Why do some companies are highly successful with their ads on Facebook? Apply these simple ad targeting practices to increase ROI on your Facebook ads.

Facebook collects a lot of data from their users. They ask for user’s name, email ids, date of birth, country, where they were born, placese visited, where they studied and their interests. As users spend time on Facebook, their activities sort of develop a pattern- an online persona. It becomes easy for advertisers to advertise based on this online persona.

If you are in an industry where you can identify your target segments based on their demographics and interests data, then you are lucky(95% of your job is already done). For example, an e-commerce company can identify prospects fairly accurately based on demographics such as:

  • Sex: Male, Female
  • Age: 25-45
  • Working at top companies in India(capacity to pay for expensive and fashion items)
  • Studied/Studying at some of the top colleges in India

While it may seem that you have accurately  identified your target audience, but their is a catch though. If you are looking fora successful direct Response campaign, then you may like to further narrow down your target audience. Remember that you pay to Facebook for each click or per thousand impressions. If your target audience is very large, then it may not lead to a high ROI campaign.

You have done fairly good demographic targeting, but it still lacks the behavioral aspect. Not all the people in the above target audience have a habit of purchasing clothes and fashion items online. But, a portion of the above certainly like to purchase online and are deal-hungry.

Another challenge with the demographic targeting is that it doesn’t tell you whether your target audience has a purchase intent when they see your ad. Google search has a serious advantage over Facebook (One which Facebook has been trying to address for long) is that on Google, people search for products and services right when they need it.

Facebook advertising has evolved a lot within the last few years. It is certainly possible to identify specific people right when they need your product and service . We will discuss some of these available tools to identify your most profitable audience on Facebook:

Photo credits: Andre Luis on  Flickr

Photo credits: Andre Luis on Flickr

Custom Audiences

If your website has been in existence for quite some time and you have collected a lot of email subscribers or registrations on your website, then you may use Facebook’s custom audience to re-target these users.

Facebook’s custom audiences allow you to target people who are already in your email lists. They also allow you to identify and build custom audience using phone numbers. So if you are in an industry where you get a lot of customer inquiry calls, then you may use your call logs data and advertise to these people with your offers.

One may ask, if I already have my users email ids, then why not just use email marketing campaigns. Well! you certainly will send email campaigns but not all of yor prospects would open these emails. Custom audiences in Facebook gives you another medium to reach out to your registered users/email subscribers. Further, if you are sending a lot of email campaigns, then you  would have high unsubscribe rates. The number of emails that you may send to a particular person is just so limited. Further, your customers are receiving emails not just from you. There are hell lot of companies inundating your customers inbox with emails. It becomes extremely difficult to send your message across through emails only.

Read more on Facebook custom audiences 

Do you have a Limited Facebook Marketing Budget?

Advertising to custom audience is extremely beneficial to start-ups and companies with limited social marketing budget. If you are new to Facebook advertising and want good ROI with the first campaign itself, custom audiences could be extremely beneficial to you. You should use custom audience almost always when your marketing goal is to get direct response from your campaigns.

No extra cost

You do not incur extra cost to advertise to custom audiences. The CPC and CPMs are the decided in the same as it is decide for advertising (Dynamic demand) in general on Facebook.

High Click Through Rates

As the people in your custom audience list have shown interest on your websites’ products or services by signing up for your website, they are the most likely people who would click on your ads.

Look-Alike Audience

If you are in an industry where it is extremely difficult to identify prospects just based on demographics or interests, then you might think that advertising on Facebook won’t work for you. Let’s take an example…..

Suppose you are an Indian company which imparts Online Marketing Training through e-learning. What it means is that you deliver the learning content on internet.

Now, you want to advertise your services on Facebook. If you think about your target audience, you might put the following demographic data:

  1.  Male or Female
  2. Indian
  3. Age: 22-35 Years
  4. Recent Graduates or Students in their third or fourth year of college
  5. Not currently working anywhere or People in their first year of Job as Online Marketer

But if you think about it, anyone could be interested in Online Marketing Education. The above demographics give you a focused group where the probability of purchase of your service is comparatively higher. But it does not cover whole of your prospective customer segment. A person(of any age, occupation, education level) who is just starting a business may think about learning Online Marketing basics and hence is one of your prospects.

So, How do you identify your prospects? Well! Look Alike Audience could be your solution. Look Alike audiences are basically population generated based on custom audience. When you create a look alike audience based on a custom audience, Facebook runs some sort of analytics or algorithm in its servers and generates a population which is very similar to the custom audience which you selected. You may know more about Look Alike audience by clicking here.

If you have a limited budget but you want to reach more people than what your custom audience list permits, then you should explore lookalike audiences. A word of caution: You may want to test your lookalike audience before investing heavily in it. If do not see good conversion rates on your landing page or your website or you do not achieve your campaign goals, then you may want to spend less on Look Alike audience. In my experience, I have seen Lookalike audiences to work well for one country while it did not work well for another country for the same campaign.

Read this blog on Ad-spend strategy on Facebook

Facebook sent ripples through the advertising industry last year, when they launched Re-targeting. Facebook has over billion registered users. Most of the Facebook active users, log in to Facebook daily. Think how amazing would it be if you could retarget your site visitors on the world’s most popular site.

Retargeting allows you to show ads to people who have previously show interest on your website. If you are seeing high clicks on your website (especially large percentage of new visitors) but low conversion rates, then you might consider to bring these people back to your website. For example, consider Flipkart.com or any other online retail website. If a person visited Flipkart, searched for a mobile, saw the price, added the product to the shopping cart but right when it was time to pay, the prospect just closed the browser. Flipkart would like to retarget this person with ads displaying the products he browsed on his previous visit. It is almost certain that the person would Log in to his facebook account on the same day or next day (If he is not already there). It makes sense for Flipkart to retarget this person as this person is a hot prospect (meaning he may buy the product anytime within a few days).






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Amit Ranjan

Co-Founder & CEO at SocialBloop
Amit Ranjan is the co-founder of socialbloop. He has worked for companies like TravelTriangle and e-gmat. He loves to help companies grow their revenues by increasing relevant website traffic.

Amit is a graduate of IIM Indore and IIT BHU.
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