Advertising before the dawn of digital and social media was relatively straightforward: identify your audience, develop a campaign, place it where your audience was and hope it connected in a positive way.

However, in our contemporary era of online marketing, we have the power to reach niche markets with more powerful messages. The platforms and strategies to reach these audiences have become as specific as the messaging, from display to search advertising, from mobile to social.

The competition for advertising dollars in the digital space is competitive. Spray and pray is no longer an appealing option when advertising can be so targeted. No one understands that more than Facebook.

The Facebook Reach

Mark Zuckerberg’s social media colossus has morphed from a modest college-based networking platform in 2004 to a platform with two billion active users each month. Facebook reports that on mobile devices alone, one of every five minutes is spent using Facebook or Facebook-owned Instagram.

Facebook has continually protected its status atop the social media mountain by adjusting as needed, with a well-documented history of gobbling up companies that invade their space and or can enhance its own platform (most notably Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp Messenger in 2014 for a combined $20 billion).

With its large demographic pool of engaged users, Facebook has successfully become a powerhouse digital ad platform, claiming nearly half of the estimated $13.5 billion spent on social media marketing in 2017.

Are You Taking Advantage?

Major brands are figuring out how to get the most bang for their Facebook investment, but what about you? Facebook will guide you through the process of targeting a specific audience, but you need a plan to be effective.

Foremost, you need to identify your KPIs. Why are you advertising in the first place? What part of the sales journey is your audience at? Maybe you run an online store and want to drive online sales. Perhaps you’ve developed a new mobile app and want to drive downloads. Or maybe you’ve opened a new café and simply want to drive some top-of-the-funnel brand awareness. All of these are objective categories on Facebook’s ad platform.

Here are four things to consider when launching an ad on Facebook.

    1. Identify common characteristics of your consumers using the data Facebook collects from users. Narrow your targeting down to the precise segments of users you want to engage with using parameters such as:
      • Location
      • Contact information
      • Interactions
      • Interests
      • Routine behaviors
      1. Facebook catalogs a veritable Venn diagram of interests and associations. If you own a bakery that will be doing a limited line of special Harry Potterthemed cupcakes, you can target people who visit bakeries often AND like Harry Potter. If you want to drive traffic to your blog on women’s health, you can target only women who follow educational healthcare pages.
      2. You can also use exclusion targeting to refine your targeting even farther. The possibilities are endless. Facebook can build custom audience lists to maximize your ROI by spending your dollars on the most valuable views.
      3. Facebook also allows you the flexibility to target consumers at any stage of the sales funnel. Tracking patterns in user behavior to establish profiles, Facebook can identify those who are in the market for a variety of purchases so you can target consumers who are primed to convert with regards to your particular industry or product line.

As you refine your targeting, Facebook can optimize your ads for your chosen objective. This means it will change who the ad is shown to based on the likelihood that they will take the action you’re looking for. If you want website traffic, Facebook will primarily target people who have clicked through to other ad landing pages. If you want conversions in your online store, it will target people who have historically been most likely to follow through with purchases.

Stay on Budget

By narrowing down who you want to show your ad to and optimizing for your campaign objectives, you can ensure that your ads perform and deliver ROI no matter what your budget. Which brings up a great point: What is your budget?

Facebook gives you options, from a running expense to a one-time payment. Maybe you want to pay per day – that’s fine, too. Choose the duration of your ads and the days you’d like to begin and end your campaign. A variety of optimization options allow you complete control over the pace of your spending and helps Facebook optimize delivery to benefit your KPIs at the lowest cost possible.

Track Your Success

Once you activate your campaign, you can check its performance and even compare its success to your previous campaigns. Facebook provides tools for measuring and reporting the effectiveness of your ad, allowing you to modify the campaign to make improvements based on the factors that are important to you, such as:

      • Click-through rate
      • Conversion rate
      • Which segments are providing the best results?
      • Which creative is performing the best?

Facebook contributed to the birth of the Digital Revolution, and they’ve continued to ride this technological wave as one of the foremost online ad providers. Their advertising service is simple to use for launching and monitoring ad campaigns in arguably the most pervasive, expansive and customizable marketplace we have ever seen.