With almost two billion people worldwide spending at least some of their day on Facebook, it’s no wonder the social media platform is also the advertising darling it is today.
Cheap ads, a targeted audience that spends more time on the platform than anywhere else online due to a slight obsession by their user base, and you have a potential goldmine on your hands.
Use Facebook Targeting to Save Ad Spend
But just like all that glitters is not gold, play the ad game wrong on Facebook and you can have a really bad day. Without a target audience, you are wasting your money. And there are many things to consider when deciding who to target on Facebook. Let’s take a look.
Before you begin your advertising campaign, you need to be sure you are targeting the right audience. Facebook offers several different demographics to choose from. Consider the following examples of ways to target your perfect demo:
Sure, income, the lead-off hitter of construction marketing demographics. Facebook lets you hone in on any income level you’d want. If you have an expensive, but not essential product or service, it will most likely be purchased by someone with high discretionary income. Lower end or essential products and services will appeal more of those with lower incomes. The nice part about home improvement, when the house needs fixing, it doesn’t matter how much you make. So use income as a good way to weed out high or low-income earners depending on your offer.
A small, local contractor will probably not want to advertise to people living out of state (or even out of their area). Unlike Google, Facebook doesn’t want your ad budget to get sucked up on useless clicks, so they make it a point of having you drill down as close as possible to the areas you want to service. This is great to target a “farm” area if you will, not unlike what real estate agents use to network their services.
Depending on what you sell, targeting to men or women (or both) can help increase your chances of developing a lead. For example, while both may participate in the home improvement decision, it is most likely the woman of the house initiating the need for say, a new kitchen. While men would typically be the driver for a new basement or garage.
Now, throw everything out I just said above about gender, because there is a lot of blended families out there who buy just as much of what you sell as anyone else. You don’t have to be married to own a home. Facebook ads aren’t limited to traditional demographic information.
When creating a Facebook page, the user lists their hobbies, favorite books/movies/bands and meaning that you can target people most likely to purchase your product. Unlike general demographic targets, interest based targets are tailored specifically to a certain type of person (e.g. men that are interested in science fiction) rather than just a category of people (i.e. men ages 18-34). This narrows your search terms and gives you a better chance of getting a sale.
Targeting ad campaigns
An ad campaign needs more than just a broad definition of who it wants to target: it needs a goal. This may seem obvious; your goal is to make money. Unfortunately, it’s a little more difficult than that. Your ad needs to be tailored towards what you want your ad to do. For example, you may want your campaign to drive visitors to your website, or a page on your site. There are several different outcomes you can set using Facebook:
- Boost posts to improve your visibility on social media
- Promote your Facebook page by getting people to follow your updates
- Send people to your website for more information or to make purchases
- Get video views
- Reach people near your business (this works especially well with local businesses)
- Raise attendance at your event
The Dark Ad Rising
Despite its name, dark ads are not as nefarious as they sound. In fact, they are one of the best tools for marketing to a specific audience. Dark ads allow you to put ads in your prospect’s feed as a “sponsored ad.” Sponsored ads are advertisements that are not tied to your company’s Facebook page.
When people like your page, they receive the updates you post in their feed-just like you are one of their friends. While this gives you more exposure, if you are trying to market more than one product, you risk bombarding your followers with multiple ads. When this happens, your followers will see your posts as an annoyance and unsubscribe-especially if your products are unrelated or they’ve already bought.
Dark ads fix this problem by allowing you to send out sponsored ads to specific prospects by keyword. For example, if you are selling windows, you will want to target homeowners in spring and summer, as they are your ideal customer; there probably won’t be too many people buying windows in Chicago in January. By targeting your ads, you ensure that the people most likely to buy are the ones most likely to purchase your product.
Setting up a dark ad campaign is a bit different than creating a traditional advertisement. Here’s a quick start guide to get you going:
You can set up dark ads through Facebook’s integrated Power Editor program. When you log into power editor, click the tool drop down menu located next to the page posts button. Select the campaign dashboard option.
If you don’t have an active campaign or want to separate your dark ads into a new campaign, click the create campaign button located right under the manage ads tabs. If you already have a campaign, select the name from the campaign you want to use for your dark ads.
After you have created your campaign, select the page posts option (it’s the fourth option at the top of the screen). Then, click the blue create post button. In the pop-up menu, choose the type of post you want to create and enter the required information. Make sure that the bottom option reads “used as an ad” rather than “published on your page.” Then, click the “create post button.”
After this, go back to the Manage Ads screen. Select your ad set and click “edit audience.” Then, enter any keywords you want to use to target customers. Once you are done, publish the post as normal.