In its first several years in the digital marketing realm, Facebook fell behind other search and display platforms in its capability to accurately micro-geotarget advertising campaigns. However, in late 2015, Facebook advertising quietly rolled out extensive geotargeting capabilities. While these features have been live for almost a year now, we have found that many marketers are unaware of these expanded capabilities. They are also often unsure how to accurately and effectively utilize these new setup and optimization levers when building out campaigns in Power Editor, Facebook’s platform for creating advertising campaigns.
A Common Mistake and How to Fix It
One common mistake we’ve come across in Facebook advertising campaign setup is ads that are targeted to specific DMAs or geographic areas, but aren’t including necessary exclusions. If you aren’t careful when you set up your Facebook campaign, you could end up targeting ads to users who may not be your intended audience which can increase cost. Follow these Facebook audience insights to have a cost effective campaign.
Before building out and running your campaign on Facebook, make sure you first engage in thorough data analysis, to ensure you know your audience target. You’ll build out your targeting in Facebook’s Ad Set. For geotargeting, Facebook will automatically default to “everyone in this location”- which includes people who live in that location, people who’ve recently been in this location, and people traveling in this location. Depending on the product/service you’re marketing, this may not make a difference. But in many cases, targeting “everyone in this location” can be a waste of money.
Say for example, you are running a campaign advertising a newly opened apartment complex. You are likely not interested in targeting vacationers and/or individuals who’ve tagged themselves in that location recently, because they are unlikely to be prospective tenants. To make sure your budget is allocated wisely, It’s important to exclude those users and hone in on only those who live in that target area. This can be easily done by clicking the drop-down arrow to the right and selecting “people who live in this location”.
Targeting by Specific Area/Address
The ability to specify the circumstances surrounding location is a great feature, but Facebook has rolled out even more ways to ensure precise targeting to your prime audience. Facebook now allows you to target within a mile of a specific address, zip code and/or longitude/latitude point on a map. This could a perfect tool if you’re a cafe that wants to reach the local business lunch crowd, for example. You can now target those within walking distance only. This tool is especially powerful if you are an individual or agency running ads for multiple locations of one or more clients.
In addition, you can also target to multiple addresses and/or exclude multiple addresses. Facebook also recently added the ability to use this specific geo-targeting capability for locations outside of the United States.
Facebook also offers the little known, Local Awareness ad unit which includes all of the above shown features, but ties directly into your business’s page. This ad unit is a great option for small businesses and/or independent retailers who derive a majority of their business from walk-ins, local customers, and social website referrals and review sites. The benefit is that all your ads are defaulted to the location (1-10 miles radius) where your business is. In addition a “Get Directions” call-to-action button is available for your ads. Targeting options are currently limited to location, age, and gender, so if the desire is for more granular targeting, you’d need to create another ad unit and target by address as stated above. You can set up a Local Awareness ad by choosing that option at the campaign level when creating your ads.
For every Facebook advertising campaign, we highly recommend that you test different targeting capabilities in layered variations in order to effectively A/B and ensure your campaigns’ success. We anticipate that Facebook will continue to add on additional targeting options in Power Editor that allow marketers to test at deeper granular levels and create highly optimized targeting profiles for their ads.