8 Facebook Targeting Tips

fb tips

Effective Facebook targeting increases ad conversions while lowering the cost per conversion—the ultimate measure of an ad’s value. And if you want people to see your ads you’re going to need to know these next 8 tips to help your business! 

Here are your 8 powerful Facebook ad targeting strategies for 2019…

Find your unicorn content

Let’s start with a tip about targeting your ad content, before we move into targeting the audience. If you work in content marketing, you’ve likely already heard the buzz about “unicorn marketing.” You may already have heard of the 80/20 rule, which says that 20% of your effort will drive 80% of your results. Some argue that for content marketing, it’s more like a 98/2 rule.

Only 2% of your content will perform well both on social and in search engine rankings, while also achieving high conversion rates. It’s argued that content marketing is a volume game, and you simply have to create lots of “donkey” content (you can guess what that means) to get to the unicorns.

So what’s your unicorn content? It’s that blog post that absolutely blows up on your social channels, climbs to the top of the Google rankings, and drives a ton of traffic to your landing pages.

You can’t predict what will “go unicorn” based on factors traditionally used to define great content (like great writing, keywords, and readability). Instead, you’ve got to keep a close eye on your social media analytics and performance.

When you spot overachieving content, repurpose it as a Facebook ad. Make it into an infographic and a video. Test this content in various formats to your key audiences to make it work even harder.

Target your competitors’ fans using Audience Insights

Facebook Audience Insights offers a ton of valuable information that can help you understand your Facebook followers. You can use the data to learn how to target potential new followers and customers. It’s truly a treasure trove. A favorite Audience Insights strategy is to use the information it provides to learn who you’re competing with on Facebook, then target your competitors’ existing fans.

If you can target the same audience as your competitors and create a better ad than them, it’s likely you could be taking some of their customers. And that’s what business is all about.

Use Custom Audiences for remarketing

Remarketing is a powerful Facebook targeting strategy to connect with potential customers who have already expressed interest in your products. Using Facebook Custom Audiences targeting options, you can choose to show your ads to people who have recently viewed your website, people who have looked at sales pages, or even people who have looked at specific products. You can also choose to exclude people who have purchased recently, if you think they are unlikely to convert again soon.

Before you can use Facebook Custom Audiences based on website visits, you need to install the Facebook Pixel.

Once that’s done, here’s how to create your remarketing audience:

  • Go to Audiences with your Ads Manager.
  • Click Create a Custom Audience.
  • Click Website Traffic.
  • Choose your pixel.
  • Set your targeting rules.
  • Name your audience and click Create Audience.

Target people similar to existing customers with Lookalike Audiences

Facebook Lookalike Audiences allow you to build targeted lists of potential customers who share characteristics with people who already buy from you. So, if the data tells you that your existing customers are likely to be mid-30s moms who live in Austin, you can get great bang for your buck by targeting other mid-30s moms who live in Austin.

And that’s a pretty broad example. Facebook’s tools are actually much more sophisticated in their audience matching. Plus, with Lookalike Audiences, you don’t even have to know what data points you’re trying to match. Facebook will figure that out for you.

Get ultra-precise with layered targeting (aka “Narrow Further”)

Facebook offers tons of targeting options. On the surface, the options are divided into three main categories: demographics, interests, and behaviors. But within each of these categories, things get pretty granular.

For example, under demographics, you can choose to target parents. Then you can narrow that target further to specifically target parents with toddlers. Also under demographics, you can choose to target based on relationship status and job industry. Now think about what happens when you start combining these layers of targeting. You could choose to target divorced parents of toddlers who work in management. And that’s just looking at demographics.

Under interests, you could target people who are interested in beach vacations. Then, under behaviors, you can specifically target frequent international travellers. Each time you want to add another level of targeting, be sure to click Narrow Audience or Narrow Further.

If you run a high-end beach resort that offers a childcare program and no single supplement, you could create a promotion that specifically targets single parents in management-level jobs who love beach vacations and travel frequently.

If you market products or services tied to life events, you can target people who have recently moved, started a new job, gotten engaged or married. You can target people on their birthday, or leading up to their anniversary. You can even target people whose friends have an upcoming birthday.

As you build your audience, you’ll see on the right side of the page how small your audience has become, as well as your potential reach. If you get too specific, Facebook will let you know.

This strategy works best for specific promotions designed to target a precise audience, rather than ads to promote your business in general. Combine this precise Facebook ad targeting with a landing page that speaks directly to the exact audience for best results.

Try combining two unique audiences together

Of course, not every product or promotion is naturally suited to the kind of precise Facebook targeting explained in the tip above. Maybe you don’t know what specific demographic or behavior categories you want to target with a specific ad. You only have a broad sense of a category you’d like to target. So, what do you do if that target audience is just too large?

Combine it with a second audience, even if that second audience seems completely unrelated. You’ll have multiple audiences with maybe one miniscule similarity but it will still work for what you are trying to accomplish.

Check Ad Relevance Diagnostics for opportunities to improve Facebook targeting

In early 2019, Facebook replaced its relevance score with three new “ad relevance diagnostics”:

  • Quality ranking
  • Engagement rate ranking
  • Conversion rate ranking

As Facebook says, “People prefer to see ads that are relevant to them. And when businesses show their ads to relevant audiences, they see better business outcomes. That’s why we consider how relevant each ad is to a person before delivering an ad to that person.” The whole point of Facebook ad targeting is to get your ad in front of the specific audience that’s most likely to take action based on that exact ad. This is the very definition of relevance.

If your ads aren’t performing as well as you like, you can use the ad relevance diagnostics to look for opportunities to improve targeting:

  • Low quality ranking: Try changing the target audience to one that’s more likely to appreciate the specific creative in the ad.
  • Low engagement rate ranking: Refine your targeting to reach people who are more likely to engage. Audience Insights can be a great help here.
  • Low conversion rate ranking: Target a higher-intent audience. This could be as simple as selecting “engaged shoppers” under purchase behavior. But it could also mean targeting people who have an upcoming anniversary, or who have another behavior or life event that make your product or service particularly relevant to them right at this moment.

Remember, relevance is all about matching the right ad to the right audience. No one ad will be relevant to everyone. Effective targeting is the only way to achieve a consistently high relevance ranking.

Don’t be a jerk

This may sound obvious, but there are a couple of things you should definitely NOT do when targeting your Facebook ads. These things can damage your relationships with Facebook, and with your potential customers.

To make the most of your Facebook ad targeting, definitely do not do the following.

  •  Don’t upload purchased lists of email addresses 

First of all, this is against Facebook’s Custom Audiences terms of service. Second, Facebook users can see which businesses have “uploaded a list with your info and advertised to it.”

  • Don’t think your targeted ads are private

When you use Facebook ad targeting options to select the audience for your ad, you only pay to show it to the groups of people you’ve selected. But they are not the only ones who can see your ad. Any Facebook user can see all the ads you run if they visit your Ad Library, accessible through your Page’s Page Transparency section. Just remember that any potential customer can see all your ads, even if you don’t target them. Keep this in mind when deciding what kind of images and messaging you want to include in your ads.

The key message on both these points is that your behavior as an advertiser is visible to everyone on Facebook.

We hope these 8 targeting tips can help you and your business grow through the proper usage of facebook ads. By attempting to use even just one of these strategies it can drastically change the way your ads reach your target audience. Attracting the right customers for your business is essential in having a successful business. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, or anything else, please never hesitate to call us or visit our website by clicking here! We are always happy to help! 

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