Facebook Advertising: Targeting Personas

General Motors made bold claims in 2012 that Facebook advertising showed “little impact on consumers’ car purchases”, sparking a larger discussion among marketers – is it really worth the dollars spent? With the recent release of partner categories, which is targeting that’s created by third party data providers qualifying individuals into certain lifestyle groups based on off-Facebook activity, Facebook has taken a huge step in putting to rest claims that its paid advertising services do little to affect consumer purchases and offer ineffective, immeasurable results.

Partner categories join the list of options available only in the Power Editor, a more robust alternative to Facebook’s standard Ads Manager. Available only in Google Chrome, the Power Editor allows advertisers to optimize based on specific goals and track conversions to measure ROI, specify ad placement across all operating devices and access partner categories that identify offline/online behavioral targeting options. We believe that the release of partner categories has strengthened the case to advertise on Facebook when advertisers previously might have felt more confident advertising on Google.

Since January 2013, advertisers have had the option to place a tracking pixel on a website to measure conversions from Facebook ads. However, the Power Editor gives advertisers using Optimized CPM the ability to automatically set ads to optimize based on established goals: app installs, offer claims, check-ins, comments, page likes, page post likes, mentions, posts on a page, shares, offsite link clicks and accumulated revenue. This dynamic bidding allows the system to capture the highest-value impressions based on how much the fulfillment of a particular goal is worth to an advertiser. Forty-seven percent of users say Facebook has the most impact on their purchases, and Facebook is the leading source of reference traffic for websites. We believe the landscape has never been more opportune for advertisers to establish an optimized, ROI-driven paid social media campaign.

Through the Power Editor, advertisers have the ability to specify ad placement on Facebook and to the 54 percent of users that visit Facebook via Smartphone. Ad placements include the News Feed and right-hand column on desktop, and the News Feed on mobile. In addition, advertisers can place ads across all mobile devices, Android devices only, iOS devices only, feature phones or only on phones connected to Wi-Fi.

With 80 percent of Internet users saying they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook, evok feels very strongly that it has never been more important to perfect the way a brand connects with its ideal consumer. Facebook’s partner categories leverage third-party data from Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon and works with other Facebook targeting options so that advertisers can more precisely refine their campaigns to reach only the right people. The offline and online behavioral targeting within partner categories includes job role, household size and hobbies and extends to vehicle purchase propensity, investment categories, grocery store purchase behavior, primary payment method for purchases, subscriptions and lifestyle categories such as corporate executives, Baby Boomers and green consumers. We believe ‘Big Brother’ now has some competition from the world’s largest and most influential social network as advertisers now have access to demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral data through partner categories to reach their exact target audience.

For example, your next door neighbor, Sally, can be targeted through partner categories: 35,066,540 American women 22-45 years old who are shopping enthusiasts that spend above the average online and at retail stores on toys, baby products and children’s apparel. They are considered trendy homemakers and young & hip moms that make purchases primarily with credit cards at standard retail stores and are most likely to buy a new full-size van.

Your surly teenaged brother can be targeted through partner categories: 1,042,360 American men 13-17 years old who are considered gamers and gadget geeks, have an iPad 3 and an iPhone 5 and make purchases primarily on computers and electronics.

Even your grandma can be targeted through partner categories: 12,858,120 American women 50-64 years old who are retired, considered affluent Baby Boomers, are most likely to buy a new Cadillac, donate to conservative political causes and purchase senior fashions and geriatric supplies from Main Street retail.

Pretty incredible information for marketers to have at their fingertips, right?

As Facebook’s conversion tracking, placement ability and targeting expands, so should the flexibility and knowledge of advertisers. Facebook Advertising’s new features, epitomized by the release of partner categories, illustrate its commitment to continually optimize its own platform. The future of Facebook Advertising mirrors the ideal Facebook Advertising campaign – every day is better than the day before. After all, even General Motors is on board again.