9 Questions You MUST Ask Before Running Your Next Facebook Ad Campaign
Picture the scene. It’s Monday morning. You’re late for work. No time for breakfast today. You’ll grab something from that new coffee shop that’s opened up near the office. You’ve been meaning to try them out for a while now anyway. And so, as you walk in through the door, the first thing that hits you is the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
“Mmm… just what I need!” you think to yourself. “I think I’m going to go for an Americano”. The lady behind the counter greets you with a beaming smile. “Good morning!” she says. “What can I get you today? We’ve got a special offer on toilet paper and razor blades are buy one get one free – how many would you like?” “What the heck?” you mutter to yourself as you do a double take. Seems a bit farfetched, right?
Selling toilet paper and razor blades in a coffee shop…. Well actually, maybe not. Let me explain. Open your Facebook feed right now and I’m willing to bet that within 20 seconds you’ll see an ad that you’ve got absolutely zero interest in. And yet, someone somewhere is paying money for that ad to be shown to you, only for you to completely ignore it…or worse yet, click on it out of curiosity with no commercial intent whatsoever. Just like the crazy coffee woman, that Facebook advertiser is targeting the wrong person. Let me let you into a little secret. I’ve learned a lot of lessons as an entrepreneur, especially when it comes to Facebook ads, but…
…the single most important factor to the success or failure of your Facebook ads is how well you can target your audience.
Sure… ad creative, your copy, your landing pages, your offer…they all play a part. But just like the coffee addict needs a coffee – any coffee – in the morning, someone who’s targeting the right audience can make that conversion whether or not their ad creative is amazing, or their Facebook landing page is optimized to the nines.
And that’s why today I’m going to show you my step by step method to hone in on your perfect audience and to GUARANTEE you reach the right people with your ads. Working out this framework took me years of trial and error but I’ve eventually managed to distil it into just 9 questions. By asking this questions and following this exact framework before you run any campaign, you’ll be able to:
- Decrease your ad costs
- Increase your conversion rates (regardless of your objective – sales, lead gen or otherwise)
- Generate more organic reach from people liking, sharing and commenting on the ads
So, let’s jump right into the process: In order to find the perfect audience you need to ask yourself the following 9 questions (don’t worry, no need to memorize them - I’ve created a free download for you which I’ll share in a sec):
- Who are the authority figures, thought leaders or big brands in the market? In other words, who do your prospects look up to?
- What publications (magazines or books) do your prospects read?
- What podcasts do they listen to?
- How about TV shows and movies – is there any that they love?
- And websites? Which sites do they visit daily?
- Are there any events they attend?
- Are they a member of a professional association?
- What are they likely to have studied, and where?
- Are there any tools/software or services they use that other people might not?
So let’s run through an example. Let’s say I want to promote my latest blog post from businessmem.com and I want my ad to be seen by small business owners. As easy as it seems, going into Facebook ads and typing “Small Business” in the targeting section is totally the WRONG way to do things.
Those 44 million people (in the USA alone) are way too broad. Think about it…not all small business owners are the same! Someone who owns an ecommerce store doesn’t have the same needs as someone who owns a butcher. So, rather than go for broad targeting, we’re going to get specific…very specific. Let’s work through the following example together. Let’s assume we’re looking to target online entrepreneurs. The first question we’d ask is:
1. Who are the authority figures in the market?
Doing a google search of “top digital entrepreneurs” or “best internet entrepreneurs to follow” will give you tons of ideas. Often the results will feature lists, making the job even easier for us, as seen below Another way to do this is to head over to Buzzsumo.com (awesome tool) and search for influencers based on your keyword. You may need to experiment a bit with your search terms, but in the example below typing “internet” and “entrepreneur” in quotes worked well. Entering a word in quotes tells Buzzsumo that the results must feature these exact words. As we’re building up this list, we’re going to write them all down on our Google spreadsheet. This is going to form the blueprint to our entire campaign. CLICK HERE TO COPY THIS SPREADSHEET TO YOUR GOOGLE DRIVE The purpose at this stage is to get as many names down as possible. Here’s how my spreadsheet looks after going to one site and writing down some of the results from Buzz Sumo. Depending on your industry you should shoot for at least 50 names but the more you can find, the better. Next, we’re going to head over to Facebook to check whether or not we can actually target based on these interests (i.e. the fans of these influencers). Head to your ads manager, choose any marketing objective - we’re not actually setting up an ad at this point, just doing research - and then select “Create New” audience. In the detailed targeting section we’ll need to enter each of these names one by one to see if any results are found. If there’s no results you’ll see this: If there are results, you’ll see something similar to this: Where one of your influencers are available as a targeting option, select them and you’ll also see other recommendations, all of which you should also add to your spreadsheet in the “Other Recommendations” column. Remember, Facebook has a ton of data on all of their users. If they tell us that people who like person X are also likely to like person Y, that’s not something we should ignore!Here’s how my spreadsheet looks after going through the first few results and adding other recommendations too: Congratulations! You’ve just nailed your first audience to target – people who are fans of authority figures or influencers. Now we move onto the other questions (each as a separate sheet) CLICK HERE TO COPY THIS SPREADSHEET TO YOUR GOOGLE DRIVE We’d repeat this process for all of the questions above, so here’s how I’d approach each of the questions:
2. What publications (magazines or books) do your prospects read?
Head over to Amazon to look at the bestselling books. Make a note of both the name of the book and the author. Amazon make it very easy to spot the top authors as they actually list them in their sidebar! I’d also google phrases like “best magazines for entrepreneurs” and make note of all of the suggestions in your spreadsheet. Again, as with each of the questions below, enter them one by one into Facebook to see if you can target them, and if you can, add the suggestions to your ‘Other Recommendations’ column.
3. What podcasts do they listen to?
The best way to find podcasts is to search the Itunes podcast directory. Go through appropriate categories and make a note of all of the shows listed!
4. What TV shows or movies do they watch?
Google phrases like “best TV shows for entrepreneurs” or “best movies for entrepreneurs” and make note of all the suggestions. Taking a look at IMDB lists can also help
5. What websites do they visit?
Start off by googling something like “best websites for entrepreneurs”. Once you’ve got a list, head over to similarweb.com to get similar sites based on the ones you’ve found.
6. Are they any events that they attend?
Find out all the events, conferences or trade shows that take place. This one’s HUGE. Two of my best ever campaigns targeted conferences. Pro tip: make a list of the big name speakers at events and add them to your influencers list! It’s also worth making a note of sponsors of the events as they too can be good to target.
7. Are they a member of a professional association?
Most industries have professional associations. Marketers for example might be members of the Direct Marketing Association, personal trainers might be members of the National Register of Personal Trainers. What about your prospects? Which associations do they belong to?
8. Have they studied a particular course or attended a particular school?
Another great targeting option that’s often overlooked is education. Do your prospects need to have a specific qualification? Have they all studied the same course or at a certain school? For our example, I’d search for something like “top business schools” or “best internet marketing courses”:
9. Are there any tools, software or services that your prospects use?
Online entrepreneurs may use landing page software like Lander. They might use email service providers like Infusionsoft or Aweber. They may use payment processing software like Samcart or Stripe. The list is endless! With some creative Googling I’m sure you’ll be able to find lots of examples for your specific industry.
So what next?
At this point we’ve got a long list of potential targets. For each of the pages on the spreadsheet (i.e. each of the 9 questions), enter all the available targets then save the audience You should have 9 different audiences to target. Why keep them as 9 separate audiences rather than 1 big audience? The reason for this is we want to be able to determine which audience targeting is working best. If we mix two or more together, one might work really well, the other might be a complete failure, but because they’re both lumped together we won’t know which is which. So there you have it. That’s my step by step approach to finding the perfect audience for your Facebook ads. Remember, don’t sell toilet paper at the coffee shop. Be smart, follow this framework and I guarantee you’ll see a huge improvement in your ad performance. CLICK HERE TO COPY MEM’S SPREADSHEET