When it comes to developing a good advertising strategy, one word stands out: targeting.
If you don’t target your ads to people in your market, you’re likely to limit your return on investment (ROI). In fact, you’ll probably lose money.
Fortunately, Facebook gives you plenty of great options when it comes to targeting your ads. That’s one of the reasons why it’s among the most cost-efficient advertising options online.
In this article, we’ll go over the various targeting methods and advertising goals you can use when you run ads on Facebook.
Facebook enables you to create an audience that’s very broad or narrowly defined with several filtering options.
First, you can target by location. That’s a great option if you’re running a small, mom-and-pop business and want to attract local customers.
You can also target your location by region or distance. For example, you might just want to target people who live in the town where your business is located. On the other hand, you might want to target people live within a 10-mile radius of your town.
Next, you can target by demographics. If you find that people in a particular demographic are drawn to your product or service, it’s a great idea to target them in your Facebook ad campaigns.
There are a few different demographic targeting options, including age, gender, relationship status, and occupation.
You can also target by interests. That’s a great option to use if you’re selling to people who have a hobby related to your niche.
There are countless interests that you can choose from. You can also search for interests by keyword.
Soon, you’ll have the option to target people by the websites that they visit. Stay tuned for that feature.
Finally, you can target by behavior. That includes activities that people engage in while off of Facebook.
Targeting by behavior is a great option to use if you’re looking for people who have a habit or purchasing products or services related to your niche.
Advanced Targeting Options
In addition to the basic targeting options above, Facebook also offers some advanced targeting options.
First, there’s a custom audience. That’s a list of people you upload to Facebook.
Where do you get that list? From your existing set of contacts, your email distribution list, or any other place where you keep info about customers.
Next, you can also create a custom audience from your website. That’s a list of people who’ve visited your site in the past.
To use that audience, though, you’ll need to install a Facebook pixel on your site. That’s a small snippet of code that tracks Facebook users who land on one of your web pages.
Finally, you can also create a lookalike audience. That’s an audience that looks like an existing audience you’ve already created.
There are 3 ways to create a lookalike audience:
- From a custom audience – Facebook will look for users who resemble the people in your custom audience.
- From website visitors – If you’ve installed a Facebook pixel on your website, Facebook will build an audience consisting of people who’ve visited your site. Then, Facebook will build a lookalike audience from that set of users.
- From page fans – Facebook will look for users who resemble the people who “liked” your Facebook page.
Who you target for your ads is driven in part by the goal of your ad.
For example, if you’re trying to land a repeat sale, you’ll likely target a custom audience of existing customers. On the other hand, if you’re just trying to build brand-name awareness, you might target people based on interests.
The good news is that Facebook gives you plenty of targeting options. In this section, we’ll go over each one of them.
The first advertising goal is to drive in-store sales. However, that’s only available if you have multiple brick-and-mortar locations. It’s not for single-store businesses or businesses that run strictly online.
If you do qualify for Store Visits ads, you can run a campaign that shows people what you’re offering at your store plus how they can get to your nearest location. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between online marketing and offline sales.
The advertising goal is to build awareness about your business. That’s a great way to make overtures to people who haven’t yet interacted with your brand.
Facebook enables you to tell your brand story with a video, slideshow, canvas, or image. You can also add a link to your website.
The third advertising goal is to generate leads. Use that option if you want to find new people who might be interested in your business.
Of course, you can use the leads you gather to create a custom audience. Then, you can run a separate kind of ad that targets that audience.
Next, you can use a Facebook ad to boost sales. It’s a good idea to target that kind of ad to people who are at the lower end of the sales funnel, though.
There are several ways you can boost sales with Facebook ads:
- Guide people through checkout – Run an ad for a product that’s perfectly suited to your audience. Users who click your call-to-action (CTA) button visit your product detail page.
- Encourage people to purchase in your app – Take users directly to your app where they can complete the purchase. This option works only for existing app users.
- Promote a deal or discount – Let existing customers know that you’re running a sale. It’s a nice way to target existing customers.
- Promote your catalog to likely buyers – Use a dynamic ad to retarget people who’ve viewed one of your products, added it to a shopping cart, or even purchased it.
You can also use a Facebook ad to encourage people to install your app. Obviously, you’ll only want to use that option if you have an app that you want people to install.
Generally, an app install ad is best suited to game shops. However, you might find that a mobile app can help promote your brand. If so, run a Facebook ad to a targeted audience that encourages them to install your app.
Another element of ad targeting is where your ad will run. However, when it comes to advertising on Facebook, “where” can mean many things.
First, it can mean where on the screen your ad will run. Facebook gives you the option to run ads directly in the newsfeed or on the right-hand sidebar.
Obviously, ads in the newsfeed cost more than ads on the sidebar. That’s because they’re far more visible.
That’s not to say that sidebar ads are worthless, though. They’re a great option if you’re interested in advertising on Facebook but don’t have a whole lot of marketing dollars to spend.
Next, “where” can mean the kinds of devices your ad will appear on. For example, you might want to only run your ad to people on mobile devices.
That’s an especially great option if you’re using Store Visits ads. Remember, those ads can also show maps so people who are out and about can see how to get to your nearest location by looking at the ad.
Finally, “where” can refer to which social media platform(s) your ad will appear on. Because Facebook owns Instagram, you can set up ads to run on both platforms from your Power Editor.
You might find that your ad appeals more to an Instagram audience than a Facebook audience. If that’s the case, then set it to run only on Instagram and see if your ROI improves.
Wrapping It Up
Don’t waste marketing dollars by shooting blindly with your ads. Instead, target your ads carefully. Also, make sure that your ad goal matches your targeting.
Finally, make sure you check your analytics regularly so that you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Make changes where necessary to maximize your return.