If you have a business that relies on selling products or services online (eCommerce), and you’re skeptical of digital marketing or unaware of the incredible opportunity at your fingertips, we need to talk. Here’s the first thing you need to know:
You can advertise your products online and get an instant bump in sales.
The best part? Once you figure out the right formula for identifying your target audience, which digital channel they peruse, and what type of creative content they react to, the campaigns are easily scalable.
WHY PAID FACEBOOK ADS?
There are plenty of digital sales channels to choose from (Read this article to wrap your head around more online sales channels) but we’ll be focusing on Facebook today because it has the best targeting you can find on the Internet. Why? Because they’ve figured out how to make everything taggable — Users can tag their locations, occupations, and interests (the interests is where things get really… interesting). Facebook also buys massive amounts of data from companies (Ex. Oracle Data Cloud) to further deepen their already amazingly rich user profile information.
WHAT IF MY SHOPPERS AREN’T ON FACEBOOK?
I call B.S. Your shoppers are definitely on Facebook. Why? Because EVERYONE is on Facebook. And even if that one guy you spoke to isn’t (he lied), of the 2.1 billion users that Facebook has, there are 10,000 more similar Facebook users to take his place as your interested buyer.
HOW DO I IDENTIFY MY TARGET AUDIENCE?
So this is where the strategic digital marketing comes into play. It’s important to understand that you can get super granular when choosing your target audience, and by “super-granular,” I mean you can target EXACTLY who you want to see your advertising.
In the old days (circa 5-10 years ago), the only way to identify the size of a potential audience would be to pay a big market research firm for their data. But these days, it’s a whole new ballgame. Facebook allows you to see the “Potential Reach” of the audience you select based on your designated filters BEFORE you spend a dollar. This free data is the difference between only mega companies being able to afford to get their message in front of their target market and any small business being able to afford it. Basically, it makes all the difference in the world.
EXAMPLES OF HOW TO TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE
Say you own Jack’s Ski and Snowboard Shop and you really want to sell your new Xtreme Ski Jacket for Men. At first glance, you probably think, “Well, any guy between the ages of 16-65 could wear this, and I can ship it to anywhere in the United States, so that must be my target audience.”
You are correct. Unfortunately, you haven’t narrowed down your target audience nearly enough. There are ~106 million 16-65-year-old, American men active on Facebook (Facebook claims all of their numbers show only “active” users). This is too many people. (As a rule of thumb, 5,000-25,000 is a good sized target audience to start with because it’s small enough to be specific but big enough to allow us some room to test various campaigns.)
So let’s get more specific:
- Aged 20-45
- Lives in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Maine
- Are interested in “Skiing”
This narrows the target audience down to 210,000.
Maybe we dive in deeper in our interests and we select “Alpine Skiing” rather than simply “Skiing.”
Now, we’re down to 100,000 humans.
Maybe we get rid of Massachusetts and Maine (Everybody knows the real New England mountains are in VT and NH anyways).
Down to 29,000.
And maybe our Xtreme Ski Jacket is a little more expensive than most jackets on the market, so we don’t think 20-24 year old men can afford it, so we change the age range to 25-45.
Boom! We’ve targeted 16,000 humans who are:
- Aged 25-45
- Live in VT or NH
- Are interested in “Alpine Skiing”
This is a good example of one target audience to create a campaign for. But really, your audience selection is just one variable, and great advertisers test campaigns against many variables. So here’s another target audience option we could test:
- Aged 25-45
- Lives in VT or NH
- Are interested in “Skiing”
- Have an annual income between $100,000 – $249,999
Total Audience Size: 15,000
We could make another dozen if we had to. If this was for real (and you were my client), I’d choose 2-4 target audiences to start. (There’s no limit to the number of custom audiences you can create on Facebook.) And once those have been built, it’s time to create the creative.
CREATING THE ADS FOR YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Facebook ads show up in users’ feeds. They look just like one of their friends’ updates. The only difference is a little “Sponsored” tag in the top left. What does this mean for you? It means the “real estate,” or media platform, is unbeatable. It also means that your target audience will appreciate good ads because they’re targeted to them and will hate intrusive ads that they don’t like. This is where great design, strategy, and copywriting come into play.
There are some tools out there you can use to create your own ads, but this is the part where quality goes a long way. MassMonopoly is a team of experienced designers, developers, strategists and writers who will not only help you find your target audience but also create exceptional content that will generate real sales for your business.