Brace for Impact | Part 1 of 4: Facebook Advertising Trends – First-Party Data

Digital Marketing|Trends|

It hasn’t been long since Facebook was under fire for privacy issues and under even more pressure to do something about it. New policies, adjustments and settings have impacted, and continue to impact, advertisers just as much as users.

Advertisers are facing an ever-changing landscape as Facebook continues to roll out new regulations, placements, and rules. This forces media buyers to remain flexible to quickly adapt to what they can and cannot do – and more so forces business’s operations to do the same.

So how do we do it at infinitee? We manage paid social for a number of clients in various business verticals, all with different objectives. Obviously no two campaigns are the same, but we’ve seen success with the tactics we will share in our new 4-Part Series on Facebook Advertising Trends. 

Our first trend is First-Party data. Read on to see what you could start doing today for maximum impact!

Trend #1 of 4: First-Party Data

The first thing Facebook changed is how advertisers can use third-party data in campaigns. Before, Facebook’s API monitored Facebook usage and categorized users by a number of things – content you were interested in, what you spent time on, businesses you engaged with/followed, demographics, etc.

Now that’s changed. In order for Facebook to know any of that, users have to submit it in their profile and ad preference settings. Very few have done this virtually making third-party targeting irrelevant and severely limiting scale.

So, how do you keep your ads highly-targeted? We recommend a three-pronged approach:

1. Leverage First-Party Data for Facebook Custom Audiences

CRM DataIngest your company’s customer lists – shopper database, prospect list, partner list, tenant list, any and all email lists you may have specific to your campaign – and Facebook will map your email addresses with Facebook users for precise targeting. More importantly, use this list to exclude people! If you’re looking for new people to add to your shopper database or to follow your page, exclude your current list of followers so your dollars are spent on new users.

Pixel Data – Utilize Facebook’s events and conversions as much as possible! Create an event for every action taken on your site – a purchase, pageview, contact form submission, etc. This data is invaluable to scaling your ad campaign and also telling Facebook what to optimize for. 

Remarketing – Likely the most successful targeting tactic out there (and that applies to more than just Facebook). Remarket people who visit your website, a specific page, product, etc. with a specific ad. If they visit the deals page, show them ads with coupons. If they visit a floorplan, show them photos of that layout. Relevancy is key. If they’ve purchased something before, remarket them again – just apply some exclusions so it’s not for the same thing.

Engaged Users – Not all Facebook campaigns aim toward conversion and that’s okay. Brand awareness and content engagement are still important KPIs for some campaigns. When that’s the case, serve ads to users who are likely to engage with your ads – they actively view your videos, engage with posts, follow you, etc.

2. Build Lookalikes

This is probably the most important part. Once you have your Custom Audiences created, build lookalikes from them. A lookalike audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they are similar to your best existing customers. (re: Create a Lookalike Audience).  

You can build a lookalike audience from every custom audience you create – and that’s exactly what we recommend. There are 1 billion people on Facebook – a billion. The best way to find who’s most likely to like you is by finding people who are most like those that already do like you! And Facebook’s lookalike audiences do just that. We’ve seen Facebook take a list as small as 1,700 users and expand the pool to 1M potential people based on their interest.

3. Use Ad Sets to See What’s Working

You’ve got custom audiences and lookalike audiences – but how do you know what’s working? What’s moving the needle? Which one is getting me more leads, more purchases, more engagement?

We strategically set up our Facebook campaigns by Ad Sets to see what’s working best. There are a few schools of thought on the best way to do this and, frankly, it comes down to what will answer the questions you’re asking the most. If you’re interested in what targeting capabilities are working best, set up your Ad Sets by targeting – CRM List, CRM Lookalike, Engaged Users, Engaged Users Lookalike, Remarketing, Remarketing Lookalike, etc.

If you find yourself asking something else – perhaps what age group, location, region, etc. is most interested in my ads – organize your Ad Sets that way and combine your audiences (custom and lookalikes) into a “master audience”.  There’s no wrong way to do it – just set it up so at the end of your campaign you get the answers/insights you’re looking for.

One more quick tip – Ad Set budgets are going away soon and you will only be able to set maximum and minimum budgets. If you know you have a certain Ad Set that is substantially smaller than others, but has to get some love from the budget, make sure you set a minimum spend so Facebook doesn’t allocate all of the dollars to the larger groups.

Have questions about how to use your first-party data or simply want to chat through the best strategies for your campaign? Give us a call at 404-231-3481 and let’s get started. 

Don’t forget to check back next week as we uncover Part 2 of 4: Special Category Advertisers.

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