Facebook’s advertising options have been changing consistently, very often giving us new functionalities or switching default options. In some cases, removing choices we once had (and still prefer). But in the world of marketing, those that can adapt, thrive!

There is one specific change I’d like to talk about today, something that might impact the way we approach our Christmas advertising – Detailed Targeting Expansion being mandatory in Conversion Campaigns. If you’re wondering what Detailed Targeting Expansion is, it’s Facebook’s ability to target people outside the chosen targeting criteria, specifically interests, behaviors, demographics. It doesn’t apply to location, age or gender targeting options. 

Previously most campaign objectives allowed us to select or deselect Detailed Targeting Expansion and decide whether we want to reach users beyond the interests we have chosen, as shown below 👇

 

 

Currently in Conversion Campaigns this option is turned on by default and we can’t deselect it. This means that even when choosing demographics, interests or behaviors Facebook will have the ability to reach users beyond those targeting criteria. For example if we want to target people interested in one specific topic, we can still add that to our detailed targeting, but now if Facebook ,,thinks” that people outside that interest may help reach our optimization goal they will also show them our ads.

 

However, their choices aren’t random.

To clarify – this mandatory set up is specifically for Conversion Campaigns, not for other campaign objectives, though you cannot use Detailed Targeting Expansion in Awareness Campaigns, but for all the other objectives it is possible to select or deselect this targeting option. 

This would suggest that if we want to beat this change we should switch to objectives that allow us to choose whether to leverage Detailed Targeting Expansion. Options are always good to have, right? But do we really want to switch from optimizing for conversions such as purchase, add to cart to for example landing page views? Especially in this crucial Christmas time, when many businesses have their high season? The answer seems pretty simple – we should optimize for events that are most crucial for our goals and not act drastically just to have the ability to choose specific interests in our targeting.

We should remember that Facebook makes those many changes in order to help the performance of our campaigns. After all, when advertisers succeed, they’ll be more likely to spend more money on advertising. They act to rather scale our results and let us reach our goals than to decrease our performance. Probably with all the testing Facebook has done, they’ve seen that on average advertisers produce better results when they have Detailed Targeting Expansion turned on, than when they don’t. So instead of fighting this change, and trying to go around it, we should accept it and learn how to use it to our advantage. 

 

Now, how should we maximize results during the Christmas season knowing we have to leverage the Detailed Targeting Expansion? There are a couple of things to do:

  • Use age, gender and location to narrow down who you want the algorithm to reach. 
  • Don’t quit adding interests, demographics or behaviors that define your audience. Remember, Facebook will target people outside that set up, if it believes the results will be better, but it’s still crucial to the algorithm to outline your customer personas.
  • Trust that Facebook is not always, but usually right. They have a complex algorithm that has learned from millions of behavioral patterns, so using their AI-driven technology isn’t necessarily a bad thing
  • Be creative with your content. If interests are something you do not have full control over, you need to make sure your content is on point. Make it stand out among your competitors and other advertisers. Also be sure to consistently test unique creative images, copy and ideas.
  • Grab the attention of potential customers with well written copy – stating the product’s USP, opinions about it, but also appealing visuals. 
  • In case you’re still on the fence – don’t cut down on testing content. Try out different colors, different products etc. Use your creativity to the fullest!

 

Truthfully, conversion campaigns STILL optimize for conversions, even if a percentage of your audience won’t purchase. Conversion campaigns require at least 30 conversions within the last month, so they’re not exactly taking a shot in the dark.

With that said, in some cases, yes, your ROAS will increase. But consider this – those reached as part of Audience Expansion could represent new customers, which, depending on your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), could actually result in better long-term results!

 

As you can see, this change in Facebook’s targeting is not as scary as we may have thought. Many more changes are probably coming our way. It’s important to acknowledge them and adapt. They are here to help us, but remember to stay rational and focused on your goals. 

Remember – the best marketing campaigns are built over time, not thought up. Keep it up!

This would be one of many interesting and new things happening in the industry. If you’re curious about other topics, make sure to head to our  Knowledge Drop #4 to find out more information! 

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