Facebook ad targeting is powerful. That, in conjunction with these simple yet effective notes from Mari Smith, will likely lead to a significant boost in your Facebook ad performance.
With that being the case, why do Facebook ads fail? That targeting potential, those intricate audience reach possibilities and insights, they’re largely not being used by brands advertising on Facebook.
Mobile app advertising agency, Consumer Acquisition, tested 100,000 Facebook ads and recommend that you don’t rely on stock imagery. Use images of regular, every day happy women or children, depending on your industry and offer,” Smith said.
Of course, this is just my research – this is not a wide-scale study. I sought to reiterate my findings by asking a Facebook marketing expert for her thoughts on the matter. That expert, Mari Smith, provided the below response.
“Ads that look and feel salesey and hypey do not perform as well as ads that are friendly, relationship oriented, and more informal. On Facebook’s Q4 2014 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg stated that the company’s goal is to reach a point where the ads are “as relevant and timely as the content your friends share with you.”.
For every Facebook ad you’re served, each time a sponsored post shows up in your News Feed, there’s a background logic at work which determines why you’ve see it. Sometimes the explanation will be entirely logical – I’m a fan of basketball so I’ll sometimes get ‘people who are interested in basketball’ as an ad targeting option, which makes sense. Other times – in fact, in the vast majority of cases I investigated (70%), the ad targeting I’m seeing is like the above.
Not all of them were targeted like this. The ads that reached me that were of most relevance, based on my interests and activities, either came from social media companies (who you ‘d expect would have a fair idea of how to use advanced targeting):
Facebook ads can be targeted down to most minute of interests and behaviors, the most intricate audience matches can be used to reach highly relevant audiences with your paid campaigns. Lookalike audiences (which Hootsuite have used in the above example) are one way to go – they examine your existing customer e-mail lists and find similar people, based on their Facebook details – that’s one way to ensure you’re reaching more relevant audiences. On top of that, profiling your own Facebook community, researching the communities of your competitors, examining the commonalities and correlations that exist between your customers – this can lead to more targeted, and more effective, Facebook ads because you’re reaching people based on what they’re interested in, not on vague outlines of who they are.
Because Facebook is arguably the most advanced advertising platform ever created. Over time, Facebook’s been able to construct intricate profiles of who we are, what we like, what we do – pretty much everything about us can be gleaned from our Facebook activities. With that level of possible insight into each one of its 1.55 billion users worldwide, surely Facebook ads, when used well, can reach the right audiences.
If this advertiser were to see poor results from Facebook ads, I wouldn’t be surprised – and as noted, the vast majority of ads I see use this type of vague audience targeting, targeting. Maybe, though that’s also fairly presumptuous – all I can say, for sure, is that the majority the ads being served to me and the various other profiles I had access to over the last few months are not using any advanced targeting – they’re all broad, vague, and no doubt significantly less effective as a result.
” Another reason for Facebook ad failure is the ad and landing page are incongruent. If the web page doesn’t connect with the ad in terms of visuals, ad copy, offer and simplicity, the user will quickly click off.”.
For reference, ‘People aged 25 to 44 in Australia’ is a total potential audience of 6.4 million – so it’s a very broad range, something Facebook does try to warn you about in the ad process.
“Facebook ads don’t work”. “Facebook’s stealing our reach and forcing us to pay for ads”, “Facebook paid ads don’t deliver great results”. And while I don’t doubt that some are seeing poor ad results through Facebook, in general, my internal response to this is criticism is “you’re probably not doing it right”.
That’s three paragraphs of absolutely golden advice from one of the best in the business – if you want to improve the results of your Facebook ad efforts, this serves as a perfect blueprint from which to work from.
” I agree with you on the poor ad targeting. I ‘d like to add further thoughts about visuals and landing pages,” Smith said.
These ads tended to be more in tune with my interests and actions – some of those through the Ad Exchange partners, in particular, were highly targeted. The takeaway from this is brands need to learn about Facebook ad targeting.