Facebook rolling out new targeting options for marketers

While the industry remains abuzz over Facebook’s $19-billion move to purchase messaging app WhatsApp, the company revealed Thursday it will be rolling out new demographic, location, interest and behavioural targeting options advertisers. The company announced the changed “Core Audiences” targeting – available to advertisers through the self-serve and Power Editor tools – on its Facebook […]

While the industry remains abuzz over Facebook’s $19-billion move to purchase messaging app WhatsApp, the company revealed Thursday it will be rolling out new demographic, location, interest and behavioural targeting options advertisers.

The company announced the changed “Core Audiences” targeting – available to advertisers through the self-serve and Power Editor tools – on its Facebook for Business page.

Facebook provided a snapshot of how the targeting features, which are embedded in all of Facebook’s ad buying interfaces, can potentially be used by advertisers. For demographic targeting, for instance, Core Audiences will now give more values for relationship status, such as domestic partnerships and civil unions, and also milestones like engagements or marriages. How does this help marketers? If you’ve got a flower shop and want to grow sales, Facebook now offers access to people who’ve recently expressed their love for their sweetie on the social platform. Marketers can also now target people based on when they got married or engaged, whether it be in the last three or six months, or the past year.

It will also now be possible to advertise to people based on their job title and workplace, and learn more about their schooling. For example, a recruiter at a media agency will now be able to advertise to media planners in Toronto specifically.

This moves Facebook into LinkedIn territory as its new option will likely appeal to recruiters that previously leaned heavily on the latter to find and target potential job candidates. In an article in Ad Age about the new job title targeting, Bizo CEO Russell Glass called the new functionality “a shot across LinkedIn’s bow.”

Glass (who steers the only B2B-focused partner in Facebook’s FBX ad exchange) remarks that these new targeting options show the company “is confident that it has collected enough job titles to make the service worthwhile to advertisers.” Still, he’s uncertain about whether it has a comprehensive data set yet, given that not everyone adds their job title to their Facebook profile.

For location targeting, advertisers can now build campaigns around several combinations of geographies, including country and state or country and city. According to Facebook, this would help retailers that want to show ads to people that live near their brick-and-mortar stores. Certain areas (such as cities within countries or postal codes within cities) can also be excluded.

When it comes to changes in interest-based targeting, Facebook has simplified its offering. Rather than being able to choose several broad categories and keywords at once for a given campaign, advertisers will now just pick one segment. For example, by choosing “soccer,” Facebook says users get access to all the people on Facebook that have liked or shown interest in topics around that sport.

Another new targeting option allows marketers to target campaigns to Facebook users based on what they buy and the devices they use.

These changes will likely help Facebook convert its small and medium-sized business users into paying advertisers.

Media Articles

Facebook discloses error on instant articles

comScore finds that iPhone traffic went under-reported for approximately two months

Yahoo faces possible Canadian class action suit

$50-million filing made Friday over compromised user info

The List: Maxus Canada makes a winning change

How a new structure helped propel the media agency to 18% growth in 2016

The biggest stories in Canadian marketing: 2016

A look back at the most read and shared news items from MarketingMag.ca

Amazon brings its video streaming service to Canada

Prime members get access to 'Transparent', 'The Grand Tour' and more

How we can close advertising’s biggest gap

AOL's David Shing on how companies can bring more empathy to advertising

The List: Wattpad’s evolving influence

The first of our selections for the biggest newsmakers of 2016

The case for companies staying off social media

It takes real commitment and, for many, it's just not worth the trouble

KitchenAid’s gingerbread social spectacle

A social media strategy for the holiday season pops up in Toronto