Social Media Nibbles E07: Picking an audience for your next Facebook Ad
Hello and welcome to Social Media Nibbles. I’m Paula O’Sullivan, social media strategist and head possum at Possum Digital. In this episode we’re going to be looking at how to choose an audience to target for your Facebook advertising.
Now during 2018, Facebook has undergone wholesale changes to its platform including the Ads Manager. We know that organic reach is down and we know that there’s been significant changes to the terms of service which have resulted in things like tightening up on the use of email lists and increased ad content reviewing, but just like any good marketing plan, you need to be flexible to changing outside circumstances.
If you haven’t before, you may want to consider investing some budget in Facebook advertising. If you’ve had less than ideal results in the past, one of the factors might be the biggest challenge of knowing who to actually target and how to find them. With 15 million monthly active users on Facebook in Australia, there’s a huge pool of potential customers, so you can waste a lot of money really fast, but if you have a limited budget you need to be laser focused on how you spend your advertising dollars.
Before you start any more ad campaigns you need to look at who you actually want to target and how you do that.
The type of audience you’ll need will be based on your own circumstances but the more you test and measure the better your targeting will be.
Before you start any advertising, if you haven’t already, make sure you get a Facebook pixel from your account and place it on your website. If you don’t have a pixel, in my view, don’t even bother advertising as you’re wasting a lot of money and effort. Any good web developer, or you can find a good YouTube instructional video, can help you.
Now let’s look at the types of audience targeting options available to you.
The first is what Facebook calls Core Audiences.
This type of targeting allows you to select your audience through personal and behavioural characteristics so you can target things like demographic, that would be age, gender, work, relationship status. Location, now this is especially useful if you have a shopfront or if you only want to target people in a specific geographical area. Interests, which include the types of pages liked, the kind of content posted, engaged with, hobbies, places people have checked into and how people generally like to be entertained.
As you would all know out there, every time you do something on the internet or within Facebook, it actually drops a little bit of data into your Facebook profile and that’s how Facebook gathers information about you.
Facebook has removed access to third party data and some interests have been removed, so while this is a good way to start if you’ve never advertised before, you don’t actually want to rely on this type of audience for your long-term advertising strategy.
The second type of audience is a custom audience.
The great news is that you can target people who are on your email list or have visited your website or even engaged with your Facebook page or content on your page.
Now this type of targeting is my personal favourite, as you are using your own data to create Facebook advertising campaigns.
Creating a custom audience from your email list is actually relatively easy. You simply upload your list in a TXT format and Facebook will do the rest. What you may want to think about before uploading your list is segmenting your list into categories like repeat customers, leads that haven’t purchased and so on and so forth.
This helps you refine your targeting even further and will help with lookalike audiences, which I’ll talk about in a minute. Know that from now any list you upload, you will need to let Facebook know if you collected the data directly from your customers or did the data come from an external source and you will need to remove email addresses from anyone who opts out of your email list.
For website traffic, you can use your Facebook pixel to create an audience of people who do things like visit a specific page on your website, go to your lead capture page but don’t actually put in their details or sign up or they fill a cart and then abandon that cart.
If you are using website traffic as a basis for your custom audience, you will need to drive traffic so that the pixel can collect data. If you’ve never had a pixel on your site before, when you place the pixel on your site I like to make sure that I’m driving really good traffic from a variety of sources and I’m doing that for at least two to four weeks before serving ads.
Again, the more defined your audience is, the better you can target your message.
A great feature I’ve been using is creating audiences based on who engages with your Facebook page or content.
One strategy that warms up an audience is serving an ad to a cold audience with just a video, nothing else, and a little bit of text at the top. Then see who watches it for more than 10 seconds and then this group actually becomes your custom audience. You’ve gone to a cold audience, you’ve given them a video, a bit of educational content and if you think 10 seconds isn’t a long time, sit down and actually count that out. Then once you’ve created a new audience of these people who have watched your video for more than 10 seconds, you can serve them a second ad with another call to action.
Now the third type of audience is a lookalike audience. Facebook can help you find other users who look like your custom audience. All you need to do is to create your custom audience then ask Facebook to create a lookalike audience for you.
Say for example you upload an email list of people who have purchased a product from you. Then what you’re telling Facebook to do is to say, can you please go and find me more people like this? Facebook will find anyone it thinks actually looks like and will behave like the people who have already purchased from you.
Importantly, the quality of the lookalike audience is going to depend on the quality of your original data and how you have set up your custom audiences. The more specific data that you can give Facebook, the better the lookalike audience outcome will be.
Before you set up your next Facebook ad campaign, have a plan for who you are going to target and what type of audience you need to reach them.
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Are Facebook Lead Ads right for you?
It seems that everywhere you turn, marketers are talking about leads, leads and more leads. It’s true, to grow your business you need to bring in new clients and so you need to attract leads in order to be able to convert them into paying customers. Social media, specifically Facebook Lead Ads, is an excellent way to achieve this.
If you’re new to strategic lead generation, or if you’ve tried various strategies and tools with no success, then you may want to try a Facebook Lead Ad.
Essentially, a Facebook Lead Ad is a way to be able to capture someone’s details within the Facebook platform. Users click on an ad, they are then taken to a form which is prepopulated with the data Facebook has for them, then the details are held in the Ads Manager. You can then go and download a CSV file of your captured leads whenever you like.
If you want to have a look at some examples, you can look here.
Advantages of Facebook Lead Ads
- They are inexpensive and easy to set up
- You do not need a landing page or lead capture programs
- The data will be viable, as it’s prepopulated
- Great for mobile user experience
Disadvantages of Facebook Lead Ads
- You are not sending people to you own website
- There is limited space for you to craft your message
- Not all CRM systems integrate into Facebook, so you may need to manually move data
- If you’re not careful, you can generate a lot of low quality leads as the experience is so easy for users
Facebook Lead Ads are great if you are just starting out or don’t have the budget to create your own landing pages. With every tool, the better you plan, the better chance you will have of being able to generate leads for your business.
Have you used Facebook Lead Ads before? Will you use them to generate leads?
Facebook Ad funnel Strategy
Since changes to Facebook’s news feed have impacted on the organic reach of a lot of pages, more and more publishers are turning to Facebook Advertising to supplement their current efforts. And if lead generation is part of the strategy, there will typically be a funnel of some sort involved.
Usually, this funnel would involve created a cold (sometimes icy cold) interest-based audience, creating a couple of ads and sending them straight to a landing page. This might not be the best solution for you. Instead, why not have a look at a funnel that engages people with some educational content in Facebook first before you send them to a landing page?
Here is an example of what you can do within Facebook to create warmth and engagement in an audience before you send them to a landing page.
Take your existing email list and upload it into Facebook to create a Custom Audience (making sure your list is compliant).
Use this to create a ‘Look alike’ audience. This is who you will target in your campaign.
Set up an ad campaign with an ‘Video views’ objective
Set up your Ad set to target the look alike audience you created earlier
Create a video-based ad and publish it!
After a few days, see if you have people watching your video for more than 10 seconds. If you do, then create a custom audience of those people.
Set up a new campaign for your landing page
Target the ad to the people who watch your video
And the best thing about the above is that you can use this strategy for any campaign not matter the industry or subject area. You can even add additional videos or other types of educational content at any point during the campaign if you want to have more engagement.
Also, the video can be one you upload or even a Facebook Live. Lastly, you can create a look alike audience of those who engaged with your video and start a new campaign!
Setting up Facebook Business Manager
Do you use Facebook to market your business? It’s likely that you have a business page, ad account (even if you just boost posts) and a pixel. And if you waste time moving from page, to ad account and back to page again, then I highly recommend use Facebook Business Manager – an all in one dashboard to manage all your Facebook tools.
What is Facebook Business Manager?
Business Manager is a free platform created to help Facebook advertisers integrate marketing efforts across their business and with external partners, like agencies. Facebook Business Manager provides a solution for anyone who needs to run, place, track and manage assets such as Facebook page, Instagram account, audience list and product catalogues. Having all your business information all in one place helps you and your business maintain control of your Facebook assets and securely manage user access.
You must consider using Facebook Business Manager if:
- You have more than 1 person working on your Facebook and/or Instagram marketing
- You need to manage multiple Facebook or Instagram assets such as Facebook Pages, ad accounts, or app
- You use a supplier to help create, run, or manage your Pages or ads, but want your business to maintain ownership of all Pages, ad accounts, and assets like pixels
- You want control over access and permissions to your assets without attributing ownership to individuals who assist your business operations
- You want to request access to other pages, ad accounts, and apps, or share your pages, ads accounts, and apps with other agencies
If you think Facebook Business Manager is for you, here are the basic steps in setting it up and getting started.
Note: You must decide first who is going to be the admin. Your admin will be in charge of all clients, employees and accounts.
- Go to Business.Facebook.com and log in using your personal account. Create your Business Manager Account and give it a name. Usually this would be your business name.
- Create your Profile. Give your first name, last name and business email id.
- Invite people to your Business Manager. When inviting people to your business manager, consider asking them to add log in approvals that will serve as an extra security feature.
To invite people to your business manager:
- Go to Business Manager Settings.
- Under the People and Assets tab, click People.
- Enter the work email addresses of the people you want to add and select the role you’d like to assign them
4. Add a page to Business Manager.
- Go to Business Settings
- Click the Pages tab.
- Click Add New Pages.
- Select one of the 3 options: Add a Page, Request Access to a Page or Create a New Page.
- If you choose to request access or add a Page, enter the Facebook page name or URL.
5. Set up an employee to advertise on your page. You can add people to Business Manager to advertiser for your business without providing access to billing and invoice information.
Assign a role and an ad account to your employee:
- Go to Business Manager Settings.
- Under the People and Assets tab, click People.
- Search for the employee you want to make an advertiser and click Assign Assets.
- Select Pages, Ad Accounts, or Product Catalogs.
- Assign the Advertiser role.
- Click Save Changes.
Once you have set up the basics in Business Manager, you’re good to go. You can now separate work from your personal life.
If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!
Setting up a basic Facebook Advertising campaign
With over 15 million Australians using Facebook on a regular basis, chances are your target market is on this channel. And small businesses, just like yours, are taking advantage of the opportunity Facebook Advertising presents, with:
- Just under half of all SMEs using social media, mostly Facebook
- They post a few times a week
- With half of SMEs using Facebook using advertising
- But only around 20 per cent actually measure the return on their investment
But why use Facebook advertising? By advertising Facebook, you can:
- Increase your brand awareness
- Build your social exposure and community
- Drive traffic to your website; and
- Capture and nurture leads
So what is Facebook advertising?
Simply put, it is a way for anyone with a Facebook page to pay to promote their content to a specific group of people.
The content appears in your Facebook newsfeed and looks like a regular post. But an ad is easy to spot.
So, let’s take a look.
Here you can see that I have been served an ad from Possum Digital.
The absolute give away here, is that the word sponsored is directly underneath the page name. If a piece of content has the word sponsored in this position, then it’s definitely an ad.
Other elements of the ad are:
- The introductory text at the top
- An image or video
- Headline text – which is the large text directly under the image
- Newsfeed description
- And importantly a ‘Call to action button’
This particular example is a single image ad. There are other types of ads – carousel ads, lead ads and right hand side ads – but to keep things easy, we’ll focus the rest of this webinar on the type of ad in this example.
What you need to do before you advertise
Now you know what to look out for, what do you need to start advertising? You’ll need to:
- Create a Business Manager Account and Ad account if you don’t have one already
- Create and install a Facebook pixel for your website; and
- Have a landing page with a clear Call To Action for people to go to
Just a quick side note on Facebook pixel – all a Facebook pixel is, is a piece of web code that allows Facebook to connect with your website.
It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimise ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads— that is, people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.
It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.
We’re now ready to create our Facebook Ad campaign.
Setting up your Facebook Advertising campaign
There are 3 stages to setting up Facebook advertising:
Step 1: Campaign
Firstly, setting up your campaign – this is where you set the objective for your campaign.
- Are you driving traffic?
- Are you looking to convert leads to sales?
- Do you want to increase engagement?
It is important to note that you can only select 1 objective for each campaign, so choose wisely.
Step 2: Ad Set
Next, we set up the ad set, where the audience is defined, budget selected and timing scheduled.
With your budget, you can select a budget per day, or a total – or global – budget for the length of your campaign. Either way make sure you always have an end date!
When it comes to defining our audience, there are many ways to select who you wish to serve your ad to (you can also refer to our previous post):
- You can select your audience through demographic and also by what we call ‘interest’ targeting. For example, you can target women between 30 and 50 who live in Sydney and are likely to be business owners.
- You can upload your email database to Facebook an serve ads to your current list, or you can create a look a like audience – Facebook will take your email list and find other Facebook users who look like your current database
- And remember the Facebook pixel I mentioned about earlier? You can also create an audience of visitors who have visited your website.
- And the be even more targeted, ads can be served to people who have visited some pages on your site but not others, so for example, if people are visiting any of your blog pages, you can serve them an ad that drives them to a lead capture page.
Step 3: Create your ad
And lastly, the ad creative stage is where you create the actual post that will be seen.
I recommend creating more than one ad so that you can test different images – image versus video – different written messages – or even test what call to action button works best. And remember, you ad is only going to be as effective as the landing page your send people to. The destination matters!
Measuring the success of your campaign
At the end of any ad campaign, it’s important to look at the results.
Based on what the original objective was, here are some metrics you can look at the determine success:
If your objective was around awareness, look at:
- How many people your ad reached
- The number of additional page fans you gained; and
- How many people looked at your content, whether it’s video views or impressions
If your objective was around engagement, look at:
- How many people reacted, commented or shared your ad
- The number of clicks on your ad
- How many people clicked through to your website; and
- The cost per click
And finally, if your objective was around conversions, look at:
- How many people purchased something from you
- The number of sign ups on a lead capture page; and
- The cost of gaining each lead, or sale
Over to you
There is so much more we can talk about in the world of Facebook advertising, but I recommend setting up something simple with a small budget first, We’d love to hear how you go with your ad campaign! Feel free to drop over to our Facebook page and leave a comment there.