Facebook Ad Targeting Now Has Fewer Options. What Does This Mean For You?


Facebook marketing is changing once again. In late May the company made a rather substantial update to their ad targeting after the Cambridge Analytica fallout. In a nutshell, Facebook is no longer giving marketers access to third-party data for targeting purposes.

If you’re not in the trenches of digital marketing every day, you may be asking ‘what does that mean?’ Here is a simple explanation: Facebook knows a lot about its users and they leverage this data for advertising. They collect this information from three main sources:    

  1. Directly from you. This is the data you provide when you fill out your profile with your employer, birthday, relationship status, etc.Facebook About Options
  2. Indirectly from you. Every time you like a photo, check-in, comment on a post or watch a video, you are telling Facebook more about you.
  3. 3rd Party Data Sources. Facebook leverages multiple sources for data like income, or if you’re in the market for a product, or the car you drive. Facebook takes these data points and matches it to individual users to help complete the picture of what you like, do, buy, etc. It’s important to reiterate that this is the data that is going away.Google Search Bar

If your business leveraged third-party data for Facebook marketing, there is no need to panic—there are lots of other ways to reach the audience you’re looking for. That being said, this is the perfect time to rethink your strategy. Here are a few things worth looking into:

Remarketing & Lookalike Audiences

If you’re not leveraging Lookalikes or Remarketing to your audience, you should, whether or not you were using third-party data or not. Remarketing is simple: you are targeting people already interested in your company, generally those who have already visited your website or clicked on an ad in the past. Lookalikes are people who, based on Facebook’s algorithms share similar interests to your current audience.

Get More Creative With Your Targeting

Getting creative with your targeting may mean digging a little deeper into who your customer is. Go beyond their demographics and some obvious interests. Start investigating what else your customers like by asking them or look at data from sources like Google Analytics. Once you’ve identified some more targeting options, then try testing them first before going all-in on budget. That’s the great thing about digital marketing—it’s malleable!

Shift The Dollars Somewhere Else

No one says you have to advertise on Facebook. If leveraging third-party data is the only way to get to the right audience, then try something else. If you want to target people in-market for something like a car, you likely are already taking advantage of Search Ads, but maybe not on Bing (yes, Bing is still a thing!). Or maybe your potential customers are watching car reviews on YouTube or are Twitter fanatics. Just try to think outside the Facebox!

Do you need help with your Facebook marketing now that third-party targeting is gone? Give us a shout.