We have previously discussed the 3 most pervasive social media marketing myths. Number one on that list, was the myth that social media marketing is free marketing. As explained, not only is social media marketing not only not free even when only organic posting is used as an engagement tool, but there is the little matter of paid or promoted advertising. It is important at this juncture to point out that social media advertising is more cost effective than other types of digital advertising, and is widely accepted as the optimal solution for businesses that wish to communicate with its customer base while keeping overall marketing spending down.
Paid or promoted advertising is currently the only way to target an audience using Facebook advertising, since Facebook has disabled the “Preferred Page Audience” option. Now, it is only possible to limit organic posts based on country and age restrictions. While we can certainly complain about the reasons behind this change, the simple fact is that targeting ad campaigns using the much more powerful tool available to the paid options makes much more sense, both in terms of placing your product and service in front of potentially interested eyes, but also to build awareness about your business and offerings.
The reason for this is both simple and complex. The number of businesses vying for the same audience has grown exponentially in recent years, with more and more businesses switching to social media marketing to directly reach their ideal, potential consumer. The secret, though, behind a successful social media/Facebook advertising campaign is two-fold.
First, you need to know with as exact a knowledge as possible who your ideal, potential consumer is. This information can only truly be gleaned by investing in thorough Marketing research & Consumer Insight. The information gathered through marketing research and especially consumer insight will not only tell a business or marketing agency who the consumers are they are looking for, but what they like and are likely to respond to.
This information is also crucially important to a targeted Facebook advertising campaign. Facebook allows an advertiser to target their ads to a very defined audience. This audience can also be adjusted and refined over time as the response to campaigns are evaluated using the Insights tool to optimise the Return on Investment of every marketing cent spent.
Targeting the ideal audience can seem daunting at first, with so many options and settings at your disposal. Start with the information you have available through your research efforts, and then apply the following steps to setting up a potent audience:
- Start with a combination of basic demographics
Answer the three most basic questions about who your target audience is:
- Where are they?
- Which gender are they?
- How old are they?
Always make sure that you specify these three basic fields for every campaign.
Many marketers make the mistake of using only these three options. This is a serious mistake as the audience these parameters will produce will be too large to produce viable placements.
- Refine your audience by their interests
Narrow down your target audience by defining the interests of your ideal, potential consumer. Be as specific as possible. A counter-intuitive tip on this selection is to choose an interest that would seem to broadly obvious. For example, if an interest is motor sport, do not pick choose ‘Lewis Hamilton’ as an interest. Hamilton is so popular and his influence so wide that even consumers with no interest in motor sport, may have an interest in him. An alternative trick would be to use less well-known F1 drivers such as Nico Hulkenberg. The odds are much better than only fans with serious interest in motor racing would know Hulkenberg or follow him as an interest. Also, do not select only a single interest as this, too, will result in a too broad audience to be useful. Instead, choose multiple, intersecting interests, or combine related interests.
- Find the potential consumers who have already shown an intention to buy your product
Though a contradiction in personal terms, Facebook does keep tabs on what we have been searching online for a product we are interested in buying. It is established fact by now that consumers (up to 73%) research a product on the internet before making a purchase. This is a very productive way of targeting an ideal audience. The window of opportunity is around 2 weeks to grab the attention of an intentional consumer, and since most consumers (even the high-end ones) make a purchase decision based on price, a targeted Facebook ad offering a special or discounted price may well be enough to persuade them to buy your product rather than your competitors.
To enable this productive targeting tool, navigate to the section called ‘Behaviours.’ Here you can type in suggestions for intentional consumers or browse the suggested options. Here too, specificity matters and narrowing the potential audience by targeting the buying behaviour – for example do not select only “accommodation” if your potential clients would be interested in your selection of “beachfront accommodation.”
Read more: Intentional Inbounding
- Target people by their income bracket
If your product or service is likely to appeal to a group within a specific income bracket, target your ad towards them. There are 30 different financial behaviours from which to choose. Facebook does not know anyone’s specific income bracket in detail. They use a variety of third-party data, combined with demographic, household, and other information to create an approximate bracket. Targeting by income bracket is remarkably effective at drawing in intentional consumers.
- Take the time to work through all the other targeting options, the investment in labour and effort can only improve the chances of a cost-effective, high-yield target audience
Other options under demographics including industry, occupation, home ownership, education level, family status and many more.
Lastly, match your ad material, copy and visuals to your target audience and monitor the progress of your campaign through Insights to determine if any adjustments are required.