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Do You Fall Into This Trap When Advertising On Facebook?

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Last updated on May 26, 2020

Facebook advertising trap


When you set up an advertising campaign on Facebook, many people fall in to the same traps.

These traps are set by Facebook to separate you from your cash with worthless ads if you don't know what you are doing.

I will using a golfing example to illustrate this as we go through the one of these traps.

The 'Do What Everyone Else Is Doing' Trap

This is about using the standard interests that Facebook provides you when setting up your targeting.

Let's assume you are selling golfing products and you ideally want to get in front of a target audience who would most likely buy from you.

What type of interests come to mind?

Golf right. OK - lets roll with this...so you type 'golf' into the interests and start scanning to see other suggestions and you may click on a few to stack the numbers because Facebook works best when it has volume and room to play.

(Tip - you also have to give Facebook enough budget to be able to play, otherwise it will never work properly or get out of the learning phase).

You then add golf, golf course, golf club and golf channel to this new audience.

When you run ads on Facebook there are also many others who are wanting to sell their golf products too. When you set up your campaigns you are entering an auction to compete against everyone else.

When everyone else is doing the same thing, you are now entering into a very competitive auction, where the chances of winning top placements in front of the best traffic are very low.

How to resolve this: Flex Targeting

In the image above, if you selected those 4 interests, you are telling Facebook to get your ads in front of people who are interested in golf OR a golf course OR a golf club OR a golf channel.

This gives Facebook a much larger audience to start searching and putting your ads (or bait) in front of them to get any bites, so the more interests (or behaviours) you add, the larger the audience.

Below the targeting box there is an option to either EXCLUDE PEOPLE or NARROW AUDIENCE.

Very few people use either of these options so I will continue to walk through our golfing example when thinking about our target audience.

There are clearly a lot of people who have liked, shared or commented on something golf related when they have been on Facebook, which provides you with a very large but general audience.

We can now NARROW down this audience to get even more targeted.

You can click on the NARROW AUDIENCE link which opens up more targeting options. This now means that if anyone has an interest in the above 4 interests we have selected here, we now want to say they must also be interested, of must also match something else.

What type of thing would a more serious golfer be interested in? Specific types of golf clubs, golf brands, magazines, or golf pro's?
Let's go with golf pro's. You would go to Google and type in top golf professionals if you did not know anything about this market.
I then choose Rory Mcllroy as per below...

This idea of NARROWING is known as Flex Targeting. You can go 4 layers deep with this strategy, but the audience would be very very small doing that so I would mainly stick to 1 layer or 2 layers if there was enough volume.

Go ahead and test this method as you will have a much smaller audience to target but you may get a much more engaged audience. You would also be competing with less people in the auctions so may find the cost to be much lower to reach your audience.

You would potentially get some valuable data on your pixel where you could have a change to create some Lookalike audiences to run some more tests.

This research process is never complete, it is an iterative process as you should be continually looking at the data to find what is working, then make small changes to guide you into further profit and continue testing.

Research is the golden key to unlocking targeting that very few others know about. Most people (thankfully) don't put in the extra effort to dig a little deeper.

About the Author

Clint has over 15 years of digital experience. He's passionate about digital marketing and on a continual quest, searching for the best tactics and strategies, to help businesses find clarity and direction to grow their businesses.

Clint Gray