Daily harvest, My Glamm Sleepy owl, Huel, Harry's: what’s common between them?

It can't be the industry because each of these products plays a unique role in a single person's day.

It is not problem type because they solve completely different problems, ranging from health meal to less expensive razors.

If you haven't guessed, they are all direct to consumer brands known for compelling and effective Facebook ads. Most importantly, they expanded by selling direct to consumer from the start.  

Facebook has proven to be a relevant marketing channel When it comes to generating awareness and sales.

But with so many DTC brands competing for customers' attention (and money), it can be difficult to cut through the clutter.

We've researched and analyzed some best practices on how DTC brands can get & grow customers using FB ads.

Before we jump in, Here's what we'll be covering today:

  • Defining a buyer persona
  • Pick the right type of Facebook ads
  • Ad creative best practices with examples
  • Benchmark and metrics to track

Without further a do, Let's dive in!

Step #1: Defining buyer persona clearly

The most significant advantage of Facebook ads is the ad targeting feature. Which allows you to target specific people who are most likely to buy.

Unlike traditional PPC, modern FB ads allow you to get granular with your targeting only to relevant users.

Here's a quick rundown of how to target FB ads so that the brand can define an audience that is ready to convert.

  • Age: If your audience spans a wide age range (for example, millennials versus baby boomers). You can segment your ads rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Interests: The platform can highlight potential customers based on "likes" and Facebook activity. For example, a local bike shop targeting users who follow Schwinn's brand page or list "biking" as an interest).
  • Demographics: Information such as education level or relationship status can assist you in targeting specific social media personas.

Step #2: Pick the right type of campaign goals

You are setting yourself up for failure if you begin an ad campaign without clearly defining your goals.

Create measurable goals that you can track over time. Creating goals should be the first step in the Facebook Ads planning process.

In this section, we'll help you figure out which ads you should run for different campaign goals.

1. Brand awareness campaign

At the Awareness stage, your Facebook ad goal is to attract new audiences.

Unless you're a household name like Lenskart and Nykaa, these new customers are unfamiliar with your brand.

That is why they are referred to as a "cold audience"; they don't know you, trust you, and aren't interested yet.

Instead of starting with a Conversion objective, raise awareness and make people realize they need your offering. Do this by highlighting their interests, needs and problems, and how you can solve them.

Ad types that are proven to work the best in this stage:

  • Video ads
  • Collection ads
  • Image ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Instant Experience ads

One of the best ways to start your buyer journey is to address their needs and that's what Sleepy owl did.

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The ad clearly speaks to the audience who are health conscious yet want to drink tastier coffee.

Plus, the creative captures the eyes of complete strangers by showing off how the product looks like.

if you don’t have image ads, carousel ads will also work well in the Awareness stage.

Stylish and comfortable footwear brand Flathead carousel ad is a perfect example of this.

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This ad does a good job at highlighting "benefits to the customer" rather than mere features of shoes.

The copy communicates the key message with less yet powerful words such as "𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲", "Lightweight & Durable" etc.

2. Consideration campaign

At this stage, people know about your brand and are deciding whether they want to buy from you or a competitor.

Use warm audiences from the awareness stage and get them interested to try out your product.

Prospects visit your website, learn about your offering and leave their contact information.

As a result, ensure that your website is well designed and optimized for user experience.

During this stage, you can be more direct and ask for users contact info in exchange for something of value. For example downloadable pdf, special offer, free sample or trial, Giveaways, webinars etc.

Again, the value you exchange depends on your business model and target audience.

In this stage, a couple of the best performing ad formats are:

  • Image ads
  • Carousel ads

Skincare DTC brand My Glamm uses an Image ad to offer free lipstick & Rs 150 wallet cash in exchange for app install.

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By incentivizing prospects to take a small action, My glamm is able to build trust before asking users to pay for something.

The choice of incentives was also thoughtful aligning with the audience they're targeting.

3. Conversion Campaigns

The Conversion stage is where you want to get a customer to take an action.

Ideally, to purchase something.

In the earlier stages, you’ve introduced your brand, got users interested, and built trust with them. As the audience is as hot as it’ll ever be.

To get leads excited make sure to clearly communicate your value proposition.

As a D2C brand, you’ll be able to retarget users that viewed or added to the cart but haven’t purchased yet with dynamic product ads.

Remember to always exclude users that completed the next step.

For example, when targeting users that visited your product page, exclude users that added products to the cart.

Similarly, when targeting users that added products to the cart, exclude users that initiated checkout. And so on.

The best performing ad formats for the Conversion stage are:

  • Image ads
  • DPA (Dynamic Product Ads)
  • Carousel ads

DPA (Dynamic Product Ads) show the right products to people who have expressed interest in them.

For example, if a shopper views a shaving razor, the next time around, Facebook will dynamically retarget that user with exact products.

LikeBunny uses DPA to remind users of the items they were browsing. There's also a special, limited-time 50% discount to round out the deal.

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Ad copy including the question “Is this your style?” hints that the exact outfit user was looking at before it's available and waiting for them.

Harry’s speaks to their customer pain i.e expensive razor blades and position themselves as the best solution over its competitor.

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A user sees the above once they get to a product page or even the checkout page, but they leave before finishing their order.

They expressed an interest, but something kept them from proceeding.

Harry's customer-focused copy emphasises what the reader stands to gain by taking action.

Nobody wants to commit to something they may regret later. As a result, they provide a guarantee that customers adore (and competitors hate).

4. Post-purchase campaign

Your existing customers are your best customers. Don't forget about them; nurture them with post-purchase Facebook ads.

Increasing the customer lifetime value of existing buyers by converting them into:

Loyal customers And promoters....will generate new referrals.

Incentivize these two main actions during the post-purchase phase:

  • Repeat purchases
  • Word-of-mouth advertising

Existing customers are the most profitable because they are inexpensive and simple to re-acquire.

When a customer buys multiple times, the CLV increases in relation to the acquisition costs (CAC).

A higher CLV to CAC ratio indicates that the customer is more profitable for your brand.

You don't need to bend over backwards to get the attention of existing customers because they've already purchased from you.

Simply express your gratitude and provide a good incentive for a repeat purchase.

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Ad creative best practices with examples

Ad design is crucial because it is how you will visually communicate and present your brands to the audience.

You can have a fantastic product and a irresistible offer, but it will be difficult to gain traction if your ad is visually unappealing, confusing, or simply boring.

Use these ad creative best practises for each stage of the customer lifecycle to increase revenue and repeat customers.

1. Showcase Social Proof with Customer Testimonials

91% of customers trust only reviews as much as their own friends and family.

Using social proof in Facebook ads increases the prospect's confidence & trust. This is a tried-and-tested method for converting people who are on the fence about purchasing.

Comfortable office desk brand UPLIFT Desk leverages social proof Facebook ads. People believe that if others have good things to say about their product, it will work well for them as well.

This ad begins with a testimonial for one of their customers, which helps the prospect gain trust.

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2. Focus on benefit not features

Huel offers ready-to-eat meal replacements saving users time while enjoying the vitamins.

Their Facebook ad not only have a longer copy and a punchier ad headline,

But it targets a few user-specific benefits and listing that it has ‘175 Health benefits’.

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If observed closely, the benefits are not product-related. They are user-focused, such as ‘reduces tiredness and fatigue.'

Huel can split-test targeted user-focused benefits among different audiences in their ad.

For example An older audience may be interested in their claims to ‘Support the immune system,'. And a younger audience may be more likely to convert when reading about the ‘skin' benefits.

Benefits can be an advertiser’s most powerful tool if used well.

3. Eye-catching graphics

Daily Harvest is a meal delivery service offering ready-to-eat smoothies, soups and lattes.

The brand aims to make eating healthier and delicious by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Daily Harvest uses a video of a bowl of food to pique the viewer's interest before telling why they should opt for it.

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This shows that the brand knows their target avatar so they used a dish that would catch their attention.

A beautiful graphic is likely to grab the attention of someone who never heard of the brand. While adding a promotional offer makes them more interested in trying something new.

This shows that Daily Harvest knows who their target avatar is so they used a dish that would catch their attention.

A beautiful graphic is likely to grab the attention of someone who never heard of the brand. While adding a promotional offer makes them more interested in trying something new.

4. Clear value proposition & call to action

Glossier creates an ad with magnetic power by showcasing its makeup value proposition.

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Watch the full ad

Both the copy and the video communicate what sets Glossier apart from its competition: it is simple to use and appears natural.

The use of the “Shop Now” call-to-action button directs the audience on what they should do next.

Because videos auto-play on mute, Glossier created a video that explains their product value without any dialogue at all.

Glossier took the concept of a product demonstration to the next level. By highlighting product options and showcasing differentiators within 37 seconds.

Personal styling DTC brand, Stich fix is another example of using compelling value proposition in their ad.

“We find looks you'll like.” It's like a six-word memorable elevator pitch.

And, because it's surrounded by white space, the copy reads almost as the logo.

By adding —"No subscription required", they removed a major resistance someone might have about signing up with them.

Both the copy and the video clearly communicate what sets Glossier apart from its competition: it is simple to use and appears natural.

The use of the “Shop Now” call-to-action button clearly directs the audience as to what they should do next.

Because videos auto-play on mute, Glossier created a video that demonstrates their idea or product differentiation without any dialogue at all.

Glossier took the concept of a product demonstration video to the next level, highlighting product options and showcasing differentiators within 37 seconds.

Personal styling DTC brand, Stich fix is another example of using compelling value proposition in their ad.

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“We find looks you'll like.” It's similar to a six-word memorable elevator pitch.

And, because it's surrounded by white space, the copy reads almost as easily as the logo.

By adding those three little words —"No subscription required", they removed a major resistance someone might have about signing up with them.

5. Leverage a Competitor’s Brand

If your competitor is well-known, mentioning their brand name in your ad is a bold move.

Dollar Shave Club did exactly that in their razor advertisements.

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Dollar Shave Club drew the attention of an extremely broad audience of people who associate the razor with Gillette.

The copy is catchy and enticing––it makes “the Club” provocative, challenging the audience to solve the mystery of a razor better than Gillette.

Result: The brand reached 1.6 million people during this ad campaign, with a 1.5X increase in subscriptions.


Benchmark and metrics to track

The important thing you need to do once you get serious about running the profitable ad is to decide which metrics to track.

Facebook automatically provides you with a variety of metrics; some are important to keep an eye on, while others are just vanity metrics.

A vanity metric generates a big number that sounds great but doesn’t really provide all that much insight into how a campaign is performing.

The number of impressions for your ad campaign could be very high,

But if you aren’t generating leads those impressions are worthless.

Here's the list of important metrics to track of your Facebook ad:

  • Cost per acquisition: Track How much money did you have to spend to acquire this new customer. This measures the cost to acquire something that is not a customer. For example, a registration, a trial or lead.
  • Conversion rate: If you're selling directly online, determine how many leads you need to get to make your product sale.
  • Return on Ad Spend: The amount of revenue generated for every penny spent on advertising. Make sure that every dollar you invest in your ads efforts is returning you (at minimum) a dollar back in revenue.

ROAS = Revenue ÷ Ad Spend

Besides, Facebook ad metrics,

Here are the top three metrics to track for your DTC store:

  • Bounce Rate: How many users are landing on your website only to bounce again after a one-page visit? If the bounce rate is high, focus on making your store user friendly and engaging as possible.
  • Cart Abandonment: You've gotten someone all the way through the funnel only to have them abandon their cart. This usually indicates that your checkout process is overly complicated or prices are too high, or the store isn't engaging enough.
  • Average Order Value: If your AOV is lower than the cost of customer acquisition you may face a financial problem in the long term. Boost your AOV with product suggestions, Upselling, customizations, and product bundling.

Conclusion

Thanks for sticking with us until the end of this lengthy post!

Here are a few key takeaways from this post:

  • Be clear with what you want your ads to accomplish and then using Facebook Analytics to find out.
  • Learn about your ideal audience-specific interests behaviours and patterns.
  • Use positive images, colours, and language in your ad copy to engage your audience.
  • Showcase social proof with Customer Testimonials wherever possible.
  • Develop a unique message based on your customer's journey map.
  • Remember your raving customers; nurture them with post-purchase Facebook ads.
  • First, turn strangers into know and then to customers. Segment out audiences into different groups.
  • Avoid spending hundreds of dollars per day until you have a profitable campaign.
  • FB ad success formula: Attractive offer + Eye-catching creative + Right benchmarks
  • And, Keep testing until you find the right ad set that maximizes your ads performance.