Originally posted May 19, 2014 on Groove’s blog
When Facebook Ads first launched in 2007, they came in like a wrecking ball — okay, there was probably a better phrase to use here, but who doesn’t love a solid Miley reference to start a blog post?
Advertisers across a variety of industries and company sizes quickly grabbed their test budgets and threw them directly at Facebook and…well, this is awkward… many advertisers DID NOT see the conversion rates or ROI that they were expecting. So what happened?
Facebook Ads were originally limited to what Facebook users displayed directly on their public profile, which sounded great at first. However, marketers quickly found that it was difficult to connect a person’s love of Jock Jams: Volume 5 or playing Call of Duty to a “want” or consumer need that would ultimately lead to a conversion. Budgets were quickly adjusted and the hype around Facebook as the best way to target consumers and drive conversions lowered to a dull roar.
Fast forward 7 years and Facebook Ads have evolved tremendously, allowing for some great new ad targeting options that should have advertisers re-thinking their test budget allocation. Unfamiliar with what’s now available or not sure where to get started? In this post, I’m going to walk you through 5 Facebook ad targeting options that every marketer should consider implementing.
#1: Facebook Retargeting… Filling in the search engine gaps across devices.
One thing that Google and the other search engines haven’t quite figured out involves ad targeting across devices. Since Facebook is login specific, they don’t have the same barrier in this ad targeting play. They can connect user devices quickly, regardless of IP or cookie, based on their login. This makes for a nice way to extend the reach of your current AdWords or other retargeting campaigns if you have a mobile friendly site.
#2: Email Lookalike Campaigns… Great for getting new eyes.
Figuring out the “likes” of your customer base can be pretty daunting, and can involve a lot of guess work. With Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, you can create a list based on your current customer database. The basic concept? Upload a list of the emails of your converting customers and Facebook will cross-reference your data with theirs to find your customers on Facebook. You can then choose to target your Facebook ads to the list you uploaded, or, Facebook users with similar interests (as defined by Facebook in the ever so mysterious black box).
#3: Phone Number Targeting… Forget cold calls, cold Facebook ad instead!
Similar to the email address targeting, Facebook can also accept and match to an upload of customer or potential customer phone numbers. You can then choose to retarget to that same list, or create a look-a-like campaign to find users with similar interests. It sounds creepy, but unlike other Facebook ad targeting options, this approach can help tie the knot between online and offline identities and opens up a new way of reaching people that you only have a phone number for.
#4: Life Event Targeting… Make an emotional connection.
Available on most Facebook campaign setups, targeting for live events goes beyond the expected “in a relationship”. With options like “recently moved”, “away from family”, and “new job”, Facebook allows advertisers to get hyper relevant to what is going on in their audience’s lives at the time and connect on an emotional level through ad copy. I’m tearing up just thinking about it!
#5: Friends of Fans… On Wednesdays, we wear pink.
Not every consumer base is going to look like a scene from Mean Girls, but if you are advertising a niche product with a passionate consumer base, using a Facebook ad to target friends of your current fan base could be an extremely effective way to get new, relevant eyes on your product and hopefully on your website. It’s highly likely that the Facebook friends of your current fans and customers are also experiencing similar life changes, are getting excited about the same things, or hey, they may even have the same need for a product or service. Awesome, right? Yes, you can now jump in the air in excitement…
No matter which Facebook ad targeting options you are looking to move forward with, it’s important to always test small and then review the data. If you don’t find success with the Facebook ad targeting options that I mentioned above, don’t give up just yet! Take a look at the other targeting options that Facebook offers which may prove to be a better fit for your brand personas.
Not sure where to go next? Feel free to drop us a line and we’d be happy to chat about your own paid advertising strategies and how to better maximize campaign ROI!
Groove is one of the nation’s premier creative digital agencies, specializing in eCommerce, web design, inbound marketing and site strategy.
Katie is the Sr. Paid Advertising Manager at Groove. Follow her on Twitter @kayt2e.