Facebook Ad Targeting With Precise Interests

Internet Marketing

The power and precision of Facebook ads is incredible. For example, if you want to target Toronto-based guitar players 18 an above, you can, you’ll even know exactly how many of them there are. Perfect for when there’s a sale at the local music store, right? Of course, but what’s even more interesting is when you begin thinking laterally about what else you could market to people who have very specific targeted interests.

This was precisely the point of the presentation Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics at this week’s Search Engine Strategies Conference given by author of Killer Facebook Ads Marty Weintraub. In his talk Marty gave example upon example of how applying creative thinking to Facebook advertising can pay dividends for businesses.

Ask yourself: what makes you, you?

Everybody’s unique, you’ve got your job, your interests, your tastes, your friends, your creative outlets, etc. Each of your customers has these as well, and the degree to which Facebook has culled this information is incredible. Delve deep into the minds of your customers, create personas to help get a better picture. Learn about their interests and think laterally about how you can connect your product to them.

Use online tools to help make the connections

Take Amazon.com’s “frequently bought together” feature, for example people who bought an acoustic guitar also bought picks, strings and a music book. Amazon’s feature not only lets you search for competing brands (of whom you can market to on Facebook), it also allows you to discover new markets in which to sell your related product. So if you’re a guitar company you may want to target people who like guitar string brands and other accessories.

Musicians and just about everyone else selling through the iTunes store can use their similar feature. I recently saw an ad for an up and coming band that read “Love Radiohead? The you might like…” This band knew that most people who like them, also listened to Radiohead and targeted them.

But where do you send the clicks?

With Facebook ads you can direct people to like your business page or direct them to a landing page (which is a bit more expensive). Getting people to like your page is great because you create a relationship where you can consistently communicate your message through status updates. Where on the other hand a landing page provides a conversion opportunity right then and there. If you’re undecided, you can always run both.

Putting on your creative PPC hat

In his talk Marty Weintraub encouraged us to think creatively when drawing links from people’s interests to your products. Think beyond just the standard keywords that describe your business, think about what else your customers could be listing in their profiles. Do some negative targeting e.g. if you’re a new cellphone company try targeting “I hate Rogers” or “I hate Bell” and you’ll be surprised at how many people you’ll find. If you sell organic cereal and you’re offering a coupon, target people who like environmentalism, the Sierra Club, etc.

Important to know

Compelling copy is key, after all people are not seeing your ads based on searches and are therefore not "primed to purchase." Instead, your ad has to speak to their likes and interests and trigger an emotional reaction.

When people list and interest or like a page the are basically consenting to receive ads by any marketer who wants to target that like or interest. This is an immensely powerful tool for online marketers and the level of detail to which you can go with Facebook continues to get deeper.

If you’re interested a hyper-targeted Facebook campaign get in touch with our Social Media Angel program and we’ll help you build a highly targeted Facebook campaign that will grow your social community and drive new business.

It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.

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  • avatar

    HI Eamon, it's definitely a good idea to target the fans of your competitors, especially in product categories where people are less brand loyal e.g. paper towels and small appliances.

    It's the call to action that counts the most, highlight your product's USP and come at them with a good incentive and you'll give yourself a strong chance at winning their business.

  • avatar
    Eamon Hoolihan 


    Nice article with some great ideas for precisely targeting your audience. Targeting competitor brands has got to be a no-brainer for some businesses.

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