Targeting Cold Audiences With Facebook Ads

Targeting Cold Audiences with Facebook Ads - Sachs Marketing Group

If you want to use Facebook Ads to find new customers and want to learn whom to target with cold ads, you’ve come to the right place. After you determine who to target with cold ads, I’ll help you with what to do after you’ve identified new target audiences, what kind of analysis you should maintain, and so on.

If you’re a marketer who is heavily relying on retargeting, you’re missing out on major opportunities to land new customers by ignoring cold audiences. And with recent changes to Facebook meaning that people have more control over how their data is used and stored, your remarketing campaigns are likely to suffer a bit in terms of effectiveness.

With retargeting, your brand is relying on established content marketing efforts to draw in new customers. You’re working on nurturing organic traffic sources so you can target audiences you’ve already warmed up and familiarized with your brand. Then, you can use the attention you’re already getting to a position to push those audiences to a purchase decision.

Retargeting seems fairly cost effective, but each one of your campaigns requires a lot of time and effort to build and maintain. A lot of smaller businesses don’t have the assets such as a blog, a podcast, or an email list to drive the large organic following – and they lack the resources to create said assets.

Using Facebook Ads to Locate New Customers

Rather than spending time to create a lot of content up front, businesses can use Facebook Ads to drive cold traffic toward products or services. Brands are either paying with their time up front to market it to an established audience or setting aside an ads budget to gather the same amount of data that can be used to create new cold audiences.

Cold audiences likely don’t have any clue who you are so you can start the indoctrination process immediately and at full force. Cold audiences on Facebook are an accelerant for your ads buy.

Establish the Cost Per Acquisition

Establish your budget specifically for targeting and experimenting with cold audiences. Testing the new audiences allows you to figure out the conversion rate and costs associated with acquiring your new customers. After you’ve determined your cost per acquisition for new customers, you’ll know what it takes to acquire that many more new customers in the future.

Calculating a conversion rate for cold audience allows you to make hypotheses about what a warm audience might convert at a higher rate. Test and cold audiences on Facebook will also lower your overall cost  per acquisition in the long run.

Use Organic Audiences to Understand Cold Counterparts

All the marketing efforts you put towards nurturing a warm audience will allow you to understand your target market better and drive success for your cold traffic ads. If you have a Facebook page that has little or no traction and isn’t garnering any engagement from an audience you’ve already spent time warming up, it’s not likely to resonate with a cold audience either.

Test new products or ads with your established audience before you put them in front of a cold audience to see if it’s interesting or worthwhile. After you’ve used your warm audiences to find the best-performing creatives among them, start testing ads with the cold audiences.

How to Determine Who to Target With Cold Facebook Ads

Even doing your due diligence and using recommendations from Facebook audience insights, the first time you run ads to a cold audience will always be a guess. Each time you click on a product or service that is similar to yours Facebook Insights will give you more recommendations, pages, and interests, but which of those you choose will always be a gamble.

Even if you’re hyper focused on the possible audiences based on your competition, competitive research, and other customer avatar activities done with your brand in mind, there’s no guarantee that you’re cold ads are going to perform well. But, there are a variety of techniques and tools you can use to help to find whom and how to Target with Facebook cold ads.

Use Facebook Insights

Facebook Audience Insights, found inside the Facebook Ads Manager, provides a great deal of information that can be a starting point for building your cold audiences. Collect as much data as possible from the demographic and interest categories available on the platform so you have a general ranking for audiences that you can target.

From within the Audience Insights options you’ll be able to find a variety of parameters you can select on the left side of the screen. Near the bottom, there’s a section with every category Facebook uses for interest targeting. These categories can range from broad topics to the names of other companies, bloggers, or brands. Advertisers click on each interest category to see a deeper list of subcategories, key demographics, audience size, psychographic information, and similar pages that are associated with it. Facebook Audience Insights also uses actions both on and off Facebook along with third-party data to provide the number of ads per month that are clicked by people who have a similar affinity for a particular interest.

The number of ads people click per month within each interest group represents a broad average across a total user base. As you sort through the list of Interest you’re looking to target, document how many people are clicking on the ads in a spreadsheet. You’ll generally find the numbers range from about fifteen to 50 ads per month. Start your spreadsheet in descending order based on the user clicks per month and then home in on the topics that settle in about the 75th percentile. Don’t choose audiences at either extreme because interests in the top 10 tend to be spammy, too broad, or questionable.

Search Top Audience Interests on Instagram

After you’ve determined the top 10 to 20 interests to target, go to Instagram and follow their profiles. After you followed them, Instagram recommends  similar profiles and people to you. These can be additional Target audiences that you may not have previously  considered or Facebook may not have suggested to you.

Establish Budget and Audience Size

For the ideal audience size, each Facebook advertiser will have a different answer. It’s best to start with a niched down, specific audience size between anywhere from 100,000 to about a million. Then, stick with audiences around 50 to 80,000 and up to about 5 million from there.

When you set up the campaign, choose two to five interests to test the cold audiences depending on your budget. Test each interest group separately rather than combining them until you know how each variable performs for you. Testing each interest ad set individually allows you to understand exactly what might be successful and what might be taking your ad set. Once you have an idea of what works you can group interest targeting and then begin testing your creative.

After you found the ideal audiences and are ready to start testing your creative, limit the variables when it comes to your ads. Run the exact same ad to all three to five of your target audiences is so you can isolate what you’re testing and quickly we rule out what isn’t working within your test.

As a general rule, you should expect to spend anywhere from three to five times as much as your product is worth on testing audiences to get a feel for your conversations and results during the first few campaigns. Experiment to find out what is and isn’t working at  each part of your sales process. When something isn’t converting, use insights to make adjustments and improve your ads.

Measuring Facebook Cold Ad Campaigns

When testing your ads, you want to look at everything from the ad itself to the click-through rate, your cost-per-click, and the number of clicks. This information tells you how your ads are resonating with the audience you’re targeting.

Measure Click Through Rates

The strongest ads will generate a click-through rate of 1.5 or higher in the news feed. If your click-through rate is below this number it’s usually an indicator that your audience isn’t matching up with a message you’re putting in front of them. this relates to Newsfeed ads but not as displayed in Facebook’s right-hand column. Ads on the right side naturally don’t receive as many clicks but their cost-per-click is also much lower to compensate for the lack of performance.

Go Beyond Clicks

take a look at the activity that’s happening After People click on your ad and the conversions. This is the number of people landing on your page, making purchases, are often into your service. You may also want to look at time on site. If you discover that an ad drives a lot of clicks but not a lot of sales, keep it running for as long as people continue to make it all the way through your cell cycle. Some sale Cycles may take close to a month and in this case it would be completely understandable if you weren’t seeing the ads perform after a week.

Choose Placements

It’s a good idea to run ads in all placements at the beginning of your testing phase if you want to.  mix it up and split ads among the news feed, stories, and in the right hand column to optimize your placements.  if you choose all placements rather than split testing your ad placements Facebook ads manager will provide the breakdown by placement. Take a look at the click-through rate for each and every placement on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger and see what is working for you.

Attribution Windows

The attribution window for your cold ads needs to match your sales cycle. If it takes 7 days to make an offer in your email sequence, your attribution window needs to be at least seven days.

After you’ve found your cold audiences, establish your ad frequency, duplicate interest targeting based on the ones that are working for you, and implement lookalike audiences. Continue the process to find and use new cold audiences.

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SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.