Learn from these 5 brands how to use Facebook ads to build relationships that pay off.

Staff Writer

In the world of social media, Facebook is the juggernaut. It is the king of all digital social interactions, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Today, Facebook has an average of 1.23 billion daily active users and 1.86 billion monthly active users.

If that doesn’t sound like an opportunity for your business, then I don’t know what is. To sweeten the deal even more, the average cost per click for Facebook ads is $0.64, while on Google Adwords, it’s $2.32. That’s a huge difference.

But Facebook can be a tricky beast to tame. Facebook users aren’t going on the social network with an intent to buy, so you’re starting with a very cold audience.

“The secret to social media success is to think and act like a member first, and a marketer second,” says Mari Smith, top Facebook marketing expert.

As a brand, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what would make them interested in your brand. Why should they click on your ad?

Because there is such a low buying intent on Facebook, you can’t start off with the hard sell. “There’s a completely different mentality on Facebook, and we need to understand that,” says digital marketing consultant Ryan Stewart.

Before you can even think of selling, you need to first provide value and build interest in your brand. If you don’t do that first, your audience will be turned off by your sales-focused approach. This is where most companies go wrong. In fact, 79% of leads never convert into sales due to a lack of relationship-building and lead-nurturing.

You must ease your audience into a relationship with your brand. That means you need to build a Facebook sales funnel. Here are five companies’ Facebook ads that represent different aspects of a Facebook sales funnel and what you can learn from them.

1. Hubspot

“You just can’t expect a large number of people to go from being part of your cold audience to being super-qualified leads that are chomping at the bit to buy,” says Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. This is why it’s so important to focus on promoting content first.

Instead of focusing on what the company offers right off the bat, Hubspot uses its ad to first provide value to its audience and offer an incentive for them to click on it.

The content you promote could be a blog post, webinar, ebook, video, checklist, infographic or other piece of content. Whatever it is, make sure it’s related to your products and/or services and that the ad leads to your website. This will be important later when you lead your targets further down the funnel.

2. Slack

Content has the power to nurture a relationship with your audience, but not if no one clicks on it. To ensure your content grabs people’s attention, you need to focus on creating a striking, unique ad. And that starts with your headline.

Slack’s ad is short, sweet and to the point. There aren’t a ton of words clogging up the space, which makes it easy for people to skim. The concept is also unique and relates to Slack’s value proposition perfectly.

3. Casper

Another important element of your Facebook ad is the design itself. Having recognizable branding will set you apart from other businesses on Facebook and ensure your audience remembers who you are.

Casper does a good job of relating its design concept to the value of its brand. The company’s ad is simple and sleek, just like the copy – it consists of an image of a mattress and a customer, plus the brand name. It focuses on the idea of “one perfect mattress.”

4. ThinkGeek

Once you have strong content to promote and a strong ad to do the promoting, you need to have the right audience to target. Facebook makes this easy with several options for targeting various personas. In fact, Facebook boasts 89% accuracy in targeting specific groups.

Where do most brands go wrong on Facebook? They take a one-size-fits-all approach. You can’t appeal to everyone, no matter how tempting it may seem. “You will have some people unsubscribe,” says Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich. “You may even have people complain. But that’s okay. You only want people in your list who are great prospective customers.”

Instead, you need to focus on targeting the right audience for your brand, one that will be truly interested in what you have to offer. To do this, you should create different ads that target your different personas.

ThinkGeek’s ad focuses on a specific type of person. First, the company is targeting people looking for Father’s Day gifts. Then, it’s chosen to feature a product that will surely not appeal to everyone. However, the people that it will appeal to will be people who are likely to be fans of ThinkGeek – the ideal audience for the brand.

5. Amazon

Your initial ads will drive awareness and foster interest in your brand. Then you need to create ads that drive sales. These ads will be focused on your warm or hot audience, those who have already expressed interest in your brand and are looking to make a purchase.

For these targets, you need ads with a strong call to action. The action could be to sign up for a webinar, download a white paper, or, as in Amazon’s case, buy now. Keep the CTA clear and concise so your audience knows exactly what you want them to do.

Remember that same audience you targeted with your ads promoting your content? Now, you should be targeting that same audience with your CTA ads. This way, you’ll push your audience further down the funnel and closer to making a purchase with you.