According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 45% of the share of digital ad growth between 2015 & 2016 belonged to Facebook. So it goes without saying - using Facebook as part of your overall marketing strategy is a no-brainer. And as I’ve learned, Facebook is increasingly set up to cater to the paid ads and less likely to give your organic content its ten minutes of fame, so utilizing this powerful ad tool correctly is paramount. Here are the three most important steps, or questions to make sure you’ve answered, to creating a paid Facebook target audience:
- Determine why you're even running an ad. What is your overall marketing goal? Brand Awareness? Traffic? Conversions? Lead Generation? Each of these will utilize different tactics. For brand awareness, you want to cast a wider net to reach the most eyeballs. To get traffic or conversions on your website, you would want to drill down further to try and reach your defined buyer persona. If you’re asking yourself, “What the heck is a buyer persona?” Don’t fret, Facebook makes it easy to define your audience. For more help on this topic, click here.
- Define your audience. Who do you want to reach? Besides gender, location, and age targeting, Facebook offers a myriad of other detailed targeting options, such as behaviors, interests, and Facebook interactions. An even more powerful tool is Facebook’s Lookalike Audience tool. According to Facebook, a Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they're similar to your best existing customers. When you create a Lookalike Audience, you choose a source audience (a Custom Audience created with a data partner, your pixel data, your mobile app data or fans of your Page) and we identify the common qualities of the people in it (ex: demographic information or interests). Then we find people who are similar to (or "look like") them. Dig in deeper on Lookalike Audiences here.
- Define your budget. How much can you comfortably spend to reach your marketing goals? Facebook allows you to spend via a daily budget, or a lifetime budget. Another thing to consider is your bid strategy. Do you want Facebook to optimize your bids to get the most clicks? Or do you want to decide what a click is work to you with manual bidding? Another thing to consider is if you want your ad to run at an accelerated schedule (such as for an event), or at a standard schedule that stretches your budget. These are all recommendations that your account manager can make, but it’s important to understand how your choices within the tool can affect the outcome.
Having these answers thought through is essential prior to spending money on the Facebook platform. Because as we all know, victories in the marketing arena begin first with our brains, and are then amplified by our budgets. Honing in on the power of Facebook as a dynamic marketing tool allows for more detailed targeting than legacy advertising, and we bet you’ll be fascinated by the data you uncover.