Thoughtful marketing to make you stand out

Most small businesses consider Facebook as probably the key channel to reach and engage potential customers.

Saying that, you shouldn’t use Facebook simply because everyone else is.

If you have undertaken the necessary work to identify your ideal client and have established that Facebook is a key channel to reach and engage them, then here is an example of how knowing your ideal client can also help you get more out of Facebook advertising you do. In particular, being smarter about who you reach and how you position yourself. All contributing to better performing Facebook advertising.

Who are you targeting?

Say you live in Reading and sell skin care products. Your ideal client is based locally to you. She is in her 40s with decent amount of disposable income – your products are excellent quality and are priced to reflect that.  From working through her persona, you have identified that healthy skin is part of a wider goal that she has for better health and wellbeing. She visits day spas and is also interested in healthy eating, yoga, Pilates and mindfulness.

When setting up your target audience for your Facebook advert, you start with the mandatory targeting requirements. That is, gender, which you mark as female, age – say 35 – 49 and location – Reading UK plus 25-mile radius.

This level of targeting will give you a potential reach of 190,000. However, a fair proportion of that number may well not be your target audience. They’re either not in the right income bracket or may simply not be that interested in investing the required time and money on their skin care, or their wider health and well-being.

This is where properly knowing your ideal client starts to pay dividends.

First focus in

When creating your ad set, after you have reached the Audience section and have completed the basic audience requirements and are moving onto the ‘Detailed’ targeting section, knowing your ideal client means you can really tailor your audience to fit your ideal client.

To afford your products she needs to be living in a household with a relatively healthy income.

Selecting ‘Demographics’, then’ Financial’, then ‘Income’, followed by households with income higher than £35k narrows your audience size to 59,000 but will make sure you are targeting people who can afford your products.

However, this number includes any local woman between 35 and 49 with this income. You want to make sure you are targeting people who are potentially interested in your product. An obvious choice based on your ideal client persona would be Skin Care. By selecting ‘narrow your audience’ then typing in Skin Care to the search box and then selecting it will set the potential reach of your advert to 1,900.

Technically you could stop here. But it is a very narrow audience. You have gone from too broad now to too narrow. Really knowing your ideal client will help you broaden your reach again.

Increase your reach whilst maintaining your focus

You discovered during your exercise to identify and understand your ideal client that their interest in skin care stems from a wider interest in their health and well-being.  Therefore, adding in Spas to your targeting increases reach to 17,000. Browsing for fitness and wellness and then selecting meditation, nutrition and yoga will increase it to 27,000. Then searching for and adding mindfulness and Pilates will increase it to 28,000.

So, you have significantly increased your reach but have remained targeted. These are people who can afford your products and who care about looking after themselves and are interested in a wider drive for health and well-being, of which skin care forms a part.

A number won’t have shown a direct interest in skin care on Facebook – in fact only 1,900 did – but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested. Facebook simply doesn’t know they are. I know I fall into that category.

But you would have identified during your persona work that they would be interested in wider health and well-being. The result - you will reach women who are in fact your target that you otherwise would have missed!

Wider benefits

Understanding that you are not just selling skin care products but part of a wider solution allows you start thinking strategically. Who else provides a health and well-being solution and has the same (or similar) target audience? Could you form a strategic alliance?

A disclaimer before I finish

The above example is purely hypothetical, created for the purposes of this blog, although the numbers are actual ones generated by Facebook. The broader concept that the blog illustrates is very real!

Other factors will impact your advert performance such as the images and messaging you use, whether you run A/B testing, how you place it, what time you schedule it to be shown, the bid levels and so on. However, knowing your ideal client and using that knowledge when defining your audience will at least make sure you have asked Facebook to put your advert in front of the right people – and not just those who are an obvious fit but those you might have otherwise missed.

Photo credit: ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo