E-Commerce for Brands
E-Commerce Growth: Ads and Opportunity
Antoine Gagné of J7 Media has proven his ingenuity in the world of Facebook ads. While still in high school, he started promoting local clubs through Facebook Events. By the time he was 18, he had started an ad agency.
Four years later, Antoine bought out his partner and revamped his agency with new dedicated creative and media teams. Today, they manage $3 million in Facebook ads each month.
Antoine’s success has been the result of his natural knack for applying what he learns about Facebook ads along the way. Now, he’s applied that knowledge specifically to help brands refine their ad strategies and bring in more qualified traffic.
In a recent episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?! Antoine joined host Nate Svoboda to talk about how brands should use Facebook Ads in this new, digital-first normal.
Listen to the full episode or read the summary below!
If It Were Easy…
As the adage goes, “if it were easy, everyone would do it.” And, indeed, just about everyone tries to win at Facebook ads. Gurus around the world sell their courses that make it oh-so-easy to learn, they say. The fact is Facebook ads are harder to master than most of us want to believe.
Antoine Gagné reflects on this as he talks about some of the most successful brand campaigns his agency has managed. He talks about how competition follows popularity — and Facebook certainly is popular, so the competition is steep.
Then, Antoine gives us another ingredient that no guru talks about: bringing something new to the market. “There will always be saturation for products that already exist,” he explains. It’s the opportunity to bring something truly new that results in hypergrowth.
That said, there is one part of advertising on Facebook that’s getting easier. Antoine encourages brands not to try and “outsmart the [Facebook] platform… you don’t tell Facebook, ‘target the 28-year-old who lives 5 km away.’ You just tell Facebook: ‘find purchasers.’” The algorithms built into the social network, Antoine assures us, are smarter now than we’ll ever be.
“Spend all your time crafting a good landing page and the fundamental messaging element of it,” Antoine says, “then let Facebook handle the targeting.”
Google vs. Facebook Ads
Of course, we’re working in an omnichannel world. Facebook Ads are usually coupled with other PPC ad sources like Google.
The trick, Antoine tells us, is to understand the intention behind a consumer’s use of each platform.
“Companies with success on Google don’t necessarily have success on Facebook,” Antoine says. Consumers looking for a service or good on Google are already researching a solution, whereas Facebook ads take a different targeting approach to capture the attention of idle “scrollers.”
Keep reading to learn more about how to stay ahead of the competition no matter what channel you sell on.
Everything is Changing
Facebook is changing just like every other platform. For starters, the company recently changed its name to Meta to better describe the direction they plan on growing.
In more functional terms for users and businesses, changes to the platform interface, functions, and algorithm roll out every day.
In the long term, Facebook is trying to tap the “Amazon phenomenon,” as Antoine calls it. Facebook wants the same complete data that Amazon enjoys (where advertisements and final clicks to “buy” are all on the same platform). They’re making big changes to try and repeat the Amazon model, and Antoine says we should expect to see more signs of this soon.
There are adjacent changes in the digital commerce world that impact Facebook ads, too, like the new iOS update and tracking regulations. These shifts force brands to re-work their strategies in a big way.
Market conditions change, too. “Last year we lived in a bubble where everyone was buying stuff online,” Antoine says. “But now, e-commerce brands have hit a wall.”
Is it all about Facebook?
The recent Facebook crash was a six-hour window where almost no one had access to the platform (or any other product owned by the company). This was a big wake-up call for brands.
Beyond the paranoia around relying on one single platform, Antoine still says to “double down on Facebook if it’s working for you.” He adds, though, “be ready to shift… put the time in now on other platforms like SMS and email.” This is not the time to shy away from Facebook (at least, not yet), but it is that agility that brands will need to see real hypergrowth.
There are other tools that can complement a more agile Facebook strategy, too. For example, Amber Engine has rolled out an AI-powered product data assistant who finds what fields you have to update in product listings to compete with the top sellers. The tool, called Amber AI, brings click-to-deploy insights that will soon be applied to Facebook ads and other channels, although the software currently is in beta for Amazon optimizations.
Over this memorable interview, Antoine speaks confidently about all-things Facebook ads. He explains how brands can double down and use the platform now with a future-facing vantage point.
Antoine is also the host of his own podcasts, like the Hypergrowth podcast for e-commerce brands looking to reverse engineer the success of the best. He also hosts the Social Selling podcast where he discusses marketing trends and strategies for social and e-commerce platforms.