Use Facebook Advanced Targeting options for better ads performance.

Facebook ads are a self-serve advertising option for reaching out to people beyond a company’s social circle. Ads can link Facebook users to an outside website or the company’s Facebook page, or even showcase recommendations and positive mentions from fans.

Social media and online marketing coach Jeff Bullas, recently reported on the differMerry Morud Online Marketing Accounts Manager AimClearences between Facebook Ads and Google pay-per-click ads. While Google is certainly a longer established brand with higher click-through-rates, average costs are also greater. One of the greatest benefits of Facebook is its massive reach: nearly a billion members use the social site, with a trillion page views per month. Facebook currently reaches 51% of the world’s Internet users.

How can your company capitalize on the Facebook Ads opportunity? Online Marketing Account Manager Merry Morud from advertising agency AimClear shares her top tips for advanced Facebook Ads targeting.

Why Use Advanced Targeting for Facebook Ads At All?

SMBs may wonder, Do I really need to use advanced targeting options, especially if my product or service appeals to a wide market? Definitely, says Morud. “The reason you want to segment in general and not target the whole gamut of people is to keep your CTR (click-through rate) higher.  You want your ads to speak to specific segments of people,” she explained.

She uses the example of an insurance client to demonstrate the importance of advanced targeting. Everyone uses insurance and it’s difficult to tell when people are in the market for insurance. “For one Facebook Ads campaign, we targeted people who were looking at buying a new house for home insurance,” said Morud.  “We targeted people who liked HGTV and home improvement shows, people who were connected with realtors, etc. It’s a good indication those people will be in the market.”

She continued, “You could also use demographic information… do people have dogs, children, in the age range they might be in the market for a house? It doesn’t work like search marketing; they might not be searching for these things, so you have to make some assumptions.”

You won’t get everyone, Morud explained, but you’re throwing darts at a dartboard and hoping you get as close to the center as possible.  With practice, you get closer and closer.

Finding the Right Facebook Ads Targeting Balance

One danger in advanced targeting is that marketers may actually get too specific. This limits the potential audience for the ad and may mean missed opportunities to connect.

To find a good targeting range, says Morud, try to keep segments at or above four to five thousand people. There is no perfect audience size though, she said. Morud recommends exhausting the keywords within a certain targeting segment. “If I was searching for people who are interested in Conservation, for example, I would branch out from that keyword and use Activist, then maybe even drill down into some of those words as secondary keywords,” she advised.  “Be sure you’re not taking just three of the precise interests and calling it a day; it takes time and effort to research alternate keywords but it’s definitely worthwhile.”

Filtering by certain parameters will dramatically decrease your audience size, which can be a good thing, but can also shut out interested people, according to Morud. Take into consideration that not everyone completely fills out their Facebook profile, so using the College Education option may exclude people with a degree who haven’t shared that information on Facebook. “I might not check that College box if I’m targeting mechanical engineers, because I can assume they graduated from college,” she explained.  “Another one that drastically decreases your pool is workplaces.  People don’t necessarily share their workplace on Facebook.”

Advanced Facebook Ads Targeting Success Secrets

Use Broad Categories with Precise Interests for better Facebook Ads targeting.

We asked Morud to share the targeting options she prefers to reach deep into audience segments and boost ad performance.

“I love to use Broad Categories along with Precise Interests,” she said. “I don’t feel like a whole lot of people use them in tandem with Precise Interests and that’s where a whole lot of power comes from.”  The trick is in taking a bucket of Precise Interests that are really focused and targeted and using Broad Categories to really narrow and define each segment, Morud explained.

Zip codes are another underused targeting option and are great for determining wealth, said Morud. “There are plenty of lists to tell you which zip codes are wealthier areas. So we add our zip codes, then use the technology Broad Category because people interested in technology and gadgets may have disposable income.  So with those together, we have a nice segment to target,” she explained.

Are you using advanced targeting options with your Facebook ads campaigns? Share your tips in the comments!