On Facebook, you can reach audiences using a dozen different ad formats and thousands of other ad targeting parameters.
Mastering your Facebook targeting strategy puts you in front of particular and sometimes inspired parts of your audience on the network where the average American spends 40 minutes of their day. Here are a few insanely effective Facebook ad targeting techniques you’ve probably never heard of.
1. Tap Into Recent Purchasing Behavior Among Facebook Users
Media observers panned Facebook early on for being a nice place to hang out but a network with no commercial purpose or potential for customer insight. Early in 2013, Facebook formed partnerships with data brokers such as Epsilon, Acxiom, and Datalogix, which changed the game.
Every year, these firms have access to trillions of data transactions. According to Acxiom executives, their database alone contains data on 500 million active customers worldwide, with an average of 1,500 data points per user.
Facebook suddenly knew a lot more about you than if you preferred Farmville or Candy Crush Saga. Are you planning a wedding soon? Are you taking a hypertension medication? Do you want to read murder mysteries? Facebook is most likely aware of this.
Advertisers could now expand outside their CRM databases to tap into data gleaned from a range of shopper loyalty services and matched to individual user profiles.
Advertisers on Facebook use this information to target consumer groups based on thousands of different buying habits.
People who purchase Business Marketing Services are examples I use (which is relevant to my company, as we sell business software and services).
Buyer Profiles, Clothing, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, and several other purchasing activity subcategories exist. You can drill down into types of behavior within each large subcategory; for example, choosing Buyer Profiles would allow you to target DIYers, Fashionistas, Foodies, and so on.
Based on their aggregated, multi-sourced offline transaction-based data (or, in simpler terms, the number of Facebook users in that group they’ve matched to offline purchase data), Facebook tells you how many user profiles you can target in and subcategory.
The possibilities are infinite. Get in there and take a look around!
2. Get Creative With Life Events Targeting
Specific companies or promotions are focused on marketing to people who are going through significant life changes. Funeral homes, for example, understandably want to work with people who are planning a funeral, are terminally ill, or have lost or are grieving the loss of a loved one. If you’ve just bought a new home or apartment, moving services want to get ahead of you—photographers specializing in weddings eye newlyweds.
Since we tend to post these to our timelines, Facebook has pretty much imaginable life event targeting choices. (Fun fact: Facebook now provides weather-based targeting as well!)
You may opt to target people at particular periods after the adjustment with the Life Events parameter. A jewelry business, for example, will probably want to get in front of people who are celebrating their first anniversary, so they could reach audience members who were newlyweds a year ago. Three-month, six-month, and one-year date ranges are available.
3. Nurture Leads & Build Loyalty With Facebook Custom Audiences
Facebook Custom Audiences are a more advanced feature that allows you to communicate with people you already know on Facebook. Getting in front of your current customers and app users on their chosen social media channel strengthens your brand and helps you increase lifetime customer satisfaction, order frequency, and loyalty.
This also works the other way: by excluding your current client list, you can improve your campaigns’ effectiveness and prevent wasted clicks. There’s no need to reveal a free trial to your existing customers if you’re giving one to new users.
Custom Audiences are generated by uploading a CSV or TXT file containing the customer phone list or purchaser/subscriber email list to Facebook. You can also make a Custom Audience based on your website users (and specific pages they visited) or specific acts they took in your game or app.
Then, using other targeting criteria, target or exclude the entire list, or only small subsets of it, to zero in on your ideal Facebook audience.
This is insanely effective! If your insights told you that people who work in a specific job role, make XX amount of money per year, and live within a particular ZIP code are more likely to be your wealthy customers, you might target them with a higher value product bid.
Alternatively, you might send out invites to demo your product to people who have visited your company’s blog. They remembered your name and were curious enough to visit you, but they did not convert. Facebook Ads that target the Custom Audience can be able to bridge the gap.
You can target and mix a staggering number of different demographics points. It includes details such as net worth, living arrangements, marital status, parental status, interests, and location, among other items.
4. Expand To A Lookalike Audience
If you have a strong Custom audience plan in place, Lookalike Audiences are a good next move. You can mirror your Facebook fan base even though you don’t have your email or phone list. By building markets that look like your own goals, you can broaden your reach while still targeting people with particular profiles.
You can also create a Lookalike Audience using a tracking pixel to create a Website Custom Audience to mirror if you don’t have a list or a wide enough Facebook following.
You may make the audience larger (more broad) or smaller (smaller) once you’ve determined which audience you want to duplicate and build on (more specific and similar to your original audience). Facebook can locate the top 1% of users in your target country who share similar characteristics at the most basic level. On the other hand, optimized for reach means that Facebook can display your advertising to the 10% of users in your target country who are most like your target audience.
5. Get Super Granular With Layered Targeting Options
The true power of Facebook advertising lies in your ability to layer targeting choices on top of one another, eventually narrowing down your target audience. Last year, AdWeek published an intense (and hilarious) example of the power of hyper-targeting when a marketing pro threatened his roommate with advertisements so personal that the poor guy believed he was being cyberstalked.
Yes, you can reduce your audience to as few as one person using a combination of attitudes, demographics, and geolocation data. The ability to match ad ingenuity and deals to smaller audiences generated using data combinations is much more helpful for you.
For example, a moving company providing a senior citizen discount might target people who have recently purchased a home, layered with an age range of 60 years or greater and their service area locations.
A store selling delicate and calming baby items, for example, could approach new parents who have purchased colic medication. Imagine communicating directly with the parent who is having a sleepless night using such targeted messaging! (As a new parent, I understand entirely.) Your messaging can be personalized to address the issue specifically and propose your solution.
You can use Facebook Ads targeting options to tap into the purpose, needs, and likelihood of responding to any given audience segment if you can understand their intent, needs, and the possibility of responding.
The Best Facebook Ad Targeting Strategy Is Diversified & Comprehensive
You don’t have to choose only one of the tips above when deciding on your Facebook advertisement targeting strategy; look over them all and see if they could suit your different target market segments.
Who are your dream customers? Build personas for them. What city do they call home? What do they do for a living, and what do they do in their free time? What traits and characteristics do they possess, and how do those traits and characteristics fit with the various targeting criteria mentioned above?
Identifying who you want to reach will help you find the most powerful Facebook ad targeting tools and options for achieving them.