Facebook advertising is one of the best advertising platforms out there when it comes to where people spend their time. It also has the added bonus of letting local businesses get really granular with Facebook targeting so that ads get shown to literally whomever you want. So if you want to show your ad to only women who are 36 years old, live in New Jersey, and also like Cross Fit, no problem — you can do that.
But… it’s important not to get too focused on targeting interests when you’re already focused on a specific geographic area.
How Important is Facebook Targeting?
Let’s say you own a yoga studio and your ideal clients are women between 30 -50 who make at least $60,000/ year and like fitness and healthy foods.
Already, this is pretty niche. But while it can be tempting to filter even further based on your ideal client’s interests, it’s going to be very difficult to get your ad in front of enough prospects if you add in too many criteria (the gender, age, income, mile radius, the list goes on). There very well may be 500 or so potential customers in your area, but there aren’t necessarily that many people who list all of those things on their Facebook profiles. Add in the fact that there are probably other studios in your area (usually a 5 miles radius for local businesses) targeting the same audience, and your chance of actually bringing in enough leads decreases even more. Also keep in mind that you want to target at least 40,000 people in your reach.
The more granular your search criteria, the stronger your filter becomes.
Another concern is that most local businesses aren’t able to use all of their advertising budget when they add too many criteria. This is especially true if the business relies on customers coming to them, like a fitness studio.
Even then, avoid using all of the targeting methods available in the Facebook platform unless working on a national or global scale. The more granular you get with your Facebook targeting, the lower your potential reach.
How We Do It
Instead of getting caught up in advertising to those with specific interests, target the proper zip codes, gender, and age group. Those 3 are gold and that’s exactly how we do it at Loud Rumor.
Women are more likely than men to claim offers and are more willing to visit a new gym that offers a free trial. We also know that women under the age of 28 are less likely to make $50,000 a year, so we focused on women between the ages of 28 and 55.
Lastly, we know that women in zip code A are more likely to make a good income versus women in zip code B, based on the average cost of homes in the area and the type of businesses nearby. When we did this for another client, it got 427 leads in 31 days….
And here’s the thing: If you set up your Facebook campaign in a pay-per-click model, which you should be doing, you only pay when people click on your ads.
So if a 40-year-old woman in your target zipcode has zero interest of getting in shape, she’s not going to click on the ad. It’s in front of her, but it’s not going to cost you anything. Now you get to use that budget for the next person — someone who is more likely to click on your ad, go to your website, and sign up for your classes.
Refine Your Audience
The longer your ads run, the more time you have to collect data on the people who click. As time goes on, you’ll learn what the people who convert have in common — maybe they’re all in their 30s, live in zip code B, etc. Once you find all of this out, you’ll eventually notice what interests they share too.
That being said, now is the point where you can start adding interests to your targeting. This way you can be only focused on showing your ads to people who actually become leads more often.
Without spending any more money, you’ll be able to drive more leads — meaning your cost per lead is lower and your profit per customer is higher.
So although Facebook targeting is a great tool for many local businesses, unfortunately the thing that makes it so awesome is usually the thing that crumbles businesses’ ability to be so successful: the ability to get extremely narrow in their targeting.
Don’t fall for all the wonderful bells and whistles and use every feature possible. If you do, it may cause you to not get your ad in front of enough people. This is what leads so many businesses to think that Facebook was never a good advertising option for them, when you were just 3 feet from gold.
How do you use Facebook targeting for your local business? Tell us in the comments below.
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.
Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.