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Protecting your Facebook ad account and getting your ads approved

Today I want to talk about an important marketing topic and how it ties in with Facebook ads.

I’m talking about the customer buying cycle and Facebook ads.

The customer buying cycle is an important part of your customer journey and it really pays to spend some time thinking about it.

It will literally help you with any marketing activity that you do.

Firstly, let’s look at what the customer buying cycle is.

The buying cycle (also known as a purchase cycle) is the process a customer goes through when purchasing a product or service. Customers move through a series of purchasing stages in the cycle as they educate themselves and move closer to making a final purchasing decision.

🎧 Tune in to learn more

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Transcript

Hey there and welcome to the new school of marketing podcast. Or if you’ve listened before, welcome back.

We’ve just celebrated my daughter’s 3rd birthday and wow, I didn’t know how much time and energy a 3rd birthday takes. 

She had been talking about it for weeks, ever since one of her little friends had her party. She kept asking when her birthday was and to have a party at the playcentre. It was so hard to explain to her that it was still a while away and then that her birthday was on a certain date and her party on another day. 

I’m sure that by next year she’ll be fully clued in on everything. We had a great party and she absolutely loved it. 

Today I want to talk about an important marketing topic and how it ties in with Facebook ads.

I’m talking about the customer buying cycle and Facebook ads. 

The customer buying cycle is an important part of your customer journey and it really pays to spend some time thinking about it. 

It will literally help you with any marketing activity that you do. 

Firstly, let’s look at what the customer buying cycle is.

The buying cycle (also known as a purchase cycle) is the process a customer goes through when purchasing a product or service. Customers move through a series of purchasing stages in the cycle as they educate themselves and move closer to making a final purchasing decision.

There are a number of stages that every buyer goes through, and it’s slightly different for product or service, but mostly consists of the following steps

  • realizing they have a problem;
  • considering their options;
  • making a decision; and
  • purchasing a solution (or renewing, in the case of subscription products).

Each stage requires a different set of strategies to entice customers to move to the next stage because they expect different interactions with you depending on which stage they’re in. The goal at each stage isn’t to make the sale. Instead, your focus should be on simply moving each customer to the next stage.

And, as much as we’d like to believe we have control over which stage customers are in at any one time, they’re the ones in the driver’s seat. All we can do is align our strategies and sales process to match where each customer is in the purchasing cycle.

Looking closer at the cycle, here’s what we’ll be looking at:

Awareness

Awareness is the first stage of the buying process. Potential customers understand they have a problem that needs solving and begin to search for solutions. It’s often the stage where businesses put the most effort into their marketing.

Once customers become aware of your product or service and how it can potentially solve their problem, they move to the next stage in the journey: consideration.

Consideration

Your customer is out there searching for solutions, and your offer is now hopefully in the mix as an answer to their problem. 

Your job in the consideration stage is to provide detailed information explaining how your product or service can solve their problem better than anyone else and what benefits they’ll get from solving the problem.

Once customers are convinced they need to purchase a solution for their problems—whether that means your product or your competitors’—they progress to the next stage: intent.

Intent

In this stage, customers will be weighing up different options and whichever option makes the most logical, emotional, or financial sense will be the one they end up choosing. 

Your role here is to convince customers that your solution is the product or service they should choose.

Eventually, each customer will be ready to purchase and then progress to the final stage: purchasing.

Purchase

The customer has decided on the product they want to buy, and they buy it. (Hopefully, it’s yours; if not, it’s time to improve the stage where they dropped off!)

Even at the purchase stage, your job isn’t finished. It’s important to develop an ongoing relationship with your customers and support them in their problem-solving journey. Being in close contact also creates opportunities for future purchases.

It’s really important to know that buying cycle because it allows you to modify your marketing for each stage.

So why is this important for Facebook ads?

Most people try to use Facebook ads for the final stage. The purchase stage. And while it works for some, I also see a lot of disappointment because it’s not working for the majority of businesses. 

Facebook ads are a marketing tactic and before spending any money you need to think about your customer and where they are at right now in the customer buying cycle.

If it’s the first stage, the awareness stage, your sales ads are most likely going to flop and disappoint you.

Facebook ads can be used for all of the customer buyer cycle stages and in my opinion it should be used for all stages. 

The way Facebook ads manager is structured is focused on the buyer cycle, where there are three campaign objectives that you can choose from. They are awareness, consideration and conversion.

When deciding to run Facebook ads, think about what stage of the buying cycle you’re focusing on. 

If you already have a warm audience, you can run ads with a conversion objective to help them get over the line and purchase from you.

If you’re advertising to someone who has never heard of your business you should start by running awareness ads to introduce them to you and your offer. 

Once someone is in the awareness stage, you can start running ads that nurture them towards a sale. 

It seems like a lengthy process, but this cycle hasn’t changed for decades and we really should be aware of how someone moves from being unaware of your business (or their problem) to choosing your business as the solution to their problem.

My task for you today is to look at your marketing, and Facebook ads, and evaluate it under the buyer cycle lens to see where you could improve or make changes. 

Also, think about what your marketing looks like for each stage of the cycle. Does your message only focus on sales or are you also accommodating the other stages?

That’s it for this episode, I hope you found it helpful and I can’t wait hear your aha moments. 

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