facebook ads targeting

6 Facebook Targeting Strategies that Can Supercharge Your Campaign

Facebook ads are a great way to boost your social presence and get leads and conversions for your business. But they only work with the right formula of intent, behaviour and relevance. The best scenario is a campaign that targets multiple groups and then segments them into powerful custom audiences that perfectly fit your business.

Let’s look at six different targeting strategies you can start testing for greater Facebook advertising success.

1. Recent Purchase behaviour can give strong clues into buyer behaviour

Facebook gives you the option to look into a few different purchase behaviors to supercharge your targeting. We’ll start with Business Purchase Behaviors. This is a powerful tool all by itself that can work really well for B2B marketers. Business purchases give you the option of seeing customers focused on business marketing, maintenance, repair and operations, Office and corporate gifts, or Training and Publications.

Facebook’s Behavior Targeting feature. Image source

Run a split test on this category vs your LinkedIn audience for a really robust B2B audience test.

Shopping Purchase Behaviours

Retailers are a natural fit for all the different shopping segments available, from Clothes to Housewares to Health & Beauty, Food & Drink to Sports & Outdoors. But on top of the different shopping verticals, Facebook also gives you Store Types. These are a really smart tool for businesses looking to build a shopper persona based on where someone shops offline.

Here’s how these segments might work together:

  • High-End Accessories Popup Shop: Fashionistas, Recent shoppers of high-end apparel with above average disposable income who care about local events and businesses.
  • Offline Tools and Hardware: offline shoppers interested in DIY projects, home renovation and small projects.
  • Auto-Insurance for First Time Car Buyers: Subscription Service shoppers who are interested in cars, car repair, and roadtrip planning.

There are lots of different ways to reach the right people. Try out a custom combination and keep testing to get just the right segment.

2. Age + Gender + Location can be a powerful combination

For anyone whose product or service differs based on age – health and insurance companies especially – you’re probably already targeting a specific age group. And if not, time to get started! Select different age ranges for your ad set, and point them at either women or men.

An example of age, gender, and location targeting in Facebook. Image source

Then duplicate them and target men for a view on gender and age range audiences.

The next step is to add in location. Choose different radiuses to test the audience reaction to your ads. Hyperlocal radius targeting is great for retailers who want foot traffic, while neighborhoods and cities are a better fit for businesses with more than one location in a city, or who are fully e-commerce. A great location based test would be to offer same-day delivery to those nearby, or test out a free-shipping message to those audiences who are farther away, but still visit your site regularly.

You won’t know the best fit until you start testing!

Now we’ve really got a strong dataset that helps show how people in different regions behave, parsed by age and by gender.

3. Using Net Worth can help target people in the market for your product

Luxury brands are an obvious fit for an audience test that uses net worth and disposable income as a way of parsing their audience. You can immediately connect with people who can afford your product, and remind them about the social status of upgrading to this year’s model.

Pick a value, and off ya go! Image source.
Pick a value, and off ya go! Image source.

But non-profits and charities are also a great match for this audience. Look for people with disposable income and interests connected to your cause. Then make sure and filter down into a hyper-local area, and you’ve got a strong base of people who can afford to support you, and who can get some immediate local PR from being connected to your organization. Let’s call that a win-win!

4. Behavior targeting is a window into audience intent

Different behaviors can often tell us what space someone is in and what action they might take next. A travel marketer, for example, has a great opportunity to see someone interested in travel and who has recently booked an exotic trip and then congratulate them, and add in messages about potential vaccinations or travel insurance.

Behavior targeting is a worthwhile test to use on your existing Facebook Page audience. Lots of people will declare certain interests or beliefs in an aspirational sense, but behaviours will show what people are actually doing. It can be as simple as people who declared Academy Award Nominee Movies as an interest, but whose most recent movie seen was Ninja Turtles 2. (no shade, I liked NT2-Out of the Shadows!)

5. Tag your Instagram Followers and retarget them

This audience segment is actually built by you! And it’s a great way to get ready for an upcoming event. Start ahead with an Instagram audience with a simple focus on web clicks.

When we say ahead, we mean get to a comfortable 180-days ahead of your promo (or as long as you can) so you’ll have a big enough audience pool to work with. Segment your audience by interests and behaviours – maybe with one of the tests above – and then send them to specific pages through Instagram.

Get as detailed as possible so that you can easily parse one group from another, and see how they behave on your website through the time leading up to your event.

Fast forward to 180-days later: show up to your big event, promo or sale with a custom audience of people who have already visited the relevant category page on your website. You’ve effectively built an audience pool of people who are already sorted into categories and are ready for your message! This could work great for big shopping events or live performances.

6. More ads = More data. Test often, test a lot.

Segmenting of your users in different targets and combinations of targets lets you see at a very detailed level who is most interested, somewhat interested and not really interested. From there you can easily drill down into the most successful audience for you.

Once you’re there, you can build whole new audiences, and test new messages for the different audiences connected to your business.

With Facebook, the best test starts with several audiences. Getting the same creative to compete shows us what really works with people who like your page, friends of people who like your page, and look-alike audiences. Once you have a winner, test different copy, different images, then test CTAs — does ‘Learn More’ work better or worse than ‘Call Us Now’?

Facebook's call to action button options. Image source.
Facebook’s call to action button options. Image source.

Experiment as much as possible to get a good set of data with a high confidence in your test. Plus, then you can go to your team and your boss with enough clicks to get statistical significance, which will help boost confidence in your next tests.

There’s even more testing to be done!

Believe it or not, this is only the tip of the iceberg. You can develop your own targeting strategy based on your goals, your current audience, your upcoming messages and more. Start with what you know, like who interacts with your page, then move into Behaviours, Demographics, Declared Interests and more. Then start building custom audience targets, like people who’ve visited your site via Instagram.

Finally, test test and keep on testing. We’d love to hear from you on what ninja targeting you’ve tried out!

Mark John Hiemstra

Mark John Hiemstra

Mark John Hiemstra is a content and social media marketing consultant to Acquisio. He got involved in digital marketing purely by accident, and has spent the last several years learning about building relationships with consumers online through the many channels available to those who are willing to get involved. He is loathe to discuss himself in the third person, but can be persuaded to do so, from time to time.

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