To build a successful advertising campaign, there are certain factors that need to fall into place. We need to craft a message that resonates, develop a compelling creative, and play around with the bidding. As part of this formula, there’s almost nothing more important than targeting. You could get everything else right, but if you neglect targeting strategy your campaign will be fruitless because the wrong people will see your ads. Long story short, the investment is wasted, and you don’t get the return you originally desired.
Today, we want to unpack some of the best tools and features that popular advertising platforms have to offer. By the end, you should feel more confident in using these tools to target your audience with increased accuracy.
Let’s start with the Custom Audiences feature on Facebook, which allows you to plug in emails and phone numbers. After you upload the file with this information, Facebook will attempt to match them to a Facebook account and reach out to them with your ads. This is a great way to reach those who have engaged at some point, but need some encouragement.
With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can base your campaign on a customer list, app activity or website traffic. The latter provides the basis for a retargeting campaign. If you want to include people who have visited a web page, they will now see your ads on Facebook and remember your brand. With your brand name on your target customer’s social media platform, you also earn credibility.
When it comes to ad campaigns, far too many people try to target cold audiences without realizing that they have a list of potential leads already. If you’ve got a list of email addresses, Facebook will do the rest for you.
When marketing online, sending the right message at the right time can be challenging. In order to do this, we need to think about the different stages of the funnel, and In-Market Audiences on Google Display can help. With this feature, we can target those who have moved down the funnel and are now ready to spend their money.
While some people are just doing initial research and discovering their problem, others are ‘in-market’ and have started the search for a viable product or service. To find these people, Google considers:
Once Google has discovered these users, it will deliver your display ads. Hopefully, you’ll find instances where searcher intent matches your offering, resulting in more sales. If you leverage this feature, there’s no way you won’t find more marketing opportunities.
To round off the three largest companies in the marketing sphere, let’s look at Twitter’s version of Facebook’s Custom Audiences. Just as we’ve seen with Facebook Custom Audiences, Twitter will ask you to upload a list of phone numbers or email addresses, and look for the associated account to reach out to with ads.
If you’re worried the ads may be interruptive, rest assured they are subtle and don’t come across as pushy. Depending on the segment you’re targeting, you may even be able to play around with the creative and content. Each segment will get a tailored message that encourages a purchase.
It’s important to note that Custom Audiences is slightly more effective than Tailored Audiences. We recommend using Twitter only if you have a lot of site traffic or email addresses, or if you find that Facebook doesn’t contain your target market. Twitter cannot match lists to real accounts quite as well as Facebook.
Affinity Audiences is a tool that helps you discover those with a high likelihood of responding to your ad. However, because the broad nature of the audiences makes it easy to waste money, Google released Custom Affinity Segments to fill in the gaps. Rather than targeting huge groups, we can create subsets of an audience based on who is most likely to convert. You want to get specific—think tennis, not sports; or pastries, not just desserts. With these new audience refinement tools, we can start with those most likely to convert, and avoid wasting our investment.
With marketing, it’s no secret that we target an audience based on a demographic, age, location or even stage of life. As a bridal gown service, it makes sense to have a station at a wedding fair, and the internet is no different. Life Events Targeting is a feature that helps us to achieve this sort of targeting. If an incoming freshman is off to college, they might be in the market for a car. If someone is engaged to be married, they will need wedding services. If somebody is pregnant, they will need all sorts of baby products and services.
With Life Event Targeting, you have a ready-made audience at your fingertips. This is a better alternative to targeting women between the ages of 21 and 45 who are searching for ‘baby’ and other keywords. When you do this, a percentage of your ad spend will go to waste. Instead, reach out to people you know are pregnant.
Available on Twitter and Facebook, lookalike targeting is another efficient tool when searching for a new audience. For small businesses especially, a common problem is having a loyal audience that’s too small. How do you capitalize on this small audience to grow it? Well, using site traffic or an email list, you can plug in your loyal customers and find others with similarities. The tool will highlight commonalities between your customer base, and then use this as a focal point to find others who are similar. In theory, this should lead to an audience where a good percentage will convert (or at least have an interest in what you have to offer).
One of the common mistakes with marketing is the risk of targeting too broadly. As you narrow targeting and reach, you will no longer be wasting impressions or ad spend. With demographic layering, you can get specific with the sort of people you want to receive your ads. Do you want to focus on a specific location, age, gender, etc.? As long as you don’t narrow so much that you end up with only a handful people in your audience, demographic layering is a great way to improve efficiency.
Social media platforms have improved targeting capabilities in recent years, but have you ever looked externally for help? Here at Trapica we use artificial intelligence to assess and improve your ad campaigns and specifically your targeting across several advertising platforms including Facebook and Google. Learn more by scheduling a discovery call today.