Facebook ads can be awesome to target new audience, get your creatives and message out there, and scale your business. Millions of businesses swear by them. But what happens when you can’t advertise anymore? In this article, we outline the ways you can still promote your products and continue to grow your business even if your Facebook account gets disabled. (and it happens at an alarming regularity!)
With its ever changing and less than transparent ad policies, Facebook can really play god with your business. Overnight, disgruntled ecommerce store owners report, their entire accounts or their advertising rights get restricted or entirely banned, no explanation given. Sometimes your product could belong to a niche where commercial advertising isn’t possible. For examples, products related to cannabis, CBD, firearms etc cannot advertise on most ad networks. If you’re an ecommerce store that’s heavily dependent on Facebook for business, this can be a make or break situation for you. And most of the times you have no control but to write to Facebook support endlessly and wait for the best. If you’re lucky, your account may regain its advertising access or if you’re really unlucky, you might lose access to it forever.
One of my own stores was banned from advertising forever citing “bad reviews” (because two people gave it a 2 star rating out of the hundreds!), and that was the end of Facebook for us. What I’ve realised being in ecommerce for long is, you have gotta reduce your dependence on Facebook. Yes, if you’re an ecommerce store, it is an effective way to advertise your product and get it in front of millions of people. But it’s full of uncertainties and risks, and you’re always on the thin ice of the FB puppet masters. My advice would be expand your footprint across channels instead of putting all your eggs in the FB basket. And now you know how.
Here’s some of the ways you can spread your footprint beyond Facebook if you already are not doing so, and reduce the risk of having your business die at the hands of a banned ad account.
1. Google Shopping is a must for ecommerce stores
If you’re a new ecommerce store owner, chances are that you haven’t dabbled with Google Product Feed or Google Shopping ads. These are the purchase-oriented product listings that show up in response to a relevant keyword search on Google like above. If you sell physical products, Google Shopping is a must as it gets straight to the point and throws up results that are exactly tied to the user’s query in terms of product name, price and a photo. You can optimise your store for Google Shopping ads with optimised titles, keywords, alt texts, prices, promotional offers and more.
2. Ecommerce stores can get upto 25% extra revenue with a strong email marketing game
Sure, emails can’t get you new leads most of the time, but what if you can optimise your existing list and extract more revenue per customer you already have? At Hustler Marketing, we have helped over 75 ecommerce businesses get anywhere between 20 to 50% of their overall revenue from email alone, including upping the repeat purchase rate. This is done with setting up essential and advance email flows and campaigns in order. Great email marketing also involves incorporating advanced tactics like segmentation, technical overhauls, monitoring, great looking design and copy.
3. Future minded ecommerce businesses invest heavily in SEO
The more traffic you can drive to your website organically from Google, the more long term profit you can achieve without spending any money on ads. Of course SEO is not free and initially you may have to invest a significant amount in it and the results take long, but they’re long term and effective. Get this: After spending $2000/mo on SEO for years, finally my store started seeing 20-40% more organic traffic on the store, and this number has only been growing steadily. SEO traffic is really the gift that keeps on giving.
4. Smart ecommerce stores do influencer marketing right
Influencer marketing can work wonders when done right. Instead of spending $5000 on a single ad account – taking a chance with your target audience as is the case with FB, distribute this $5000 amongst 5 influencers in your niche. Plus, you will not have to worry about having to produce the content as the influencers do most of the content creation and distribution. The trick lies in finding the right influencers that have the following relevant to your geography, brand and products. Sure, an influencer can get you 100k views on their TikTok but can they drive sales on the store? Yes they can. Check out platforms like Upfluence to identify the right influencers for you and start collaborating with them.
Here’s how one of our client stores got 150x engagement and website visits from an influencer collaboration
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5. List your products on 3rd party channels such as Amazon, Groupon, OpenSky etc.
Driving traffic to your own ecommerce store and getting sales off it of course is the ideal situation. But it’s not always possible to do it without ads or significant other expenses. At this point expanding your footprint, and selling your inventory on 3rd party channels, most popular being Amazon, and others like Groupon, OpenSky, Ebay, New Egg, etc. can help you move product without any marketing efforts from your end. You basically sign up to be a vendor on all the platforms, once approved, list your catalogue on the platforms, set price, and the channel does the same. Of course you don’t get a lot of control in how much traffic or sales you can make from third-party platforms, and they do charge a commission on every sale, but it’s always good to use them as an option just to cover all the bases in your ecommerce distribution funnel. Sometimes, established sellers can make upto 80% of their overall revenue from selling on third party sites while their own stores contributes negligible revenue.
Look not having an option to advertise on Facebook isn’t ideal, but it’s not the end of your ecommerce marketing journey by any means. When one door closes, another opens. Get creative, hustle harder and you’d find tons of great options to advertise and grow your business even without Facebook ads.