PPC Case: Facebook Ads for Wild Nature Shoes

How successfully would a wild nature shoes niche be with Facebook PPC? If the traffic goes directly to the landing page without any conversion funnel? There was a high competition in the market. And the only difference was the shoes themselves because they were unique.

I chose an interesting CPA offer: shoes for extreme conditions. But there were already many advertisers like me around and big online stores with exactly the same product.

However, my campaigns gave results even during the test period. They have worked since August 9 till August 16, 2019, and their statistics was:

  • number of leads = 11;
  • total spent = $69.38;
  • average cost per lead (CPL) = $6.31;
  • allowed CPL = $6.16.
Image: PPC case - all Facebook campaigns for shoes
PPC case: all Facebook campaigns for shoes (statistics).

The first PPC campaign “Cntools_KZ_Tourism_Tourist” brought only 2 expensive leads. So it needed a deep analysis and optimization.

But the second one – “Cntools_Lake_Mountains_Nature_KZ” – was much better: 9 leads per $5.72 each. It was 7.14% cheaper than the planned CPL $6.16.

Right below, this case describes how I prepared exactly those footwear Facebook PPC. Nothing too complicated, so please keep reading.

What Did the Success with Shoes PPC Need?

This PPC case wouldn’t result (not only on Facebook) if I did not learn enough about that footwear first. Because I had to understand how to propose it to people.

Learn the footwear advantages and positioning

Firstly, I read the text on the landing page carefully. Then I wrote out a list of what differed this footwear from other ones and how it was positioned. Under “positioned” I mean its main peculiarities that you can show to people first.

Secondly, I looked at reviews around the web and social media. Additionally, I made a brief keyword analysis on Google. That allowed me to learn better about shoes in general and add some ideas to the list of advantages.

These were the main footwear advantages I could use for Facebook PPC:

  • high strength and resistance to cuts, blows, punctures;
  • shocks softening;
  • waterproof in any weather conditions;
  • breathe, high comfort for legs during long walks;
  • light, serve several years;
  • stylish, nice looking.

Explore the selling process and shoe buyers service

The selling funnel was very simple: a visitor came to the landing page -> filled in an order form -> got a free consultation about shoes -> bought them.

Additionally, clients got a mail delivery within 7 days, discount -41% and they paid only upon receiving the product.

There were two pages: one for desktop, another one for mobile. I liked the mobile version more and stayed with it.

Use that all to plan a bird’s eye view of shoes Facebook PPC

To sum up, from 2 previous steps I planned to do the following:

  • use a mobile landing page;
  • rewrite its texts in order to reflect main footwear advantages better;
  • write an article to warm up visitors that did not buy;
  • possible Facebook PPC strategy: drive traffic to the landing page -> remarketing to the article -> warm up visitors -> send them to the landing page again.

Now we have got a plan for selling shoes on Facebook, but how to create PPC campaigns from it? This plan starts implementing in the next chapter.

Facebook Interests and Insights of Shoe Lovers

Before creating images, ad texts and setting up a first PPC campaign, I had to figure out who on Facebook would be interested in such shoes? Who needs footwear with all those advantages?

To learn that I went to Facebook Interests and Facebook Insights. I supposed that it could be travellers, fishers, scouts and other wild nature fans. And yeah, I have found and written a long list of such interests. Additionally, I completed it with few parameters like age, occupation etc.

This list took 4 pages in Google docs:

Image: list of Facebook interests to target PPC campaigns for shoes
Facebook interests for PPC campaigns for shoes

I grouped these interests into segments, like keywords. As a result, I have got 10 segments and chose the hottest one to start (based on research):

Image: chosen segment to target the first Facebook PPC campaign for shoes
Segment of interests to target the first PPC campaign for shoes.

Other parameters of this segment were:

  • age: 25-54 years old;
  • show ads to both men and women.

Now I had an idea of who my potential buyers can be. The next question: how to tell them about footwear advantages?

Ad Texts and Images

What kind of footwear do 25-54 aged wild nature lovers usually want? To answer this I simply combined interests of the chosen segment with the main advantages of promoted shoes.

After that, I tuned the landing page to be relevant to that combination. The headline, texts and images on the landing page’s first screen were describing the shoes’ advantages and speaking about foot challenges during wild nature travels.

Then I have written 3 variants of texts and drawn 3 images:

Ad images with texts together had to reflect the footwear advantages from different sides:

  • softness and easy to walk in wild nature;
  • waterproofing;
  • resistance to cuts and sharp surfaces.

Therefore I got: 3 images x 3 texts = 9 hypotheses of ads, that were relevant to the chosen segment.

So it was time to put them in Facebook and run PPC campaigns. The next part tells about it.

Planning and Setting Up Facebook PPC for Shoes

I wanted to see if people would order shoes directly from the landing page. Which images and texts would work best? In order to make things quicker, I decided to act this way:

  • firstly, test all three images with any text variant (e. g. Text 1) – in order to choose resulting images;
  • then test only those images with Texts 2 and 3.

Test all images with Text 1, then use only resulting images

Image: Testing ad images and texts to find combinations with best results.
Testing ad images and texts to filter the best working combinations.

I created three ad groups with one ad in each. The ad consisted of one image and one text.

This way I started testing all three images with the Text 1.

Set daily and testing budgets for each ad group

I chose the minimal testing budget: $2.50 daily per one ad group. For the test, each ad had to spend 1.5-2 allowed CPL ($9-$12). Therefore the whole testing period could take 4-5 days.

Configure Facebook Pixel

Do you remember the article that had to warm up visitors by telling them more about shoes? I set up Facebook Pixel to collect the following audiences:

  • leads” – ordered shoes from the landing page;
  • not-leads” – just visited the landing page without making an order;
  • article” – all who visited the article about shoes;
  • proceeded to the landing page” – article visitors who went to the landing page;
  • not proceeded” – article visitors who did not go to the landing page.

Remarketing plan for landing page and article visitors

For the “non-leads” audience I planned to use two campaigns:

  • a remarketing campaign (let’s name it R#1). It had to show them additional perks of our footwear and drive them back to the landing page;
  • a campaign (R#2) sending them the article about shoes. That article had links to the landing page, so visitors could go there after reading and make an order.
Image: remarketing campaigns for those who did not order shoes on the landing page
Remarketing campaigns R#1 and R#2 for not converted landing page visitors.

Similarly, for those who did not proceed from the article to the landing page, I would use another remarketing campaign (R#3) convincing them to visit the landing:

Image: remarketing article visitors to the landing page
Remarketing campaign R#3 for article visitors who did not go to the landing page.

To sum up, here is a table of remarketing campaigns and gathered custom audiences (CA). The “+” sign means “include this CA”, the “-” sign tells to “exclude the CA”. The empty cell means not to use the appropriate CA anyway:

Custom AudienceR#1
(additional shoes perks)
(to the article)
(article readers back to LP)
LP Not Leads+++
Article Visitors+
Did not go to LP
from the article
Custom audiences used in remarketing campaigns.
  • R#1 – for landing page visitors who did not make an order. Show them those advantages of the shoes that the main Facebook PPC campaign did not tell about;
  • R#2 – for the same audience as R#1, only send them to the article about shoes;
  • R#3 – for article visitors who did not proceed to the landing page. Invite them to it one more time.

Has my footwear PPC ever used those remarketing and article?

Luckily hypotheses started bringing leads during the first test PPC campaign (three images + Text 1). So I even put off the article and setting up remarketing campaigns for some period.

I decided to focus on direct leads only and let Facebook Pixel just gather remarketing audiences for a while. In the next chapter I’ll show you these results in detail.

Facebook Shoes PPC Campaigns Work and Results

Do you remember our testing segment? It was: “Lakes + Mountains + Nature lovers, 25-54 years old, both men and women“. The first three hypotheses (images 1, 2 and 3 with Text 1) started working on August 9, 2019. It was a testing period, so it was OK if CPL would be higher.

First test of all images with Text 1

After 3 days, on August 12, 2019, each group had spent more than allowed CPL ($6.16):

Image: Test of all images with Text 1 in the shoes Facebook PPC.
Test run of images 1, 2 and 3 with the Text 1.

I made the first analysis and optimization. It showed that women did not buy, so I narrowed the audience to men only. All other targeting options remained unchanged.

As for leads, they came from “Img2” (1 lead per $6.64) and “Img3” (3 leads per $2.15). “Img1” brought 0 results. But the average CPL on the campaign level was $4.87, less than allowed $6.16. So I decided to test “Img1” once more for men only.

Test the same ad groups, but for men only

For this purpose, I stopped the previous 3 groups and started their copies with the narrowed targeting:

Image: Testing footwear pictures with Text 1 for men only
Testing footwear images with Text 1 for men only.

New ad groups have worked since August 12 till August 16, 2019.

After spending about $10 each, Img2 and Img3 brought cheap leads again. Img1 had 0 results, therefore I decided to stop it.

Please notice that Img3 for Men had CPL $5.28 – it was higher than previously $2.15 with Men & Women. So I might include Women back to the ad group 3 targeting.

Test the same creatives with a different interest

After previous tests, I decided to try the same 3 images with the same text only for a different interest:

Image: testing shoes ads in Facebook PPC for male tourists, 25-54 years old
Images 1-3 with Text 1 for male tourists, 25-54 years old.

The targeting was: male tourists, 25-54 years old. The campaign started on August 14, 2019.

But in this case, it was only image 1 (Img1) that had results! As the CPL on the campaign level was too high ($8.95), I would do the following:

  • let “Img1” work as it did because of good CPL;
  • analyze “Img2” and “Img3” by various parameters (age, device, time, day etc). If there’s no opportunity to find and exclude expensive segments, then stop those groups;
  • make few ad copies in the resulting ad group (“Img1”) in order to test so-called “Facebook pools”. See if some of the copies have low CPL;
  • filter only resulting ad copies and try to increase their budget (CPM).

Test the images carousel and two videos

I added 3 experiment ad groups with the same targeting, only the interest was wider – “Nature“. There were two groups with videos and one with a carousel of images. They started on August 16, 2019:

Image: Videos about shoes and images carousel in Facebook PPC
Testing images carousel and videos about shoes

The carousel consisted of Text 1 and all three images from above. But the videos were created and proposed by another guy, not by myself.

Business Manager ban and a possible reason for it

Unfortunately, Facebook rejected all my PPC campaigns, not only this one about shoes. And 2 hours later it banned the whole Business Manager.

I think it happened because of those videos. In my view, they were a bit aggressive: hard music, sometimes shocking etc. That is why Facebook might not like them.

Case Conclusion

The total CPL for all campaigns was $6.31 instead of allowed $6.16. That was a bit expensive, so we needed to stop bad performing ad groups in order to decrease costs.

The first interest segment “Lakes, Mountains, Nature” worked better, it’s CPL was $4.87-$5.26. That allowed us to keep testing all ad groups in it without stopping any of them.

The segment “Tourism, Tourists” had worse results: $8.95 per lead. That was too high, so I needed to leave only resulting ads there.

Also, it is better to use your own creatives instead of those made by others. Put your soul into your ads. Facebook may previously have banned other creatives, so if you steal them for your campaigns, you can be banned too.

And yes, the direct traffic to the landing page can give results in shoes selling. The relevancy won again.

What Do You Think About This Facebook PPC Case for Shoes?

Please ask your questions or write comments through the form below. I read and answer them in new comments or new articles.

Share the link to this article with your friends who might plan to sell goods online.

If you would like to promote something similar with PPC too and are looking for a specialist, you could work with me. Welcome to my Google Ads Service page, read how we can cooperate and contact me!

Here is a couple of articles for the next reading:

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