The short version is that I started this blog because a lot of people were asking how they should target their Facebook ads to reach their audience.
– Or because they weren’t sure why their ads didn’t work (in most cases I’ve noticed it’s due to bad targeting).
So I asked them if they’d be interested in a blog about Facebook ads targeting.
I told you the story was short 😉
If you’re curious about the longer version, it starts here.
Allow me to explain this with a story.
I like advertising.
In fact, I’m pretty geeky about it – when I was younger I used to record ads that I liked in TV on my VHS.
A VHS tape full of ads. WTF?
At one point some years ago I realized that even with the number of ad agencies out there it’s an unusual thing to like – most people almost passionately HATE advertising.
Just look at how popular ad blockers are:
10,000,000+ downloads. Yikes!
Anyway, after awhile I realized that it’s because most ads are shit.
Like totally irrelevant, completely unclear shit.
Just noise that someone has paid to annoy you with.
Just turn on the TV.
When you try to reach everyone you reach no one. But you know that.
And you know what? I hate most ads too. Of course. And I hate the ‘you have a virus’ bullshit too.
Every now and then I come across something that speaks so clearly to me that I sit back and think FINALLY.
FINALLY someone gets me. Finally someone understands this problem I’ve been having and can help me solve it.
Not ‘somewhat’ help me. Fucking nail it. Fucking remove that problem from my life once and for all.
Going through whatever hoops there might be is a no brainer. Am I pulling out my credit card? HECK YES.
It’s something I WANT to do.
TAKE MY MONEY!
That’s an awesome feeling.
3-4 years ago I applied to about 100(!) different unpaid internships in digital advertising agencies as part of my studies.
Yeah, I SUCKED at writing job applications.
When I finally got an interview the guy asked me why I wanted to work in an ad agency. I told him the story I’ve just told you.
And you know what?
I want EVERY ad to be like that.
Of course that’s impossible but it’s certainly not impossible to get closer to that goal.
That interview happened about 4 years ago (I got the internship).
I have tried quite a few different ways to get closer to my goal since but I haven’t found the right solution yet.
I’m thinking a blog on targeting might be the answer.
You see, even if you have a generic ad, if you show it to the right people – and not everyone who has a pulse – things aren’t going to be total shit.
Test it for yourself and you’ll see.
Even if you have the perfect ad, showing it to the wrong people won’t make it good.
Yet showing a generic ad to the right people might not clear your product inventory but it’ll go a long way.
As I later learned, Facebook is the best advertising tool out there to do just that.
Through training and a ton of trial and error I started to enjoy running ads on Facebook.
I’ve used ads as a job application, to sell t-shirts, prank people – you name it.
It almost becomes a game for me.
I usually fail more than I succeed but that doesn’t matter because the successes pays for all the failed attempts and then some.
As I’m writing this, it makes me think I’m ridiculously nerdy with this stuff.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one. Haha.
In fact, I’m writing this to figure out if anyone would care and benefit from me sharing my thoughts on Facebook targeting.
There are already plenty of great blogs on Facebook ads.
You don’t need MORE information.
A simple Google search returns 137,000,000 results.
Take your pick!
You need someone to SHOW how it’s done.
How you reach the right people so you can try different ads to see which one hits a homerun.
And I don’t mean those lame ‘these are the targeting options you have available’-posts.
I mean showing you EXACTLY which fanpages, interests and whatever will be the BEST for YOU to target YOUR audience.
I mean doing the HARD WORK of finding those golden fan-pages and keywords to target FOR YOU.
Most people who I’ve seen make a lot of money from advertising with Facebook ads are really good at targeting.
They spend most of their time researching new ways to target their exact audience.
Researching. Outside of Facebook.
The more time you spend, the better results you’ll get.
But what if you don’t have that extra time?
What do you do if you are so busy that you don’t have time to just research for potentially good targeting options on Facebook – that only might – work out?
Because there’s definitely no guarantee.
It’s not really rocket science. It just takes a lot of time.
I want to fix that.
I’ll show you an example of a campaign I ran for a t-shirt about year ago. It didn’t make me rich or anything but it was nicely profitable.
It turned about $183 into $456 ($273 profit) and proved that the targeting was spot on.
Unfortunately the niche was too small so I couldn’t scale it properly.
How I target an audience for a profitable campaign
After a lot of trial and error, first from sucking at targeting properly and later from shitty t-shirt designs, I finally managed to hit a homerun one day.
I created a t-shirt for social workers in Denmark and it looked like this:
The targeting I used was this:
Those are particular job titles, schools and fields of study I found fitted my audience.
All I did from there was copy-paste 1 from each category into its own adset and run the ad.
I found it was through a lot of manual research.
In the future I might record my screen while doing to research so you can see the process I’m going through but for now I’ll just explain how I do it.
First I brainstorm a list of things that are related to the audience, what they might do, where they might go, what tools they might use and all that.
I write down only things that my target audience would like and no-one else would.
For example, in Denmark we have a union more or less specifically for social workers, so being a paid member only makes sense for social workers and no-one else.
When I have a decent list of categories (e.g. union, shops or events) I’ll jump to Google and search for each category with the purpose of trying to find all the things in that category.
For example if I’m targeting dog owners, I would look up webshops selling dog food and try to target their fan-pages.
Another thing I like to do, often first actually, is open Facebook’s Audience Insights and put in one target option, select the country and see what suggestions I get back.
You can even sort by affinity to get an idea of how related the suggestions are to the targeting option you entered. I usually test those that are 10x or more.
Once I get some fan-pages from there, I like the pages and Facebook shows me a list of similar pages that I then put into Audience Insights to see if they are available for targeting.
There are more research methods but that should be enough to get you going for now.
150+ EXACT pages, job titles, fields of study etc.
Do you want to see what targeting research looks like when it's done well?
Download the EXACT research done for a TINY niche: people working with political issues in Europe.
Even if this isn't your audience you'll be able to see what in-depth targeting research looks like.
You'll get access to all the 150+ EXACT pages, job titles, fields of study etc. I found - ready for you to copy-paste into your Facebook ad campaign.
I spent 9 intense hours digging for these pages and weeding out untargetable ones.
I've also added some targeting ideas and ways to take this even further.
Of course it's all free - just enter your email and I'll send it there.