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The #1 mistake shopping malls make with Facebook Ads and how to do it right.

9/21/18 10:15 AM by Uffe Aalborg

Facebook advertising is a cheap and easy way to reach the customers of your shopping mall - if you do it right, if done wrong you can waste a lot of money. 

In this post, I will show you the mistake that most shopping malls make, and how leading shopping malls make the most of their budget spent on Facebook ads.

 

This article is in-depth, so I have divided it into sections. Click on one of them to jump right to it: 


Why Ads are the only way on facebook

You may have been told that customers are leaving Facebook. However, according to the latest numbers from Facebook, do more people sign up on Facebook every day - also in Europe.

Because so many people use Facebook every day makes it a great way to reach new customers.

In the past it was enough to post from your shopping mall’s Facebook page. However, Facebook effectively shut this down earlier in the year by changing the algorithm. Now you will only reach 3-4% of all people liking your Facebook page, making it a less effective way to reach your customers.

Therefore you will need to use advertising to get your message in front of your audience. 

Before I tell you how to use Facebook advertising effectively, I will show you a significant mistake that most malls do, and the way to avoid it.

 

The biggest mistake: Showing ads with new products or events

Yes! The headline is not a misspelling. The mistake that most shopping malls make is advertising for new tenant’s products or new campaigns running in the mall.

Now I will show you why this is wrong by using an ad from one of the biggest malls in the world.

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The fundamental mistake is that these kinds of ads are used the same way as mass media, where customers can't interact, and afterwards it's impossible to track the effect.

In the ad above there is no incentive for customers to interact or engage further with the ad, and the ad does not give the customer an option to sign up to either an event, newsletter, or mobile app to find out more.

Thereby the customer cannot interact with the ad and will forget about it in minutes!

Not only does the customer forget about the ad, but it also leaves the mall with no way of reaching the customer again without creating another ad and paying more money to Facebook for showing it.

Instead, shopping malls should focus on making customers take an action and sign-up to an event, newsletter, or mobile app.

My recommendation is to build an app, and then create ads that give an incentive for customers to download and use the app on a regular basis.

In the next section, I will tell you how to do just that.
 

Launch a competition to make customers sign up to e-mail or app

A great example of a mall that succeeds with Facebook advertising is herningCentret, a Danish mall with 80 stores.

Skærmbillede 2018-09-18 14.13.13
Skærmbillede 2018-09-18 14.13.04-min

In this ad, herningCentret have launched a competition where customers can win a gift card by downloading the shopping mall app.

In the second paragraph, herningCentret says that customers also receive 10 points for the loyalty program by downloading the app, and another 10 points every time the customer visits the mall. 

Therefore it's a double win for the customer, which creates an incentive to interact with the ad.

Why is this a better approach?

When customers download the app, herningCentret can interact directly with them through it and show upcoming events and new offers from tenant’s shops - as demonstrated in this video. (Article continues below the video) 

 

By creating ads that make customers download the app, it becomes a free communication channel for herningCentret and its tenants.

Now, herningCentret doesn't have to pay for Facebook ads to tell the customer about new events and promotions in the mall, making room in the budget for other marketing channels.  

 

Further reading

I have created another post about how Zalando and another Danish mall uses multiple marketing channels to increase app downloads. That one is available here.

I also created a more in-depth case study about how we helped herningCentret to improve their results with Facebook ads by 8700%. Click here to download it

 

How to reach current customers

One of the most debated possibilities for Facebook advertising is the "Boost botton."

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When you post content to your Facebook page it's possible to boost the post. However the big question is:


Should you use it or should you not?
 

It's not well communicated by Facebook, and most Facebook experts will tell you not use it, but there is one good reason for putting it to use.

The boost button was designed to make it possible for you to boost a Facebook post to reach more of your Facebook page followers.

Therefore it's usually cheaper to use the boost button to reach your current followers than to use other possibilities, and it's faster too.

Your followers have already shown interest in your mall, and therefore they are easier to engage.

A possibility would be to run the above ad were customers can participate in a competition when they download an app, or you could create an event where customers can sign up to an email list to attend.

By using this approach you convert your existing loyal customers into app users or email subscribers, and now you don't have to pay Facebook every time you have a new event.
 

Extended thoughts

Malls digital presence is one of my greatest areas of interest.

Recently I have conducted a case study showing the effects 12 months after herningCentret lanched their Emplate consumer app. They have got a significant boost in customers, and in this case study you can learn how they did it.  

How a mall got 94.258 visits from their loyalty app in 12 months
 

Uffe Aalborg

Written by Uffe Aalborg

Head of Marketing. Passionate about using data to create better customer experiences. A fairly poor football player that uses passion to make up for it.