“Spray and pray” advertising is officially dead. No matter how hard you try to bombard an unsuspecting prospect with a marketing message, they will probably ignore it — and rightfully so.
Advertising is everywhere. Audiences have grown accustomed to tuning out irrelevant marketing pitches — it’s estimated that 77 percent of online display ads are never even seen.
There’s another side to this equation, however. Today’s consumers are heavily self-directed — looking for products and services that enrich their lives.
The key to reaching audiences with your marketing pitch? It’s simple. Outsmart the advertising competition, and cut through the noise by establishing a 1:1 connection based on what your audiences actually want.
Enter Facebook Custom Audiences
Facebook ads make it possible to reach consumers on a personalized, human level. Think about it: where else do people share their retail preferences, friendships, goals, hopes, and dreams? No where but Facebook.
The ad targeting possibilities are limitless — literally. You can reach almost any one of your customers based on their interests, shopping patterns, and social circles.
Smart marketers know, however, that online advertising is more than just reach. You need to build a foolproof, customer acquisition engine.
That’s where data comes in.
AdParlor manages more than 1 billion impressions on Facebook per day. Naturally, we’re looking for left-brained meets right-brained ways to reach consumers in a natural, conversational, and engaging way.
This February, Facebook launched something new — to build the mother of all ad targeting frameworks through Facebook Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike groups. Here’s what Facebook did.
Your Most Valuable Data Pool: You
Facebook Custom Audiences make it possible to target your existing customer base. The idea is simple. Upload your CRM list to Facebook to reach your existing clients across multiple marketing channels. But there is more to the story — so much more.
Website Custom Audiences open up a whole new set of targeting opportunities for direct response clients by empowering rich audience lists. Basically, you can target users based on specific actions that they’ve taken on your website.
The awesomeness keeps going.
Targeting existing customers based on items they’ve viewed (or website actions they’ve taken) is only the first step. You can build Lookalike audiences to reach new buyers with similar interest profiles.
Why does this capability matter?
Website Custom Audiences make it possible to target prospects at an extremely granular level. An e-commerce store, for instance, can turn every product page into a data-rich marketing strategy. Your marketing team can, 1) turn every webpage into a customer-centric targeting opportunity and, 2) create user segments based on actual products viewed and depth in the conversion funnel.
Having this information is a great retargeting opportunity. When combined with the ability to create Lookalike Audiences, however, your customer acquisition engine becomes exponentially more powerful — with no glass ceiling.
The Plan in Action
AdParlor is constantly looking for ways to optimize our clients’ ad budgets to maximize revenue per acquired user.
We recently worked with a large e-commerce advertiser and saw a powerful opportunity to put Website Custom Audiences to the test. So we did.
- Step 1: We defined three unique product category pages that we wanted to track visits to — apparel, sports nutrition and healthy foods.
- Step 2: We studied user behavior within each shopping category, customizing ad creatives to specific interests.
- Step 3: We created a real-time data aggregation and feedback loop based on actual user behavior. The goal of this step was to eliminate any guess work in terms of what audiences see and what product landing pages we send them to.
- Step 4: We created Lookalike audiences based on the Website Custom Audiences defined in Steps 1 through 3.
Following steps 1 through 4, we created Link Page Post ads on News Feed (desktop only). We used proprietary AdParlor technology to serve dynamic creatives. We ran this campaign from February 1, 2014 through February 24, 2014.
Here Is What We Found
Finding #1: The average value per purchase for bottom-funnel users targeted via Website Custom Audiences (and Lookalike Audiences) was higher compared to all other forms of targeting including Custom Audiences (based on email lists), Lookalike audiences based on email Custom Audiences, BCTs and precise interest targeting.
- $35.35: Lookalike audience of users who visited category shop page
- $36.02: Lookalike audience of users who reached a checkout page
- $37.33: Targeting based on Email lists of existing buyers + Lookalikes of these lists
- $40.66: Website Custom Audience of users who visited home page
- $54.10: Lookalike audience of users who clicked on “Buy Now” button on home page
Finding #2: Website Custom Audiences + Lookalike Audience targeting delivered the cheapest CPCs, highest click-through rates, and lowest cost per purchase in the News Feed:
- The average News Feed CPC was $0.94, compared to $0.50 for ads with Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.
- The average CTR in the News Feed was 0.92% for all targeting. For ads with Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences, CTR was 1.21%.
- What’s even more impressive is that ads with Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences fared better on CTR and CPC metrics when compared to ads targeting existing buyers of the e-commerce client (new and repeat customer lists based on email CRM data uploaded by the client).
- On a cost-per-purchase measure, Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences provided an impressive 50% cost saving compared to an average cost per purchase for all types of targeting ($11.83 per purchase vs. $22 for average conversion for all forms of targeting).
Finding #3: Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences provide an efficient and quick campaign ramp-up option for advertisers wishing to grow their new customer base proportionately to website traffic.
- Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audience ads delivered 27% of total revenue for this advertiser for the month of February.
- We discovered that just collecting the data on users visiting a website’s homepage could be great for getting started with Website Custom Audiences. Targeting the users who just visited the client’s homepage (and excluding any existing buyer custom audiences), we drove more than 183 purchases, totaling more than $7K in value with an average revenue per purchase of $40 USD, vs. $37 USD on average for all types of ad targeting.
- Moreover, we tagged the last page in the conversion funnel, which indicates the highest quality users who not only selected the product, added it to the cart, but who also proceeded to adding their shipping information. Lookalike audience of these users provided over 2 million matches on FB. Within two weeks’ time, we’ve recorded over 60 instances of purchases and a total of $2,000 USD in revenue.
Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences are great tools for e-commerce stores that are looking to generate more traffic and more purchases at a positive ROI. You can use Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences as standalone retargeting mechanisms — or combine them with other forms of targeting.
Never show the same ad to all users! People looking for rain boots are different from users searching for kidswear, so why target both with the same creative? Quickly create Lookalike lists based on unique shopping behavior or page visits and combine with custom creative for more efficient targeting and cheaper costs per final action.
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