Digital Advertisers need to meet their audience on the platform where they are consuming social media the most. Despite being marred by recent controversies that pushed Facebook’s parent company to change its name to “Meta,” Facebook is still the most popular social platform in the U.S. (and worldwide). In a study conducted by online market research firm Dynata, 83% of U.S. adult social media users report using Facebook weekly.
Marketing on Facebook becomes especially important as we get closer to the holiday shopping season. Many consumers are already planning to utilize alternative shopping platforms. In particular, 68% of Gen Z consumers plan to use nontraditional shopping channels this holiday season. Unsurprisingly, Facebook ranks among the top 5 alternative shopping channels.
In other words, targeting the right audience with the right content on Facebook is critical for reaching consumers who are ready to buy.
Now that we understand why Facebook marketing is so vital, here are three ways digital advertisers can grow their audience on Facebook:
1. Determine a target audience
The first thing any marketer needs to think about when creating an ad campaign is the who. Who do I intend to reach with this ad? In terms of creating this target audience, Facebook has a few internal tools that can help guide digital advertisers. For example, advertisers can create a custom audience of people who have already interacted with their content or have relationships with their business. Together with audience insights, marketers can gain valuable audience demographic and behavioral data that is key to growing their customer base.
To take this understanding of a target audience one step further, marketers must first ensure they have strong identity resolution. Through integrating identifiers across channels and devices, marketers create a unified view of customers to better deliver personalized content.
2. Build engagement
Once marketers recognize their target audience and understand who they are, they have the tools to build engagement on Facebook.
Beyond interacting with customers to show responsiveness, digital advertisers need to keep themselves engaged across Facebook. This means commenting on posts and in interest groups to make themselves more visible to potential customers. Furthermore, having established behavioral and demographic insights helps marketers anticipate the content that will be of interest to potential customers. Using Facebook’s page insights, marketers can determine when their audience is online to ensure they are reaching customers when active.
3. Utilize lookalike audience modeling
After assembling their target audience and engagement strategies, the next step for digital advertisers is to think about how to continue growing their presence on Facebook. With the introduction of Apple’s ATT feature and ongoing cookie deprecation, marketers have had to pivot to target new consumers. As a result, many brands have invested in machine learning powered solutions such as lookalike audience modeling.
Lookalike audience modeling allows marketers to leverage first-party data to reach the right audiences without depending on a single identifier. Utilizing machine learning algorithms, lookalike modeling builds scalable models of brands’ ideal target audiences based on characteristics of current customers. Not only is lookalike modeling a highly accurate method for reaching the right customers, but most importantly, it is also privacy compliant.
Regardless of personal feelings about Facebook’s ethics, social media-based advertising is here to stay. As long as people continue to use on Facebook, marketers have to continue making the most of their Facebook campaigns. Digital advertisers need to focus on solutions that improve customer understanding and engagement to grow their audience and reach like-minded consumers. Developing these strategies is key for brands to stand out in the congested social media space.