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Social Ad Targeting to Address the Customer Journey – Phase II : Qualified Targeting

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After casting a wide net to reach the largest addressable audience for your brand with broad targeting, it’s time to start narrowing your audience to those with a higher propensity to convert. To push users further through the purchase funnel- from awareness into the consideration phase- you’ll need to implement qualified targeting for the customer journey.  

What is Qualified Targeting?

Targeting qualified users means that you are reducing the scope of your audience to those who are more likely to show interest in your brand and convert. This is the section of the customer journey that takes the audience from the awareness phase into the consideration phase. They are aware of your brand and currently in the research process, determining if your product will be their next purchase or if a competitor will win them over. It is at this point you are priming your audience with information about your product or service so that when they are ready to convert, they will do so with your brand.

Building Qualified Audiences:

There are several methods for developing qualified audiences that you can leverage when trying to sharpen your focus and encourage potential customers further down the path. Here are a few ways to get started with building qualified audience targets for your brand’s customer journey:

  1. Interest Targeting – Create audiences that fit within your target demographic, but limited to users who have expressed interest in topics or activities relevant to your brand. For example, if you are a tourism brand, create an audience of users who have been identified as frequent travelers.
  2. Competitor Targeting – Create an audience to target users who are fans/followers of competitors. By liking/following a competitor’s page they have already expressed that they are a current consumer or are currently researching within your brand’s vertical.
  3. Engaged Audiences – Build audiences that include people that have engaged with your ads. Users within this target have expressed awareness and interest in your brand and are likely ready to go a bit further down the funnel. This is a great way to identify and build a target around people who engaged with your broader awareness content.
  4. Lookalike Targeting – Lookalike (https://www.facebook.com/business/help/465262276878947) targeting is a great way to build a wider qualified audience based on existing social user information. Lookalike audiences take information you have collected about a current audience – such as users who visit your website tracked via pixel implementation or users in your email database – and build a larger profile of users similar to those who are already customers or are behaving in a way that is indicative of consideration. For example, you might want to create a more general lookalike audience for users who visit your website. This will cast a wider net, but as you’re trying to whittle down your audience to more qualified customers, consider creating a lookalike audience based on people who view a specific page on your website that indicates they are currently in the consideration phase like a FAQ page or “About Us” section.

Don’t forget to adjust additional demographic parameters like location, age, and gender. Additionally, you’ll want to account for exclusions. Since you’re driving users into the consideration phase, you’ll want to exclude people who have already converted. You can do this by creating a custom audience of users who have completed conversion actions as tracked through the pixel you have placed on your website. This will ensure you aren’t repeating messaging to people who are already much further down the journey. 

Once you have targeted your qualified users and encouraged them into the consideration phase of the customer journey, it’s time to retarget them and push to conversion. If you’re interested in learning more about how to build qualified audience targeting or looking for a hand with your ad buying strategy in general, contact us and we’ll be happy to guide you through our customer journey!

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