Compare Different Audiences for Facebook Ads
The key is to compare apples to apples
Facebook ads is the pinnacle of social media marketing that keeps dominating in the 21st century, only rivaled by Google ads. While almost all the different industries utilize it, the e-commerce industry benefits the most from Facebook Ads. However, due to the sea of options available, the room for error is large, perhaps a bit larger than they initially seem to be. The most difficult of all is the target audience selection.
I hate to break it to you, there are no shortcuts to this. To add salt to the wound, even if you do everything else right but choose the wrong audience for your campaign, Facebook Ads would still eat up your daily budget while the campaign keeps performing poorly.
The Tried & True Method
Let's cut to the chase, the right way to arrive at a Credible Conclusion regarding what audience to use is A/B Testing. The emphasis is on a credible conclusion for a reason and I will come to that later. Just keep this in the back of your head.
Say you want to launch a retargeting campaign for the whole summer with a huge campaign budget. What audience would you choose, product viewers, add-to-cart audience, some mix of both, or a custom audience like Enhencer audience?
Read more about Enhencer Audiences here: How can Enhencer Audience Boost the performance of Facebook Campaigns?
The choices can stack up pretty quickly. You read some articles on the internet and are convinced that add-to-cart is the perfect choice. However, the sad truth is, what worked for others might not work for your brand and your products. As a consequence, you may experience poor campaign results. You missed the summer window for all your new seasonal products. The budget is gone because of the indifference from Facebook ads that love to eat up your budget no matter what audience or ad creative you choose. In other words, pure chaos.
Instead, as a pilot study, you can compare your audience options with smaller budgets for a certain period of time. Finally, choose the one that performs best and stick to it for the long-running campaign. In other words, A/B Testing or some form of A/B Testing.
Read More About A/B Testing here: How to do an A/B Test Right?
Apples to Apples
Facebook Ads gives you plenty of options to play with while launching a campaign. No matter what audience types you are comparing for a certain campaign, please keep the same options for all the audience options. Here are the options to look out for:
- Daily Budget
- Ad Objectives like conversion, traffic
- Ad attributes like 7 Daya View, and 7 Day View or 1 Day Click
- Estimated Audience Reach Size
- Ad Creatives
The pilot study can compare audiences like add-to-cart, product viewers, and custom audiences. If the audience for product viewers is significantly larger, the budget is larger and the ad creative is different then you will reach a biased conclusion that for the retargeting campaigns product viewers works better than the add-to-cart audiences or the custom audiences. This conclusion is all but natural given the biases of the test parameters.
However, if all the options were the same or similar then the results could have been vastly different. The comparison is not apples to apples.
If the conclusion is not credible based on the test parameters and evidence, then the actual long-running campaign will suffer performance issues. The saddest part is, you will never know what the actual results could have been.
The importance of creating a level playing field can not be overstated. If all the audiences are given the same parameters and attributes, then the conclusions can be drawn much more confidently. You can say that the audience that performs better, genuinely, and objectively performs better than the other audiences.
In all these years in my career, the most common complaint I hear is, well no matter what I do the conversion rate is so low, the ROAS is so low that we did not break even with the cost, people are using add-to-cart and so did we, but out ROAS is so low. Whatever the issues are, all of them can be traced back to the same issue of poor target audience selection or a lack of fair audience comparison that eventually leads to poor target audience selection.
Here is another article that explains the importance of a good target audience selection: One Step Closer to Achieving A More Relevant Advertising
Don't take target audience selection lightly. Better is to conduct a comparison of audiences for Facebook Ads. Keep it very simple like:
- Use the same daily budget for all your audience options. This forces Facebook to optimize all of the audiences at the same level.
- Use the same ad objective as conversion and same attribute 7 Day View. This is a no-brainer.
- Keep the audience size close to each other, creating a more equal reach for each audience. This helps to understand that by reaching the same number of people which audience managed to create more conversion.
- Use the same ad creative for all the audiences. This helps to understand which audience is more relevant to the ads you showed them, meaning at the end this campaign is more relevant for this particular audience type.