So many factors go into making a fantastic Facebook ad campaign: from more obvious priorities like eye-catching creatives and a good marketing message to more intricate details, like having the right Facebook ad image sizes or launching your campaign at the right time. One of the most important factors, however, is often one of the most underused (especially by those just starting out): Facebook’s incredible ad targeting options and capabilities.
The company has some of the best and most expansive targeting abilities of any social media platform. Our Facebook Ad Targeting Infographic, which features every ad target option available, is over 12 pages long for a reason; there are literally hundreds! For businesses seeking to increase sales and revenue, Facebook allows you to utilize this expansive list of target audiences in multiple ways when advertising on their platform.
Facebook gives you the ability to target your ads to members based on country, city, state, or zip code. If you select a city or zip code, Facebook lets you select a radius of 50 miles, 25 miles, 10 miles, or only in that specific city. You also have the ability to exclude locations. Location targeting is ideal for a local business that is looking for individuals that are located near their store or event.
Another one of the powerful tools on Facebook, custom audiences gives you three very big advantages in social advertising:
- Remarketing: Continue to display your ads to individuals who have clicked on your ad and/or visited your site. Facebook’s remarketing system runs cross- platform meaning that, if a person clicks on an ad on their desktop, your remarketing ad will then show up on their mobile phone.
- Custom Audiences: Custom Audiences is a tool that allows you to upload lists of customers or leads into Facebook to target any users who have accounts created with similar emails. This works great for targeting existing clients for special offers or old leads with a second chance offer. You can also exclude Custom Audiences from your campaigns.
- Lookalike Audiences: This option allows you to leverage all the powers of Facebook’s data to target your ideal customer. Once you have a Custom Audience, for example your clients, you can ask Facebook to create a lookalike audience for you. They will search your audience for similarities and then expand your audience to a much larger population that has similar characteristics as your original audience.
Interests are the backbone of Facebook advertising. Since the introduction of the “Like” button in 2008, Facebook has allowed individuals to be able to ”like” things like companies, locations, movies, music, celebrities, etc. All of these “likes” are now compiled into the interest area, which allows advertisers the ability to reach an audience that has a connection with their product or service. You can enter the interest directly (for example: Vegetarians) or you can select one of Facebooks predefined lists (for example: Food and Drink > Food > Vegetarian). The list of selections is endless but here are the main categories:
- Business and Industry
- Family and Relationships
- Fitness and Wellness
- Food and Drink
- Hobbies and Activities
- Shopping and Fashion
- Sports and Outdoors
This is one of the most powerful campaigns you can run on Facebook. You used to be able to target any fan page with more than 1,000 likes but, in the past few months, Facebook has limited it to the larger organizations and tried to focus targeting on categories, not individual businesses. Either way, getting creative here will ensure you’re reaching your target audience. For example, if DreamWorks was looking to promote their new movie “Penguins”, they could easily target their ads towards individuals who have liked other popular children’s movies such a “Toy Story”. This approach also works very well for small businesses that have an “800 pound gorilla” in their industry. Targeting their fans is the fastest way to get the message out about what you do different and better than the competition.
Behaviors is a secondary category on Facebook that utilizes a combination of data from Facebook and third party data providers. Facebook has partnered with a variety of big data companies such as Acxiom to extend the data they have on each user to their advertisers. This helps you connect with audiences that are most likely to value your product or service. While this section also has a vast number of options, here are some of the top behaviors you should be on the lookout for:
- Automotive: If you’re in the automotive industry, this section is for you. Target Facebook users based on their type of car, purchase habits and whether they are an owner of their vehicle.
- Charitable Donations: Trying to connect with individuals who donate to charitable causes? This section allows you to target individuals who have a history of making charitable donations to the arts, political and religious organizations.
- Digital Activities: Launching a new tech business? This section is full of targeting options such as gaming, event creators, Facebook page admins, online spenders, tech early adopters and small business owners.
- Financial: Looking to reach high net worth individuals? This section allows you to target users based on any insurance they might have along with their spending methods and investment affinity.
- Mobile Device User: Launching a new app? This section allows you to target based off of device type, device brand and network connection.
- Purchase Behavior: Ecommerce sites love being able to target based on individuals who have made recent purchases from businesses, clothing, beauty, pets, sports and subscription services.
- Residential Profiles: Real estate professionals now have the ability to target individuals on their likeliness to move, if they have recently moved or if they are a recent homebuyer.
- Seasonal and Events: For now, this section is focused exclusively on football fans but we expect it to expand in the coming months to other sports, concerts and more.
- Travel: In the travel industry? Now you can target your ads based on the types of travelers (business, leisure or family), individuals planning a trip in the near future and those who have used a travel app in the past 30-60 days.
Demographics: Life Events
Life events are a great way to reach Facebook members at key transition points in their lives. These can including moving, a new relationship, getting engaged, or having a birthday. If done tastefully, focusing your ads on life events is a great tactic for connecting your business or service with a pivotal moment in your customer’s life. Here is the full list of life events that you can currently target on Facebook:
- Anniversary within 30 Days
- Away from Family
- Away from Hometown
- Friends of Newly Engaged
- Friends of Newlywed
- Friends of Recently Moved
- Long Distance Relationship
- New Job
- New Relationship
- Newly Engaged (1 Year)
- Newly Engaged (6 Months)
- Newly Engaged (3 Months)
- Newlywed (1 Year)
- Newlywed (6 months)
- Newlywed (3 months)
- Recently Moved
- Upcoming Birthday
Demographics: Job Titles
While Facebook is primarily B2C, there are some great options for targeting B2B users. One of these is by using the Job Title category under More Demographics. This section allows you to enter in a variety of Job Titles and then present your message directly to them. While some may say LinkedIn has a better data structure on B2B ads, the problem is that LinkedIn users are not on that site every day, unlike Facebook, which most users check at least once a day.
Demographics: Net Worth and Income
If you are looking to reach high net-worth individuals, this option won’t connect you directly with Warren Buffet, but it does utilize data from Acxiom to provide targeting based on the individual’s estimated income or net worth. We’ve seen mixed results using this data set but it’s still an option for those looking to connect with individuals based on their income level.
One advantage that social advertising has over traditional paid search or display advertising is that users can share your ad with their friends. Another aspect that can be leveraged is the ability for the friend’s name to appear above the ad with a message saying, for example, “Tom Smith liked this”. This is where the Connections features come in handy. You can exclude ads to your current fans or run ads to people whose friends are connected to a page, app or event that you have created. You cannot target pages, apps or events that others have created but it’s still useful for leveraging your current fans to get the word to their friends. Connections works great for events.
While this section is expected to expand in the coming months, the “More Categories” section currently gives you the option to target the following categories:
- Expats (China)
- Government Employees
Day parting is a newer feature and currently only available in the power editor. It allows you to run your ads based on a set time of the day. This would be ideal for a retail store or restaurant that might only be open during specific hours. It could also be used to push ads during a time when business is traditionally slow during the day.
Facebook Advertising Agency
If you need help increasing sales, app installs, awareness or video views, the team at AdvertiseMint can help you achieve your goals with Facebook ads. Contact AdvertiseMint online or at 1-844-ADMINT6 to learn about our Facebook advertising services can help grow your business.