014 - 9. (Ad)Set 'em Up & Knock 'em Down
Part II-F: The Business (continued)
If you've been following this entire Facebook series (8 previous posts), I'm sure by now you are starting to realize how deep this rabbit hole really goes. There is just too much information to tackle in posts such as this, but the gaps are easily filled with testing and experience. As we continue our discussion on Ad Sets, we need to further define the target audience tools that Facebook offers. In the previous post, we gave a very generic overview of a Target Audience and how to narrow the focus to a select group of users based on a variety of input variables (age, location, interests, etc.) To take this a step further, Facebook allows a business to save, edit, and replicate audiences for complimentary or future marketing campaigns. To demonstrate this, we will create a fictitious Ad Set for our friends at Parody Tease.
To start, we will select an Engagement Campaign Type (refer to post 011 for more details). For the purposes of this exercise, we will skip over the chronological steps, and jump right into the Audience build section of the Ad Set. To coincide with Super Bowl week, we will use Parody Tease's mock product of Tampa Bay and Kansas City to build our audiences. This project will build two separate Ad Sets using the same campaign type. All relative analytics will funnel through the same campaign source and provide us results under one umbrella. To start, we will target football fans in the Kansas City area. Logic will dictate that the majority of residents in this area are KC fans, and therefore will be rooting against TB in this years Super Bowl. Therefore, we begin our input by setting our location settings to Kansas City, MO & Kansas City, KS (neighboring cities), setting our age demographics from 18-55, all genders, and then get to to detailed targeting. This one requires much more thought and key words in order to narrow the field of users to those who will engage with our content. Using phrases as broad as 'football', 'fan', 'super bowl', will begin the process of yielding quality results. The algorithm will focus on users in the KC area, who have any engagement affiliation with 'football', 'fan', 'super bowl', and whatever else you input as an attribute. For the purposes of this campaign, we want to exclude TB fans who happen to be in the location of our choosing. Therefore, we select the sub-category option for excluding any TB fan. Once we have these inputs defined, we are ready to save our audience.
If you think about how massive Facebook is, there is literally no budget large enough that can target all users on the platform. Therefore, Facebook offers what is called a 'lookalike audience' in order to target all attributes to a completely different crop of users. Generally, this tool is very useful for targeting the same type of users in various locations. In our little example, that means targeting KC fans in various pockets around the country or world. The defined variables align with the original input and Facebook will target users who resemble the same qualifications. As you build out your A/B tests, this tool is extremely useful for replicating a campaign that has proven to have success. So we now have a better idea of what value the target marketing tools have. To summarize the concept in brief, think of your business standing on a mountain with a pair of binoculars. Down below, there are millions and millions of users. You can scan the crowd with your binoculars, but you're ultimately playing a game of Where's Waldo. Each time you define a user variable, you eliminate sections of the crowd...until the only ones left in sight are those who will be most likely to engage with your campaign.
We have the 'when' & 'who' defined at this point...now comes the 'where', known as Placements. Facebook has 7 different placement options, each with sub-category selections (17 placements in total) where you can run your campaigns:
Feeds: a. Facebook News Feed (1:1) and (4:5) b. Instagram News Feed (1:1) and (4:5) c. Facebook Marketplace (1:1) and (4:5) d. Facebook Video Feed (1:1) and (4:5) e. Facebook Right Column (1.91:1) f. Instagram Explore (1:1) and (4:5) g. Messenger Inbox (1:1)
Stories: a. Instagram Stories (9:16) b. Facebook Stories (9:16) c. Messenger Stories (9:16)
In-Stream: a. Facebook In-Stream Video (16:9) and (1:1)
Search: a. Facebook Search Results (1.91:1) and (1:1)
Messages: a. Messenger Sponsored Messages (1.91:1)
In-Article: a. Facebook Instant Articles (1.91:1)
Apps and Sites: a. Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial (9:16) b. Audience Network Rewarded Video (9:16) c. Audience Network In-Stream Video (16:9)
It is important to note, that many of these require different ad file types, sizes, and calls to action. We will expand more on this in the Ad section of this series. For now, you will notice the ratios next to each placement to showcase an overview of the variety of content types that will be needed for the Ad section. Another important point to keep in mind is that not all placements are available for every campaign type. Facebook will help navigate the appropriate placements based on your campaign selection. A more friendly option is to simply have Facebook determine which placements are going to yield the best results for your campaign & ad. Selecting AUTOMATIC PLACEMENT here will trigger Facebook to maximize your budget and help show your ads to more people. Facebook's delivery system will allocate your ad set's budget across multiple placements based on where they're likely to perform at their best. As you become more familiar with the algorithm and tendencies, however, you may want to manually instruct the placements to funnel traffic through appropriate platforms (ie. Instagram).
The final category in the Ad Set section is very rarely tinkered with by the ad manager. Facebook's algorithm is very well set up to optimize your inputs based on the users defined in the target audience. However, if you feel that your business is in a bidding war with competitors, you can further define how the budget is allocated across the placements.
So, we're now at the end of Step 2. Be warned, this section is not a step-by-step guide to setting up your ad set...it is merely an overview. To learn more about how to effectively define these variables for your business, I encourage you to review the Facebook Business Manual and run tests yourself...you will quickly see which ones are performing and which ones are not. On the next post we will start our conversation on the final step of creating our marketing campaign...the Ad.