‘Outbound advertising’ or ‘prospecting’ is the type of advertising you do when you are trying to reach a new audience with your ads.
This is a crucial thing to do for any company looking to grow, but these days you don’t have many choices for doing this online, it really boils down to two platforms: Google and Facebook.
While Facebook has incredible reach, and audience targeting capabilities, there are a few things to consider before launching a campaign:
1. Can you reach your audience?
Most smaller companies are going to have a very defined customer base. For one of our clients, Quimbee, this is current law students. For Rentec Direct it’s property managers and landlords with 10 or more units under management.
When setting up your Facebook campaign, you need to input all of the targeting parameters telling Facebook which users you want to serve ads to.
There are many ways to do this, including interest targeting (targeting users based on their page likes, profile etc.) lookalike audiences, demographics and more.
While all of these seem to make perfect sense on the surface, there is more to it:
Interest targeting is not always accurate.
Lookalike audiences are great, but they still are limited by what information Facebook has on its users.
Demographic targeting is often too broad for most advertisers and doesn’t lead to any real results.
Behavioral targeting is better suited for larger advertisers with a product that appeals to a broad audience.
2. Do you have the right creative?
Consider that the people you are reaching have never heard of your brand before. This is your first impression.
Your creative needs to:
Communicate quickly and effectively what your product is and why someone might need it
Capture their attention enough to drive them to your site so you can continue marketing to them from there
This is even more challenging given people’s short attention spans these days. On the plus side, it is easy to test creative quickly on Facebook, but you're going to need to spend some budget to do so.
3. Are you set up to continue to marketing to the new audience?
Assume that the audience needs to hear from you again before they convert/register/buy.
You should have methods in place to continue to speak to this audience.
Typically advertisers will follow up via:
Social platform likes/follows
Direct outreach from a sales person (if you capture their contact information on the first visit)
Paid remarketing via Google, Facebook etc.
4. Are there better ways to bring new customers to your website?
Search should be the foundation of any advertiser's digital marketing.
Since people are already searching for something, and are therefore in-market, these are the people you want to reach. Many software and SaaS companies have been built entirely on search traffic.
Anyone with a Facebook account can use the audience insights tool to research their opportunity before launching a single ad.
The tool will allow you to determine if you can reach your target audience, and also understand the size of that audience.
Another way to really narrow down your targeting is by using boolean logic:
By doing this, you will have a much smaller but more relevant audience that is more likely to respond to your message.
If you're interested in learning more about this, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.