Facebook’s been busy. While short-sighted people squabble over nothing, Facebook has been quietly rolling out new stuff that continues to make them an indispensable part of a marketer’s arsenal.
Facebook’s custom audiences and ability to match data points with user information has been virtually untouchable. Albeit, limited.
The true underlying power isn’t in the feature per se. But in how you’re able to leverage it to work with all of the other activities, campaigns, and promotions you’re currently running in multiple channels.
Here are seven examples that they’ve introduced over the past few months that you need to start experimenting with immediately.
1. Fan Page Engagement Custom Audiences
Custom audiences are undoubtedly the best targeting approach you can use on Facebook.
AdWords might have intent. But Facebook’s custom audiences deliver peerless retargeting options.
Trouble was, you were kinda limited.
You need a large audience to get the most bang for your buck. And that had to come directly from site traffic, customer data, or app activity.
A whole new world of possibilities has opened up thanks to the ability to dynamically generate custom audiences on-the-fly based on Facebook fan engagement.
B2B sites commonly have loooooooowww traffic compared with more fun, flashy B2C sites. If you’ve got a high margin product or service, you might not even need a thousand monthly website visits to generate some serious coin.
Your traffic numbers might not make the front of Inbound.org anytime soon. But you don’t necessarily need it, either.
What you do need, however, is a solid lead nurturing program. And up until only recently, your low traffic numbers have meant that Facebook custom audience-use has been limited (or nonexistent).
But now you can target everyone and anyone who’s ever:
- Visited your page
- Commented, liked, or shared your content
- Clicked on a page CTA
- Sent you a message, or
- Saved one of your posts
Now, instead of groping in the dark, guessing or beating your head against the wall trying to find the perfect new audience on Facebook to promote your content, you’ve finally got a solution.
We’re barely scratching the surface here.
Making this brand-new functionality available is great. However, what matters is how you use it. And there are a few new options available to blow your old results out of the water.
2. Advanced Event Combinations
Facebook’s not a demand generator.
Instead, it excels in large part (thanks to custom audiences) in retargeting and remarketing; following up with those that have already expressed different levels of interest on other channels (like your site).
But it’s like remarketing on steroids because you’re able to automatically deliver the right message at the right time to each individual.
Facebook’s also recently unveiled new advanced event combinations so that you can create detailed rules based on what someone did or didn’t do.
Someone adds to cart but doesn’t buy. Classic cart abandonment that happens a whopping ~69% of the time.
You can’t hit ‘em with Dynamic Product Ads. But you can now also get even more granular. You can set-up rules to run ads based on the dollar amount or value inside the cart right now.
You can even get fancy and attach some multi-channel marketing automation to trigger based on purchases of a certain value.
Or, the number of items.
But again, we’re barely scratching the surface on the new available options to slice and dice large audiences into perfectly crafted segments.
3. Target Those Who Opened a Lead Ad Form
Marketing automation is so powerful because it allows you to mirror or mimic the natural buying process that consumers are already going through.
For example, peeps are already hopping from device to device (at least half the time) when purchasing something new. They’re also visiting, revisiting, and visiting again – multiple times – over the course of a few days or weeks before converting. 7-13+ touches is a safe bet.
It would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to try and manually change your messaging across multiple channels during this process. You’ve got no chance at scale. And even B2B companies need scale at the end of the day to grow a big biz.
Enter: marketing technology. And the convergence of it.
Tailoring ads and other promotional messages based on a database-driven approach (with your CRM) can deliver stunning results. One study between Facebook & Salesforce showed this approach can, “extend email campaign reach by 77%”.
That brings us back to B2B. And more specifically, their lead gen strategy.
But once again, there’ve been a few modifications of late.
Now, you can create a custom audience of people who may have opened and clicked on your lead ads form, but didn’t submit.
This is marketing automation, IF/THEN statements, at its finest.
So not only can you send successful submissions straight to your CRM (thanks to a handy little data sync feature)…
… but more importantly, you can dynamically generate a new ad for those who were interested but didn’t follow through.
OR, you can even use it to exclude people who did submit from receiving an inappropriate message.
Their lead status has now changed, and they’ve moved further down the Facebook sales funnel. Which means your messaging approach needs to change, too.
4. Target Those Who Opened a Canvas
Facebook Canvas allows you to deliver beautiful interactive experiences on mobile devices.
You can incorporate images, videos, links, geo-targeting, and most importantly – CTAs.
But once again, its practical use has been a bit limiting. It’s been more of a branding and engagement play. Which is awesome if you’re a massive company who cares (and has the budget) for such things.
For everyone else though, it’s been a “OH, that’s nice and interesting” type option that never gets touched.
Thankfully, the fine Facebook folks have given us Canvas custom audiences. So similar to lead ads in the last section, we can now target people who opened or viewed a Canvas ad at all. (While also being able to change the messaging for those who may have clicked through a link.)
That changes things a bit.
Instead of a ‘nice to have’ extra feature, you might be able to repurpose content and use it as a legit ‘top of the funnel’ option to attract new peeps, while building out a brand-new audience on mobile (for cheap – at scale!).
Which is also what this next section allows you to do.
5. Video View Audiences
Creating custom audiences based on Facebook engagement continues to open the doors to audience-building for fractions of a dollar.
The best possible example might be new video view audiences.
Ya’ll know ‘bout Facebook’s affinity for video. They’ve loved them some multimedia even years ago with EdgeRank.
Well now you can put those videos to good use by helping you build out audiences for literally pennies per view.
Andrea Vahl says to start with 10 second views (so you know peeps are somewhat engaged), which might be able to net you 1000 views for somewhere between $10-20 bucks.
Jon Loomer agrees that video view audiences, “May be the cheapest way to build a remarketing audience.”
“While it may cost $.20 – $.50 or more for a website click from cold traffic, video views are lighter actions. A single view may cost pennies (or a fraction of a penny).”
You can also control audience size (and therefore cost) by restricting duration or increasing it up to include anyone who’s watched during the last full year.
6. Broad Audiences for Dynamic Product Ads
Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads have been around for awhile now.
You create a custom feed of products on your store…
… that’s then used to custom different creative templates…
… and voila! The ability to pull in products that someone may have just viewed on your website.
The beauty behind this process is ground we’ve already covered. You know: automated, scale, audience targeting & messaging, blah blah blah.
But the biggest problem with it is another area we’ve already touched on: reach.
If your audience or sample size is too small, you’ll never be able to see the kinds of numbers required to make a noticeable dent on your Income Statement.
Facebook is on it, though.
Instead of being limited to showing these dynamic product ads to only website visits, you can now use broad audience targeting too.
While it might lower the audience quality a smidge, it also can greatly increase the size of the audience. And many times your biggest problem is reach, not frequency, fatigue, dayparting, or any other minuscule issue.
So you can extend these product ads (that are already created automatically for you) to people based on specific demographics or locations. That means you can go back to your customer personas to determine who else might be interested in what you’re offering.
Just be advised that there are a few caveats. Facebook advises NOT to:
- Use lookalike audiences or other interest targeting. This might affect deliver.
- Use small product catalogs (of less than a few hundred to thousand products). Also might affect deliver.
7. Offline Events
Everything’s all fine and dandy when people convert online. There’s a digital paper trail that keeps everything nice and neat when it comes time to assess ROI.
All of that goes away when things go offline. Google Analytics can only do so much. And you often lose preciously critical data through their gaps when conversions happen IRL.
B2B companies know when people become leads. But tracking closed sales, which happens weeks-to-months later over the phone or in person, back to the original ad campaigns that generated each is a freaking nightmare.
Same goes for local brick-and-mortar. You use a Facebook ad to engage and drum up interest in your offerings. Those ads driving foot traffic into your stores is a GREAT thing. But not being able to see or track or understand how your POS data lines up with online, Facebook spend creates a ton of problems.
You’ve been able to see how many people use Facebook’s mobile directions feature to find your store.
You can use information from a customer’s store visit experience to go back and customize new creative delivery. You can analyze trends across multiple stores in aggregate, too.
And most importantly of all, you can now connect transactional data back to Facebook ad campaigns with Offline Events.
Now stick with me here. ‘Cause it ain’t perfect yet.
Basically, you can take point-of-sale transaction information from various partners (like Marketo or Square) and upload that to Facebook. They’ll then match up the data between the two to give you a better idea of what campaigns are driving in-store sales. That you can then use to better tweak and optimize future campaigns as well.
Mariano Tordo, Digital Marketing Manager at Fravega, shared their experience:
“At Fravega we were able to show that for every dollar of e-commerce revenue we were generating from Facebook ads, we were actually getting an additional $2.20 in our brick-and-mortar stores. With the Offline Conversions API we were able to optimize our investment and increase spending with confidence.”
Facebook advertising doesn’t follow the same path many other popular options do.
Instead, it’s blazing its own.
Which perfectly positions it for the future of marketing and advertising.
Shoppers will continue to hop from mobile to desktop to tablet. They’ll skip around from email to search to social in the blink of an eye.
The only possible way to keep up is to fight fire with fire.
To leverage technology that can mirror and predict and react in fractions of a second to give individuals exactly what they’re looking for in real time.
Facebook’s advertising platform continues to open up new ways to do just that with these seven new ad features that continue to evolve an already-unbeatable ability to match customer data and automatically create segmented lists to retarget.