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Mastering Facebook Advertising

As acquisition costs rise, many brands are turning away from Facebook, but that can be a serious missed opportunity. In this lesson, learn how to tackle the challenges of Facebook advertising.

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Chapter 3
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Chase Fisher
Founder of Blenders Eyewear

In this lesson, learn how to tackle the challenges of Facebook advertising.

Going Beyond Facebook’s “Limits”

Expanding your customer base is the main goal for most direct-to-consumer brands, but it’s inevitable that you’ll hit a wall after a certain point of growth. On social, brands are feeling this barrier more and more.

Facebook and Instagram have always been direct-to-consumer brands’ bread and butter. But with all the Facebook algorithm changes, it’s getting more expensive to get eyes on your ads. Plus, micro-segmentation is presenting a huge challenge when it comes to creating enough relevant content for consumers.

Everyone in the industry is talking about rising customer acquisition costs and how to use other channels to close the gap. At Blenders, we relied heavily on social for our initial growth, and it’s still a huge part of our strategy, despite the new challenges. In this lesson, we’ll cover how to re-think your approach to find social ad strategies that scale with you.

The Catch-22 of Micro-Segmentation

Most direct-to-consumer brands are niche by nature. Facebook and Instagram let brands get super granular in their targeting, which is ideal when you’re trying to reach a really specific persona. You don’t win by just reaching thousands of people — you need to reach the right people who will love your products, and you can do that on Facebook.

direct-to-consumer ecommerce marketing

Think about a brand selling eco-friendly workout clothes, for example — they need to reach people with an interest in fitness, who care about the environment and buy other green products, who are willing to spend at the right price-point, etc. When you reach that consumer, they’re much more likely to purchase and become a brand fan. But getting to those audiences is both expensive and requires a ton of fresh, hyper-specific creative.

Luckily, when your customers are at the center of your growth strategy (which is the case for any strong DTC brand), you’re in a good place to overcome these common issues with Facebook advertising. Tapping into your customers will give you two valuable ways to resonate with the right audiences on Facebook and to increase return on ad spend: using customer content as creative and using your customers as a basis for value-based ads.

Customers as a Source of Creative

The formula most brands followed in the beginning was pretty cut and dry: create ultra-specific audiences, see that it works, create lookalikes, test creative, repeat. Now, performance marketing has evolved and audiences are built automatically and dynamically over time.

You can segment more granularly than ever before, almost on an individual basis. So, now you’re able to reach the specific person you need, but how do you show them what they want to see? And not only that, how do you make sure they’re seeing the best creative for their device-type and for the ad format?

It’s a huge headache to ensure high-quality, highly relevant content across these endless combinations. But that’s exactly what you have to do in order to reap the benefits of micro-segmentation.

direct-to-consumer ecommerce marketing

Today’s consumers expect ads to be authentic, personalized, and relevant to them. Facebook’s a super intimate channel, and your ads will appear alongside updates from friends’ weddings and family get-togethers. For brand-conscious DTC companies, a single ad flop can ruin your reputation.

That’s where customer content is key. It really gives you an endless source of authentic ad creative. Who better to speak to your specific audience than people just like them who bought and love your products? Consumers can identify with real reviews and customer photos a lot more easily than with a super polished ad. I really think that collecting content from your customers is the best thing you can do for your Facebook advertising strategy.

Customers as a Basis for Value-Based Ads

Another strategy we saw success with was testing value-optimized ads over conversion-optimized ads. With value-optimized ads, we were able to use Facebook tracking data to estimate how much a person is likely to spend with us. Then the tool applies a bid multiplier on that person. What this allows you to do is to actually bid more on people who are likely to spend more, so you can maximize purchase value and get a better return on ad spend.

Your customers come into play because they are the best way to profile a high-value prospect. We used the Facebook pixel on our site to create a Custom Audience of people who bought a pair of our sunglasses. Then we used third-party data to segment that audience by gender. We ended up with male and female high-value Custom Audiences on which to base lookalike audiences. Segmenting by gender and other variables is more valuable than sticking to a broader value-based lookalike audience because it allows you to really address different types of customers with specific messages and customer content.


  • Don’t give up on Facebook. You should diversify your acquisition channels, but don’t get scared off by algorithm changes. There are still ways to get a ton of value out of Facebook ads.
  • Let your customers help. Use customer content in ads to connect better with shoppers and to ensure you have enough fresh, relevant creative for all segments.
  • Focus on value-based ads. Create audiences based on your best customers — it’s the surest way to reach more people who will spend with your brand.