Maybe you’re not sure how to test new audiences, how big your audience size should be, how to properly use ‘and’ factors, or how to walk the line between being really specific with your targeting, but not so specific and narrow that you’re not able to reach enough people.
If you resonated with one (or more!) of the above, then I’ve got a special treat for you, my friend.
In today’s episode of The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, I’m diving into all of the above and sharing strategies that will help you instantly improve your ad targeting.
No more guessing, no more giving up. Tune in and receive all the clarity you need to master your targeting!
What shifts will you be making to your targeting after listening in? Send me all the deets over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello everybody. How are y’all doing? I hope you guys are having a good week and a good end to quarter one. We are doing quarterly planning and then monthly planning. And I always cannot believe like, wow, we’re in a whole nother quarter. I feel like I say that a lot, but it feels like maybe the last two years especially is just, time just flies. And you feel like, oh, I have a quarter to get all these projects done and you can’t wait, and then all of a sudden the quarter’s over. So I tried to keep our planning so that it is realistic and we can accomplish a lot of our projects and we do a pretty good job. We try and hit about 80%, but I tend to over think what I can, not overthink, but over ambitiously plan for what we can, and think I have more time than we do. I’m sure a lot of you entrepreneurs can relate to that.
So in today’s episode, I want to walk through some ways you can instantly improve your ad targeting. This is inspired because every Monday on our ads team, one of our ads managers does a mini presentation case study where they talk about an account that was potentially not hitting their goals, that was struggling, and then how they overcame it, how they got the cost per lead down, or improve the purchases, or improve the overall return on ad spend and kind of what their process was. It’s great because I learn a lot from it for content like this, and then also our whole ads team learns from it and is able to get ideas to take to all of the rest of our client accounts, so it’s a really cool process. I enjoy every one and we’ve been doing it for the last probably month. It’s been a newer one. We’ve always talked and collaborated, but we made it a little bit more structured where there’s an actual, like mini presentation case study for the team to walk through.
One of the most recent ones was really heavily focused on how they got the cost per lead down to a webinar funnel, and specifically some targeting tips that they talked about. So I wanted to bring those to the podcast and get you guys thinking. I always think targeting is not as high priority as messaging. So I want to preface with that because I talk about this a lot, and one of the most important things you can do to improve your ad results is improve your messaging. That’s kind of the top priority, because usually when you have too high cost per click, or too high cost per lead, or conversion, or purchase, there’s opportunity for you to improve your messaging, improve your ad headlines, improve the copy, improve the images, have a video put out there. That has definitely more weight than targeting, because also, if you feel like I’m for sure targeting my audience, I’m targeting interests or demographic information that I know my audience is in that audience, and you’re not getting conversions, or you’re not getting hitting your cost per result goals, usually you need to turn to the messaging, but always room to improve targeting. And it’s obviously a factor in improving your ad results.
So one of the things that this ads manager was talking about in her case study was around how she just improved the targeting and tried to go deeper with the targeting. One thing we’re seeing right now is there’s definitely a lot of audiences that everybody targets. So if you target the main interests, let’s say you’re in the business space and you’re targeting Marie Forleo, and Amy Porterfield, and Gary Vaynerchuk, and Social Media Examiner. Those are all the very general targeting ones that a lot of other people are targeting, right? So you’re in a very competitive space now. Not to say that those don’t work, those are audiences I use in my own account and my team runs and they work great, but also it’s great to experiment and ask yourself, how could you create an audience that’s a little bit more specific or different than what everybody else is out there so you’re not in this highly competitive space.
And maybe you test that against also doing those more general audiences. So thinking about tools that your customer uses, interests they have, shopping habits, what they read, what they watch, allows you to get more specific. What you can do there is have and factor. So maybe you know that your customer uses the specific business tool or app, or they have the specific shopping habit, and you pair that with Marie Forleo or Amy Porterfield audience, and you have that as one and factor. Allowing yourself to get specific like that hopefully creates an audience that has a little bit less competitiveness in it and less saturation. So it’s great to test that. One exercise you can do is that if you actually haven’t created ads before, if you just go into the ad set level and you start typing in keywords in the targeting box, Facebook will give you a ton of other options, a ton of other ideas. And so I’ve definitely talked about using audience insights before, which is another way you can do this, but I really like, and our team really likes, actually just going into the ad set level and playing around, clicking around their different categories and options they have. It’ll give you a bunch of options.
So one audience that works for us all the time is just lead generation. And you’d think like, how does Facebook know that people are interested in lead generation? But they know somehow, and they’ve combined their data and have this audience of people who are interested in lead generation, and it’s one of our top converting audiences for my own ads. So we found that by doing this research. One thing you would do is, for example, if you typed in lead generation on Facebook, it would then give you a bunch of other options, a bunch of other targeting options. And so I really encourage you if you’re running ads now, or you’re planning to run ads, that you try and mix in your targeting so that you have a couple of really good, clear audiences like Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield. If you’re in the health and wellness space, those might be like Weight Watchers, or a specific influencer that maybe follows the paleo diet, like Rob Bull for the paleo mom, or you’ve got the keto diet. Like those are really obvious ones, right?
Then take it to the next level and also test out how do I test some more specific audiences? Now they might not work and convert for your account, but at least you’re testing them. I oftentimes think that people don’t do enough testing in their campaigns and they just choose like three audiences and then that is their result, and they either turn it off and give up, or they settle with that cost. I think you should test several audiences, especially if you’re new, because especially if you haven’t run ads, you have no idea what’s going to convert for your campaigns. I would definitely test at least two, over the course of a month, different audiences that are this specific audience. If you play around and just ask yourself, what are, again, tools that your customer uses and specific interests that you can find when you go play around in that ad set level, shopping habits, things they read, things they watch. And then pair that with sometimes a influencer that makes it so that it’s in your niche. So for example, you could have people who follow Weight Watchers and like stars. If that’s your audience, for example. And then test that out. What does it do?
And I always like to say the most your goal to be out with your money is your daily budget. So let’s say you’re spending $25 a day. You want to test three or four different new audiences in a campaign. Then spend it for two days, and the most you’re going to spend is $50. You’re going to decide from there and see what worked and what didn’t work, what got clicks, what didn’t get clicks, what got conversions or purchases and what didn’t. Then allow that to make decisions moving forward about what audiences you should take into a new campaign and keep doing that.
I recently did a podcast about not being gun shy with your ads, because I see this a lot. People freeze. They try to run a campaign with like three audiences. It totally doesn’t work, or it doesn’t work how they’re expecting it to work, and so then they just turn the whole campaign off and they don’t know what step to take next. Just start a new campaign with new audiences and keep the creative the same for a couple of days and just try that. Then if that doesn’t work, change your creative and try different. You kind of have to not be afraid to just do that and just start taking action, and start making moves, and changing things. and trying to optimize things, and then see what happens. The worst that’s gonna happen is you’re gonna be out your daily budget, but going to learn from that. And so it’s a positive investment.
People ask me often, how long do I let an ad sit before I decide that it’s not working? Our general rule of thumb, so this would be relevant to like, if you’re testing new targeting in a campaign, if your ad goes longer than 72 hours, and it’s more than two times your cost per result goal. So that could be cost per purchase or cost per lead. So let’s say your cost per lead goal is $5 and you ran your ad your campaign for three days, and your average cost per lead was $20. Then I would turn that off. It’s too high. We’ve got to make some changes and relaunch a new campaign and relaunch either new audiences or new creative. Relaunch it, do that again. So 72 hours, and if it’s above one and a half to two times your goal cost per result. So if that was a cost per purchase, let’s say your goal cost per purchase is $25 and you run it for three days and you’re at a hundred dollars, turn that off and retry things.
The other thing that comes up a lot when people are testing their targeting is they say, well, do I just throw in new things into my campaign creative and targeting? And the answer is no. If you change out your creative or you have new targeting to test, I would create a new campaign in most cases, because with campaign budget optimization, which is where Facebook takes your budget, spreads it out across your ad sets and audiences that you selected in that campaign. If you go throw a new audience in there, an ad set into a campaign that’s already been optimizing, you’re going to throw the whole thing off. It’s just like in the old days, like two, three years ago before campaign budget optimization, if you went in and edited an ad set, and you just change the targeting to something that was already going, it threw it all off. So if you’re going to change your creative, if you’re going to add in a couple of targeting options, do it in a new campaign so you can start fresh.
And keep your other campaign, if it’s working, on, or if it’s close to working, on. So if you’re going three days, 72 hours and not turning it off, unless it’s over two times the result, then it’s important to make sure it’s not close. And so people make the mistake, well okay. Let’s say my goal cost per lead is $5 and I’m at $8 and I’m like, well, it’s over, it’s been three days. I’m gonna turn my whole campaign off. You could have got it down to $5 if you would’ve let it sit potentially for a couple more days. So if it’s looking promising, if it’s optimizing, don’t turn it off. Usually the first couple of days when you’re running a campaign are the worst while Facebook’s figuring it out while it’s optimizing, while your pixel is optimizing. So you don’t want to turn it off too early. So that’s the general, the general rule of thumb.
So the title of this podcast was how to instantly improve your targeting. And so how you can instantly improve your targeting and is honestly doing more testing and trying to find some specific creative audiences that is not as saturated as the standard ones out there. Then just see how those convert compared to the standard ones are compared to what you’ve run before or in the past, and compare that. You might find a really great goldmine of a winner, or it might not work for you, but at least you tried it and at least you improved it. Usually you’re going to get to a place where, especially if you want to keep scaling and improving your ads, that you have to test new things, and try new things, and try these creative audiences.
The last thing I want to point out in here is and factors. So sometimes people make the mistake of getting too specific. So they’ll be like, okay, I’m going to create my dream audience. They have to follow Amy Porterfield and Marie Forleo and Russell Brunson, and shop at Starbucks, and buy ClickFunnels, and like all these and factors. In theory, that should be my ideal person if they like all those things. Well, if you make your audience too small doing that, it’s, it’s not going to work. And so typically if you’re using and factors, the general strategy is use them to get your audience size where you want them and making sure that it’s specific enough. So you obviously wouldn’t target everybody who likes Amazon, because that has nothing to do with your industry. It’s not specific enough, so you’d have to pair Amazon with something else. Also, if you have an audience that’s 10 million in size and you use and factors, you’re able to get that a little bit more specific, but if you have an audience that’s a million to 3 million, that’s fine and you don’t have to have and factor to make that more specific.
The last thing around this around audience sizes, generally, what we do is try to keep our audience sizes that are within a campaign around the same size. So if you’re going for audiences that are around 1 million in potential reach size, you wouldn’t want to also have audiences in that campaign that are like 10 million, or 30 million, or 5 million. It’s too big of a range. So you’d want to be all around 1 million in size. So you could use and factors to get your audiences around that size. Use and factors to be specific, but to also create the audience size that you want and don’t make it so specific and so small that then it doesn’t convert. Because Facebook doesn’t like it when you try to over-control it and be like, I’m going to get it to this top 10,000 people that are my ideal dream customer. In theory it should work, but it never does. If you try and way over control and overpower Facebook’s algorithms and try to outsmart it, it won’t work.
One way people do that is they get way too crazy with their and factors and they’ll get this tiny audience and think that oh, it’s okay because it’s a specific audience. Again, in theory sounds like a good idea, a good strategy. I’ve never seen it actually work. So use and factors to get your audience around the same size within your campaign and use them to get specific. Like I said, if you’re targeting a very broad targeting option, like Amazon, like Starbucks, like, I don’t know, any of those very broad ones, use an and factor to bring it into your industry, to your niche, and test that out. So there are my strategies on how to instantly improve your ad targeting.