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Intuition Through Automation: Expand Your Facebook Ads Reach

Published: March 4, 2013

Author: Daniel Ho

For most, the notion of an automated advertising campaign sounds like blasphemy:  “How do you speak to people in algorithm?” One might say, “your SaaS doesn’t have a business degree.” While it still holds true that effective marketing requires a savvy human element, it’s in the Social Era that marketing insights tend to require translation through technology.
Regardless of one’s social media acumen, delivering effective targeted ads through Facebook is a sophisticated process that requires highly technical attention to detail. From the billions of interactions delivered across this platform – connecting millions of brands, themes, and ideas – highly actionable data is created that enables marketers to examine audiences through every imaginable nuance.
However, it’s from the intricacies of this data that we realize that there is much more than meets the eye; connections among different themes and concepts may transcend the perceived concept of a brand and require an automated filter in order to interpret.
While audience goals can vary greatly depending on the company’s function and the desired outcome of the campaign, expanding one’s reach to more relevant and captive consumers is always the end goal.  More often than not, campaigns require a well-defined scope that is best accessible by identifying precise interests relevant to the brand’s target market. Take, for example, the luxury automotive brand “Range Rover.” When the brand is examined through Facebook’s API (in this case, using the Optimal Expander), we see that concepts like “King Magazine” and “Def Jam Recordings” fall into the top-five list of keywords that are liked, alongside this brand.
range rover brand connections
Although this information may come across as counterintuitive from a targeting perspective, it speaks to complex relationships that exist between this brand and consumers; specifically, in regards to a large base of aspirational fans. However, when “Range Rover” is layered with another term that also fits within the perceived parameters of the target market, like “American Express,” we find an entirely new field of keywords including “#New York Life Insurance Company” and “#1-800-Flowers” that better-reflect potential consumers –  but would likely not have been encountered through sheer intuition.
So how does one effectively tap into the power of automation in order to expand the reach of a brand’s Facebook advertisements? Here are three basic strategies:
1. Remember that data is key. APIs exist for our exclusive benefit; failing to tap into this powerful technology is like ignoring the instruction manual altogether. Tapping into expander technologies helps uncover valuable insights that otherwise would not be found.
2. Cast a thorough net of target topics that represent a broad scope of your audience’s interests.
3. Leverage Facebook’s Custom Audiences whenever applicable. Opt-in data such as customer emails, phone numbers, and Facebook IDs can be instrumental in creating a well-defined target audience.
The more data marketers have at their disposal ultimately equates to a better understanding of how that brand fits into broader, global conversation. By blending automated computation with raw understanding of one’s market and competition, marketers are able uncover meaningful and untapped insights.

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