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Facebook Ads: 5 Tips for Targeting Success

Written by: Katherine Ingalls, Campaign Management Team Lead

1.15 Billion and counting. That’s the number of people you can reach on Facebook. But if you are thinking about running a performance marketing campaign at scale you may be wondering how many targeting combinations you are going to need to have live at any given time? The targeting options on Facebook are endless. Nanigans uncovered that there are over a googol targeting combinations on Facebook so being able to focus on the “right” targeting options will be what separates best in class advertisers from the rest.

Here are 5 essential targeting best practices to be sure you’ll be set up for success with your Facebook ads.

1. Find the right people.

An important first step is to find the right people. Use Facebook’s interest targeting, to discover the most common interests of your fan base. You can also request an affinity analysis or simply take a look at your most engaged fans. We recommend coming at your core customer base sideways. In addition to standard eCommerce keywords like “online shopping” or your competitors, try cultural references like musicians and books that are popular with your core demographic. With a clear understanding of the demographics and personalities of your audience, you’ll be able to press their hot buttons and tap into their emotional wants and needs.

2. Leverage 3rd party data.

Partner categories leverage third party data and work with other Facebook targeting options so you can more precisely refine your campaigns to reach only the right people. Some excellent Partner Categories for retailers are targeting likely purchases (luxury goods, apparel, home improvement, pets…). and different lifestyles (foodies, fashionistas, moms, travelers…). We recommend layering your best keywords with your Partner Categories to pinpoint the right type of customers that will best appeal to your products.

3. Remarket with Custom Audiences.

A Facebook targeting tool, Custom Audiences help marketers reach their current customers on Facebook by matching email address to Facebook accounts that include that same information. With Custom Audiences created, marketers can deliver ads to their current customers on Facebook and even further target a particular segment by demographics, interests and actions. For example, a retailer could create a Custom Audience for both high-income and low-income customers and tailor ad creative accordingly to each segment. A Nanigans case study revealed that Custom Audiences generated 5 times more revenue than people targeted through standard interest targeting.

4. Discover new audiences with Lookalikes.

Lookalikes are effective for discovering new audiences that have a high probability of becoming customers. We recommend creating your Lookalike groups based on the data in your Custom Audience segments. Retailers typically break up their audiences according to purchasers of a particular product category so they can make Lookalikes for those Custom Audiences and then target them with ads with content specific to the category. For example, a retailer would deliver a women’s pump ad to a Lookalike based off a Custom Audience of women’s pump purchasers. Another approach is to make Lookalikes based on those customers who deliver the highest customer lifetime value. We recommend making Lookalikes from custom audience segments that contain 30,000+ people.

5. Optimize targeting for predictive lifetime value.

When you are thinking about running a performance marketing campaign at scale it’s essential to target those customers who will deliver the most profit over time. Cohort Analysis can help you identify when different customers convert and provide insight when users are most likely to purchase. In addition, maturity curves can determine how long customers continue to add value and when they have reached their full potential. By identifying those customers who generate more purchase revenue over the long-run than the cost to acquire them, you can rest assure that you are allocating your marketing dollars more efficiently.

The targeting options you choose can mean the difference between campaign success or failure – so it’s essential that you discover the right targeting combinations to find the right audiences. Once you find the key attributes of your high value target audiences, make sure you find more of them with Lookalikes. By targeting customers who deliver the highest lifetime value over time, you can be sure that you’re maximizing your advertising investment today.


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