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Media and Communications

Facebook Ads Targeting Expansion

Facebook Ads Targeting Expansion


Hi everyone, today I want to talk about Targeting
Expansion within Facebook Advertising. Anyone who has set up targeting within an
ad set on Facebook Ads through the Ad Manager will have seen in the Detailed Targeting section
this little button down here that says “Expand interests when it may increase clicks at a
lower cost per click” or, sorry, “a lower cost per link click”. And if you turn it on then you have an expanded
reach and what does that actually mean, what is actually going on here, what is Facebook
doing? Basically what this is is, and you can find
out for yourself here. This little information icon, if you hover
your mouse over it, and then click on ‘learn more’, it’s gonna bring up this little panel
here about targeting expansion. So it’s quite useful. And so to summarize what that means is that
Facebook is taking these… any interests that you’ve specified and it’s sort of building,
like, a lookalike audience around that. It’s not actually a lookalike audience, but
they say you can think of it like a lookalike audience. Now, I have set up, in this particular case,
a test ad set that is strictly geared towards people with small business owner behaviors
and interests, in Calgary, of a specific age, speaking English. Now I have a, for comparison, another ad set
that is the exact same targeting, except no interests or behaviors at all. And I’ll get to that in one second. But, the targeting expansion – so, if Facebook
thinks you’ll get better results, it’ll expand the audience. Now, what does it mean by better results? Well, it means more results and/or a lower
cost per click or, you know, cost per lead or app install or things like that. So, generally considered those are good leading
indicators of results. You may want to be wary that those may not
be the actual results you’re interested in. It could be something else, like consumption
of content or something happening on a landing page that may not be tracked as a conversion. Keep that stuff in mind. It’s just going after more and cheaper. Now, if you have a saved audience in here
the targeting expansion will not override that. It won’t make any changes to it. You’ll still have your saved audience. So it won’t end up adding lookalike bits and
pieces into that. Also, if you’ve got any exclusions within
your targeting, like you say I only want to target men, the audience expansion won’t start
suddenly targeting women, for example. It won’t override any exclusions you’ve got. Now, when it comes to actually measuring what
happened here, you don’t… you won’t be given the ability to say, what was the performance
of, sort of, my core audience – the targeting that I did myself – versus the expansion that
Facebook did. Facebook’s own words are, basically, compare
the data from before you turned it on to the data after you turned it on. Which is… it’s good advice. You should do that, but it’s just kind of
silly that that’s what Facebook says. You really don’t get to see what’s going on
here. Much like a lookalike audience it’s kind of
a black box as to what’s going on. That’s sort of the summary of targeting expansion. Whether or not you should use it – it’s entirely
up to you. One scenario which I found it potentially
useful, and in practice useful, is if my targeting is really tight and my frequency is getting
higher and higher. In other words the number of times people
are seeing my ads is starting to climb. You know, they’re 7, it’s 8, it’s 9 it’s 10
times. The audience expansion is a nice, easy, one
click way to broaden out your targeting and expose your ads to what Facebook believes
is, algorithmically speaking, are people that are like perform in a similar way. So, you get to sort of drive those frequency
numbers back down. Now, you gotta be careful. Usually my go-to would be, you know, adding
in new interests, creating a new ad set, putting new ad creative in, things like that. But, that said, the targeting expansion, because
it’s using Facebook’s algorithm, sometimes it could be really useful. I’d follow Facebook’s advice and compare the
results before and after to make sure you’re on top of what’s going on. Now, I mentioned at the beginning of the video
I have another ad set that is the exact same targeting as this one, but just Calgary. Here’s what’s interesting. My ‘Small Business Calgary’ ad set has a potential
reach of 380,000. If I turn on ‘expand the interest’, well it’s
a potential reach of 820,000. It just so happens that all of Calgary with
the same demographic information is also 820,000. So it looks to me, unless that’s a really
crazy coincidence, that when I turn on expand interests within my strictly ‘Small Business’
ad set, Facebook is saying, well, OK, well, potentially we’ll show it to everyone in Calgary. Now I’m sure it’s smarter than that and I’m
sure Facebook is not just gonna open up my audience to everyone in Calgary because that
would be the equivalent of Facebook just, sort of, creating a new audience by deleting
all of my interest targeting. And I’m sure they’re not doing that. I’m sure that’s just a number that says, it
could show to anyone in Calgary, but don’t worry, we got this. The black box will take care of it. It’ll be smarter than that. So we’ll see. Test, measure, see what the results are. Use this at your own discretion. It’s kind of a buyer beware thing. It’s not my go-to if I want to expand the
audience. I’d rather, sort of, do it a bit more… within
my own control. I was gonna say more intelligently, and I
think that’s unfair, because I’m sure Facebook’s algorithm is very intelligent. Probably a lot more intelligent than me at
doing this targeting, but I’m kind of a control freak so I’d rather do it myself. Alright, so that’s it. I hope you enjoyed. Take care.

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