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Facebook advertising can be a cheaper alternative to traditional advertising channels (newspaper ads, TV commercials, or billboards). To get started we should take a close look at why targeting ads is so important. If your ad is targeted to the right audience, you are more likely to gain conversions from the ad, all while spending less money. The goal is to advertise to a specific group of people based on their location, demographic information, interests and behaviors. By knowing these things about people, Facebook gives us the ability to create specific audiences that are more willing and interested to hear what we have to say. So let’s look at these a little closer to understand why it’s important to take the time to specify audiences.

Location: Location, location, location. True in many situations and still true when advertising online. Using location to specify your audience helps market to people that can actually walk through your door. For many small businesses this is crucial, especially for service companies. Targeting by location allows you to spend your ad money wisely on people that you can provide service to. Set the location parameters to a reasonable distance, include the farthest reaches of your service area.

Demographic: Depending on what type of company you are and what kind of service you provide, demographics can be a powerful tool in determining your audience. Facebook demographics can be incredibly specific. You can select your audience using parameters like relationship status, work and finances. Targeting your audience through demographics can get difficult if you do not have a large audience base to begin with. Audiences can get too specific, be careful to avoid making the audience so specific you end up leaving out potential customers.

Interests: If you have a large consumer base, interests can be another way to specify your ideal target audience. You want to be cautious of over-specifying your audience. If you start with a relatively small group of people to begin with, you wouldn’t need to specify interests.

Behavior: Purchases, device usage and apps. This is where Facebook gets a little spooky, Facebook can track what other sites and content you have looked at using cookies and can identify some of your online behavior and interests. Say you primarily look at Facebook on your phone; it will give you mobile ads. Say you’re in the market for new car insurance and perused a few insurance websites, you’re likely going to see some insurance ads on Facebook the next time you log in.

Custom Audience: If your email contacts are only being used for email newsletters, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to reach more people through social media. Upload your current email list to create an audience that is interested in hearing from you. The custom audience also serves as reference for Facebook to identify potential customers.

Look Alike Audience: This audience is determined by the custom audience from your current customers. Facebook’s algorithm searches out and selects people that have commonalities to the people you provided as current customers. These new audience members might not know about your business or know the people you provided to Facebook, but they share common traits with your customer list so they are a good target based off of those that already purchase from you.

These basics for social advertising are the reasons Facebook ads can be so successful, reaching the right people is so important and with these tools we can. Stop by the blog soon for more information and a brief tutorial. Keep an eye out for our free downloadable guide for everything you need to know about Facebook advertising. If you’re ready to get started, check out Facebook’s guide and some of our free training seminars to get you started.

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