As I was jogging by the Charles River one recent morning, a Pandora ad advertising a primary care practice in downtown Boston came on. Weirdly enough, I had just conducted research on finding a new doctor earlier in the day. Creepy, huh?
Perhaps, but creepy might be the new normal. With more user data and targeting capabilities than ever before, online marketing is continuing to become more and more personal. Yes, at times this may turn shoppers off, but typically it draws shoppers in because businesses that are doing it right are showing consumers products and offerings that they’re genuinely interested in.
Facebook is at the forefront when it comes to targeting options to home in on your business’s buyer personas and show them the most relevant offerings. With over 1.49 billion active monthly users on Facebook it’s critical for marketers to get granular when targeting, and luckily Facebook allows you to layer targeting options upon each other so you don’t waste spend on people who are out-of-market.
Check out these 11 unbelievably specific Facebook audiences you can target, and beware – they get more and more granular as the list goes on. (Also check out our epic infographic of all of Facebook’s many ad targeting options.)
So far, this setting isn’t actually that granular, but as you start creating a new Facebook audience it’s impressive how closely you can target right off the bat, selecting specific age ranges, languages spoken, and even the ability to drop a pin on the map to create very precise geo-targets.
I decided not to pigeon-hole my Facebook audience into specific job titles (which you can do – you can literally target Obama or the Prime Minister of France), and instead drilled down to two relevant industries and office types under the demographics tab:
That’s right, you can target “green moms.” What does this mean exactly? According to Facebook, “People whose activities strongly suggest they are environmentally friendly moms.” The long list of mom personas advertisers can chose from is pretty fascinating:
Life Events has to be my favorite targeting option within Facebook because it’s the perfect medium for this. From personal experience, I’ve found that my friends like to share major life events on Facebook, whether it being getting engaged, graduating from grad school, or having a child.
Clearly, Facebook has this data, and now marketers can use it to sell their products and offerings during relevant life events. For instance, a bridal store can target newly engaged brides-to-be, and a home décor e-commerce site can pursue new home owners. In this example, you can see businesses can even target people who have friends going through major life events (and are therefore in-market to purchase celebratory gifts). It’s pretty incredible!
(P.S. Google AdWords now offers life events targeting too!)
Not only can you target specific degrees and educational statuses (like “in grad school” or “some college”), but you can search for and select specific colleges attended:
Don’t forget about political affiliations! This is another layer that you can hone in on to target a more liberal or conservative Facebook audience based on what you’re selling. For instance, if you’re promoting education about medical marijuana, you might want to focus on a liberal or democratic Facebook audience.
The depth you can get into with home type is also very impressive. Some of the options include home value, property size, single vs. multi-family home, square footage, and even the year the home was built.
Facebook users are constantly viewing, clicking, and liking pages, products, and things of interest, so it’s not hard for Facebook to understand their hobbies and pastimes.
Whether it be from the user’s behavior on Facebook, behaviors tracked online via other sites, offline loyalty cards, third-party data providers like Facebook partners Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon, Facebook knows a whole lot about what interests you. Now marketers can use this to their benefit by targeting customers that are more likely interested in them due to their other interests:
Behaviors are another category of targeting where there’s layers upon layers of behavioral traits to choose from. Under travel alone, you can get specific as targeting types of travelers, such as those going on “casino vacations” or who are “frequent flyers.” You can target people who are planning a trip to a specific location or who have recently returned from a trip, or have used a travel app recently. The level of granularity is mind-blowing:
81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, according to MineWhat. Whether shopping online or in-store, chances are good that Facebook understands what you purchase. You’ve provided them with this information simply by using the Internet, so yes, targeting by purchase behavior is another behavioral setting Facebook has to offer up to advertisers. From buyer profiles to specific categories like home and garden to pet products and subscription services, the options are plentiful:
Last but not least, you have the ability to target by connections, whether it be through Facebook pages, apps, or events. You can also exclude based on these things. For example, you can “exclude people who like your page” or “exclude people who use your app.”
Ok, now let’s recap by looking at the sidebar to see the Facebook audience we created:
Yikes! As you may have suspected this Facebook audience is far too narrow to target even with 1.49 billion users out there…
The moral of the story is use these targeting features and layer them, but don’t get so granular that you destroy your reach.
Margot is a content marketing specialist at WordStream and nutrition graduate student at Framingham State. She loves all things digital, learning about nutrition, running, traveling, and cooking.
See other posts by Margot Whitney
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