The BEST Facebook Ads Targeting Option
I recently polled my Instagram Audience and I asked them, “Which cold targeting option produces the best results for you?”
So, I had around 1,300 folks who are super into running Facebook ads, many of them spending big bucks on ads, answer this question. And guess what? The results were really fascinating!
Now, I'm gonna break down what those results actually mean and how they're different from what we're experiencing in our agency. It'll give you some cool insights into what might actually work for you.
But hold up, before we dive in, let me clarify something. I'm only talking about reaching out to new audiences here, not the ones already familiar with you. I gave three options for targeting new people: broad targeting, open targeting, and lookalike audiences.
Now, a lot of folks think that lookalike audiences are the same as warm audiences, but nope, that's not the case. Lookalike audiences are actually based on warm audiences, but they're still considered as reaching out to cold audiences.
Here are the results:
- Open targeting – 44%
- Detailed targeting – 34%
- Lookalike audiences 21%
What I'm seeing right now, it a lot "Facebook ad gurus" raving about open targeting as the be-all and end-all. According to them, if you try anything else, your results will go down the drain.
But here's the truth, based on both this survey and our own agency's experience: that's not entirely accurate. It's a sweeping generalization that just won't work for every single business out there.
Now, is open targeting effective? Heck yeah, it is! According to this survey, around 44% of peeps swear by open targeting and claim it gives them the best results.
But guess what? It's not the only thing working. In fact, a whopping 56% of respondents in this poll are seeing better outcomes with other targeting methods. That's why testing is SO crucial, my friends. It's also a good reason to be skeptical when someone claims that one particular approach is always the golden ticket for Facebook marketing.
In my experience, there's rarely a one-size-fits-all solution for Facebook marketing. It heavily depends on your business type and the offers you're putting out there.
If you've got a product with broad appeal and loads of data in your ad account, then broad targeting might do the trick for you. But if you don't meet those two criteria, chances are one of the other options will work better. Plenty of folks are still achieving their best results with detailed targeting and lookalike audiences.
Ultimately, the key is to test out ALL THREE of these cold audience targeting types. Don't leave any stone unturned!
What Works Changes Over Time
Another thing that's super clear to me, as someone who's been doing Facebook ads for, a whole decade, is that the kind of audience you target can make a huge difference.
If you roll the clock back to 2019 and ask the same question the answer would probably be morelike 70% of people saying that lookalike audiences were their best performing audiences.
Let’s roll back the clock to 2015 and NO ONE would have been doing open targeting! That would have been considered crazy at that point.
This is also likely to change in the future. You need to be willing to adjust with the times and stay up to date with what’s working now, because as you can see things really do shift over time.
What Targeting Works Best for Our Clients
When we take a look at what works best for our clients e see a shift from the results from my audience.
We're actually seeing a lot more folks getting their best results with open targeting. A whopping 65% of our clients are crushing it with that approach. Then we got about 25% of people who are nailing it with lookalike audiences, and the remaining 10% are rocking detailed targeting and seeing awesome results.
There’s quite a big difference between what we’re seeing as an agency and what my audience is seeing.
I think the difference can be explained like this…
Most businesses kick off their ads on their own, kinda test the waters, and then end up partnering with an agency like mine. As you start racking up sales, Facebook gets all this data about the people who buy your stuff or fill out your form. And guess what? That helps your opening targeting be way more effective.
More spend skews things more toward open targeting.
It’s also something that you should keep in mind as you scale. As your account gathers more data you may want to test with look a like audiences more often.
The higher percentage of lookalike audiences that are represented here also occurs for the same basic reason. Established businesses usually have more data to work with to create their custom audiences, so they can more effectively leverage lookalike audiences. The more data you put into the source, the better quality the lookalike audience is.
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