Meta rolls out Detailed Targeting cull: up your creative game or be left behind
5 Min Read
Back in November, Meta announced that they would be removing some detailed Facebook ads targeting options. Although, the changes that would be made were far more significant than anyone had expected.
Thousands of detailed targeting options were removed on 19th January 2022.
Facebook is taking more steps to align with evolving privacy regulations to preemptively thwart potentially problematic issues and causes.
When Meta first discussed removing detailed targeting options, the focus was on targeting option related to sensitive topics, such as options referencing causes, organisations or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.
We would see detailed targeting removed related to health causes (e.g. Lung cancer awareness), sexual orientation (e.g. LGBT culture), religious practises and groups (e.g. Catholic church), political beliefs, social issues, causes, organisations.
So, why the change?
Commenting on the targeting options cull, Meta had to say:
‘Starting Jan 19, 2022, we’re removing some Detailed Targeting options because they are either not widely used, they may be redundant with others or too granular, or because they relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as targeting options referencing causes, organisations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.’
Under the EU’s more stringent consumer data protection laws (GDPR), Facebook technically can’t legally target users based on such parameters without explicit consent from each individual.
That law came into effect in 2018, and Facebook has been battling it ever since, but with the broader, global shift towards more privacy, and more data control for users, it seems Facebook has now opted to concede the point, and align with the more specific regulations on such.
The solution: creative
You may be wondering what the solution is, if you want to continue hitting the right audience segments but improve ROAS and CPAs?
The answer is a simple one: creative.
As the paid social ecosystem moves towards AI-driven broad targeting as best practice, it is vital that brands pivot their strategy and compensate for the lack of Detailed Targeting options with creative and copy that speaks directly to the pains, problems, hopes and dreams of specific audience segments.
It is this approach that will drive the right users to respond to your brand’s advertising.
Here are some tips for paid social success after the Detailed Targeting cull:
Keep your top-of-funnel targeting broad and let Meta’s AI/ML use the data from people who take action when they see your ad. This data is used to further refine audience targeting, generating more impressions to people who might be interested in your offer.
Target users with dynamic copy. The system could use the elements of your creative to refine audience targeting. Add relevant audience keywords in your ad’s copy and visual, so that the system can use these keywords as input for targeting.
Targeting by creative means is becoming increasingly important and that’s a good thing. Advertisers are often too focused on the many targeting options, they forget to refine the creative and messaging itself – be bold, brave and explain to your audience how your product solves their problem.
What constitutes ‘good creative’?
It cuts through saturated social feeds by exciting, entertaining, educating or being emotive.
It’s rigorously tested, e.g. long form copy vs. short form copy. Video vs. static. Carousel vs. collection.
Several pieces of creative must work together to take the user on a buying journey, by first engaging the user; then addressing their problem/challenge; touting the potential outcome and finally, proposing your brand’s solution.
Facebook, Instagram & TikTok are video-first platforms, lean into that. Feature your brandmark in the first and last 2-3 seconds when possible.
Tests that our Paid Media Team recently ran resulted in UGC ads [User Generated Content] out performing traditional ‘product focused’ ads at the top-of-funnel, as it feels more authentic and native to the Feed.
The inclusion of people in your videography and photography is proven to increase engagement. It’s easier to form an emotional bond and relate to a human, than it is an inanimate object or brand.
When was the last time you audited creative as part of your brand’s paid social strategy?