Lead Generation with Facebook – Campaign Objectives and Target Audiences

Facebook asserts that it has more than 1.4 billion users with more than 900 million visiting the site every day. Such an extraordinarily large audience is certainly attractive to marketers for potential lead generation, but also so large as to be unwieldy. Facebook offers paid advertising with tools and options to help marketers reach targeted Facebook users with their content.

Facebook Ads

    1. Facebook Ads are placed in a user’s newsfeed, the stream of information a user views on Facebook, where the ads are likely to be seen. Facebook ads can be a powerful channel for generating leads with (1) specifically defined campaign objectives; and (2) sophisticated targeting to refine the audience. A future article will discuss the ability to test options and access metrics of a

lead generation

     campaign to clearly measure its success.

Campaigns Objective

    1. The first step is to define a “

Campaign Objective

    1. ,” which is how an advertiser wants people to react when they see the ad. Facebook offers a number of different choices, which could apply to a lead generation campaign. These include: (1) “send people to your website,” (2) “increase conversions on your website”, (3) “promote your page,” (4) “reach people near your business,” or (5) “raise attendance at your event.”

A particularly direct and useful objective is to increase website conversions, having the user link to the company’s website and take some specific action. The conversion might be something such as the user providing an email address in exchange for some offer on a gated landing page. The conversions are tracked by inserting a conversion pixel on the destination landing page, the page where people will be taken once they have completed the action.

Targeting the Audience for the Ad Sets

    1. A most compelling capability with Facebook ads is the ability to structure the target audience using an extensive range of variables and criteria. This can be done by using standard variables such as demographics of geographic location, age, gender, relationship status or language. There are significantly more options – advertisers can also build a target audience using additional variables generally termed “Interests,” “Behaviors” or “Connections” (people who like a page or app, and their friends); or create “Custom Audiences” from criteria of their choosing.

Marketers have almost unlimited possibilities of layering and filtering using the criteria. They can layer the variables on top of each other, making the target audience more and more defined. They can also refine the target audience by using criteria as filters to remove specific groups or subgroups.

The options, variable and criteria are so varied and detailed that they allow the structure of a remarkably specific target audience. Adweek reported last year the story of a marketing professional who tested the ability to “hyper-target” by playing a joke on his roommate. He basically created a campaign with the Facebook options with a target audience of one with ads running on the roommate’s Facebook page so specific to the roommate that he became paranoid that he was being cyber stalked.

Targeting by Interests

    Advertisers can structure an audience using “Interests,” which builds the audience based on various activities of users on Facebook, such as information they’ve added to their timeline, interests and hobbies, keywords associated with pages they like, apps they use, ads they’ve clicked on and other sources.

Targeting by Behaviors

    Advertisers can also use “Behaviors” to build an audience, various categories of user activities such as purchase behaviors, travel preferences, etc. The audience is constructed from both a user’s activity on Facebook and offline activity, based upon data from Facebook’s data mining partners such as Datalogix, Epsilon or Acxiomsuch. The behaviors can be designated in remarkable detail.
    The following is the initial tier of categories:
      1. Automotive


      1. Charitable Donations


      1. Digital Activities


      1. Financial


      1. Mobile Device User


      1. Purchase Behavior


      1. Residential Profiles


    1. Travel
    Under each of these is a dropdown of subcategories. For example, the dropdowns under charitable donations are as follows:
      1. • All Charitable Donations


      1. • Animal Welfare


      1. • Arts and Cultural


      1. • Children’s Interests


      1. • Environmental and Wildlife


      1. • Health


      1. • Political


      1. • Religious


      1. • Veterans


    1. • World Relief
    Under each of these subcategories are additional dropdowns with sub-subcategories in even more detail.

To state the obvious, using the detailed categories in “Behaviors” is a very powerful tool for marketers to build a highly targeted audience.

Custom Audiences

    An advertiser can structure a “Custom Audience” in a number of ways. One can be created by uploading a list of names, phone numbers or emails, which might be a list of current customers, past customers, prospects, subscribers, or some other criteria. Facebook will match the data against all active Facebook profiles. A custom audience can also be created by placing a pixel on the marketer’s website in order to create an audience of website visitors, or even visitors to a specific page.

Lookalike Audiences

    1. Once an advertiser has created a Custom Audience, it then also has the option to create a “Lookalike Audience.” This creates an distinct audience of users similar to or who look like the users in a Custom Audience already created by uploading a list or using a pixel to capture website visitors as described above. If the Custom Audience is of existing customers, the Lookalike Audience will be built with Facebook users with similar profiles, a group that would seemingly have a high interest in similar products or services.

In creating a Lookalike Audience, the advertiser can choose to optimize (1) for similarity in which case Facebook will scan the country selected and use the top one percent to build the audience; or (2) to optimize for greater reach, in which case Facebook will use the top five percent. The larger the group, the greater it will deviate from the profile of the base audience.

Facebook advertising can be a powerful channel for lead generation, especially given the vast pool of users, the Campaign Objectives available and the many options to structure an audience. Marketers have the opportunity to generate high quality leads by delivering well-crafted advertising and offers tailored to a precise audience.

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