• FREE ANALYSIS

    READY TO POWER UP YOUR PERFORMANCE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS?

    This free, no obligation performance analysis will uncover:
    • Opportunities to earn more from your catalog
    • Ways to optimize performance across search, shopping, social, and discovery channels
    • Wasted ad spend and how to reduce it

How Retailers Can Optimize Facebook Ads for Direct Response vs. Brand Building

Mike Farrell

Facebook advertising is increasingly playing multiple roles in the retail marketing funnel—not unlike advertising on Google, Amazon, and other major platforms.

For instance, some marketers opt for a direct response, or mid-funnel, approach with Facebook ads by encouraging users to take specific actions online, in-store, or in mobile apps. Other marketers operate earlier in the funnel and build awareness. Still other marketers combine these methods to better influence the shopping journey.

Direct response and brand building campaigns require different, yet aligned, approaches and processes to maximize their results and avoid wasted ad spend.

But I continue to see a common mistake in the retail industry when marketers go about leveraging Facebook ads. They invest in the channel without clear strategies for how the ads will support direct response, or brand building, or both. There’s often not enough planning around how the ads will drive the funnel on Facebook, and drive the funnel overall.

Direct response and brand building campaigns require different, yet aligned, approaches and processes to maximize their results and avoid wasted ad spend. There are four major factors to consider: audience, ad creative, budget allocation, and measurement.

This graphic provides a snapshot of how to think about these factors, depending on the goal you’re emphasizing with Facebook ads. Let’s unpack each factor.

Audience

Ad format is inherently tied to reaching the right audience on Facebook. Dynamic ads are for direct response, while dynamic ads targeting broad audiences are for brand building.

Optimize for direct response: Direct response on Facebook equals retargeting past site and (if applicable) app visitors with dynamic ads. These ads collect user activity from a Facebook pixel on your website and track traffic and conversions at the product level. Retargeting previous site and app visitors with product-centric ads reinforces your brand and makes shoppers reconsider purchasing items on your site.

Optimize for brand building: You want to serve captivating ads to Facebook users who are new to your brand and products. Use dynamic ads for broad audiences to target upper funnel audiences that have shopped similar products to what you sell. You can segment your audience further by specific region, age range, and gender.