When setting up advertisements within Facebook, one of the first things to be aware of is the campaign structure which you should adhere to when creating your ads.
Another critical element, however, is defining a profitable audience for your Facebook ads through targeting.
In any form of marketing, targeting is essential to a successful marketing campaign; without targeting, you're just blasting your message to everyone and anyone who happens to see your advertisement, and that method becomes expensive.
When you target your ideal customers, you're more likely to achieve your desired results since you have tailored the message to appeal to those who've already expressed an underlying interest in converting.
So how do you reach that potential with Facebook ads?
Define your target market on social media
This group of potential customers may have different qualities than the personas you've defined for your email audience, your direct-mail audience, and even the audience for your display ads on other websites. It's important to understand who buys from you, and their habits on social - and their habits on Facebook, specifcally
Be specific, but not too specific
Here's a listing of the many different options Facebook provides for you to define your target ad audience.
- Custom Audience
- Partner Categories
With all of these categories, it's easy for you to get granular in your targeting - so granular that you can choose a potential customer down to their individual college major.
However, we would caution against that.
As noted in the choices we provide our clients via Pagemodo Ads, there are plenty of ways to properly target your audience without whittling it down to just a handful of people.
- Gender is defined as men or women or both
- Age is defined as between the ages of 13 and 65
- Location is defined as their stated city, zipcode, or state
- Interests is defined as a term or phrase that is auto-filled by Facebook
When selecting your audience preferences, take note of the potential reach size (number of impressions) before submitting for approval. If the quantity is too low* or too high (yes, that is a possibility) see what changes you can make to reach a volume that will meet the goals you established in the very beginning.
*A good tip for when impressions are too low is to look at the interests filters you have chosen. Are any of the interests too specific, and could be made a bit more general to reach a larger population? For example, you want to advertise a new menu for your restaurant featuring eggplant parmigiana and choose 'parmigiana' as the interest - think, instead, if you chose 'Italian Cuisine.' This would enable you to reach a larger, yet still targeted, audience.
Design for your target audience
It's always important to design your ads with your customer in mind.
A Facebook ad is created with four aspects: your description, your creative, your ad headline, and your link.
When it comes to customizing these variables, it's important make decisions on the audience you've defined in the previous steps.
Test, test, test
Remember that one size does not fit all for advertising. Just because you've customized your ad for a particular audience, that doesn't mean everyone in that audience prefers the same messaging.
This is where testing comes in.
By implementing a variety of messaging in the creative, in the description, or the headline, you'll be more likely to see the general preferences for the audience you are targeting. Within the Facebook campaign structure, you can organize your ads by campaign, ad set, and ads. Facebook suggests that on the ad set level you should define budgets, bids, targeting, and placement so that with each new ad you create with different images, text, or links, you'll keep the same settings from the ad set level. This way, Facebook can optimize ads based on their performance (how well they are converting).
Unfortunately, there are some caveats to structuring your ads this way. Within 24 hours, Facebook often makes the decision about which ad is performing the best and will no longer show the other ads to the audience you defined to give it a chance to shine.
But don't worry, there's a loophole to give each ad you create a fighting chance to perform well, and get a true sense of your audience's preferences.
Create a new ad set with each ad design you create. This way, each ad is on its own (not competing against each other) where Facebook can't decide to not give it the attention it deserves in the News Feed.
Some ad platforms, like Pagemodo Ads, will do this for you - each ad you create will have its own defined set of budgets, schedules, and bids; as well as its own images, text, and links to create an ad that will reach a wide and targeted audience to help meet the conversion goals you set for your social media advertising.
And let me know if I can help clear things up for you in the comments.