Facebook has created a powerful advertising platform that allows for “steroid-based” targeting capabilities. You can target “the person,” not the just the keyword. If you want to build your business, you want to test Facebook advertising.
According to Compete.com, Facebook had over 160,000,000 unique visitors in October, 2015. Take a look at this Compete screenshot:
This Social Network has reach!
Perhaps more powerful, for marketers, is Facebook’s targeting capabilities. If you run Facebook advertising, you can create Audiences, or segments, based on customer lists, website traffic or user demographics, behavior and interests.
Your Email Has Power
Email has heard it’s obituary read many times throughout the years. But the reports of its death are premature. Facebook, and other social platforms, can actually amplify the power of your email list through targeting.
Built a list through MailChimp or a WooCommerce? Export it to a CSV and upload it to Facebook.
You can then take that list and target ads against it. Ideally, you’ve created value for your list over time using content offers – eBooks, webinars – and you have earned trust. Using Facebook and email, you have another method – another channel – through which to communicate with theses valued subscribers.
So let’s say I offered an eBook on keyword research. A user finds my offer through Google, comes to my site, enters her credentials in a form, and downloads the eBook. She starts keyword research – analyzing data, click volume, relevancy – and starts to generate targeted content.
Using Facebook and email, you have another method…to communicate…with valued subscribers
She then goes to Facebook and sees my ad for a keyword research course. She derived a lot of value from my eBook and, based on that, clicks on the ad, goes to a landing page and purchases the course.
As a result of my Facebook advertising, my email list has become more powerful:
- My reach has increased
- My ability to create deeper relationships with my customer base continues to grow
- I’m able leverage social connections
Demographics and Interests
This is my favorite component of Facebook advertising.
Let’s say you’re starting out – you’ve launched a new business and website. You don’t have a list. And you have a data driven persona hypothesis – you’ve isolated three groups that you want to target. Let’s call one of those groups Marketing Maria.
Marketing Maria is between the ages of 25 and 35, she’s a director of marketing at fifty-person company. Her goal is to drive more visitors and leads from SEO. Add a few more layers and you have a working persona.
You can then go to Facebook and target women 25 -35 who like SEO and have the title of director of marketing.
That’s powerful stuff!
Audiences And Targeting With Facebook Advertising
In Facebook parlance, these targets are known as Audiences. You create them, save them, and attach them to different campaigns.
Here’s how they work:
Pretty much what it sounds like. Just make sure it’s descriptive so that when you look at the Audience Name, you’ll instantly know “who” they are.
If you find Facebook advertising works for you, you’ll end up with lots of different Audiences. Different Audiences mean more granular targeting and data. So make sure you stay organized with a naming convention that’s meaningful to you and your team.
Again, what it sounds like. Choose a country, state, zip, etc. Different geographies will have different tastes, needs and conversion rates. Dived up the US (assuming you’re targeting the US) into regions so you can test. No need to pay for traffic in New York, for example, if your sales come from North Carolina.
You can set a range from 18 to 65+. Again, like Locations, Age is a powerful targeting component. Selling Baby Seats? Probably want to look at over 25 but under 40.
As with anything in life, there are outliers. However, you want to make your money work for you and give it the best chance to succeed. So choose your age range based on realistic conversion opportunities.
I always create at least two Audience groups – Male and Female
I always create at least two Audience groups – Male and Female. I want to know where the best opportunity is. This is an easy test and segmentation criterion.
Use is really variable. But if all your pages are in English, choose English. Again, you’re looking for high success opportunities. Be ruthless in your segmentation. If you’re not, Facebook will be ruthless in taking your money.
Interests and Behaviors
Here’s the real power! Start typing in activities, hobbies, occupations. See what comes up. Find pockets of relevancy to your business. Look at correlation. Someone who is interested in X might purchase Y. Y might be your product or service.
What I love about Audiences is that I can create them once and track their performance against my creative. I can see who buys, who doesn’t and refine using conversion data.
You might find that Marketing Maria is totally wrong. You’ve tested the persona, built the audience, paid your toll on Facebook and you see no conversions.
A lot of factors go into conversions – Audience, landing page, channel, product – isolating the variables is tough. But using Facebook targeting capabilities, you have more ammunition with which to draw data driven conclusions.
And you have concluded Marketing Maria is wrong. So you create a new Audience – SEO Sam – and you test. Through Facebook, you can target and get instant traffic.
Note: Before you create audiences, create your Marketing Maria or SEO Sam. Build your personas. Understand who you want to reach, who your ideal customer is, BEFORE you run campaigns. Contact me if you need help with this.
Personas are a completely different discussion for another day. If you don’t have your personas outlined, start poring over your analytics, brainstorm with your team, create a survey, take educated guesses. And call to life your targets – your “best guess” of your two or three top customers.
However, if you’re running a going concern, you have a huge advantage. Look at your customer list, glean the data, and start to create coherent groups with related demographics, interests and/or behaviors.
Facebook and AdWords
Facebook and AdWords are similar – yet different.
You can pay per click, drive almost instant traffic, hopefully make some sales, and definitely collect data. But unlike site targeting and keyword targeting, with Facebook, you can target the person – their real interests.
Keep in mind, though, that just like AdWords, Facebook will take you’re money and often return little value – a click and a bounce. Essentially, with great power comes the ability to lose great amounts of cash – fast.
So test only what you can afford to lose. But test. That’s how you get the data you need to build a viable business. Create a hypothesis, get the data, learn, rinse, repeat.
It’s easy to get lost in the interface, capabilities and data
There are a lot of other components to Facebook advertising – Creative, Ad Sets, Analytics, Pixels. Worse, they keep changing the dashboard. Imagine a map with new roads constantly appearing. Then new towns.
Facebook Advertising, like Google Analytics, is like that. It requires a lot of study to understand and harness its capabilities. But if you’re new to the game, take the map analogy, remove the Earth, and add Mars. It’s easy to get lost in the interface, capabilities and data.
Fortunately, once you learn the system, you’ll have a competitive barrier…new players will have to learn as well. Your knowledge will help you win in a competitive game.
Winning means higher conversion rates. Higher conversion rates mean not only more profit per sale, but also more sales as you can raise your ad bids and generate more traffic…that performs.
With Facebook ads, you have a completely different targeting and testing platform. So start creating those Audiences and start moving toward a successful business!
If you have questions about Facebook ads, email me.