3 little known 'hacks' to optimise your Facebook ad targeting for free!

November 24, 2014
 Optimize Facebook Ad Targeting

Doing Facebook advertising correctly can be costly. The key to success is to narrow down your target audience until you find specific sweet spots that respond well. Experienced marketers are able to make good guesses about the kinds of people who are likely to convert, but ultimately what makes the best stand out from the rest is constant optimisation based on many tests.

But what if you are a small business that doesn't have a big budget for experiments?

Check out these 3 free targeting tricks that will help you hack your way to positive ROI faster:

1) Segment your Custom Audience in Power Editor

To use this technique, you will first need to upload a custom audience (to learn how, follow our blog guide. ) This can be a list of your e-mail subscribers, users or customers. For this to work well, your list should have at least 5000 e-mails.

Now you can use Power Editor to help you find out more about your list and segment it. Start the process of creating an ad and add your custom audience in the audiences tab. Then select different demographic options to find out more information, such as how many are male or female, and their ages, education level and relationship status. Facebook will generate an estimate of your potential audience below the preview of your draft advert.

Even if you use Custom and Lookalike Audiences, further narrowing down your targeting can result in valuable CPA decreases!

2) Figure out day-parting and demographics using your Page insights

If you have a Facebook page with a decent number of fans you can use this data to make better targeting decisions for your ads before you even start. Note that this will only work if it is reasonable to assume that the audience of your ads will be similar to those who liked your Facebook page.

In your page admin, click on the insights tab. The important reports here are the "Reach" and "People" tabs.

Judging from the results in our example, it looks like we should be targeting our ads at women aged 25-44 and run them mainly in the evenings.

Day-parting is a very useful technique not enough marketers use. It may be that your ad receives clicks throughout the day from people while they are bored in the office, but that only those people who click through at home after work convert! Make sure to test this by setting up several campaigns targeting different time slots throughout the day.

3) Optimise on ad components that worked well in the past with Open Book

If you've run Facebook adverts targeting your chosen audience before, you can use our tool Open Book (free while in beta) to help you narrow down your targeting faster.

Open Book connects to your Facebook ads account and pulls information about the ads you've run in the past, irrespective of the tools you used to set them up.

You can use Open Book's reports to get an overview of your top-level performance data, and you can even isolate the individual components such as pictures, titles and copy that are responsible for your ad performance.

Here you can see a report for the best images within a group of campaigns we ran, ranked by Click Through Rate. You can also select engagement metrics and your Facebook conversion pixels as goals.

The best thing about Open Book is its powerful filtering functionality. If you set up naming conventions for your campaigns that include targeting options, you can figure out which adverts and advert elements work best for individual demographics. In our example, we've pulled up a report for all campaigns targeted at 25-34 year olds.

An example campaign name that would take advantage of this filtering functionality could be: 04/02 Supermarket - News Feed, Lookalike, 6-8pm, male, 25-35, London

What 'targeting hacks' or techniques do you use?

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