08.04 2018 09:25h

Facebook Is Changing Its Ad Targeting Options

Targeting options for Partner Categories are about to look very different
Facebook, Facebook news, Facebook ads, Social media marketing

Facebook has seen better times when it comes to protecting its users' privacy - hence the sudden changes to the social network's Partner Categories.

According to Social Media Today, last week " . . . Facebook announced it will be stripping out third-party ad targeting options which have been built into it's advanced audience options, including supplemental audience data from companies like Axiom or Experian. These options are called Partner Categories, and can be very powerful when looking to reach users based on the actions they take outside of Facebook."

Using third-party data isn't uncommon in the advertising world, however the social network was linked to an entity (i.e. Cambridge Analytica) that used Facebook user data in dubious ways. This is how Facebook found itself in hot water.

What does this mean for marketers and brands, that rely on Facebook to market their products and/or services to the their target audience? They're going to have to use new tactics in reaching out to potential customers.

We've rounded up five tips all brands and marketers need, when it comes to targeting their audience in the wake of the recent changes to Facebook's ad targeting options. Check them out, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

1. Target Your Audiences' Interests

Facebook collects data on its users, and then uses that information to categorize individuals according to their interests.

As these categories are built on actual human behaviour, targeting specific interests within your Facebook adverts is a good place to start.

2. Get Specific With Geo-Targeting

Marketers and brands know the importance of targeting an audience within a specific geographic location, when running a Facebook ad campaign.

Most brands don't think to zero in on specific areas their target audience may frequent, outside of their "typical" locations - including where they reside, their travel destinations and/or places they may socialize. Don't forget to target these regions next time you run an ad campaign on the social network. 

3. Make The Most of Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is an analytics tool that helps measure the effectiveness of your advertising. It helps site owners understand the actions people are taking on their websites, and how to use this information to reach a specific audience within your Facebook ad campaigns.

Installing the Facebook Pixel is a straightforward process, and involves adding a little snippet of code to your website. If your website is built on WordPress (i.e. you have a self-hosted wordpress.org blog or website), it's even easier for you Facebook and WordPress have an integration (i.e. plugin) that allows you to install the Facebook Pixel in a few quick steps.

If you're selling or marketing anything online, it's worth your time to set up and make the most of Facebook Pixel.

4. Upload Your Email List To Facebook

Did you know you can upload your email list into Facebook, to match users on the platform and serve them ads?

If you've been diligent with collecting emails, you should consider leveraging this data. People who have signed up to your email list are more likely to be seriously interested in buying your products and/or services. Marketing (and selling) directly to current customers is much easier than seeking out a new audience.

Use that email list wisely and consider uploading it to Facebook.

(NOTE: According to Social Media Today "Facebook is also looking to add qualifiers onto data uploaded by marketers to ensure they have user permission, so that will also soon be a consideration with any lists you add in to the platform.")

5. Create A Custom Audience 

Target users that have already interacted with your content and create a custom audience.

Thses are Facebook users that have already watched your videos, interacted with your page, Instagram profile, etc. By putting these users into an audience within the social networking platform, you can focus on a highly targeted group of individuals who have already expressed interest in your brand.

Do you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below...


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