How to master Facebook advertising and targeting

Facebook advertising is becoming very useful, especially when you explore its potential and all its targeting options.

Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social at DealerOn, delivered a very informative presentation at Brighton SEO last week, describing all the advertising options that Facebook offers along with the impressive targeting you can achieve.

According to Greg Gifford, Facebook used to be “the drunk guy who showed up late to the party and annoyed everyone”, but now it’s managed to become the “cool mofo that everyone wants to party with” in social advertising.

It did this by taking advantage of its popularity to create a very cost-effective advertising platform.

It makes sense for your brand to explore Facebook’s advertising options, as this is the platform that most users spend their time on while using their mobile devices.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 17.01.34

Starting with the basics, here are all the advertising types you can create on Facebook:

Facebook Ad Types

Page post engagement

One of the most popular ad types. It’s good for boosting your content’s reach, while it works both with published or unpublished posts.

Page Likes

This is another popular option, though its popularity is not always reflected in its success. Many Facebook Pages use this ad type to grow their audience, but the lack of proper targeting and engagement (comments, shares, clicks to the site), may lead to a waste of your budget.

Clicks to website

This ad type can be very useful when you’re trying to increase the traffic to your site, or when you want to drive users to a specific landing page to promote a campaign.

Website conversions

This is a great option for lead generation and ecommerce which requires the installation of a tracking pixel to the site to measure the number of visitors that turned into customers, coming directly from Facebook.

App installs

If your brand wants to promote an application, then this is a great option, as it may lead users directly to the app store, combining promotion with effectiveness.

App engagement

If you want to take app promotion to the next level, you may experiment with app engagement, trying to connect with existing app owners and make them re-engage with your app.

Offer claims

If you just launched an offer on your Facebook page, then this ad type may help you drive more users to your Facebook page to ensure a larger participation. 

Video views

The domination of video in Facebook has made this option very popular, helping video producers promote their content directly to the most relevant audience. It supports .mov, .mp4, or .avi files and the ratio is 16:9.

Local awareness

Last but not least, local awareness is about advertising on mobile devices, according to a set location and it can be very useful for a local business trying to beat its competitors.

Targeting opportunities

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Facebook’s deep targeting allows you to create an ad that reaches a very specific audience, and it goes beyond the expected demographics, by even targeting particular life events, political beliefs, parents (even defining the age of children), or friends of people celebrating life events.

This increases the chances of spreading your message to the right audience, which is also cost-effective, as you won’t spend your budget on users who are not interested in your product.

More options for targeting

Custom Audiences

custom audiences facebook

Custom audiences consist of email contacts you already have and it may be a great alternative to the limitations of email marketing. There are no opt-ins, no unsubscribers – only people who are relevant to your product who would otherwise miss your email.

Custom audiences can be very useful for lead nurturing, while they may be used in more creative ways, such as:

  • Yploading your current customers to use them as a negative list for other campaigns
  • Targeting people who never open your emails by uploading a separate list
  • Targeting your LinkedIn connections by creating a new list

Lookalike audiences

lookalike audiences facebook

Lookalike Audiences are the best way to target new qualified users. Facebook creates an audience of the same size and matching demographic. These can be very useful when you’re trying to overcome ad fatigue when reaching a new audience but still maintaining your targeting filters.

This option is more popular in smaller scale businesses, as they can reach the right audience with a minimal budget.

Examples of targeting

Here are some examples on how targeting works, depending on the audience and the goals.

  • If you need PR exposure, then you can target journalists, employees of local TV, radio, newspapers to learn about your story.
  • If you want links, then you can write an amazing post and then promote it to influencers, writers, journalists and get links
  • If you want sales, then you can run ads that target the customers of your competitors and they’ll convert.

Moreover, if your goal is to increase your sales, you might want to consider the idea of running three different ad types to maximise your potential:

  1. Offer ad (with shipping deal, or discount)
  2. Carousel ad (showcasing the images of the products)
  3. Website clicks ad (to increase the traffic back to the site)

This is a useful way to ensure that your ads are suitable for your goals and increase the chances of success.

Tips to consider when creating Facebook ads

Greg Gifford shared his tips on how to create successful Facebook ads:

  • Be extremely picky with your targeting. Narrow it down as much as possible to increase its effectiveness.
  • Use awesome images. Don’t underestimate the power of images. The size should be at least 600×314, while 1200×628 makes ads even more appealing.
  • Set a goal. Don’t start posting ads before you have a clear goal in mind. Set a measurable number, a due date, and workable guidelines for your goal
  • Use ad scheduling. Post the ads in the best possible time, don’t waste your money in the wrong time. Also, if you’re running call-only mobile ads, make sure you use them when you’re open.
  • A/B test every advert. Keep experimenting with ad types and images until you find the best ones for your goals.
  • Think outside the box. Be creative, come up with new ways to promote your business. How about running ads at your competitors’ locations to appeal to their customers?
  • Image should include less than 20% text. Even if Facebook allows you to add more text, you don’t have to use the space, as the further you get from 20%, the less the reach.
  • Use Power Editor. Power Editor is offering more precise targeting capabilities, along with bulk uploading and editing of adverts, which is less time consuming and more effective.

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