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Bringing the right customers to your website | Microtargeting with Facebook Ads

June 26, 2018

26. June 2018




We all want to increase our traffic and to use all the channels that we have at their best!

But how should we start to advertise on Facebook? Should we actually do it? What is microtargeting?

Look no further! We have your answers!

Facebook data – the users’ perspective

Facebook is by far the most popular social network on a global scale, in spite of the recent data privacy scandals it has recently been involved in. As Facebook users, we have to understand that this service would not be available free of charge if the owners would not have other ways to get revenue.

The way they get revenue is by using the data we voluntarily submit on our profiles and making it available to advertisers, who will, in turn, send us, through various channels, messages that best suit our needs and preferences.

While some are quick to judge that as an invasion of privacy or manipulation, this entire system is not personalised. Nobody has a file with your name on it that they check periodically. This is not the secret services or some espionage movie. 

In fact, since the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the new GDPR regulations, Facebook updated their privacy settings so that users can now choose whether or not their activity history should be stored or not, like an advanced incognito browsing session.

The trouble with that scenario is not that you would stop receiving ads and sponsored stories, but that the ones you receive might not be as relevant as before since you have chosen to reveal less about your likes and dislikes. Your Facebook experience may well be influenced by this choice.

Ok, we got the Facebook background, but what is microtargeting, right?

Shortly, this is a marketing strategy that is supposed to analyze your customers and consumers, see their demographics, identify their interest and use the information in your favour to better position your business or message!

Using Facebook data to micro-target – the website owners’ perspective

Keeping that in mind, let us look at things from a different perspective. If you are a website owner and you want to draw attention to your website, Facebook might provide a very helpful hand. It is a good vehicle to grow organically, by gradually reaching out to a broader audience.

But you can also use the advertising tools that it offers, which are based on what we were describing above. So, using demographics and interests data provided by users, you can narrow down a relevant audience with great precision.

A few years back, it was even possible to create an ad and then target it to one single person. There are stories about husbands targetting their wives with advertising or students playing a joke on a room-mate.

Nowadays, your ad will not show at all to audiences that Facebook regards as being too narrow. As the matter of fact, having such a small number of people targetted with ads would be pointless in most cases.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your first micro-target group:

  1. Click create ad in your Facebook account. Keep in mind that you need to associate your ad to an official Facebook page you are managing. It will not work with a common profile.
  2. Choose traffic. This will allow you to create ads directed to your website.
  3. You will see the Audience field, where you can set your target group.

In the audience field you have options for:

  • Location – select a country, a region or a city to target. All users who have that location in their lives in… part of the profile filled in, will be eligible to receive your ads
  • Age – calculated using the declared date of birth of users
  • Languages
  • Demographics – here, you have a vast range of options related to education, life events and other (recently married, soon to have a birthday, recently moved to another city etc.). Imagine you have a website selling baby products. Facebook Ads will allow you to send your ad only to „new parents (0-12 months)”, based on what the couples have been posting online. Imagine how useful that would be for your business.
  • Interests – now it gets very interesting, as you can mix the above criteria with the interests manifested on Facebook by users. This part is based on clicks and likes they have made. You can target people interested in fishing, outdoor activities, food and many many more.

It might seem a piece of cake to do it, but you actually have hundreds of choices here! Just take a look at this nice infographic created by advertisemint.

We highly recommend you to go through your analytics first, see your most successful content or products, check your demographics and try to find the best elements from a facebook micro-audience that would fit your business and your website content. This would optimize your ad a lot!

Possible downsides

The only significant downside to the system Facebook uses is that it is based on data declared by users, so it is not 100% reliable. There are still huge numbers of fake accounts or accounts that show outdated information. Facebook is making efforts to fix that, but it is still a big part of their activity.

Want to know more about improving your website content or traffic? Check out our Great tools to use when you are editing your website content, learn what is pay per click and go through our comparison on SEO vs. Pay per Click Search Network!

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