Targeting Hacks For Facebook Beginners

This advanced targeting hack for Facebook advertisers combines slightly more advanced targeting concepts, with one of the fundamental elements of ad campaigns.

Here’s what you’ll need for this strategy: 

  1. An email list. It doesn’t need to be huge, but a minimum of 100 subscribers (more is better).
  2. A spare 20 minutes to implement it.
Targeting Hack For Facebook Ad Beginners
Whatever do you mean sir?

What is this ‘advanced targeting hack’ you speak of? 

Well, one of the most fundamental elements of your campaigns lies in who your audience is. To give a kind of odd analogy, let’s assume you are a cat lover. I mean you really really love cats. There are several dozen cats at your home. You have a cat calendar, cat paintings, you sponsor a cat (is that even a thing?), your best friend is a cat, or at least named Cat, Catherine or Catrell…You get my point.

If you then decided it was a good idea to start selling cat merchandise, it probably wouldn’t be the wisest move to start targeting dog lovers. They might like cats, they may even love cats in some cases, but rest assured your response rates are going to be mediocre at best.

Logic would dictate in this scenario; the best audience for your merchandise would surely be cat lovers. Using this same principle, you can hone in even deeper. If you’re selling a tee shirt for a particular breed, it would make more sense to put your ads in front of people that specifically love that breed. After you gain some traction, you could then look to expand into the broader subject of ‘cats.’

Don’t worry, this will all make sense soon!

Fast Forward Six Months…

Because Imgur needs Ric Flair holding a cat

So after dropping out of cat college, where you were majoring in cat-astrophe management (yes, I know it’s lame), you decide to open your own store offering cat products. After six long months on the grind in your store you have now built a solid customer base. You even have a few regular customers! This is where the magic lies!

Up until now you have been posting on cat forums, in cat Facebook groups, you started a cat instagram and all of these are bringing in a few sales but you want to expand to paid advertising. You decide Facebook is the medium you would like to advertise on, and so you start investigating. But you’re a Facebook ad beginner. It looks complicated. You feel you need some sort of targeting hack…and as serendipitous as can be, you stumble across this little nugget.

Spoiler Alert!

I was referring to lookalike audiences all along!

If you’re unfamiliar with that term, check out the article in the link above. In brief, a lookalike audience finds an audience based on commonalities of people from your source audience. This source audience could be people that went to your website, purchased from you, engaged with your page etc. So, in this instance you will be using your existing customer database, and uploading it under ‘Customer File.’ You can use a list of email addresses or phone numbers of your existing customers.
This is incredibly powerful, as it allows Facebook to do the grunt work behind your targeting. It’s as if you don’t need to create your own audience, as Facebook will establish a base for you to work off. Below is a lookalike audience I created for a client;

Lookalike AudienceThis took an email list of just over 1400 subscribers, and created an audience of more than two million people. You’ll notice under ‘Resulting Audience’ the lookalike is for the United States, and is 1%. A 1% Lookalike is 1% of the country that most closely resembles your source audience. A 10% Lookalike is the 10% of the country that most closely resembles your source audience. For best results, generally you want to stick with the smallest percentages first (since they are the most similar) although testing a couple of the larger percentages is never a bad idea.

Okay, this where things start to get a bit more advanced…

Here’s the real secret sauce of using this as a base for your advanced targeting. I present; your lookalike audience;

Targeting hack for Facebook beginnersWhen you combine your lookalike audience with an interest related to your niche, your campaign results should perform significantly better than just the lookalike audience itself. This is called audience intersecting. Check out the image below. The area in the middle between your lookalike audience, and your particular niche (cats using the example above), is a potential goldmine.

This combines the common traits of your existing customers, and the interests/demographics of your niche.

Audience intersect

What if you could up the ante slightly? You can delve even further into your niche to find even better value. Say for example you combine Lookalike audiences (LAL’s for short), cat audience, and finally you wish to go even deeper by crossing these with a cat breed.

Here’s what it will look like;

LLA + secret sauce

The section in the middle (the overlap) is where is where you will find the an audience with the highest likelihood of converting. This might be LAL + Cats + Siamese = Highly targeted audience! When you do something like this you will need to use a higher percentage Lookalike audience otherwise your final audience will be much too small. We always recommend having an audience size of at least 1 Million people in the US if you want to be able to scale the audience.

Hopefully now you are starting to get a sense of intersecting for advanced targeting audiences. Stay tuned for my next article where I will walk you through how to do this step by step in ads manager! Let me know what you think in the comments and any suggestions for future articles would be great!