yet - that's money right there.
That's how you expand your audience. You really start to reach beyond people who are in that stage of ready to go ahead and make this purchase. But this person may be ready to purchase and it may be ready to be to sign up for your thing. They just don't know it exists yet or they're not thinking about that problem yet, but they are just kind of scrolling Facebook and Instagram. So I really think that's how Facebook gives you an edge over some of these other platforms.
Francois Marchand: We'll talk about the algorithm and how Facebook figures out how to put the product in front of the potential customer at the right time in a minute. But I want to talk about the various ad formats because that's changed over the years with Instagram integration too. You know, carousel ads are becoming much more important. Video ads have become crucial for ecommerce businesses, and now there's collection ads, and I think that serves a purpose for, especially for clothing brands, I guess.
So, if you're an ecommerce business, how do you determine what's the most effective ad format for my product or my campaign and what factors you have to look at to make that decision?
Stacy Zeal: Yeah, that's a great question. And one of the things I'm going to say is something that people hate to hear from marketers is that it really depends on what you're testing and understanding, trying different things.
Because I will say that like when I was at Zappos, testing was the name of the game. Like we were always testing something, always trying to figure out how to make things work better because that's how you create incremental growth, things that kind of pay off and compound over time. Is that you're always kind of testing different things, figuring out what's working and then iterating on what's working.
And so when I was at Zappos, some of the things we saw that, I mean in Facebook, they build in a lot of tools for ecommerce brands, specifically like dynamic product ads. We were always running dynamic product ads, especially because Apple has such a large catalog. It was always one of those kinds of ads.
Amazon does this all the time. They're always running kind of dynamic ads that are pulling from their catalog. And based, and they're pulling from the catalog based on the actual user's purchase intent. They're kind of buying behaviors and stuff like that. They're kind of showing what they're interested in.
And so, for example, if I am showing, sending Facebook signals that I'm searching for red shoes, Facebook's going to show me red shoes from Zappos. It's going to be showing me red shoes from Nordstrom. It's going to show me red shoes from Amazon. And so that's the one of the things that I think is beautiful about the connection between these dynamic ads and Facebook's platform is because they are really kind of pulling signals from your platform and marrying it with the signals that a buyer is actually giving.
And so, but even when I was with Zappos running all these dynamic product ads, you can run dynamic ads as carousels. You can run them as collections, you can even, I think might even be able to kind of like stitch videos together now because Facebook is really kind of prioritizing video. And so I think that when you're thinking about the ways and the different types of ads that you're running, one, I think you have to really kind of think about is, does your product need to be explained?
And so that's one of the things I think about in the difference between video and kind of like static images. Is that like example, a pair of nikes is a pair of nikes, right? Like, you know, you see the pair of nikes, you go to the products play page, you look at all the stuff, you look the reviews, you do your thing.
But if you have a product, for example, that is something like with wellness or something with health or something like that. Those kinds of things need to be explained. And so, well, we have only a couple seconds to capture someone's attention. It's enough to say this is a Nike and here's the price.
But if you're a smaller brand, you don't have the brand recognition yet. Your product needs a little bit more explaining. You need to build trust a little bit more. Then I think that you do yourself a really a disservice by not focusing on video and not creating different types of video ads. So what I tell my clients is I prioritize video because video, we're in a video world right now.
If you think about, like the marketing landscape outside of just ads or Facebook ads specifically, short form video is killing it right now. People are looking, YouTube is still one of the top visited sites in the world. Video is still really been standing the test of time. It's just evolving. How people are doing videos are just evolving as consumers mind and our attention spans evolve.
But video is definitely something that helps to build no like trust. People feel like they can, they trust you a little bit more. If they can hear your voice, they can speak. Mostly what I do, honestly, is a lot of video. I prioritize creating reels, creating these different kinds of short form video and running video ads.
But still, still have their place, like you still want to do test out some still images. But the thing I think which you really want to approach it with is have a variety of different things that you're testing. Test some stuff, figure out what works, and then do more of that. So if you start to see a particular video really does well for you, take those signals and create more videos like that.
That's how you really kind of approach this in a more strategic lens. But when you're first starting out, yes, you are going to have to test a bunch of different videos, test some different carousels, test some collections. Figure out what the scene, what actually works for you. But then once you do receive those signals, I'll give you an example with some ads that I'm running for my business.
I have a combination, I have two videos and one still running. And I've been getting signals that this still image is doing really well. And so I'm going to keep that running. I'm just taking the still image and I'm just changing the copy, changing the headline, something like that. The video ads, I'm starting to get more like signals of like, Oh, this type of messaging is working in these video ads.
So let me create more videos ads with this type of messaging as well. And so that's really how you can approach it from a strategic sense. I think sometimes we kind of want the answers up front, especially as when we're spending money on ads, we really want to know, okay, what's going to work up front.
But you can plan out the best campaign, you can use all the best practices, and it could still tank. So really, the name of the game is putting some stuff out there and then receiving those signals and the signals and the data is going to tell you how to move.
Francois Marchand: What's an ideal length of time if you're going to test small chunks of content to see what resonates best with the audience using Facebook? Do you have an ideal kind of time frame for that?
Stacy Zeal: Yeah, I like to give things three to five days. I think three days if you have a really efficient ad account, meaning you've been running ads before, you got some signals in there. I'll give a little context with that is that within your ad accounts, Facebook does build kind of profiles in a sense of what will work for you as it starts to get more signals.
So it'll start to kind of see like this particular advertiser resonates with these kinds of people. So it really takes all that data and builds kind of a profile for you. And so if you're really, you've been running some ads and you're really starting to get efficient numbers really quickly, three days I think you could really start to see like, okay, what's working, what's not working. Let me make a couple changes here and there and see what I can do.
Five days, if you're spending a lower budget, if you don't have as many signals, if your numbers are moving a little slow because you still definitely want to make sure that you're giving Facebook enough time to find your people because that first few days is when Facebook is kind of looking for your people.
It's kind of like, okay, let me know this ad to this person. Are they responding? If not, let me show it to this other kind of person. If they are, yes, let me show it to more people like this. And so that first couple of days is definitely critical for Facebook to be able to find stuff. You're going to find your numbers are very unstable.
They kind of like up one day, down another day. So time is definitely something that you have to give the algorithm. But I think three days is something where you should definitely be starting to get some signals on what's working, what's not. Once I get to day five, I'm kind of looking at a campaign like, are we going to continue running this campaign?
Are we turning it off like completely and kind of re strategizing or are we kind of taking some of the signals that we've seen from this campaign and putting it into something else? And then seeing how that does.
Francois Marchand: It's a good timeframe. It's a good way to know, am I getting anything out of this? And you mentioned the algorithm and here we go with the Facebook algorithm.
Everybody has questions about that. I have questions about Facebook's algorithm because it keeps changing. All the algorithms keep changing all the time. Google does the same thing. But Facebook's algorithm, it does play like a significant role in optimizing that ad delivery. You mentioned matching what's in your catalog and which users might be interested in, say, that red pair of shoes that we were talking about.
So to reach that right audience, the software does a little bit of magic in the background. So that works, but what challenges do you see in relying heavily on algorithms? Specifically for ad targeting, how can ecommerce managers better understand what those challenges are and how to mitigate some of those impacts on their campaigns?
Stacy Zeal: That's simply a great question, 'cause we do have to kind of like ride the algorithm wave. Because I hate when people say things like, gonna hack the algorithm or beat the algorithm because you can't. Fundamentally, I just don't understand how you, you can't beat Facebook's algorithm because the algorithm is gonna be end all, be all anyway.
I think the one thing we also have to understand is that you have the algorithm side of it, the tech side of Facebook trying to build profiles of people. But then we also have the people side of things and we have to keep in mind that Facebook is a social platform. And so if you're thinking about your people, Facebook wants to do, and their ultimate goal is to keep people on the platform.
And so they approach it in the way that they're going to approach it is that if I show people who, if I show you something that you like, something that you've engaged with, something that you've expressed interest in, I'm going to keep showing you that because that will keep you on the platform longer.
TikTok is kind of the reverse of that, where TikTok is like, well, I'm going to keep showing you new stuff because new stuff is what's going to keep you on this platform. And so understanding those differences is important when you're thinking about ads that you're creating and you're thinking about the algorithm.
Because at the end of the day, you are creating ads for people and you're also just having to keep in mind that Facebook is going to show people stuff that they like. So if you really know your customer and you really understand what they like, what they're interested in, what problems they're experiencing right now, you're talking to your actual customers, you're reading your testimonials, you're reaching out to people and doing market research and all those things that really, really understanding fundamentally what your people are going through right now and what kind of solutions they're seeking.
And you start to create content for them. The algorithm is going to try to make sure that these people see it because Facebook wants people to stay on the platform. Because the longer they stay on the platform, the more ads they see. The more people see ads in their feed that they like, the less that they're going to complain about ads, right?
And so that's really kind of Facebook's job is to really kind of connect the dots between you and your people. The algorithm is just the mechanism in which they do that. And so instead of trying to think about how can I hack the algorithm, how can I finesse my targeting in such a way that I can really kind of gain the system and get the lowest cost leads and start to focus on how can I connect most with my people?
How can I create messaging that is very specific for them? And then how can I rely on the algorithm and give it some space to find my people? Because what I was working at Zappos, I'm running ads on Facebook pre iOS 14 and post iOS 14. And so we felt that the change of iOS 14 kind of wiping out privacy, it was harder to be able to just say, here's a red pair of shoes and you want to buy a red pair of shoes.
So it just made it more difficult. So we had to really start to drill into messaging more, started to use influencers more that actually know how to speak my customer's language. Because that's really what influencers are able to do is that they're able to build an audience of people and mobilize them around a common message.
And so as a brand, you can tap into that and put your product in there and they can find ways to showcase it. But that's what I would definitely say about how can the algorithm, there is not like a technical formula that I would suggest you focus on being able to use it to hack the algorithm. I think you need to focus on creating content that resonates with your people so that Facebook wants to definitely show your content to your people because at the end of the day, they want you to be successful because the more successful you are, the more ads you're going to spend.
They want your people to stay on the platform because when they see ads that they like, when they see content that they like, they stay on the platform. And so everybody's trying to work towards the same common goal of getting people stuff that they're interested in. We just, the brands just have to make sure that we step beyond, hey, buy this red shoe because it's a red shoe, and really figure out like, okay, what are people using these red shoes for?
Where are they going with these red shoes? What is that, you know, what kind of confidence is that building for them? And then start to really kind of focus more on messaging than you are focusing on the mechanics of building the actual ads.
Francois Marchand: That's a great point. I mean, like you said, ultimately you're talking to people and you want to answer not just their need for a product of a specific color or type or whatever, but you want to answer their pain points.
You want to give them benefits. You want to give them value in your messaging. So that's just part of your marketing campaign at large. And if you follow that, if I understand correctly, the algorithm will shake hands with you. And we'll be like, okay, I'm going to get this in front of the right people, the right eyeballs.
And that'll generate the kind of response clicks and conversions that you need from Facebook. You mentioned keeping people on the platform. So I'm going to jump ahead. I had a question saved for the end, but I want to get to it first because we're on that topic and I want to talk about ad fatigue, right?
So on social media, we are bombarded with ads and as ecommerce operators, business owners, well, we want more ads to reach more people, but people are getting a little bit fatigued by advertising on some of these platforms. So how do you maintain the effectiveness of your Facebook ad campaign and prevent ad fatigue, cause you want people to feel like your brand is there for a reason and not just kind of overexposed, I guess. What's your take on that?
Stacy Zeal: I think with ad fatigue, one of the things I think that happens with ad fatigue is that people are kind of, it's advertised as kind of setting things and forgetting them. But you're kind of just like really not relying on all the data that Facebook is giving you. And so when I'm working with clients and when I'm teaching my clients how to actively test, it's that you're putting campaigns out there and you're getting signals and you're iterating.
I think that's the piece where some people are kind of missing. And so if you're seeing that a particular video was working for you, taking that video, maybe have an influencer read to shoot that kind of video or something similar. Maybe send it to the influencer and say, Hey, this ad really works for us.
Can you put your spin on it? Can you create it for a more niched audience? But some things I also see people doing are creating ads for everybody. So it's like, Oh, this is going to be helpful for nurses and doctors and moms and like people are trying to target everybody with one ad.
But if you can take an ad that say like, you have a really good product video or a demo video of your product. Can you call out moms in that copy and just had that be its own ad and just really focusing on moms? Can you have an ad that is specifically calling out nurses? I remember when, like with Crocs, for example, when I was working with Ed Zappos of Crocs. Crocs has a lot of different styles for a lot of different people, right?
So we were always kind of taking the Crocs, the basic Crocs shoe and trying to figure out like, okay, let's run some campaigns towards nurses and focus on them. Let's run some ads towards Gen Z. That was one of the big things they were trying to tap into was getting Gen Z to be more Crocs users.
I think that they've been successful at it, to be honest, because Gen Z loves Crocs now. I get compliments on all types. Gen Z gives me more compliments on my Crocs than anybody else. That's how you really, I think you avoid ad fatigue by really taking the signals that your data is giving you and always knowing that I need to be iterative.
It's never like, okay, this campaign was successful, let's just leave it here and just do nothing with it. It's always, okay, this ad was successful. How can we make it better? And even with the Crocs example, one of the last campaigns I worked on before I left Zappos was this Clueless Crocs launch. And it was like, the movie Clueless, the movie from back in the day, did an exclusive line with Crocs.
And it was an exclusive Zappos only line. So while this was a new product, a new product launch, we went back to our playbook. We were building playbooks for Crocs for years. So just trying to figure out what works for Crocs. And so we go back to our playbook and we're like, okay, this is what we know works for Crocs.
These are the audiences that work for Crocs. This is the type of creative that works for them. How do we take these signals and then use it for this exclusive product? Making sure that we had influencers that were involved in these campaigns because the influence was working really well. Using the similar audiences that we saw work before, but maybe widening them out.
So if it's a lookalike, maybe we go from 2% to a 4% lookalike. And so really just like being able to have all hands on deck with this particular campaign. But we didn't start from scratch, like nowhere near started from scratch. It's like we really did go back into our playbook to see what works, what doesn't work.
Let's create some stuff that does work. Let's make sure we're analyzing what doesn't work and kind of taking those things off the table and making sure that we are testing the new platforms and the new things that Facebook rolls out. When you can run ads in the Reels section, we're like, let's run some Reels ads.
So you do want to make sure that you are testing new things. However, you should be feeling like your ads are building on one another rather than you're starting from scratch every time. And I think that's really kind of how you avoid that fatigue is that you're always saying, like, what can I do to make this better?
Instead of just let's put some stuff out there, let's let the Facebook ads run, and then let's focus on the Google ads because the Google ads are the king of all advertising.
Francois Marchand: That's a completely different ballgame. Let's talk a little bit about trends going forward. Shoppable ads, are shoppable ads still a big thing trying to reduce friction in going from click to conversion? Or does Facebook work better in a more kind of traditional sense where you direct your traffic to a landing page or a product page? Or how do you see that shaping up in the future at this point?
Stacy Zeal: As we see customers wanting more personalized results and more tailored kinds of things, I think that we're gonna just see even more that as we're curating experiences on our landing pages, they must also match the experiences that we're curating with ads. So people have to have that connection where they're like, I see an ad on Facebook, I go to the landing page and I have that familiarity and I'll give you an example.
So I can't remember the name of the brand. It was a smaller brand, but it was a new brand. They made, their big thing was that they made really large sandals for women. So like sizes from 11 to 16 size shoe. So one of the things that we, they had a slide, it was this lime green slide, it was really cute, it was a nice kind of beach kind of background.
So we were running that ad and we were getting really good traction with it. Some of the landing page testing we were doing was floating that in one green slipper to the top. We were just having the assortment be by best sellers. And what we found was that when we had that green flip flop at the top, we saw a lot more conversions.
But the interesting thing is that when we looked in our back end of our numbers, people weren't buying the green one, they were buying the black one. And so, I say this too, and I use this example for ecommerce brands, specifically in that the green flip flop may be what brings them to sight, but people still may buy the black one, they may still buy the white one.
And so, giving people one option is, you might be doing yourself a disservice by giving people just one option, because if they say, oh, I see this one shoe, it's green, it caught my attention in the ad, I went to the landing page, but I really just don't like the product. Then you may be losing out on people that are just like, Oh, this is cute, but I'm gonna play it safe and I'm going to go with the black color or the white color, something like that.
So I think that's something like giving people results, but still making sure that they're tailored. So don't just give, send people to a landing page of all of your products. Make sure that they have that familiarity from what they saw on Facebook to when they're getting to the landing page. But keep in mind that shoppers are, these are still people, right?
We're all still people. Things may catch our attention, but then we're like, you know what? I really don't have anything that goes with this green flip flop. So I'm gonna just get the black because I know I have everything that goes with the black flip flop. So give people options, but still kind of tailor those results.
And you can do these with quizzes are really popping right now. Quizzes really do drive low cost for lead and low cost conversions because it's a way of filtering through the noise. So people are like, I do want to have options, but I also don't want to see your thousands of products, right?
I only have a short amount of time. I'm sitting at the doctor's office, scrolling Facebook while I'm waiting for my kid. I don't want to go through your thousands of products, but maybe I do have time to take a quiz. Give me like five or six different results, and then I can really pick what I want from there.
And then that gives you the option to remarket to people because they're like, Hey, this is what you wanted. I see this is what you wanted. You can follow up with them via email, retargeting ads, all kinds of different things you can do when you have that signal of this is what people want, or this is what that person wants because I curated an experience for them.
I think also trends, I definitely think short form video is still going to be something that continues to grow. I always tell people like whenever Facebook rolls out a new ad tool or a new ad placement, you definitely want to start creating some stuff for that because you really, really cheat the run there in the beginning.
That's why I think that we will see the cost of reels start to rise. But because Facebook still wants people creating reels that are still prioritizing people that do create reels. I think, if you have some reels that are content driven but also action driven, then you can repurpose those and put those and run those ads in the reels and stories section only.
So I think really kind of just playing into what the nuances of the platform, making sure that video is top of mind, making sure you're creating personalized, curated experience for people, but still giving them a little bit space to kind of be the humans that they are. I think those are things that those just continue to get better.
And really where I pull these from is like kind of just looking at consumer behavior. So one of the things I love about marketing is kind of the psychology behind marketing and why people make buying decisions and why this shoe versus that shoe. And so if you're looking at how consumers are behaving and how they're shopping now, if you're looking at reports of how people are shopping, that gives you valuable data.
Because if you're seeing that people's attention spans are dropping, you need to be able to give your message to them in a way that's a lot shorter so that they can get it. And so that's just a consumer behavior thing, whether you're doing emails, whether you're doing other kinds of ads, wherever you're at.
Keeping in mind your consumers and where they're at and how they're shopping is definitely going to help you to inform your ad strategy, especially on Facebook, because it does connect that social with shopping in such a beautiful way that a lot of other platforms don't do yet.
Francois Marchand: Thanks for that great breakdown, but I think that totally makes sense making that connection, that personalized connection involves a lot of steps. Doesn't involve a lot of data. You did mention earlier the jump from iOS 14 to 15, which was a big change in the way private data is collected. And for ecommerce advertisers and ecommerce business owners, that data is very valuable in targeting campaigns for the right eyeballs, for the right consumer.
So do you see any other changes coming on that front in terms of privacy protection that ecommerce businesses should be aware of when we consider the event of the way AI is being used, GDPR compliance and all that stuff as it ties to Facebook in the near future?
Stacy Zeal: Yeah, I think one of the things that we will have to watch out for as advertisers is AI, kind of using AI to create ads and to create copy and all that kind of stuff. Because what we have on one side is we have AI making things more efficient, more easier for us to do. We can create a lot more content, but it sounds the same. Then on the other side, you have consumers who are like, I want more personalized messaging.
I want to understand that you're talking to me specifically and that you can solve my problems that I should spend my time on your site versus the other 70 people who also sell candles. So you have these things on the opposite side and then us advertisers and marketers are sitting in the middle.
Like, okay, how do we do this? And so what I would definitely say is using AI as a starting point, but also keeping in mind that we do have to still have that connection with our customers and still use the language that they're using, how people describe things, what language people use to describe the problems that they're having.
Those are the kinds of things you need to figure out how to put into your advertising. Because the way we may describe a problem as an advertiser, as a marketer, I would say, is very different than how somebody as the average consumer would maybe describe something. Even things like, some people say soda, some people say pops, like those kinds of things are kind of like nuances that you want to start to make sure that you still are tapping into your customers and making sure you can infuse that kind of stuff into your AI.
Because I do think like I use AI, I love to use it to kind of to fast track my marketing. I've even used tested it out with some ads. And that kind of thing and really kind of starting to talk to my community about how to use AI with their ads. But understanding that the AI is a starting point and you need to have that messaging that you can kind of feed it to make sure that it crafts something that's specific to your customers and not just everybody who uses the Internet.
Because again, we're seeing consumers want more personalized messaging. And at the end of the day, regardless of how many robots are in between our business and the consumer, the consumer is the person who has the wallet at the end of the day. They're the person that's making, that's completing the purchase.
And so even if we are using these tools, we just have to be aware that the end user, that consumer is wanting more personalized messaging and they want to feel like they're connected to something and they're connected to a brand. And that's why these big brands are struggling. Like you have a lot of big brands who are struggling right now because they lost that connection to the consumer because they have so many barriers between themselves and the consumer.
But if you are a smaller brand and you really can still have conversations with your consumers, you can get people on market research calls, you can ask people, you can, you know, whether it's giveaways or doing surveys and those kinds of things, if you can consistently build that into your marketing and then translate that kind of stuff into your advertising so that you can test it on a larger scale and at a faster speed, then I think that that's really, really how you can use the algorithm and some of these other tools while still keeping the end consumer in mind to really kind of take your business to the next level.
Francois Marchand: It's interesting in a way that people are thinking AI is going to help us scale to everybody, but in the end, we have to rethink and go small, personalized, and very targeted to be effective.
And then the robots will do their job, I guess, at that point, right? So it's an interesting dichotomy on that front, but there was so much food for thought. Stacy and I really appreciate you coming on the show. Before I let you go, I always ask, or almost always ask this question. What is your number one piece of advice for ecommerce businesses today, based on your experience, Facebook or otherwise?
Stacy Zeal: I think my number one piece of advice for ecommerce brands, and I would definitely relate it to advertising because that's what I love to do. I'm a marketer. So I got a really excited . My piece of advice is to figure out instead of finding ways to try to beat the algorithm or try to beat the system and that kind of thing, find a way to just really establish a great connection with your messaging with your customers.
Because at the end of the day, we can try to build these profiles of people. We can try to figure out who our client avatars are and that kind of thing. But until we actually start talking to people and actually putting our ads out there and actually getting these signals, we aren't really going to know.
There've been plenty of campaigns when I was at Zappos that I thought this is going to take off. We did all the right things. We checked all the boxes, put it out there and it tanks and it's okay because you have to understand what doesn't work in order for you to understand what does work.
And so I tell ecommerce brands like, don't be afraid to take a reel of you that really resonates with your customers, whether that's you dancing in this reel, whether that's you doing a product demo, whether that's the CEO being the face of it and kind of like, you know, talking to their people. Don't be afraid to create messaging based on the signals that your clients are sending you, even if you think it is a small problem.
Like, if you have a couple people that are telling you, I really, really use this product. I really use your leggings when I'm on my Peloton. Create some content around that. Start to test that out. Run some ads with that, right? Because if your people are telling you that they're using your product on their Pelotons and they feel so great after their workouts in the morning, I bet you there's probably a lot of other people out there that do the same thing.
I think as advertisers and marketers, sometimes we think that the closer we get to using our customers language, the more we isolate people. But people are a lot more alike than we realize. People have a lot of similar kind of problems, and they're coming to us for the similar kinds of thing that may be expressing them in different kinds of ways.
But if we keep going a little bit level, like a level deeper, instead of just going that surface level messaging, if we continue to go deep, we really start to understand people want confidence. They want more money. They want more time. They want freedom. These are all the kinds of things that people actually have a deep desire for.
And so if we can create content around that and then elevate that with advertising, that's when you're really going to start to see your ad performance drive a lot of sales and a lot of loyal customers to your business. Because it's not about, for me when I'm approaching advertising, it's not about just getting one customer and being done, right?
It's not just like transaction for transaction. It's like, how are we also like building our subscriber base of loyal people? How do we build brand awareness with people who are looking to come into our world? They're not ready yet. That's what I would definitely challenge ecommerce brands to do is really create that connecting content with your audience based on what they're telling you, and then elevate it with advertising, get those signals, you'll be on your way.
Francois Marchand: And who knows, maybe you'll find an entire segment of a target demographic you didn't even know existed, and now you can market the product to these people. And they will appreciate it and purchase your product, get it delivered.
Stacy, where can we follow your work online? Where can we take one of your classes? Where can we connect with you?
Stacy Zeal: Yeah, so y'all can connect with me all over these internet streets. I am on Facebook, Instagram as at Stacy Zeal. You can go to my site stacyzeal.co. And that's where you can find all my information, all my links, that kind of stuff. I do also have a workshop. So if you're looking to learn the strategy piece of Facebook ad, what does it look like to actually integrate it into your business and to layer it onto what you're doing, definitely head over to stacyzeal.co/max.
And you can watch my workshop called Maximize Your Money, and it will teach you how to exponentially increase your sales on Facebook and Instagram ads.
Francois Marchand: Stacy, thank you so much for being here.
And on that note, I also want to thank you the listener out there for tuning into this episode, the Ecomm Manager podcast. If you liked what you heard today, please don't be shy. Give us a signal, give us some data points, leave us a review, let us know how we're doing. Cause you're support and feedback are much appreciated and very important to us. And also, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. Be the first to know when we drop a new episode in the feed.
Until next time, I'm Francois. I wish you all the best in your ecommerce journey. We'll see you then.