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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

Is Targeting on Facebook Ads Still Relevant?

This is an article ‘Is Targeting on Facebook Ads Still Relevant?’ by Marc Primo


Since the early days of digital marketing, social media household name and Meta giant Facebook has been a force in the industry. For over a decade, its powerful advertising platform has offered marketers unparalleled opportunities to connect with their target audiences and measure their performance and campaigns. Like any other social media platform, Facebook's targeting options have evolved, providing businesses with super granular tools to engage potential customers like never before.



However, there is a particular caveat to every benefit that Facebook offers. Given the shifting landscape, recent privacy measures, including the deprecation of third-party cookies and the implementation of Apple's iOS 14 (and higher) privacy features, are reshaping how marketers approach Facebook ads.


The rules have changed, but fear not, effective advertising on the most visited social media platform worldwide is still very much within reach. It all boils down to understanding the new terrain and mastering the art of leveraging each audience type to its fullest potential.


How Facebook Ads Targeting Works


Some factors to consider when learning how Facebook Ads Targeting works include targeting types, data sources, privacy challenges, and the strategies that would work for each type. For example, let's say you are working on a more demographic-centered campaign that gathers user information by submitting self-reported profile information. Such cases require you to develop more quality content that is lifestyle-centric and appealing to your target audiences or demographics.


On the other hand, if you are more inclined to target behavioral types with specific interests, your analytics tools should be able to measure the behavior of every user's visit to Facebook. While reviewing metrics relevant to user behaviors might give you more minuscule and less specific audiences, you can opt for interest-stacking strategies to tap the right market and increase your potential for higher conversions.


Targeting user customs can give you less accurate data as these may rely on non-Facebook properties. However, there's more room for broader targeting, audience expansion, and higher-value customer lists. The same thing also goes for lookalike audiences on the platform, though since Facebook can provide you with custom audience data, there is a higher chance for strong custom audience targeting by monitoring Page likes.


Given these targeting types, marketers will fare better by practicing privacy-first strategies and learning more about the new iOS 14 update feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT). The update allows users to decline trackers across the web via their installed apps, including Facebook.


Of course, you might also have heard about Google's grand plan to bid farewell to third-party cookies from Chrome this year. But let's be honest – this is no ordinary shift in the online world; it's a game-changer of epic proportions. Safari and Firefox have already taken the plunge, blocking third-party cookies, but when it comes to Chrome, how it currently dominates a staggering 63% of the browser market share is always worth considering.


How to keep marketing relevant via Facebook Ads


Over the years, Facebook has faced various controversies related to user data and privacy breaches. The social media giant has taken significant steps to address these concerns and prioritize user privacy. As mentioned above, one notable development was the Apple iOS 14 privacy update rollout.


The platform's response to these privacy changes has altered how marketers should target users. In the past, advertisers could leverage a treasure trove of user data to craft highly specific audience segments. However, with restricted data access, marketers must adapt their strategies to remain effective in a privacy-conscious environment.


Despite the privacy challenges, Facebook's ads targeting remains a valuable tool for marketers. By using privacy-compliant tactics, businesses can still reach their intended audience without compromising user data.


Leveraging first-party data, such as customer email lists and website interactions, can be a goldmine for marketers. This information allows businesses to target existing customers or create lookalike audiences to expand their reach.


Also, the platform's custom audiences feature enables marketers to target specific groups based on data collected from various sources. This approach ensures compliance with privacy regulations while delivering personalized content to relevant audiences.


Lastly, contextual targeting gains prominence in an online privacy-first world. Instead of relying on personal data, contextual targeting places ads in front of users based on the content they engage with, ensuring greater relevancy.


These strategies have led more marketers to place a premium on audience relevance and personalization. After all, the core of Facebook's ad targeting success lies in its ability to deliver relevant content to users. Research has shown that personalized ads perform better than generic ones, leading to higher engagement rates and improved ROI. Along with these boosts, increased engagement, enhanced customer experience, and more efficient Ad Spend can also be achieved like a domino effect.


Adapting to the Privacy-First Landscape


To succeed in a privacy-first world, marketers must embrace fresh privacy-first strategies and adapt their approach to how Facebook ad targeting continues to evolve. With that, it's best to continue crafting compelling value propositions in your ad copies to capture the attention of your target audiences.


Regularly conducting A/B tests on various audience segments, creatives, and ad formats will help you identify the most effective content combinations. That goes without saying that you should refine your strategies accordingly and don't expect unrealistic results in a short timeframe.


Of course, such metrics from testing and adjustments take time, so the best aspect to focus your consistency on is delivering high-quality and engaging content. Doing so will keep your messaging resonant among your target audiences and increase the likelihood of interaction and conversion.


In a privacy-first world, Facebook ad targeting remains relevant and valuable for digital marketers. While privacy changes have presented challenges, the platform's targeting capabilities have adapted to ensure effectiveness and user privacy. By leveraging first-party data, custom audiences, and contextual targeting, marketers can still deliver personalized content to their intended audiences.

Always remember that when Facebook ad targeting is approached with ethical and privacy-compliant practices, it becomes an indispensable tool for marketers looking to achieve their marketing goals in the ever-changing digital landscape.

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