Which Facebook Targeting Approach Is Right For You?

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I’ve been playing around with Facebook advertising for a while now and I’ve learned a couple of things in the process. In this article I’ll share the most common business goals I’ve come across and which type of campaign I’d run to achieve each goal.

I know how Facebook feels overwhelming with all it’s different options but it doesn’t have to be that way. In this article you will learn which type of campaign is the best for you to get started depending on which business goal you are aiming to achieve.

Later we’ll talk about all the details but for now it’s just a matter picking the right type of campaign to get started. Read on to see which of your business goals are listed and which campaign to run!

The most common business goals to achieve with Facebook advertising are:

  1. Get more sales from your current audience
  2. Upsell more to your audience
  3. Get more (of the right) people to your website
  4. Get more people to subscribe to your email list
  5. Get your first website visitors or email subscribers

Are you considering at least one of these goals? Here are a few ideas to get you started followed by a detailed explanation.

Retargeting campaign

  1. Get more sales from your current audience
  2. Upsell more to your audience

Look-a-like audience campaign (or “manual” campaign)

  1. Get more (of the right) people to your website
  2. Get more people to subscribe to your email list

“Manual” campaign

  1. Get your first website visitors or email subscribers

Don’t worry if you are not sure what a retargeting, manual or look-alike audience campaign is yet, I’ll explain it all below.

If you are new to Facebook advertising and just want to try it out, you will probably get the best results with a retargeting campaign plus it’s the least work required to set up compared to the results you’ll get.

Quick note: I strongly recommend that you don’t rush into this, you’ll probably end up feeling overwhelmed. You will always get better results by taking the time to understand what you are doing and making sure you have set everything up right the first time.

 

Get more sales from your current audience or upsell more: retargeting campaign

Selling more of a product to your audience or upselling other services are great examples of ways to retarget your current customers. The idea is that you can reach your audience on other websites than your own. They will probably be in a different state of mind when browsing Facebook – for better or worse. Allow me to explain.

Most people are browsing Facebook because they are bored. That makes them receptive if you are able to catch their attention but you have to compete with their friends, family and other companies.

Thinking about how you can tailor your copy and image to them can give you a huge advantage over competitors as they are already familiar or even interested in your brand – something that will immediately give you an upper hand.

When I run Facebook retargeting campaigns I expect them to perform better than other campaign types as the people I reach have a prequalified interest, usually from clicking through to my website. That often results in my retargeting campaigns getting lots of sales and a much lower price per sale than my original campaigns. You can even use the other campaign types to “scout” for new audiences that you can retarget later with a more engaging message.

Retargeting campaigns are particularly great when you launch a new product as it’s common that people get distracted when browsing before you are even able to convince them. Yet my experience is that when they are reminded with another ad, they have had time to consider the offer and are much more inclined to purchase (I love combining those with some sort of scarcity).

These types of campaigns are also a great opportunity to tailor the ad message to specifically fit someone who knows your brand and are already polarized towards your offer. That could be a hard selling ad for example. I’d expect them to be either no interested at all or highly interested, so in many cases it’s just a matter of convincing them a bit and then ask for the sale.

The problem with finding your audience on Facebook is when you import their details (e.g. email address) it’s usually only about 50% that will be found.

That could be because many people signed up with a different email address and most probably one they signed up to Facebook with a decade ago but don’t use anymore and then haven’t changed their Facebook login to the new one. I know I am guilty of that.

It’s the same reason I’m hesitant to run lead gen ads as it automatically fills in the email I signed up with Facebook for. As I consider the contact info an important part of the lead gen ads, the quality of the email you’ll receive may be quite low. Of course, as with many other things, it’s worth a test.

If you want to get retargeting campaigns up and running on Facebook, you will need the following:

  1. An audience; from your website, Facebook fan-page, email list or something else
  2. The Facebook pixel installed (don’t worry, it’s not as hairy as you think)
  3. Image + copy for your ad

It’s actually fairly simple to set up but if you are interested in a full-blown step-by-step guide to retargeting, please mention it below and I’ll write one for the campaign type with the most interest.

 

Get more (of the right) people to your website or to subscribe to your email list: look-a-like audiences (or “manual” campaign)

Having already built your audience gives you the great advantage of knowing then in-depth which makes it much easier for you to find similar people around the web. Facebook has an amazing tool called look-a-like audiences (referred to as LAL) which makes it possible to programmatically find people similar to your audience.

For Facebook to understand who they are looking for you’ll need a seed audience. That’s minimum of a thousand people – which will probably be around 2000 if you are importing email-addresses.

Imagine a Facebook-computer that when you feed it your email list it finds the person on Facebook connected to each address and at the same time looks for similarities between the people on your list.

It will then search for other people who appear to be similar based on their behavior on Facebook. Exactly how similar depends on your settings. Obviously you’d like them to be as similar as possible as you know your audience is already liking your brand.

However, it’s worth testing different sizes as the more flexible you are the more people you can reach. It’s all about finding that fine line between the right people and lots of them.

Another thing you can do with look-a-like audiences is group those who were interested in your ad and use them as a new seed audience to search for new people who are similar to them.

Look-a-like audiences are definitely less time consuming and easier than setting campaigns up the “manual way” (I’ll explain those in the next section). However manually researching your audience may give you better performance as you can tailor your ad to the targeting settings (e.g. fan-page or behavior) which means you can create a unique message to catch the attention of the new audience for the very first time. For example, if you are targeting a specific football team’s fan-page, you can tie an inside joke that you know the fans will relate to, into your message.

If you want to set up look-a-like audience campaigns up, you will need the following:

  1. A seed audience (e.g. an email list)
  2. The Facebook pixel installed (don’t worry, it’s not as overwhelming to set up as you think)
  3. Image + copy for the ad

Look-a-like audiences might even be easier to set up than retargeting campaigns but if you are interested in a full-blown step-by-step guide to look-a-like audiences, please mention it below and I’ll write one for the campaign type with the most interest.

 

Get your first website visitors or email subscribers: “manual” campaign

If you don’t have an audience, Facebook is a great place to start finding one as with 1 billion people online daily any audience must be available there.

It is important to know that they will probably be in a different state of mind compared to if you find them through, say, a guest post on another site as they in that case will have read a whole article by you and therefore already have formed an impression of you. To take care of that I’ve seen good results with sending them to a good blog post or even the homepage of your website.

This type of campaign can be used for the other types of goals as well but to not overwhelm you I’d suggest trying out the other campaigns first if you have an audience already. They will likely be better than this one for their goals yet this method is more flexible and can give you great results if you are willing to put in the work as this is based more on human research rather that computer calculations.

The difference with this type of campaign is that you manually have to do research and creatively figure out how you can target your audience. That gives you access to crazy combos of behavior, interests, demographics and a lot of other ways to describe your audience and with the right combo you will see amazing performance and ridiculously cheap traffic.

However, there are some pitfalls that you need to avoid to master this type of campaign and the more time and budget you can set aside for this, the better results you are likely to get. I’ll save the details about pitfalls, tricks and methods for another time as there are plenty to write about.

If you want to manually find your audience on Facebook, you will need the following:

  1. Audience research (figure out how to find your audience on Facebook e.g. which fan-pages do they like?)
  2. The Facebook pixel installed (you don’t actually need it but I’d strongly recommend using it)
  3. Image + copy for the ad

If you are interested in a full-blown step-by-step guide to manually building campaigns, please mention it below and I’ll write one for the campaign type with the most interest.

One of the things I like about Facebook is that you can basically get started on as little as $5/day  – although I’d recommend setting aside at least a couple of thousand dollars if you are serious about getting results – it will usually take a bit of time to make things work but once you do, you can scale to infinity.

If you are interested in learning how to set up your Facebook pixel, take a look at Rick Mulready’s guide or if you are running a site on WordPress, this is a great guide!– I haven’t finished writing my own just yet.

I hope it all made sense – if you enjoyed the article or have any questions, please do comment below.

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