Facebook Ads is quite possibly the most powerful advertising platform in the world today. It supports all advertisements that run in the 1st and 3rd largest social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram – and the largest messaging platform in the world – Facebook Messenger. That comes up to around 4.347 billion active monthly users as of the year 2018, according to Statista, which is around 56% of the world’s population.
But what sets advertising on Facebook apart from other platforms is in its in-depth Artificial Intelligence and a large pool of user information gathered over the years, which keeps getting better and better. While this level of data collection may freak regular users a little, Facebook’s ability to narrow down to users’ consumption behaviour is the best news for marketers yet.
Never in the history of all civilisation have we been able to direct advertisements toward people based on their hobbies, interests, age group, and where they work or live. And all this can be achieved with as little as RM 3 a day. In order to better understand what Facebook Ads can do for your brand, we explore 4 top ways to target your audiences.
The Boost – The Most Misunderstood
Marketers often mistake Post Boosts for advertising, which I can assure it isn’t. Boosted posts give little to no control over who the posts are served to. As the name suggests, its main purpose is simply to extend the life-span of a particular post.
When a post goes out, it will only last a short moment on your audience’s Newsfeeds before forever disappearing forever. Posts, of course, will resurface with consistent Engagement in the form of Reactions of comments. By Boosting the post, you are essentially pushing the posts back onto Newsfeeds using money.
Boost Post doesn’t do anything more, in the sense that we cannot target people based on demographics, we cannot apply Call To Actions, and we cannot track conversions. For more control of Facebook Ads, we turn to the Ads Manager.
Creating Our Own Audience – The Beginning
Before we venture into deeper advertisement controls, we begin by creating one. This feature sets the audience age group, gender, locations, and languages.
It also includes a Detailed Targeting section where we can identify demographics, behaviours and interests. How Detailed Targeting works is based on the information users provide Facebook in our Profile, and the kinds of content users engage with when using Facebook.
Custom Audience is about the most powerful part of the Facebook Ads, but it is also possibly the most underutilised. Within this section, we can insert contact list from imported files, retarget audiences who took some form of action on your advertisements, people who have downloaded your apps, and those who engaged with your content.
- Inserting Contact Lists
This feature is kind of a hit-and-miss, honestly, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to try. By uploading your existing list of customer emails and phone numbers, Facebook is able to compile all users bearing those details into a custom audience.
Keep in mind that Facebook is only able to match your list with current users who declared the same email addresses and phone numbers in the accounts. Granted you may not be able to harvest a huge contact list from this method, but no harm using a list you already have on hand anyway.
This list can also be a list of customers who claimed your offline promotional code, who you wish to contact and upsell or cross sell.
- Retargeting Audiences Who Took Action
Let’s say you ran an advertisement that got people to buy a product. The Call-To-Action button led your potential customers to the product page of your website. Due to a list of common reason, some may end up not making a purchase. They could be in the middle of their decision-making process, or you may have caught them at the wrong time.
Regardless, you can use this feature to reach out to them again. If your Call-To-Action was set up with a Facebook Pixel (Facebook’s tag that tracks where users go and what they do when they leave Facebook), Facebook will collect a list of users who did or did not take specific action in your website.
With this tool, you can resell other related products to those who bought from you, or provide a limited-time offer enticing those who did not buy to reconsider.
- People Who Downloaded Your Apps
This tool is almost similar to retargeting audiences who took certain actions on your Call-To-Action, but is specific to app downloads.
When setting up your advertisement goal, you can set it to App Downloads which will trigger a button to call app downloads. Facebook will store a list of users who hit the download button, which you can use for retargeting purposes.
As the name suggests, Lookalike Audience is the ability to expand from an existing Custom Audience (source audience) based on what Facebook thinks to possess similar qualities.
For example if you collected a Custom Audience of people who visited your website or downloaded your app, Facebook is able to generate a new target Audience based on similar behaviours, interests and demographics.
There are limitations to this function, as described by Facebook themselves. Although you can create audiences in countries different from your source audience, that specific set of audience can only come one country. For example if you have a source audience in Malaysia, you can create a similar audience in Singapore, but not Singapore and Malaysia.
Also, this is not exactly a massive audience pooling feature. A minimum of 100 people from a source audience can only generate up to 500 Lookalike Audience. But if you already have a bunch of Custom Audiences created, it wouldn’t hurt to give them another run for their money.
Facebook Ads is incredibly powerful, and most users barely scratch the surface of its potential. When not implemented correctly, it is a useless tool and a giant waste of time. But equipped with the right knowledge and planning, Facebook Ads can serve as the backbone of your brand’s salesforce.