If you want to get in front of your target market with  compelling digital ads, you have to do it where they live online.

More and more, that place is Facebook.

Sure, there are a lot of niche places on the Web where you'll find pockets of people interested in any number of things. But pretty well everyone and their brother is now on Facebook.

On the average day, 1.09 billion people are active on Facebook, according to the social network itself. Each month 1.65 billion people use Facebook, the vast majority of them--1.51 billion--accessing the site from a mobile device.

Finding the needle in that massive haystack.

This was the problem with Facebook early on. Sure, there were a ton of users, but how in the heck were you supposed to get in front of the right people?

A lot of advertisers criticized Facebook back then. It lacks intent, they said. People aren't interested in being advertised to, they said. You're wasting money broadcasting to the wrong people, they said.

Facebook heard those criticisms and over the past five years, it's focused in all the right areas to improve its advertising service.

It went all-in on mobile.  Clearly, that was the right play.

It got rid of those desktop sidebar ads in favor of native, in-stream ads its users couldn't help but see and engage with. Another savvy move.

Best of all, Facebook created a ton of ad-targeting parameters that help marketers home in on just the right users. In fact, you can go so laser-targeted with Facebook Ads that you can target individuals. Remember this story from 2014, where a guy used Facebook targeting to creep out his roommate by showing him ads designed just for him?

Now, I don't think you should get that specific, but getting to know these amazing ad-targeting options will help you find just the right segments to target with way more personalized messaging.

This gets really powerful when you start layering Facebook ad-targeting parameters over one another. Demographics are great--it may be really useful for you to target people of a certain age, in a specific city. But then imagine layering a particular interest over that, so suddenly you're targeting only the people in that demographic pocket who are interested in your industry.

You can go even further and target certain behaviors, like digital activities or recent purchases. These insights are based on real-world data and can tell you more about the people you're reaching out to, enabling you to meet them with super specific offers they're more likely to respond to.

The sky's the limit! My team at WordStream just released an epic infographic with all of Facebook's targeting options--dig in and keep it handy as you brainstorm more effective ways to target your own audiences.

 

Image credit: Wordstream.com

 

Published on: Jul 19, 2016