While we as communicators value the benefits of detailed ad targeting, there are negative outcomes that have played out over the years, leading to Meta/Facebook’s recent decision to limit targeting in the four core categories below:
Starting January 19, 2022 we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation. Examples include:
- Health causes (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”, “Chemotherapy”)
- Sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”)
- Religious practices and groups (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”)
- Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures
How Facebook interprets some of these remains to be seen, but we share the frustrations of our clients who may have to spend more to get the same messages out due to less precise targeting options. Overall, we are optimistic Facebook will remain a key advertising option, as we can still target by demographic (i.e. over age 65, college graduates, etc.), location (i.e. states, ZIP codes, etc.), and interest (i.e. automotive, wellness, etc.), and still retarget or create custom audiences and lookalikes based on existing email lists.
Of course, this also serves as a reminder to have other digital advertising options lined up. Beekeeper Group has seen client success with many other ad platforms, including:
- Programmatic Display/Video – Using a demand-side platform (DSP), we can easily bid on digital ads in multiple (or just a single!) online media publications, ranging from ‘Tier One Media’ (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc.) to state/local media networks, to trade publications. Our DSP also gives us access to inventory served on over-the-top digital streaming platforms (Hulu, Roku, etc.) and can even reach outdoor billboards.
- Content Discovery – You’ve probably seen those “related content” boxes when you scroll down to the bottom of an article on high-traffic news websites like CNN, Fox, USA Today, and more. Through buys with platforms like Outbrain or Taboola, these low cost ads are great for all kinds of performance goals.
- Audio Streaming Apps – 75% of Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z report consuming digital audio at least once a week in 2021 on platforms like Spotify and Pandora, and Boomers were not far behind. Music streaming apps, like Spotify and Pandora, are excellent options for reaching target audiences based on the demographics of different listening preferences, including other languages, and they are expanding ad unit offerings.
- Other Social Platforms – While Twitter has kept a ban on any political/advocacy ads for over 2 years, you can still leverage the platform for promoting thought leadership and marketing messages. LinkedIn is excellent for targeting by profession or employer (including those who work on Capitol Hill!)YouTube is great at delivering horizontal video creative, and even other platforms like TikTok, Tumblr, and Snap might be the best fit.
Learn more in this client case study.