Here are a few techniques that will help you find the decision makers in the Industry you are interested in:
1. The old and the new: Use online research and FB's targeting capabilities
By combining some old school research techniques with Facebook's targeting capabilities, you will be able to reach the people responsible for making the decision to buy your product or service.
For “old school research”, use:
- The Census Bureau website
- Business publications
- Industry journals
You can use zipmap.net to see a zip code map of the region you are targeting, and include or exclude certain neighbourhoods. This works especially well if you are familiar with the area.
2. Go for minorities and genders
Or risk missing out
Some experts recommend not using targeting options such as gender or age for B2B advertising. In my opinion, that is a mistake, since it could mean ignoring your actual clients.
Start by doing some research, which will give you major insights about who your clients are. Then you can decide if it's worth targeting them, or even tailoring a campaign specifically to their needs.
For example, let's say I'm thinking of creating a campaign for Bloominari, my own digital marketing agency in San Diego. I know my clients are mostly small businesses in the area, people looking for online social media packages. I want to find out who they are…. So I visit the Census Bureau Website. Look here:
I can see that in San Diego, a large portion of businesses are owned by women and Hispanics. This is great information, since now I can build my Facebook ads with those groups in mind.
Since Bloominari has a bilingual team of marketers, I may even create a campaign in Spanish, for Latino business owners.
3. Choose by Industry, job titles and Seniority
For B2B targeting, think a little bit older and higher up the ladder
Facebook offers an extensive list of Industries to target (look under “Work”). It stands to reason that decision- makers within corporations should be higher up the ladder, and business owners aren't (for the most part) 18 year olds. If you were selling to the restaurant industry, you'd rather target the Executive Chef, than the servers.
4. Consider targeting by fields of study…
A large part of the population does not end up working on the field they studied. But there are some industries–such as the medical and legal fields, that really require a very specific educational background. So depending on your target, you may be more inclined to filter not just by “Educational level”, but by “Fields of study” (all of these are under “Demographics”). So if you are targeting businesses such as medical offices, dentists or real estate agents, you may want to look for people who studied medicine or dentistry, or who describe themselves as realtors.
These categories are found under Demographics > Education > Field of Study.
Important tip: “Field of study” categories won't come up instantaneously, you'll have to type in the word you are looking for, and Facebook's suggestions will appear.
You'll also have to type in the words in the “Employers” and “Job Titles” categories, which are also worth looking at.
We could go on and on... But, how do you know if you've gotten too specific?
If your audience shrinks significantly when choosing a particular option, that means that you've gone too far, and need to choose a broader audience.
How big or small should your Facebook target audience be?
Everything is relative to the specific audience you're interested in targeting. For local-based targeting, such as targeting a specific group of people in a city such as San Diego, California for example, we try to keep our Facebook target audiences between 7,500 to 15,000 potential people to target. Yet, we go as low as 5,000 and up to 25,000 when needed. Yet, if an audience is smaller than 5K or larger than 25K, we adjust it until we have a more specific, better targeted audience.