Are you frustrated with all the online advice you find on Facebook ad targeting?
Use lookalike audiences.
Use interest targeting.
Everyone talks about Facebook targeting options as if they were some age-old formula, but they aren’t!
I had enough. You had enough too. So let me move the topic forward and share 5 real targeting options that I often use in my ad campaigns.
The first one I’m about to share with you is also the most effective one to-date.
I recently spoke to a few other ad managers and their experiences are the same too.
Let’s see what it is.
1. Combine lookalike audience with interests
If you’ve created lookalike audiences before, you’d realize that they can easily reach hundreds of thousands and even millions of people.
How likely is it for such a large group of people to be really alike? It’s simply too broad, at least in my opinion.
To reach the people most relevant to your business within the lookalike audience, I narrow them using interests.
But exactly how small should your target audience be?
Here’s a secret: I found consistent success when I target audience sizes between 8K and 15K and spend between $10 and $15 per day.
I’ll exhaust the audience after 3 to 4 weeks, then I’ll replace that ad set with yet another lookalike audience combined with interest targeting.
I’m not saying that audience sizes above 100,000 won’t work.
I’m saying that when you narrow your audience to 10K to 15K, you will actually find that certain interest groups within your lookalike audience will be less effective than other interest groups. So you can divert your budget away from these groups and focus on the more relevant people.
2. Expand to other geographic regions
For many of us, our products are either web applications, SaaS, mobile applications, e-commerce, or online membership sites.
Most of us tend to target the lucrative USA market at first, but I found that other countries can be just as lucrative, if not more.
With so many advertisers wanting to grab a share of the pie in USA, you may do even better to attract customers elsewhere.
Apart from expanding to other countries, you may also want to narrow to the most profitable geographic regions.
Here’s how you can find your most profitable geographic regions:
- Go to ad reports
- Select “Breakdown: Regions”
- Sort the rows by your desired action. In the example below, it is registrations.
- Zoom into the “Region” column and you will find the most profitable places that you can narrow down to.
3. Segment website custom audiences
You’re probably using website custom audiences already.
In fact, there’re over 50,000 website custom audiences currently being used on Adespresso’s tool!
Let’s take a look at what categories these audiences fall under:
- Entire website: 9.3%
- Specific URLs: 87.1%
- Specific domains: 2.8%
- Specific paths: 0.8%
In case you don’t know, every URL is made up of a domain and a path. A domain is everything before and including “.com/“ (or other domain extensions such as .co/ or .org/), such as https://ebooks.adespresso.com/, whereas a path is everything after “.com/“, such as “academy/“ in https://adespresso.com/academy/.
From what I see, very few people are segmenting their website visitors in the best way possible.
One way you can do so is making use of the Facebook exclusion principle. For example, you’ll target people who visited your product page but not add to cart, people who have added to cart but did not make the purchase.
Another way you can do so is to segment them by:
- Homepage (likely new leads)
- Content (likely new or cold leads)
- Lead magnets (likely warm leads)
- Product/Sales pages (likely hot leads)
Of course, this only applies if you’ve specifically designed the lead magnet and product pages to be discovered only when you target cold leads in an ad campaign or when you send out an email to your list.
Here is another secret tip that’ll allow you to target website visitors in more specific ways: use dedicated landing pages specific to one channel (credits to Rocco for this tip).
In other words, when you run a campaign to drive leads or sales, you can create dedicated landing pages for each channel:
- Facebook ads
- Twitter ads
- Youtube ads
With a different URL for each landing page, you can conduct more advanced experiments on your ad messages and retarget visitors from these landing pages more effectively.
4. Make interests intersection more meaningful
Did you know that when you target multiple interests on Facebook, you will reach all of the people who like at least 1 of the interests?
Let’s say that you’re targeting people who like WhatsApp and Snapchat. You’ll reach people who like Whatsapp and people who like Snapchat (A, B, and C), not just the people who like both WhatsApp and Snapchat (B).
And that has to do with Facebook’s OR logic in interest targeting!
Fortunately, 3rd party tools like Adespresso allow you to change that and reach only the people who like all of the interests you stated. And that’s what we call conjunctive interest targeting or interests intersection.
So if you use interests intersection, you can target only people who like both WhatsApp and Snapchat.
That’s not all that you can do, though.
In fact, I’d encourage you to find ways that’d give more meaning to the interests intersection.
For example, a client of mine recently made use of interests intersection to reach professional poker players who have watched a specific film.
In this film, there was a specific scene where one of the actors made a move and lost the game. He later discovered that he did a particular action which gave himself away.
My client thus re-enacted the scene using a well-designed image and copy that hinted strongly at what went on during the film – a hint that only people who watched the film would understand and gladly engage with.
That’s another level of making your ads relevant altogether!
Tip: Make sure you don’t include any interests that is too small. For example, if one of your interests has less than 100 people in an interests intersection, then you will get less than 100 people in that audience.
5. Explore other ways to reach the same group of people
So targeting an interest doesn’t work for you, and you do not have any website visitors or email list to target on Facebook? Fret not.
There must be some way to reach the people you want to.
For example, a counterpart in Jordan asked me recently how I would reach Jordanian expatriates. The obvious answer would have been to target the interest “Expats” and limit the location to Jordan or specific locations outside of Jordan.
However, there’re actually multiple alternative ways I could have done that:
- Country + Life Events (Away from Family, Away from Hometown)
- Country + Conjunctive Interests (Expat-related e.g. Expat blog); available only using 3rd party tools like Adespresso
- Country + Behavior (Expats)
- Country + Education & Workplace (Job Titles/Employers) or Industries
Can you think of any other ways?
Hopefully by now, these personal examples will set you thinking about possible ways you can play around with Facebook’s advanced targeting options to reach the people most important to your business. If you know of another uncommon method that I haven’t covered here, let me know in the comments below.
This is a Guest Post written by our friend Jason How.
Jason is a social media advertising consultant, with a specialty in Facebook and Twitter. Learn how he helped an online course generate over 4,500 leads and $38,000 revenue in 4 weeks from his blog.