Facebook AdvertisingBy John Larkin

Let’s say you have spent hours creating and crafting a great piece of content.

It tells a story and you really feel it resonates with your target market on an emotional level.

You press publish.

Being the savvy marketer that you are, you know you need to share it on your social channels.

So, you share it on Facebook…

“Sigh, only two percent of my fans were reached.

You share it on Twitter…

“I wish I never knew about analytics.twitter.com. Only 100 of my 2000 followers saw my tweet!?

You share it on Google+…


And then…?

Use Facebook Advertising to Get Your Content Seen

We can’t help but feel disappointed when we put so much effort into creating great content, but it doesn’t quite get read as much as we would have hoped.

It can be so anti-climatic, right?

I want to explore targeting options on Facebook for the times when it just feels right to spend a few bucks to ensure a wider audience gets wowed by your content generation skills.

Here are our top three tips to ensure you reach the right people on Facebook who are most likely to be interested in your content.

Use Web Custom Audiences (WCA)

Anyone can open up their Facebook ads account and set up a web custom audience.

All you need to do is install a line of code on your website.

(And if you can’t figure out how to do that, talk with your web developer. They can help.)

What this enables you to do is create audiences on Facebook based on past visitors actions on your site.

Say we wanted to promote this article to people who previously read an article about giving advice for first time Facebook advertisers.

If I had WCA set up, I could choose to target that specific group of web traffic.

What does this mean? It means you can retarget previous visitors to your blog or website who read specific and similar pieces of content with your new content.

Awesome right?

This can create a bit of a cascade effect. If you have a way to gather email addresses set up, it can also be a great way to generate leads.

Choose People Most Likely to Have an Interest in Your Subject Area

To do this, we can use the Facebook interface to segment by interests.

To use the article you’re reading as an example, we would want to push this out to people who are small business owners and are interested in advertising.

A quick search of this audience inside Facebook shows that there are 1.5M people in the USA who fall into that category.

This is probably a bit broad, so unless we had a budget worthy of an Upworthy article, we would want to narrow this audience down.

If we had $100 to promote it, for example, we could probably put it in front of around 20-25k people.

Still, this is a very large audience. The problem with that is we will never reach a statistically relevant portion of people to know whether or not it was worthwhile.

We could spend thousands of dollars without getting a meaningful click simply due to variance.

Hence, we narrow the audience to match our budget, so at the very least, we learn from it.

If your ad reaches 90 percent of your initial audience, you will glean great insights for next time.

To narrow down this audience, we could target at a state or a city level, rather than at a national level.

We could potentially throw in some other demographic filters to further narrow the field.

In this example, simply changing the location to focus on people in New York reduces that audience size to 28k.

This is much more reasonable for our budget.

Target Your Competitors

The final tip for promoting content using Facebook ads is to target your competitors.

Think about relevant blogs, companies, and organizations that may have similar appeal to your desired target audience.

Hijack their fan base for your own purposes.

Doing this is easy.

In the interests field, simply choose well known brands or Facebook pages that your audience is likely to have interacted with.

In our example, we would target well-known advertising software companies similar to ourselves at PropelAd, or pages from thought leaders who share information about Facebook advertising.

This is another great way to build an audience of relevant, interested people to share your content with.

Now, just make sure your content is actually as engaging as you think it is.

The best part of this system is that all three tactics work really well together.

For your first piece of content, try interest-targeting to send people to read it. Then, retarget them to your second piece of content. Throw in some competitor research to keep the momentum up.

Before you know it, you will have more leads than you know what to do with!

John Larkin

John Larkin is the VP Marketing of PropelAd (www.propelad.com), a venture backed advertising software startup with offices in Palo Alto & Dublin, Ireland. Their software helps you generate leads for your website and then retarget them for maximum advertising efficiency.

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