We Saved 56% on Conversion Costs on Facebook - Here’s How

Advertising is what makes the Facebook marketing world go round. But in order to get the most out of your budget you need to get your targeting right. We’ve tested some of the most used targeting options out there to find the perfect one that will get more conversions for less cash. Read on to learn how we were able to to lower our costs and increase conversions hassle-free.

Our goal was simple. We wanted to promote our free competitive benchmarking tool to capture quality leads without breaking the bank. We tried a series of different targeting tactics to see what would get us more bang for our buck and the results speak for themselves. Here’s what we did:

First Attempt - No Targeting

In our first attempt, we wanted to see what would happen if we didn’t target anyone at all. If we just let the ad run wild on Facebook. For no targeting whatsoever 8 leads are pretty darn good - but it’s not as good as what we could have gotten. When it comes to the cost no targeting cost us the most with a CPA of $28.4. Bottom line? Lack of targeting can cost you big time, and if you’re working with a limited ads budget - that’s not good news.

Second Test - Negative Targeting

Next, we got real experimental and tested out negative targeting. Here we simply selected interests at random without any real strategy. This helped serve as a control group, so we could better understand the impact of our advertising efforts when we targeted to get results. You’ll notice that negative targeting is almost the same as not targeting at all. We were able to get the same amount of leads around the same cost.

We immediately started seeing a difference in CPA once we started to apply some targeting magic. Interestingly, using Google InMarket audiences didn’t improve our conversions of CPA by much. We were able to get one extra lead and lower CPA a bit to $24.60 - but that’s still a lot to pay for a lead.

To give you some context, Google InMarket Audiences are exactly what they sound like - people looking to buy a certain product. Google calculates this by analyzing how audiences based on their clicks on related ads, subsequent conversion, along with what kind of sites they are visiting. In theory, this would mean that this group would be the most likely to convert because they are likely in the consideration phase of the sales funnel. But as we can see from our test there are some pieces to this targeting that are missing.

Third Time’s Not Always a Charm - Google Affinity Audience Targeting

We get closer to Google Affinity audiences. Unlike InMarket audiences, Affinity Audiences don’t take buying intent into account. Instead, they look at your audience's interests and passions based on their search behavior. For example, people browsing “Best Travel Blogs,” or other related keywords would likely be dropped into Google’s ‘Travel Buffs’ affinity. When we used our audience’s affinities and applied them to our Facebook Ads we noticed a huge drop in CPA compared to our other efforts at $20.20. That’s almost $5 less than Google In Market targeting and 3 more leads. We must be onto something.

Fourth Try - Natural Language Processing and Interactive Advertising Bureau Categories

But that’s not all we tested. We took our ad targeting to a new level using Natural language processing (NLP). If you know what this means already, give yourself a pat on the back - looks like you’re a social media expert. If not, no worries! Natural language processing is a way to analyze online conversations, transforming those interactions into data. In our case, we used NLP to sift through posts of our audience’s Facebook posts to better understand what our ideal customers look like. This allowed us to digitize text into topics and categories that could be used to cluster interests. Once we got our hands on this information we matched it to categories provided by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

It’s a very scientific way to come up with targeting parameters, but it also required a lot of time and resources on our part. We were able to get our CPA to $19.9 - which was the cheapest we were able to get compared to our other tests. But when it came to the number of leads we were able to acquire, we weren’t impressed. All that effort and we clocked in at just 9 leads - it was a little underwhelming.

Last But Not Least - Socialbakers Audience Persona Targeting

In our last attempt, we wanted to put our platform to the test. The final result? 56% lower CPA and 2.3x more conversions. Here’s why it worked.

We used interests generated by our own audiences platform to target groups on Facebook. Through AI-generated audience personas, we were able to get a granular look at which interests resonated with which audience persona. Whereas the other tests we ran only took one platform into account, our advanced algorithm took into account our audiences online behavior on both Google and Facebook, which gave us a holistic view of who they are, and what they like.

In addition, the Facebook audience data used to determine audience interests were calculated based only on our active audience’s behavior rather than lumping in our entire page audience into the mix. As an official Facebook marketing partner, we were able to create an interest-based algorithm that is based on Facebook’s own interest categorization.

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What started out as a simple test soon became unbelievable proof that the right targeting, with the right online behaviors taken into account, can work wonders.

The Takeaway

There are many factors that come into play which can determine how successful your ad will be with your desired audience. This is why it’s extremely important to develop customer personas before you dive into Ads Manager and start hitting promote. Knowing who your audiences are will help you on both the content and targeting side. Once you’ve mastered this bit, the rest is easy.

Through Socialbakers audience data you’re able to get a more accurate look at who your audiences are, from what they like, to where they’re from. Our algorithm generates accurate interests based on your most prominent audience personas. Because this data put together different data footprints from multiple sources, you’re able to build a complete picture of who your most loyal audience members are. As a result, you can easily use these targeting insights to more accurately reach and acquire unknown audiences on Facebook that are the most likely to engage with your content.


Ready to take your Facebook Ads targeting to the next level? Try for free to discover the interests of your audience personas to save money and ramp up conversions.



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