Over the last decade, Facebook has become one of the most targeted and powerful tools marketers can use. Converting social media users into product buyers and loyal customers has been relatively easy thanks to the targeting ability within Facebook Ads. Unfortunately, all of that could be about to change.
Facebook is eliminating some of its targeting abilities
One of the reasons marketers love using Facebook is the app has always made it easy to target highly specific portions of the population.
Need to target stay at home mums with an interest in health and nutrition? You got it. How about 25-35 tradies who are interested in upskilling in the workforce? No problem! What about cat owners in the South Island who also work from home? Yes!
As long as Facebook had the data available, there were almost no limits to what a business could target using the app. In fact, building a highly detailed profile of a perfect customer was one of the best things about marketing on Facebook.
So, what’s about to change?
Facebook is rolling back some of the targeting options available to marketers including the ability to target by:
- People’s income levels
- Job titles
- Health conditions
- Money and personal finance
- Apple users who don’t want their data shared
- Religion preferences
- Sexual orientation
- Relationship Status
- Political Beliefs
- Social views
What do these rollbacks mean for Facebook users and marketers?
Facebook data is now watered back and marketers can no longer target their audience by any of the metrics mentioned above. While this is a win for people who don’t like their private data being shared, it does mean that ads will become more generalized and less targeted toward the individual Facebook user.
If you’re a social media user, prepare to get targeted by ads that you have less interest in seeing. For marketers, it’s now going to be harder to get ultra-specific with your targeting.
It will now be harder to drive meaningful results from the traditional ways you used Facebook advertising in the past.
Are the golden days of Facebook advertising over?
To put it bluntly, yes. The golden days of being able to target highly specific Facebook users are now over. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
In fact, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned here. Relying too much on any one source of advertising is a recipe for disaster. If you rely too heavily on one particular platform, you’re only one algorithm change away from ruining your entire marketing strategy.
Social media sites are only as useful as the audiences who use them. If your audience tends to skew younger, there’s a good chance that a) Facebook users are not your bred and butter audience and b) you should be advertising on other platforms anyway.
In February 2022, Facebook’s user base declined for the first time ever. The platform lost half a million global daily users. With 1.93 billion daily users, that might not seem like a lot, but it could be the start of a decline for the platform that’s had a major stranglehold on the social media universe for the past ten years.
What should marketers do now?
It’s natural to feel nervous about the rollback of features that you once relied on to bring in leads and sales. But don’t panic. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your business (or that of your clients) keeps attracting customers steadily without relying on Facebook ads as heavily.
- Don’t put your eggs in one basket
If Facebook ads have been your sole (or main) source of advertising it’s time to branch out. Do some research into other platforms that your audience could be using. You should also develop some inbound and outbound marketing tactics. Both have their place in a solid marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing connects an interested audience with topics they might be searching for. In contrast, outbound marketing tends to ‘disrupt’ your audience – the way an ad on Facebook or social media ad might.
Inbound marketing includes:
- Case study
Outbound marketing includes:
- Email marketing
- Press release
- Social media ads
- Direct mail
- Traditional marketing
- Cold calling
- Focus on building evergreen marketing assets that last
Many of the inbound marketing tactics listed above are great examples of assets that last. For example you could create an ebook as a lead magnet to send to an email list of potential customers. At the same time, you could run Google ads or Linkedin posts to this ebook and put it behind a gated landing page.
This way, people who aren’t yet aware of your business may find your ebook through an organic search term. By exchanging their email address for access to the ebook you’ve just gotten yourself a new lead.
Develop a strategy for creating evergreen content that you can reuse again and again. Evergreen content is content that doesn’t date. It revolves around topics or issues within your industry that are always relevant.
- Focus on your website
Your website is an amazing tool for attracting customers! Make sure your website has a strong brand story, clear messaging and tells potential customers exactly how you can help them. There are many ways you make your website stronger:
- Strong brand story and messaging
- Updated and attractive brand and logo
- Blogs and content that drive organic SEO
- Email lists that belong to you
The downside of relying on a single platform to drive leads is that you’re not in control of the changes. An email list is the best way a business can protect itself from changes in technology. Email is one of the strongest marketing tools there is. If you have an email list but don’t use it often, now is the time to start.
Establish a strategy for:
- Regular value-adding communication. You can write a monthly blog and send it to your list each month.
- Automated emails for new subscribers. Greet your new customers with some sort of gift. Prompt them to shop with you for 10% off, or sign up for a free trial.
- Drip campaigns that highlight a specific issue. Develop helpful assets that you can send out to your email list within the first few months. These could be free ebooks or just a series of helpful emails that address a particular issue.
- A commitment to building content
Don’t forget the value of adding content regularly to your website. Blog posts are an easy way to build up trust with the Google algorithm and will help your website perform better in search results. Use keywords or long-tail search terms to drive highly specific traffic to your website.
Need specific advice on how to improve your marketing strategy now that Facebook is in decline? We’d love to help! Book a 30-minute consultation with us and we’ll help you to develop a strategy for strengthening your marketing efforts without putting all your eggs in one basket.