Best PracticesMay 5th, 2020

For Better Facebook Ads Results: Target, Target, Target!


When it comes to the secret for business success, the tried and true answer is location, location, location. When it comes to the secret for advertising success, the answer should be target, target, target. Especially when running Facebook Ads, where I would say that the ability to target your message to very specific audiences is one of the platform’s greatest strengths. When you plan and build your Facebook campaigns, focus on targeting: the right message, the right audience, with the right goal.

I have been hearing a lot of recommendations for Facebook Ad plans focus on two major strategies: “why buy here” and “ready to buy.” It’s not that these are the wrong strategies, but by themselves they are very high level and not truly specific audience subsets you should build a campaign around without digging in further. As a strategy for an ad campaign they are much too broad, and more importantly, do not take into account the different wants and needs of your customers. So we need to dig a bit deeper and target our ads more specifically.

One thing we know for sure is that a single ad campaign (in any media) should have one main message and one main goal. By goal, for example, we mean what do you want them to do? Watch a video, click to your website, or submit a Facebook lead ad form? You need to pick one of those goals to optimize the ad for that specific action. It is not realistic to hope to get a prospect to watch a video, submit a lead form, and then spend time on your website. Some might. Most won’t. If you really want to get video views AND web clicks, run two unique ad campaigns, each one being optimized for its specific goal.

When you think of audience options, putting all prospects into categories of high funnel (why buy here) and low funnel (ready to buy) is an oversimplification. Buyers are much more complex than the timing of their purchase. More importantly, to reach these prospects with ads they will respond to, you need to appeal to more than their level of purchase urgency. Not every customer is driven by the same wants and needs. If you want to reach the most potential buyers, and maximize the interaction with your ads, then you need a larger variety of ads, each targeted to different audiences’ needs and wants. This is where messaging really comes into play, and one of the most important steps in building an effective ad campaign is matching the message to the audience.

What we need to remember is that it’s impossible to run a “why buy here” ad campaign as well as have a singular message appeal to everyone. Does it seem realistic to run a why buy here ad that promotes: 1) we have the lowest prices and 2) we have the largest inventory–of trucks and SUVs and midsize and compacts, etc. and 3) we have the best, most personal customer service and so on? That is a lot to get across in a single ad, and if you try to say too much and create one message that appeals to every possible buyer, your message will get lost and more than likely appeal to no-one.

Focus on your strengths. If you truly have the lowest prices and also the largest selection of trucks and SUVs then run three sperate ad campaigns. In your why buy here ad plan segment, run a dynamic ad of all inventory that focuses on price (or better yet, a segment that shows vehicles with price reductions: “We can’t be beat!) Run a second campaign for truck owners and in-market to buy trucks, that focuses on your large truck inventory and awesome selection. You get the idea. Running more, smaller campaigns allows you to target your ads to match the specific buyers’ needs and wants better, and the message will be more effective. You will also have a much better view into which ads are performing, and better allocate your ad budget.

I get it. What I am talking about is a lot more work. This might mean running five to ten Facebook ad campaigns in the month instead of two or three. While dynamic inventory ads allow you to show relevant vehicles to different prospects, the misconception is that now you can run a single dynamic ad campaign to take the place of many others. To a degree that is true, but I believe you will get better results with more campaigns, using dynamic inventory segments with specifically targeted messaging. You can segment by condition, model, type, price, and more. Remember, if it were easy, everyone would do it, and you would have no advantage.

Authored by

Brent Albrecht

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