In August 2016, Mark Zuckerberg announced (in a Facebook post, of course) that for the first time ever Facebook had one billion users sign in on a single day. To put that in perspective, that is just under 7% of the entire global population.
Can you, from a business perspective, imagine that?! 1 out of 7 people, in the whole world, coming to your website in One. Single. Day.
But with such a huge and vocal user base, not to mention the companies flocking to the site, the challenge of standing out can feel greater than the opportunity. But all is not lost – personalization has proved itself as a genuine Facebook advertising strategy with which to cut through the noise, with 54% of consumers finding personalized ads more engaging.
The premise is simple, by tailoring your message and making it more relevant it is more likely to be both noticed and of interest to the person it is aimed at. This is particularly relevant for millennials who, due to the fast scrolling speeds they have acquired growing up as native technology users, have been shown to consume content two and a half times faster than people in their 60s.
When we scroll through our Facebook feed we are constantly and quickly making snap decisions as to what we do and don’t want to engage with. This sounds like it is an active process, but attention is a limited resource and so in one sense it is automated by our body, using something called your Reticular Activating System (RAS).
Your RAS is effectively a gateway that filters information, allotting attention to that information that requires or deserves it, whilst allowing you to simultaneously ignore that which doesn’t. And it will always give precedence to information that is most relevant to us as an individual.
For example, if you have previously engaged with a product the relevancy that made you look at it in the first place, paired with the familiarity from having interacted with it, will allow it to break through this barrier with much more ease. This is why personalization has continually proved itself to be an effective tool.
Luckily, advances in technology have finally given us the tools we need to properly take advantage of this eCommerce trend.
Here are three approaches and their respective advantages and disadvantages, allowing you to choose the personalized Facebook advertising strategy that suits you.
As an approach, collaborative filtering is lead by crowd logic, relying on the analysis of the masses and based on the assumption that people’s behavior is often driven by that of their peers. It is most likely to manifest itself in product level ads that highlight the best selling items in your store. Since it is based on an assumption (that if most people liked this product, it’s more likely to be liked by others), it is best utilized to target new shoppers for whom you don’t have the relevant information to target individually.
The inclusion of this on my list isn’t without controversy, however – since, personalization as a term brings to mind individuality but here you are looking at what is most likely to appeal to the general population. In that sense it is almost an utilitarian approach to eCommerce personalization – tailoring according to that which is most likely to bring the most happiness to the most people. But because it is still more strategic, more focused and more likely to make it through your RAS filter- it earns a spot on the list.
While collaborative filtering relies on the group as a whole, segmentation depends on your ability to split your target market into groups definable by shared attributes. They are then targeted with products, content and offers tailored to their shared preferences in relation to your brand.
This strategy of course relies on you having a good understanding of your target market, as well as your ability to split your potential audience into sub-categories. Groups can be selected on a number of attributes- with more traditional digital advertising these would be quite basic, for example, demographic, geo-location or device type.
It is also possible to layer the segments. So, for example, you may want to target females, age 16-25, with an interest in fashion. This allows you to get super specific in the message you want to deliver so as to fully resonate.
Facebook also allows you to target your existing customers by uploading a list of people you want to target, or find new but relevant prospects by selecting a lookalike audience – those profiles which are most like your existing customer database.
So, to personalize in this way you would create ads with your different groups in mind – then send them to those groups specifically. For example, you are a fashion retailer who wants to target 25-30 year old pregnant women that are interested in fashion. You would then create an ad around the relevant topic of your maternity line and target the ad accordingly.
The tailoring of the eCommerce experience to individual shoppers, and what purists would state to be the true meaning of personalization. Also known as Facebook retargeting.
This approach works by tracking your customers buying and browsing behavior and using that information to serve them the most relevant experience. It relies on your ability to build individual customer profiles which can then be used to dynamically and automatically tailor your ads.
When profiling a customer, information may be collected across hundreds of data points from several sources- including onsite and offsite behavior, interaction with emails and social behavior. Information collected can include interests, context and even where they are in the buying cycle. As an approach it is most suited to bringing shoppers back to your site as it relies on previous experiences and interactions with that individual.
Personal re-engagement ads – Targeting customers who have visited your store previously by recommending products picked just for them based on their previous shopping behavior.
Abandoned cart recovery ads – Encouraging shoppers who selected items but didn’t quite make it to checkout by recommending products related to what they had in their cart.
Post-purchase ads – Encouraging converted customers to continue their spree by suggesting items that are relevant to what they have already bought.
The world of personalized advertising is where ads are no longer created with a spray and pray approach, but as a targeted medium for you to engage customers and prospects. It’s an exciting time for the eCommerce world!
To find out more about this, checkout our joint webinar on Social Commerce.
Schedule a demo with one of our marketing consultants to learn how Yotpo generates reviews and turns them into sales.
Exclusive data + industry insider secrets.