Think native advertising is fresh AF, but wondering how to use it to actually get your message heard by your audience? Well strap in, as I take you through some of of the most powerful marketing tools you can leverage - native Facebook advertising. If you can get to grips with the targeting tools in the backend of Ads Manager on FB, you'll be well on your way to marketing success.

The focus here is on Facebook is because 1) that's where your audience is most definitely playing, and 2) advertising options on Facebook are probably the most robust of all social platforms. Everyone else is playing follow the leader - at least now that FB has really ramped up its investment in turning the platform into an advertising powerhouse.

So let's take a look at a few ways you can turn your ad campaigns from scattergun to sniper rifle.


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1. Target your audience where it counts

At first glance you'll find that FB audience targeting allows you to segment audiences by general location, age, job title and interests. Fairly intuitive stuff, but overall pretty basic. If you dig a little deeper, you'll find that you can target your ads to people based on their lifestyle, income, household composition and most importantly even their recent, physical activities; a level of detail that can be hugely useful.

It may be no surprise to you that people often book their next holiday just after they come home - heck, some will book before they even finish their current holiday! We all know about the younger generations' wanderlust and the fact that they suffer from extreme FOMO.

We also know that timing is key to selling - so if you're in the travel, tourism or events industry, you really want to be utilising a feature that's lurking in FB's audience builder. That tool is - behaviour targeting. You can serve your ads to audiences based on their recent actions in the real-world, not just their digital surfing. That's right, big brother Zuckerberg knows when someone will most likely have an insatiable urge to re-book based on all the photos they've recently posted sipping cocktails poolside, riding elephants or making tracks in some sweet powder.



Your business doesn't even have to be in the same industry - this information can be extremely useful to even remotely related businesses. 

For example: a Balinese furniture company can target its ads to people who've recently come back from 2 weeks luxuriating and becoming Yogis in Ubud, Bali. Or a Japanese restaurant can capitalise on the insatiable lust for Gyoza when people come back from riding the Shinkansen up and down Japan.

Take a moment to pause and identify the behaviours of your audience that may make them interested in your business - whether consciously or subconsciously - and see if you can't tailor your marketing to capitalise on these behaviours.


2. Hit up the Doppelgangers

If you've made sales online or in-store, had people sign up to your newsletter, or have even had people attend an event, you need to leverage the hell out of their information. Why? Because these people have shown a clear interest in your product / service, and if they do, then others who share their traits will too. FB's Custom Audience feature makes it easy to identify people on Facebook who match your existing customers and serve up some in-feed ads to them. All you have to do is create an Excel file that contains their email and upload to FB! Personal information is hashed for security, but suddenly you'll find you've got a potential audience made up of users on FB who closely match the interests of your existing database.

If you want to take it to the next level, I'd recommend separating your database into lists made up of converted, prospective and lost customers. Then figure out what their pain points were (in the case of the unconverted) and how you can help them. Next thing you know the topics you need to talk about in your advertising are right in front of you and your audiences are targeted just right!


3. Slide right into their DMs with Facebook Messenger

If you thought FB ads only provided one-way communication, well then you're in for a real treat. You can, in fact, strike up a conversation with your audience by linking your ads to messenger. When someone clicks the Call-to-Action button in your ad - be it an offer, a video, or carousel - a chat box pops ups and opens up the opportunity for a prospect (and you) to take action instantly. It also means you have the opportunity to get your sales hat on and convert as you would in a traditional sales sense. With messenger ads you can have a real-time conversation with your audience. You can prompt them for more information about themselves, provide them links to related reviews, articles or products and they too can do the same. Hell, you can have people reserve items through chat; tables at restaurants, items in-store, appointment times etc.

This feature is particularly invaluable for achieving the level of engagement and intuitiveness that people are now so keen on receiving. Despite the rhetoric around how everyone has become of advertisers, don't underestimate how much they love a personal approach.

When you're messing with Messenger ads, you might consider taking up one of those fancy Messenger bots to instantly reply to people. I highly recommend testing this out thoroughly before you hit 'GO', because more often than not people are going to break your bot.

Oh and one more thing - if you're going to take on a Messenger ad campaign, make sure you devote time to monitoring activity and answering enquiries as they come in. You need to be ready to give the right information, or you've probably lost the opportunity before you had it!

That's my little list of campaign superchargers - but there are plenty more to be found. At the end of the day, testing out new features and having a play is well worth the time investment - you might just find the key to killing it with your customers.

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