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Facebook for Performance - One Size Doesn't Fit All

  |  September 9, 2013   |  Comments   |  

Consider these ways to optimize your performance campaigns on the social network.

Previously, I shared some insights gathered from reviewing marketing activities on Facebook. The first part can be found here. I was looking to find differences in campaign performance metrics between Asia and the rest of the world. Seeing that there's a significant gap in marketing maturity, I shared a few ways to help marketers in Asia shift from focusing just on likes and engagements to leveraging the platform for performance.

I continue here with a few words of advice that came out of a very common reply from marketers when I ask them, "What are you doing on Facebook now?"

A common targeting approach in Asia is something I call free-size targeting.

This is when one creative is used for a combined gender segment that spans a broad age range; males and females 20-39. There are a couple of drawbacks to this.

The most obvious being the inability to see precisely who is engaging, who converts the best, and whether these people are clicking from their desktop or mobile. The second being that marketers end up paying the highest CPM (cost-per-impression), CPC (cost-per-click), or CPA (cost-per-acquisition) for the entire range of audience segments included.

Here are two approaches that I have seen consistently deliver not just a reduction in CPMs, CPCs, and CPAs but help marketers find out which narrow segments work and whether to find them at their desktop, mobile, or tablet.

1. Breaking up for good. Split your audience into smaller, more defined segments. For example, I would recommend breaking up males and females 20-39 years old into:

Males 20-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-39

Females 20-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-39

Narrower segments mean you pay a more precise CPM, CPC, or CPA and the difference can range from a few cents to several dollars. What results is lower costs overall and that translates to being able to reach more people.

Narrower segments also tell you who is most interested or who converts best. I have seen a few brands change their engagement strategy after doing this and discovering the segment they thought was most effective to reach on Facebook turned out to be the most expensive to convert.

2. Divorcing the screens. Even if you have one creative, you should be asking that this creative be shown (and tracked) separately for people on different screens. The most basic separation of screens would be desktop and mobiles but I would recommend that you go as far as desktop, mobile, and tablet. Costs are oftentimes lower when you reach people on their desktop. Remember the commercial that keeps reminding us, "Why pay more?"

Divorcing the screens helps not just spend money more wisely but gives a marketer more crucial information about their customers', or potential customers', device behavior. What some marketers have discovered after trying out screen separation is that certain creatives work better for desktop during the day and others work better for mobile or tablet in the evening. Other marketers have learned to direct their efforts at the desktop during 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and to shift that focus to mobile during evenings and weekends.

How targeting is done across screens can only mature given this region's obsession for access anytime and everywhere. So the earlier marketers start splitting up what's delivered to each screen, the less catch-up they will have to do when more screens come into the picture.

Just two things to try but the insights that could come about as a result are mind-blowing.

I hope trying the above will help you get to know your customers better as well as help you market more precisely.

Till next time - Jermyn.

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Jermyn Toh

Jermyn Toh started cobbling together websites in the mid 90s and went on to work with brands like adidas, Apple, Daimler, DHL, Diageo, GSK, HTC, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Visa in various digital planning and marketing consultancy roles. He is currently director of Experian’s Digital Innovation Group and focuses on market development for Alchemy Social, digital strategy, and product innovation. He can be found on Twitter @jermyntoh.

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