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4 Tips For Targeting Shoppers On Facebook This Holiday Season

Written by: Janina Tantoco, Senior Campaign Manager

It’s that time of year again!  Holiday shoppers are scrambling to make their purchases and Facebook marketers are wondering how many targeting combinations they are going to need to achieve their goals.  With over a googol targeting combinations on Facebook, being able to focus on the best targeting combinations can mean the difference between success and failure.  Here are four targeting best practices to ensure your Facebook ad campaigns thrive during the busy holiday shopping season.

1. Custom Audiences & Lookalikes

Two of the most effective Facebook targeting options are Custom Audiences and Lookalikes. While some advertisers might simply upload and target a list of all buyers and Lookalikes of those buyers, segmenting this list in a more intuitive way can not only improve performance but also curb the speed of audience saturation.

With limited inventory in the Facebook News Feed, a retailer could be running separate ads for their boot, apparel, and accessories collections but with only one Custom Audience or Lookalike, only one of these permutations would be seen by the entire audience.

By segmenting the all customer list into the types of purchases they make, advertisers have the opportunity to tailor the types of ad creative delivered to each segment and increase the overall presence across a unique set of users. So for example, the boot buyer would get the boot ad, the statement necklace buyer would get the accessory ad and so on.

This approach can also be used to promote complementary items.  Retail marketers know it makes a lot of sense to show high heel shoe buyers an ad for a matching evening purse. These lists can also be segmented by order value. For example, creating a list of users with a high order value (orders of $100 or more) allows you to target them with higher price point products.   On the flip side, you can target customers with low order values with discounts or sales such as 40% off all items.

2. Partner Categories, Broad Categories & Precise Interests

Facebook offers partner categories, broad categories and precise interest targeting options:

  • Partner categories allow advertisers to target users based on their off-Facebook purchasing behavior with data from third party providers.
  • Broad categories are predefined targeting categories provided by Facebook that group users according to what information they’ve included in their timelines.
  • Precise interest targeting lets you define your ideal audience by what they are interested in, drawn from their listed interests, activities education and job titles, pages they like or groups to which they belong.

We recommend combining partner categories and broad categories with precise Interest targeting to reach the right audience.  For example, this is a highly effective approach for brands who sell luxury goods.  It’s not always easy to target people who have the ability to purchase highly priced items solely using precise interests as there is a large group of people who simply “like” their Page but can’t actually afford their products.   Combining a partner category such as people who have a home market value of $500K+ with luxury brand precise interests can help narrow down those users who not only have an affinity to designer goods but also have the means to purchase their products.

3. Facebook Exchange (FBX)

Facebook Exchange (FBX) is one of the best performing ad products available in digital media because of its ability to deliver ads to people who have already demonstrated intent by visiting and engaging with your website.  With more people actively browsing your products during the busy holiday shopping period, you have a bigger opportunity to capitalize on specific downstream actions.  To increase clickthrough and conversion rates, we recommend serving dynamically generated ads based on the specific SKU/Product viewed by the user.

While it is essential that every FBX campaign leverage News Feed inventory, it’s important to remember that RHS ads are still a cost effective way to remarket to your audiences. News Feed inventory can be more competitive for many advertisers, so they are leveraging RHS ads which can be served more frequently to help boost reach.

4. High Value Customers

When you are thinking about running your Facebook holiday ad campaign it’s essential to target those customers who will deliver the most return over time. Retailers should take advantage of optimizing for return on investment (ROI) rather than cost per acquisition (CPA) to acquire users that will contribute the greatest long term value.

It’s essential to attribute different values to different types of users.  For example, a Custom Audience segment typically will deliver better performance than targeting prospect groups based on precise interests. We recommend valuing a custom audience segment at a higher ROI goal than acquisition forms of targeting.  This will help to not only increase volume, but also maintain realistic expectation of what segments you can leverage to drive performance.

On Facebook, the effectiveness of an ad isn’t solely determined by compelling creative but rather how well you understand your customers, including their demographics, interests and behaviors.  We hope that by exploring the different Facebook ad targeting techniques we’ve helped you look at your holiday ad campaigns in a whole new way. There’s still time to make changes so you’re best prepared for the influx of holiday shoppers. Good luck!

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