Facebook Target Marketing (with Pictures) for JJ's Bar

A few days ago we discussed the potential of marketing with Facebook, and reaching a target audience without breaking the bank.  Today I want to give you a guide that walks you through some of the beginning steps to make Facebook Advertising work for you, by specifically generating an audience which will be used for advertisements.  With every advertising campaign on Facebook, we need to have an audience.  These audiences can be built by you, or if you trust your money with Facebook, you can let it fly in the wind and plaster your advertisement to everyone out there.  While that may sound like a wonderful idea at first, remember, in the United States alone you have the potential to reach millions, and a bigger audience reach requires a bigger bank account.  So for today's example, let's dial it down a bit and use a local example.

For starters, let's say we have our good friend James.  See, James opened up his business recently with his business partner John, and together they are running JJ's Bar.  JJ's Bar has some local foot traffic, as any new opening business expects, but they don't have the reach or real financial backing to get their message out to the masses.  Enter: Facebook.  With Facebook, James and John can target only people who are interested in a bar, and better yet, only people who are local.  A bar running in downtown Burlington, Vermont doesn't want to advertise to people in San Francisco, CA; not only is it impractical, it's a waste of money.  Okay, enough with that, let's get to the steps, shall we?

The very first thing you want to do is open the Facebook Ads Manager.  You can read about Ads Manager (including how to get to it) and creating Ads in a bit more depth over here.  Once we get the Ads manager open and go to create an ad, we will first be confronted with a question about our objective.  It should look very similar to this image below:

Facebook Ads Manager

What Facebook wants to know is our objective, our purpose, our reason for spending money with them, our reason for existence!  Okay, a bit over the top, but really, they want to know how you plan to utilize the campaign because honestly Facebook does some amazing under the hood stuff to get you better results.  The only way to get those better results though is to tell them what you plan on doing.  In our case, we want to generate some more traffic to JJ's Bar website.  So click on "Traffic" and name your campaign, like seen below:

Create Traffic Campaign

You can give the campaign a meaningful name if you want, but for the purposes of this example we aren't saving the campaign, only the audience, so it's irrelevent what we name it.  Be creative though, because seeing 30 campaigns all named "Traffic" can get confusing as well.  Once you hit continue, you should then see this wonderful Ad Set Creation page:

Define Traffic Purpose with Ad Set Name

Again, Facebook wants you to provide a name for the Ad Set (Set, Plural, because Ads don't exist as single Ads, you can have several Ads in a set).  You can name it if you want, but again we don't need to because we only want to save the audience to use later.  If you choose to change it, name it something you will remember.  Also you see Facebook asking where we want the traffic to go.  Select Website, because at the moment we are not dealing with an App or sending it to Messenger (eventually, but not today).

Define an Audience

By default, the target audience is way too big.  Without refining the audience, we are targeting everyone on Facebook that is in the United States between the ages of 18 - 65+, and that gives us 223,000,000 people in the audience.  Yes, that is a LOT of people, and the results you can expect from that audience when you run an ad should be somewhere around 2,200 and 14,000 people that will see it every single day.  Of that potential audience reach, Facebook thinks 68 - 420 people will click on the link.  So running some quick math and worst case scenario fun, you could potentially reach 2,200 people and get 68 clicks a day.  Remember, this is all estimates though, and the real numbers can only be found after the ad is run and you get some results, start A/B testing, and really dive into the meat and bones of the entire thing.  But for now, we really don't need to target all of the United States (remember, local, don't waste money talking to San Francisco) so we should probably dial it back a bit.  Let's try removing the United States, and doing something local like the entire State of Vermont.

Select Audience Reach

Immediately, we see a change in results.  We went from 223 MILLION people to 440,000 people, which is quite a bit smaller, and a bit easier to target.  You'll notice our daily reach and link click numbers went down, but we also significantly reduced the audience size, so that's to be expected.  Remember though, JJ's is a bar, so they want to target people who like alcohol.  Facebook will let us do that too!

Use Detailed Targeting

And just like that, by typing "alcohol" into the Detailed Targeting, we have found that almost 46 million people have an interest in alcohol.  That seems like a good place to start.  We also need to remember, advertising alcohol in general to anyone under 21 is a waste of money.  So we want to change our age range as well.  James and John talked at length, and they decided 21+ only, and maybe a cutoff around age 45.  Facebook will allow us to do this as well by simply changing the age ranges as shown below:

Age Limiting on Facebook Advertising

Immediately, our reach dropped again, and the link clicks has dropped quite a bit, too.  This is okay, normal, perfectly fine, and DON'T PANIC.  The reach went down because you're not trying to plaster your message to 200+ million people, so obviously you won't reach as many people.  BUT, the people you do reach are more likely to be the right people.  Let's take this a few steps further down the rabbit hole.  Facebook will suggest other behaviors or demographic data to include automatically, and you can select if you want to include it or not.  Hit the Suggestions link in the Detailed Targeting area, and you will see a list of suggestions based off the previously inputted demographic.

Choose Detailed Targeting Demographics, Interests or Behaviors

In our case, since the first demographic was "alcohol", we are now given suggestions like Drinking, Alcoholic beverages, Bars, Beer, Cocktail, etc.  These are all similar interests that someone interested in "alcohol" may also find interesting.  These suggestions are how you can reach more of your target market.  For JJ's Bar, they want to have a handful of these suggestions selected, or they may find a very unrefined audience clicking through.  BUT, don't overdo it, or you will find an audience way too refined or way too broad.  So let's take the liberty of clicking a few of the suggestions and adding them to our targeting like so:

Select suggested audiences if applicable

Look at that!  Our estimated daily reach went back up, and we have a sensible amount of expected link clicks each day.  For JJ's Bar, they may be off to a good start.  BUT PLEASE DO NOT FORGET THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!!!!

SAVE the audience to use it

PLEASE, click on "Save This Audience".  At this point, it will ask you to name your audience.  This is the time where you whip out your creative genius and start coming up with meaningful names, because this one we actually want to remember and save.  Once you've saved this audience, you can use it in any of the advertising options on Facebook.  See, wasn't that easy?