Bigger is (not) better, come to find out! Especially when it comes to Facebook targeting. One of my biggest predictions for 2019 trends was personalization (check out more on that here: Digital Marketing Trends in 2019,) which micro-targeting happens to complement well. The age of mass marketing is over. Consumers easily see through traditional marketing tactics and we are now part of a generation that wants to feel like they are being spoken to directly. This means more speaking to a community’s segments and less to the overall community.
I recently had a vast playing field to test my theory that direct acquisition ads would gain more conversions through micro-targeting. Keep in mind, the goal here is acquisition, not awareness. To acquire new customers, you need quality leads that care about your product. To acquire awareness, you mainly need a large reach. These are two completely different things.
I set-up a generic ad to measure results by conversions, and another ad set-up to target micro-segments which included male golfers, women shoppers, grandparents, and adult children. I’m going to walk you through one of these examples which will hopefully give you an idea of how this micro-targeting works. And yes, this was with a major national brand.
Let’s choose adult children, one of my favorite target audiences right now to work with because they are becoming the decision-makers in more and more families. Here’s where I would start:
What is this audience interested in? Find children taking care of their parents on social media and see what they are currently discussing. Are they running out of time picking up prescriptions for their parents? Is their boss understanding of them missing time to take their parents’ to the doctors? Do they discuss having toddlers at home as well as caring for their multi-generational family? What brands do they interact with most on social? Are they even on Facebook? Once these questions are answered you will have a much better idea of who you need to be targeting and what messaging you should be using.
Now create a Facebook audience based on the likes and dislikes you found out during the research phase. Be as SPECIFIC as possible. Let’s pretend one of the male adult children segments showed they were more likely to have tattoos, make an average income of $50K and like working on their cars on the weekends. Here’s what it might look like:
I usually start with an image before writing copy because imagery is the very first thing that will catch a consumer’s eye. Try to match your image to the lifestyle of the person your research created during the research phase. If they make $50K a year, most likely have tattoos and spend their weekend helping their parents and fixing cars, don’t use a picture of someone with no tattoos driving an expensive sports car along the ocean. Try to find a photo of someone with tattoos fixing their car, with a parent standing nearby watching or helping them. See how tailored that image is to the target audience? This way your target audience recognizes themselves in the imagery and that familiarity will most likely make them stop scrolling their newsfeed.
Let’s use the image of the tattooed man fixing his car with his dad helping out. Let’s pretend that we are selling a prescription drug that seniors are most likely to take. Mold your copy to fit the tone and lifestyle of that particular audience. Now, this is going to be SUPER hard for marketers used to following one strict tone of voice for their entire brand. This doesn’t mean you scrap your brand’s tone of voice, it just means you shape it around the audience you are targeting. You could say something like, “XX prescription could help your dad have more time to spare on the weekends to help you with that car you’ve been working on since 1994. Learn more: XX.” See how perfectly the image and copy are married together?
Now that you have a perfectly married target audience, image and copy, sit back and watch what happens. Is the audience that is converting matching the micro-audience you are targeting? Or are you getting no hits at all? If it’s the latter, revisit all three components and make sure your research was spot-on. Continue to tweak and research until you are exactly hitting that audience and watch the conversions, well, convert.
In the tests I ran, micro-audiences gained strikingly low awareness, but incredibly high conversions. Nearly every single lead converted, while we were seeing about an eight percent conversion rate with broad awareness campaigns. So even with the large discrepancy in leads, the micro-audiences produced more leads by far. Quality over quantity.
Just like fishermen have to use different bait depending on what they are fishing for, marketers need to use different audiences, imagery and copy for specific segments of their broader audience if they want to catch the fish.
For more on micro-targeting, check-out my blog post on The Rise Of The Micro-Influencer.
-Marji J. Sherman