If you’ve been using Facebook ads to drive customers and sales for your business, then I don’t have to tell you how great the targeting of the platform is.
Most of the time, advertisers are able to directly pinpoint their Facebook ads to their intended audience.
However, there are times when businesses have very specific offers targeted to a specific audience which cannot be easily targeted.
If you’re in this boat and you’ve been struggling to reach your exact audience, this is the post for you.
Below, we’ll discuss FIVE ways to make sure that your Facebook ads are able to reach the right audience:
1. Select Very Specific Interests
Sometimes, a lot of the interests we pick are still broad in a sense that they still include a group of people who don’t belong to your target market.
A few years ago, I had a client who provided counseling for gay couples with troubled relationships.
Initially, we wanted to target general interests such as homosexuality. Though our target audience would definitely fall under this interest, not everyone under this interest would be part of our ideal target market.
So we did our research and eventually ended up targeting interests relating to support groups for marriage equality. We realized that this defined our target audience more because people who are interested in fighting for marriage equality are more likely to be the client’s target market.
Yes, it’s true that there are still people who may be interested in marriage equality but are neither gay, in relationships, nor in troubled relationships.
So, ask yourself: What interests does my specific target market uniquely have that others with similar interests do not?
Sometimes, more than just targeting specific interests, narrowing down your audience comes down to excluding targeting points.
For my counselor-client, we targeted our customers by selecting relationship statuses. But what helped us refine our audience was by excluding the single ones.
(Side story: Facebook actually got in trouble in the United States because of this feature. It was discovered that real estate people selling homes ran ads and excluded the African-American population which was very racist. I believe Facebook has now fixed this issue and is now more sensitive to situations like that.)
3. Use ‘And’ Targeting
Facebook’s default setting when targeting interests and behavior is to use ‘or’ for multiple interests.
For example, if you put different interests in the detailed targeting box, Facebook would show your ad to anyone on targeting, or targeting two, or even three.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can narrow down your audience by introducing a rule that tells Facebook that more than one interest or demographic should be satisfied.
In the case of our client, we used the ideas shared in the previous 2 points. We targeted people who were interested in marriage equality and who were in a relationship at the time.
This meant that single people who were interested in marriage equality but are not in relationships were automatically ruled out from the target audience.
So at this point, we now have a narrow audience. People can still fall under the defined audience, but not belong to the actual target market. Case in point: people can be married and supportive of marriage equality, but not be gay.
So when targeting at the ad set level is not enough to target the intended audience, it is time for assistance from the ads.
4. Call Them Out
When your exact target audience lives inside a wider audience, the first thing you want to do is to call them out on your Facebook ads copy.
You can start your ad copy by greeting them like “Hi restaurant owners!” or “Calling all Uber drivers!” or “Hey there (insert identifiable title here).”
By starting with that line, it already weeds out people who do not fall into your target audience.
At the same time, that level of personalization can attract the attention of your actual audience by making them think: “Is he talking to me?”
(Note: you have to be careful with this since Facebook has rules against calling out your audience– especially with sensitive issues such as religion, race, health and sexual identity.)
So in the example, we couldn’t just call out “Hey gay couples!” or start with a question like “Having trouble with your relationship?”
So what we did was to just make a statement about who the client was. Our opening statement was something like: “(Company name) is a counseling service which helps gay couples navigate through the tides and turns of a rocky relationship.” The ad then proceeded to sell the offer which was to register for a webinar.
Our Facebook ads weren’t rejected. They gained a lot of success, which tells us that by merely calling out our audience subtly, we were able to target the precise people.
Apart from this, one other factor which contributed to the success would probably be the ad images we used.
5. Make Them Resonate With The Image
The ad creative’s main purpose is to grab the attention of our audience from the clutter on Facebook and compel them to read your ad.
To help call out your specific audience, place an image which they can identify with. If possible, try to evoke some sort of emotion which will trigger them to take the action we want to take.
For the campaign of the counselor, we used two types of images.
The first type of image featured two men who were obviously upset with each other. Whether they were yelling at each other or just frowning at opposite ends of the couch. This campaign did fairly well but not as well as the second set of images we tested.
The second set of images featured couples who were very happy. We had images of couples on the beach, a couple cuddling in bed, a couple’s wedding photo, etc.
To bring back memories of better times, we captured the triggering emotion. We also supported the image with a headline featuring how the webinar can help rekindle couples’ relationships.
When we launched with this set of images, our CTRs skyrocketed and much more sign-ups came in.
Facebook ads targeting is very fine, but it still can miss some corners.
This is especially difficult for businesses of a very, very specific niche. But I hope you don’t let this stop you.
Just because you can’t pinpoint one or two interests of your audience doesn’t mean you cannot find other ways to reach them.
Try any or even all of these five tips, and watch how it can improve your results.