Facebook Ads Case Study: E-Commerce for a Niche Children's Clothing Line

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Since summer of 2017, Splendid Circle has been steadily expanding its startup and lead generations services beyond entrepreneurs and small businesses to include online retailers and mid-level businesses in the ever expanding e-commerce space! It’s been an exciting time with lots to learn with each new project we get to take on.

You know, for an independent retailer with a super cool product ( or in a niche market), there has never been a better time than now to grow your community, test out your creations, get them to fall in love and then SELL to your market directly from your website!

But wait, what about Amazon, right?

Sure, these days, we get daily updates on Amazon revenues and their domination in the the online retail pie, but there are SO many businesses out there (locally and globally) who don’t want or need to be on Amazon.

They’ve figured out how to DIRECTLY get to their customers themselves. The online giant does get a lot of traffic and it’s relatively easy to start selling, but you hardly EVER hear about the many disadvantages. [Blog post coming up on this hot topic very soon!]

When you go out on your own and off Amazon, your setup typically has a Shopify or an e-commerce Wordpress themed site (like Woo commerce) that’s optimized for online sales with special catalog view features, inventory backend setup and web traffic pixel codes (Facebook and Google) installed to enable re-marketing or (re-targeted advertising).

So, for our retail businesses that have figured out how to get to their customers directly, how exactly are they doing it?? I’m sharing it here in this case study!

The retailer I got to work with is an amazing Mompreneur based out of Australia. She created the niche skateboarder lifestyle inspired clothing line called Sunny and Finn! The brand grew out of her experiences living with her young family in Bali! The clothes are a natural extension of the family’s fun outdoor surfer-skateboard bohemian culture.

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While I can’t share details and numbers ($$$) of the campaign since the work is ongoing, I do want to provide an overview of how this brand is growing through Facebook Ads.

If you’re thinking about running an e-commerce business but don’t know how to use Facebook to sell or you think there’s only Amazon out there for e-commerce, allow this case study to open your world to new possibilities!

Even though things are always changing online from week to, heck, day to day, it’s good to have some pro-tips in your back pocket as you begin your very own e-commerce journey. This is the beginning of an e-commerce series I’m starting which looks at various aspects of running an omni-channel campaign.

In the meantime, here are a few specific best practices to take away in this evolving case study:

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  1. Great images are the starting point

    Did you know there are businesses selling on just Instagram. They have no fancy website, no Facebook or any other platform. They are able to sell their goods and services based on their ability to attract their customers through their images and brand story on IG. With more people signing up for IG everyday, it’s noisier than ever.

    Sunny and Finn has a distinct brand that speaks to its target audience. The images help complete that brand story in a way that there’s no confusion. Same vibe, filters, storytelling is captured in each image shared in any of the channels they use such as their website, blog, Instagram, Facebook and other channels.

    In fact, whenever I scroll IG, I can correctly identify Sunny and Finn’s posts. Overtime, this establishes the brand/images and value in the minds of the followers and gets them mentally in a place to buy (if not buy right away).

  2. E-commerce sales funnels are structured differently to lead gen funnels

    Typically, the first step in any Facebook Ads campaign is build out the sales funnel (if it hasn’t been built out already). Hello! If you’ve been following my work, you know I’m all about building out your sales funnels for different products and services. No point doing advertising or even social media if you don’t have a clear strategy to begin with!!

    That said, a sales funnel for an e-commerce campaign is structured differently to a sales funnel for a lead generation campaign.

    For example, in a lead gen campaign, you would have top of the funnel (blog post or video) followed by middle of funnel (download or sign up for a free conversation) and then bottom of the funnel (it’s time to buy my service or product- here’s the buy now button!)

    Alternatively, in an e-commerce campaign, it’s a broader push at the top of the funnel consisting of either videos, catalog posts or blog posts describing product features and then the funnel goes directly to bottom where it’s time to buy.

    The Facebook Ad campaign at the top of funnel captures web traffic via the Facebook and Google tracking pixels on website along with other custom audiences (folks who watch videos, visited page in last 30 days or lookalike audiences) and then these types of “audiences” are re-targeted to the bottom of the funnel in order to push purchases!

    And if you want to get super fancy and run like the big brands, there are sales funnel strategies that start in Google at the top, then move through Facebook or Instagram in the middle and then finish off the sale at the bottom of the sales funnel on a landing page/check out page so it’s multi-platform to capture maximum bang for the buck!

  3. Split Testing and then Testing Again

    I know. I know. This is the part in the blogpost where your eyes start glazing over. Split testing, A/B testing blah blah blah. But if you’re fortunate to have a business that’s mature and ready enough to benefit from Facebook Ads, do yourself a BIG favor and get comfortable with the idea of TESTING, testing and a bit more testing. Yes, it’s in caps cause that’s how important it it!!

    You see, testing is a huge part of advertising on Facebook and Instagram because it’s tough to know in advance whether you have the right audience, the right message, the right image or the right “combination of everything”. It’s similar to experimental design where you run various experiments until you find the one way or a few ways where you get maximum results!

    It’s tough when you’re testing but BOY do you start saving money on ad spend once you find the right combination (audiences, copy, images, time of the week, etc) for your campaigns. One of the most effective techniques I use with all my clients is Rapid Fire Testing. This technique quickly helps you identify your best audiences and the messages that work for conversion growth. It’s a long term game so keep that in mind always!

  4. Features on an e-commerce site

    Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have created cool add-on features that create an ease in online shopping. But social media is so unpredictable and you never know when a platform hits a wall and shuts down. So you don’t want your marketing dependent on them.

    It’s wise to “TEACH” your fans to visit your website since that’s where your visitors learn all about your products and where they buy from you.

    There are an endless number of options but Sunny and Finn has a few shown in this image that works best for them. If you’re selling outside of the US, it’s important to have a currency dropdown. When you chose shopify, it has cart enabled features but there are a few options that are specific for clothing and other options appropriate for food or perishables.

    Chatbots are really hot right now and a great way to quickly accelerate the Know-Like-Trust process. One of the more controversial but growing features is a FOMO popups which show you “others” who’ve recently bought something from that site.

    And finally, the holy grail of the online marketing space is the email list. If you can get them on your list early and make it work their while either through value or coupons, email marketing becomes a very powerful part of your long term e-commerce strategy.

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And there you have it! This project will continue to be updated with more information and details as we get more results. Check back again soon!

Hopefully, this gives you the motivation to make your online store a reality. You just have to take that first step- it’s a land grab!

I truly love this case study because it shows how Facebook Ads, a proven funnel and a great product (or an amazing line of clothes in this case) can make magic and bank!

If YOU have a cool product that you want to send online or you want to create your own branded site in addition to your existing Amazon seller account, we have clients doing well on both channels and maximizing their sales and RoI.



How To Create a Smart Customer Journey and Bring In The Right Clients With a "Value Ladder" Sales Funnel

  How To Build A Sales Funnel That Converts - BIG Meeting Morristown, NJ Oct 2017

How To Build A Sales Funnel That Converts - BIG Meeting Morristown, NJ Oct 2017

Getting online leads into your business can be a hard nut to crack these days! It's so bleeping crowded out there- everyone's trying to sell something, right?

Half the battle is getting a great website up and running.  Hopefully, you have one set up so your ideal clients know they're in the right place! 

Next up, traffic. We need folks to come take a look, right?

So, you make sure your SEO (search engine optimization) is, well, optimized and that you're plugged in to all the right social networks for your industry.

Honestly, for most small to medium-sized businesses, it's best to select just 1 or 2 social media platforms and get focused. 

So, you do all this and you're still not getting whole lot of traffic, right?

The next move might be to buy a whole lot of ads on Facebook or Google! But without a clear strategy, you're basically handing over your wallet to these platforms.

The tricky part is figuring out HOW the heck to bring new potential leads to your site so they can learn about your business. 

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In case you haven't noticed, there's a ton of competition for attention and eyeballs out there!

Also, once you're actually able to get them ON your site, they need to STICK AROUND long enough to get to know how your business can help, right? You want to be able to convert them and BUY what you offer.

Instead of thinking about the mind of their customers, most businesses naively assume each new visitor is interested.  What do they do?  They slap a newsletter signup box at the bottom of the home page.  

Do people really want to get on another newsletter?  Unless you have a really compelling brand (like this one) or one that really stands out (like this one), I'm guessing you're not getting very many quality signups.  It's not your fault! There are just way too many people hawking their services on the internet these days. We're all in the same boat!!

Incase you haven't noticed, these days everybody and their Grandma want you to get on their email list!

People are asking for email addresses every where! Whether you're at the mall and you just want the dang paper receipt to the new top you bought your daughter or the guy at the car repair shop who wants to keep you updated on the latest deals coming out of their service center!

Yikes.

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Truth is, no one wants to be added onto yet another email list! Our inboxes are overwhelmed!

Unless! Unless, you've offering something unique and of VALUE that they can't find anywhere else!  Something that helps them get ahead in their personal or business goals.

Bingo! This is when we can start to bring conversion rates up!

This is where the value ladder sales funnel comes in! 

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It's your way of attracting those new visitors who are aligned to your branding further down into your sales funnel while offering REAL value along the process.

In a crowded marketplace, your business has to stick out by offering meaningful help and differentiate yourself from the low-value content out there.

So, it's important that each step in your value ladder sales funnel provides (1) real value that showcases your business and (2) provides your new subscribers actionable results towards their long term goals. 

By doing so, your prospective customers begin to trust your brand. 

So, what does a value ladder sales funnel contain?

This:

1. [Read Magnet] Pick a "relevant topic" that your potential customers are interested in understanding. This brings them to your site where they watch a video or blog post where you break down this topic for them.  Here, you want to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise on this topic and and establish your unique space in your industry. 

Some may recommend creating cornerstone content (like this one) which is an in-depth blog post that requires a bit of research and really showcased your expertise.  If you're looking for some brainstorming help with headlines, check out this tool- I'm totally in love with it!!  (Cold Traffic)

ex. How-to Youtube videos, authoritative blog posts on an important and relevant topic, giving a virtual or in-person talk to a community , guest post in an established industry or influencer website

2. [Solutions-Based Lead Magnet] At this point, prospective customers have learned more about you through your website or social media.  If you have a quick solution or tool that helps them get ahead in their business, they will happily give your their email address. (Cold-Warm Traffic)

ex. PDF or checklist with valuable quick solutions or a webinar, 5-day email challenge etc.

3. [Introductory Offer] Once they're on your email list or they follow you on social media, they are definitely interested and appreciate what you bring to them! Now's the chance to sell and introductory offer!  At this stage in the funnel, you want to drive them towards some sort of low level purchase ($27-47) so you know they're ready to potentially pay for your higher level offers. (Warm-Hot Traffic)

ex. Lower end paid product or service that allows them to see what it's like to work with you and what results they can get

4. [Premium/Core Offer] Your premium or core offer.  These are the offers that keep you in business.  When you sell more of your premium offers, your business can grow and thrive.  All sales funnels are ultimately driving sales of your premium/core offers. (Hot Traffic)

ex. a comprehensive 6- or 12- month coaching programs, high end software, exclusive masterminds, results-oriented high end consulting engagements

There are always folks who talk about crazy sales funnels that involve 8-9 email nurture sequences or lots of other bells and whistles.  You DON'T need a complicated sales funnel! Make it easy on yourself and your ideal clients out there.

So there you have it!

A value ladder is a very simple pathway for your customer to get to know you and steadily work their way towards purchasing your premium products or services.

Here's an example of the value ladder sales funnel that could be used for a photographer, mortgage broker, realtor, startups looking for investors, medium to large companies looking for industry partners and influencers, insurance broker, health coach, business coach and others:

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For me, there's nothing more rewarding about my work than watching my clients sigh a relief when we create their first sales funnel and set it afloat! 

As an added bonus, you can finally start showing RoI for your time spent on social media!!

Truly, when a sales funnel is properly thought-through, aligned with your business goals and in place (or automated), there's no more confusion over what to post and when! You know what to talk about and what to share on social media.  Everything is directed towards your sales funnel(s)!

You're finally in control!  

If you made it to the bottom of this post, thank you! To reward you, for a limited time, I'm sharing my Value Ladder Sales Funnel Planning Template I only use with my private clients. DOWNLOAD THIS while it's available!  I hope you use it so you can get your services to those out there who are looking for you!

Enjoy!

If you worked through your template and got questions about specifics of your own sales funnel? Tap this button and let's chat!

Event Recap: Leads and Lattes- Facebook Advertising 101 for Women Leaders and Business Owners

Last week, I hosted a half-day training workshop for an inspiring group of go-getter women in my local area who are ready to take their business to the next level! We ate, learned, drank, laughed and ate some more. This is the way we do workshops at Splendid Circle ☺️.

Although this class was called Leads and Lattes, we just HAD to pop a bottle and celebrate all the new leads these women have coming their way!  Aaannnd, this workshop was the culmination of two years of business for me as a solopreneur.  

Two amazing years of getting to work with purpose-driven women growing their unique businesses in their own authentic way.  So, to celebrate all that, we had put the lattes aside for a moment and pop the bubbly! 

In the spring of 2015, a few weeks before I created the beta test of my group coaching program (that turned into Splendid Circle), I went to a business conference for women in Dallas.  Prior to that weekend in Texas, I was on my own trying to make sense of my journey as a business owner.  Many of my friends weren't ready for business online and didn't really understand what I was doing.  That conference brought everything together for me.

Sure, I'd taken the best online courses and I was a part of great Facebook groups.  But as we all know, there's nothing like meeting people face to face and having those meaningful conversations and ideas.  

Quite simply, that weekend changed my life. I connected with inspiring women entrepreneurs from all over the world who were next to me seeking the same answers together!  I met web designers, life coaches, online course creators, software developers, social media experts, nutritionists, speaking coaches and many more. I made so many new friends and business buddies.  Since that conference, we've stayed connected (through Facebook!), provided feedback to each other, bought each others programs, cheered each other on for speaking gigs and so much more!

Fast forward to last Friday. I witnessed the same thing happening for the women who attended my first Leads and Lattes event.  Most of the women didn't know each other.  But by the end of the four hours, they were sharing, connecting and planning future collaborations.  

When you have a dream for your life and business, it takes a decision to say you're going to make it happen.  You have to take that first step outside of your comfort zone and towards your goals.  

That first step is realizing you want to pursue your dream, invest in yourself and that you're ready.  Luckily, these women decided to take that step and made it happen.  These are the decision-makers I love meeting through my business.  As I sipped my glass of champagne that afternoon, I enjoyed Splendid Circle having its little moment.

Back to the event! Leads and Lattes was an event all about getting started with Facebook Advertising.  But learning advertising isn't the final goal.  The real goal for all of these women was to find additional sources of digital traffic to bring to their sales funnels.  A sales funnel is the engine your business has in place to take cold traffic and convert them to warm leads. Getting traffic to sales funnel is what ultimately makes FB Ads extremely powerful right now. 

We discussed the role of Facebook and why it's important for women like us to be involved.  The internet is still very young.  One of my missions through my business is to empower women (especially Moms) with digital strategy and know-how so they can build profitable businesses and help shape the internet for the next generation.  Listen, it's either us or a bunch of young guys in Silicon Valley. We need to be in there and staking our claim!

If you're interested in attending the next Leads and Lattes event or another one of my upcoming business workshops (local or online), join the waitlist.  

I want to thank attendee and talented photographer, Tatyana Ali for taking these amazing shots of us and making everyone so comfortable with their headshots and the event photos.  

Should you Learn Facebook Ads or Get Someone Else to Do Them For You?

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These days, everyone and their dentist is talking about Facebook Ads. Am I right? 

If you're a business owner using Facebook, then you've probably seen quite a few people pop into your newsfeed talking about them.  Many of them are probably even bragging about them.  All this noise makes you wonder if all these stories are actually true.  Could they work for your business too? 

The truth is, Facebook is growing every month with new users and existing users are using it more frequently.  The company is also rolling out new features all the time to remove competition and keep their users glued to the platform.  

If you're a business owner who's already identified that your potential customers are hanging out of Facebook, then there's never been a better time than now to reach them! 

Having said that, organic traffic for business owners has gone down over the last few years.  This can be discouraging.  Back in the day, posts would reach almost everyone who liked your Page.  But now, with so many monthly users and pressure to grow their revenue, Facebook is nudging business owners towards a pay-to-play model.  

So what's a responsible business owner using Facebook supposed to do? There's no denying that today they just can't afford to ignore or avoid Facebook Ads.

So, now that you thinking about running them for your business, do you really want the hassle of learning something new? I mean, there's already SO much you're doing for your business every day. 

If you're not interested in the hassle, do you want a marketing agency to do them? You've been down this route before and marketing agencies can get pricy and without any guaranteed results. How the heck do you figure out which choice to make?

The first step is to be absolutely sure you want to go down this advertising path. Talk to a few Facebook Ads experts and marketing agencies and see if they're all saying the same thing. Many marketing agencies, digital marketers and Facebook Ads experts offer free mini consultations to discuss whether you're business is ready for Ads.

I offer Facebook Ads as a service and I've run ads for local and global clients over the last 3 years.  Over that time, I've learned a lot of short cuts and tips to get different types of ad campaigns to work and produce results. For newbies, you'll realize it takes some time to figure out your audience and craft messages that bring them to your business.

Facebook Ads are most effective when they are implemented as part of an overall sales funnel or customer journey.  Make sure your agency provides consultation on sales funnels for you in connection to your ads.  There's no sense running ads without a bigger goal or picture!

While there's no magic formula for a successful ad, a combination of the right message, the right targeting, the right imaging and the right offer from a business that has their branding and positioning nailed typically get better results.

As a revenue growth consultant, I'm passionate about teaching business owners how to use digital marketing to bring more targeted traffic to their business.  

I'm also focused on empowering women business owners so I'm having my first in-person Facebook Advertising 101 Workshop in Millburn, NJ on May 19th! It's called Leads and Lattes (Event over).  

If you've been looking for guidance and insights into how to get Facebook Ads to work for you, I'd love to have you join our diverse group of women. You'll leave with the confidence and clarity to start promoting your business beyond your network through Facebook.  

If you're ultimately going to hand off Facebook Ads to a marketing agency, it's SO important to be educated on advertising on social media and really understand what the agency is doing for you and how they're using your ad dollars.  This way, you can make an informed decision about the services you purchase and you're not surprised when you get an invoice from them!

 

 

 

 

3 Behaviors That Keep You From Being A Customer Magnet On Facebook

If your ideal clients happen to hang out on Facebook, there's never been a better time than now to lasso them in and get them interested in your business. The key is to connect with them and then, boom! You can get them into your sales funnel. Voila!

If only it was that easy, right?

Most small businesses struggle to connect to their ideal customers on Facebook.  It's not because they don't have social media know-how, the latest graphics or support from their community.

They struggle to connect because of their behaviors. 

I've worked with dozens of small businesses over the last several years and I've realized there are several key behaviors that get in the way.  These specific behaviors are preventing small businesses from getting the attention they deserve from their future customers.

Social media was originally created as a place for people to learn, connect and, yes, socialize.  When you look at Facebook, it has a culture of it's own and it's very fickle.  Users are interested in looking at vacation and family photos, finding interesting articles and getting updates from old friends.  

Once businesses realized the potential of social media, they had to pivot their marketing to fit this new channel. Over the last several years, the digital marketing industry has learned quite a few lessons from the pioneering businesses that succeeded first on social media.  The businesses that have made it work for them have been very strategic about their online activities and have avoided the following behaviors.

1. Thinking that Generic Content is Good Enough

Most people on social media have seen it all!  Just look around and you'll see hundreds of other businesses competing for their attention on the newsfeed over the course of a day.  

One a Facebook Business Page is set up, businesses tend to take the easy road and go the generic way. They'll share articles from magazines like Forbes, Inc or an industry website. These don't work very well.  Facebook users reject this because they're not learning anything about YOUR business and they start scrolling their newsfeed.

After a while of getting no results, businesses get discouraged.  More often than not, they'll say it's because their customers are just not on Facebook.  That's not true!  With billions of users logging in every day, your customers are on Facebook.  Your future customers don't want generic content. They want customized content that showcases you and your business.  On Facebook, they want to see WHO they are dealing with.  They are interested in LEARNING about your business and why you do what you do.  They want to  be attracted, engaged and educated. 

2. Focusing on Vanity Metrics

If the main thing you think about on Facebook is number of Likes your business Page has, then we need to sit down.  Vanity metrics are things like Page Likes, downloads, page views that are easily manipulated and aren't correlated to profit or revenue.

Of course, we all want to be popular and look like we are on the rise and successful in our industry. Yes, once you have your ducks in a row, your Page likes will rise. But it takes time and strategy.  

A closer look at a lot of "big" Pages on Facebook reveal that their huge following isn't even getting them the reach and engagement that they should be getting.  It's all about pay to play on Facebook so if your huge following isn't engaging, you'll have to pay to get them to see your posts.

Also, if your existing Page "Likers" aren't genuine fans (as in friends and family who want to support you but not interested in ever buying from you), you will end up spending a lot more on your ads in the future.  Lesson: Focus on what it takes to get your best prospective customers to notice and follow you!  Start by setting yourself apart from the crowd.  This includes communicating your unique brand, your business story and putting thought into your content.  When these elements come together, your future customers are ready to listen to you.

3. failing to develop real Relationships Online

When we talk about buying in person, we invest in developing a relationship with the prospective customer and build that Know-Like-Trust factor.  It's the same thing on Facebook!  When you use Facebook to grow your business, you want to move your relationship building activities online.  

The first step is always establishing your branding and positioning to attract your "tribe" (the people who relate best to you). Once that's in place, create a content strategy that showcases your brand and your Know-Like-Trust factor.  You can use an editorial calendar that includes elements such as weekly FB Live Q/A sessions, testimonials, behind the scenes photos and team events.  Once you have a consistent content strategy in place, your online relationships will start to become real.  It will be as though you know them in person!