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5 Ways to Successfully Target Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads Targeting
Facebook ads can either be incredibly productive, or they can fail spectacularly wasting marketing budget each time you get it wrong. The thing is there are literally thousands of targeting parameters on the Facebook dashboard, and the format of advert available is in double figures so it can feel a little like crashing around in the dark hoping you find the right way out.

Thankfully you can actually learn Facebook ads targeting as a bit of a craft, and with the average person spending more than an hour of their time on this social media platform they actually become the key to your success. Here are five great ways that might have escaped you so far that can help you become the master of ad targeting.

1. Stalk Facebook User Purchasing Behaviour

Over the years, Facebook has gone from being a social platform with very little in the way of information available to advertisers to a full-on business management tool. Of course, this is in response to their desire to generate revenue from business advertising, and in order to make this profitable, they needed to get their act together and bring some data analysis into play. In 2013 they created some new partnerships with Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon who basically function by recording and analysing every move you make on the platform and beyond.

One of the partners has over half a billion active users and claim to have on average 1,600 data points for every one of these customers. What this means is that Facebook knows everything. Have you ever looked on Amazon for a wireless doorbell and gone back to Facebook later only to see adverts for wireless doorbells on your newsfeed? It is a little Big Brother but flip on its back for advertisers, and you have gold.

So, you can now target your adverts based on Purchasing Behaviour. You can drill down into things like Buyer Profiles, Health and Beauty, Food and Drink and many more categories, with each choice you make offering you further insights until you arrive at the level you think will serve you best. To make things even more helpful, you will also see how many user profiles will be targeted in each selection.

2. Hit the Life Events Button

If you are a wedding dress designer, it stands to reason that you might want to target engaged people, so it would be beneficial if Facebook ad  targeting can show you that parameter, right? Well, unsurprisingly it can, and not just things like who is engaged and who is single.

There are several options, users who have marked a new job in their life events, those who are married, single, divorced, and it doesn’t stop there. Each event also has a timeline option, three months, six months or one year. So, if you are selling anniversary flowers targeting married for a year could see your products land neatly under the nose of your perfect Facebook audience.

3. Custom Audience for Leads and Retention

You might think that targeting existing customers is a waste of resources; after all, they are already following you and know about your products. However, a bit of love and attention for existing leads and customers can soon generate new orders, and a bit of loyalty goes a long way.

Of course, there are times when you do want to exclude existing customers; perhaps you are offering new sign-ups a freebie or money off. In this case, it is a waste to put that in front of your existing customers so you can use Custom Audience to exclude them in this instance.

When creating a Facebook ad there are two ways to create a Custom Audience, firstly you have your site visitors, either using specific pages of your website or perhaps actions taken in your app or game. Secondly, you have the good old-fashioned CSV/TXT format list which you can upload from your data either using emails or phone lists. Once you have this, you can include or exclude all of them, or use the targeting parameters that Facebook has, within that data set, to streamline to the perfect audience.

There are so many ways to use this list it is a potent targeting option worth spending time on, with filtering of such issues as marital status, location, living arrangements or net worth; the combinations are mind-blowing.

4. CopyCat with a Lookalike Facebook Audience

Once you have the critical demographic data to pinpoint your perfect audience, you can expand it iso the Lookalike option. This can be a really useful tool if you have not yet created a big enough following on Facebook as you can build a new audience that looks like the target you have identified.

By utilising tracking pixels, you can locate a Website Custom Audience if your Facebook audience isn’t there yet, and from this replicate to a new mirror audience. Then, as you might have guessed, you can alter the reach again. On a like, for like basis, Facebook will identify the top 1% of similar users in the country you are targeting. If you want to make the reach wider, you can increase, and Facebook will target the top 10% of users most like your identified prospects. Clever stuff.

5. Layered Targeting

If you are still with us and not totally blown away and off exploring the first four options there is one more to mention, so stick with us for now, you can play with targeting very soon. So, you can also layer your Facebook ad targeting options. What this means is you can combine things like demographics, with behaviours, and geolocations to reduce your audience (so do this with care). But in some cases it can be incredibly helpful to have, say, a newly engaged, 25-year-old female who shops in Next, earns £35k a year and lives in Madagascar, not that we know under what circumstances that would be perfect, but you get the idea.

Actually, there have been cases of marketers pranking their friends with such specific targeted adverts they end up paranoid they have a stalker, hey no one said we understand advertising humour, but it proves how accurate you can get on Facebook Ads. What layering means is that you can find the perfect audience by using a group of filters and layering them one on top of the other, almost, almost guarantee they will hit the button to purchase whatever you are selling.

The Takeaway

The bottom line is the key to Facebook Advertising is developing a comprehensive ppc strategy that is also pretty diverse. There is nothing to say you have to use all of the methods shown above; you may decide some to not work for you but have a look at them all before you dismiss them.

Creating a perfect customer persona will enable you to align them to the many different ways of targeting we have discussed, so first of all decide the who, what, when, where and why of your prospects. Where do they work and live, who do they live with, what do they do in their free time, the more you can pinpoint this the better your targeting will be and the easier it will become to know which of the Facebook Ads targeting tools will work best for you when spending your hard earned PPC (pay per click) budget.


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