Is your business struggling with Facebook Ads? Are you disappointed with your cost per action metric and at a loss as to what to do?
This article will take a look at eight targeting best practice strategies within Facebook Power Editor and how to test your advertisements to ensure you’re getting the most for your money.
I’ll also drop three top tips that could change how you advertise on Facebook. So keep an eye out!
Tweetable Targeting and Testing Takeaways:
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Facebook Power Editor
Power Editor is a free Chrome browser plugin that helps businesses manage multiple campaigns or a large number of creatives. Power Editor makes it easy to create, edit, manage and optimize ads, campaigns, and Page posts in bulk, across a large number of different ad accounts and Pages.
Ad Creator within Facebook now allows you to target your advertisements as specifically as Power Editor does, but because of the campaign function I recommend you still use Editor.
You can target by:
Location, Age and Gender
Fans who are within your existing CMS
A ‘lookalike’ audience
To create a Facebook ad campaign, click ‘Create Campaign’
Once you’ve created your campaign and given it a name, click ‘Create Ad’. You’ll be directed to the creative page, where you give your ad a name, an image, input your headline and text, and decide where your ad will show on Facebook (in the News Feed or Right Column, on Desktop or Mobile etc).
As this article is about targeting, I’ve included only the ‘Audience’ tab page below. I’ve provided the page in its entirety so you can understand my points in context. This article’s sections have been numbered within the picture so you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Throughout this article I’m going to use two advertisement hypotheticals: a romantic weekend getaway contest for two and an ebook on A/B testing. These will illustrate the differences between Facebook targeting for business to consumer (B2C) companies and Facebook targeting for business to business (B2B) companies.
Targeting by Location, Age and Gender
The three basic demographics, they are still the most important. They allow you to make sweeping targeting assertions, cutting out whole sections of the Facebook audience.
The ebook advertisement can and should be marketed to any english-speaking country (I’ve chosen the four main markets in the example below). As a SaaS company, Wishpond’s target market is international.
The spa weekend getaway advertisement, however, can only be run in the area of the spa (see below). Spending money marketing to Australia if your business is in New York, for instance, is a clear waste of resources.
Remember Facebook won’t let you target two specific cities within two different countries (both New York and London for instance). You’ll have to create two different advertisements or campaigns to do so.
Ebooks are a product for which there is no targeted age group. You could possibly eliminate 18 and below, as ebook readership is bound to be low with high-schoolers, but as you’re targeting more specifically later (see Precise Interest targeting below) there’s no real point.
Targeting based on age for the spa getaway is more interesting. I would advise a number of different advertisements targeted at different age groups (see Testing below).
Neither product (ebook or spa getaway) is obviously gender specific.
You could, however, test targeting the spa getaway by gender and change the image or text.
Target women and change the copy to: ‘Do you and your husband need a weekend away?’ Win a weekend at the spa worth $500!”
Target men and change the copy to: ‘Does your wife deserve a weekend away? Get a weekend for two at the spa worth $500!”
Precise Interest Targeting and Broad Category Targeting
Precise Interest targeting allows you to define your advertisement target by what they are interested in. Facebook identifies interests from:
Education and job titles
Pages they Like
Apps they use
Groups to which they belong
Broad Category targeting allows you to target your audience based on what they’ve included in their timelines (relationship status, political leanings, travel, birthdays, new job, recently moved, etc)
4. Targeting by Precise Interests (Ebook):
I would target the ebook based on Precise Interests as I don’t care about the age, gender, location, relationship status or education of my audience - only that they’re interested in my product.
5. Targeting by Broad Categories (Spa Getaway):
I would target the weekend spa getaway with Broad Category targeting because I’m not selling based on their hobbies. With Broad Categories I can hone in on people in a relationship (and exclude people in long-distance relationships, which in this ad’s case is convenient).
If I were to target based on Facebook user’s interest in ‘Spas’ I would reduce my advertisement Reach from 480,000 to 26,000.
Facebook allows you to target by your brand’s connections. Let’s say that the free $500 weekend spa getaway will only be made available to Facebook users who have Liked the brand’s page. Remember that after targeting connected users there would be no point in targeting by either Precise Interest or Broad Categories.
6. Connected to you
Choosing the “connected to” option would be useful if Wishpond wanted to release an ebook to their Fans before releasing it to the public (making things exclusive is a great selling strategy on Facebook).
7. Not connected to you
Targeting those Facebook users who are not already connected to you is great for a contest advertisement. This is because it excludes past participants, and (with a like-gate), will produce a huge boost in your Facebook brand profile.
Targeting friends of fans is a great way to target individuals who have a high probability of engaging as they have a lot in common with your brand’s existing fans. This targeting choice is especially useful for sponsored stories (socially endorsed advertising).
Top Tip #1: Facebook provides an idea of the number of Facebook users who will see your targeted ad (Estimated Reach) throughout the targeting process. Keep an eye on this number to determine if you’ve gone too specific or could focus yet more.
Remember Ad targeting is about limiting your audience to people who may be interested while including a large enough audience for the advertisement to succeed (whatever success is defined by for your business).
Targeting to a custom list
8. Targeting from your own CRM
Facebook allows you to target your ad’s audience based on your existing customer relationship management system. This means you can target current customers, lapsed or inactive customers, recent contest participants, etc. Basically any existing contact you have that you want to reach with highly targeted content. To do this, click the “Advanced’ option I’ve circled above.
As you can see in the small print in the image above, any personally identifying information from your email, phone number, or UID(Facebook user ID) list gets segmented automatically.
Facebook itself matches the data against active Facebook users, and builds a custom audience within Power Editor, allowing you to return to the list later.
9. Targeting to a lookalike audience
The ‘lookalike audience’ tool is great for businesses of all kinds as it targets people based on the characteristics of an audience you know are interested (your own email list).
How to create a lookalike audience
Create a custom audience
Select the audience and click ‘Create Similar Audience’
Choose the country from which you’d like to draw a similar set of people
Select whether you want tooptimize for Similarity (top 1% from the given country - more specifically targeted but with less Reach).
or Greater Reach (top 5% from the given country - less specifically targeted but with greater Reach)..
Facebook will then create a similar audience based on characteristics (age, gender, interests, broad categories etc) similar to the original custom audience list.
Be aware that it could take up to 24 hours for your lookalike list to be generated.
Top Tip #2: Since lookalike audiences optimized for Similarity contain the top 1% of people, and lookalike audiences optimized for Greater Reach contain the top 5%, the Greater Reach audience will include the Similarity audience. You can use exclusion targeting to remove the people in your Similarity audience while targeting your Greater Reach audience.
Testing is vital to running a successful ad campaign on Facebook because without multiple advertisements your brand presence will fall victim to Ad Fatigue.
Ad Fatigue occurs when Facebook users become blind to your ad and your CTR drops. In order to compete with the rest of the News Feed, you have to target well, offer a great value proposition, and provide eye-catching images.
Testing multiple ads also helps determine what your target audience responds best to, or what target audience responds best to different text or images.
Here’s an example of different graphics being split tested within the ‘Free Getaway’ advertisement:
Advertisement A is the ‘control’ advertisement (the main advertisement that’s been running and that we know the CTR and Engagement for). Let’s say:
The advertisement has been run to both genders and to an unspecified targeted age
Its 24-hour CTR was around .09% (very respectable)
In the past 48 hours its CTR has gone down to about .02% and its Frequency to 8 (a sure sign of Ad Fatigue)
So we’ve decided to test another advertisement image (B). As you can see the title and copy are exactly the same. All that’s changing is the image.
Now we could test just the image change, and that would be a true split test. But, given the age difference in the couple in the photo, why don’t we change the demographic details as well? Let’s say we eliminate under 40’s from our targeted audience. True, our ad’s Reach drops from 720,000 to 480,000, but our CTR will probably increase as the Facebook users who see it will feel more kinship with the people in the image.
Another test would be to change the Group Categories targeting to only Parents, change the copy, but keep the image the same. The title could read: ‘Need to get away?’and the copy ‘Enter to win a $500 spa weekend away from the kids’.
Another test again could keep the exact copy and targeted demographic above (parents) but change the image to a stressed mother and father amidst screaming children.
Top Tip #3: When multiple ads are running in a campaign, Facebook automatically allocates more of your daily budget to higher performing ads. This means it’s vital you put your ads in different campaigns when you’re testing them. This is just one of the reasons Facebook’s Power Editor is so essential for small businesses.
While testing remember to keep a close eye on your Post Engagement, Click-Through-Rate and People Engaged metrics within Facebook Insights. For more information on what metrics are important (and which metrics you can ignore) read Six Facebook Metrics Small Businesses Shouldn’t Obsess Over.
Hopefully you have a better idea of how to successfully target and test your Facebook Ads. Remember to separate ads by campaigns if you’re testing them. And let me know how your explorations of the Facebook Action Spec go.
Now it’s your turn. Have you had success with A/B testing or combating Ad Fatigue through Ad Rotation? Have you explored or had success with Tracking, Conversion, or Action Specifications?
Start the conversation below!