Laser Targeting Small Markets On Facebook
The Shit I’ve Learnt Not To Do On Facebook

Laser Targeting Small Markets On Facebook

There are a number of ways to skin the cat on Facebook.

As tempting as bribing an intern can be – after the 91st rejected ad notification – you should keep faith that eventually some stupid son of a bitch is going to risk detention and hit the big red “approve” button. As an entire office of Under 22 whores Zuckerberg would love to shag gasp with horror, it’s possible to make some pretty good bank. That’s if you’re willing to persevere. Facebook is a love hate relationship for many. But when I love you, Facebook, I really fucking love you.

The thing that really gets on my tits about Facebook is the effect it has on my working day. I’ll plow through a giant list of dating ads, only to have to do it all again at 10pm when an intern decides my hussy is showing too much skin. I mean, seriously, do yourself a favour, Facebook. Wake up and smell the bacon. Guys are more likely to click on a chick who’s making no effort to keep her modesty outside of the 110×80.

For those of you following my Twitter, you’ll have heard my CTR-raising trick. It’s basically to find girls sucking lollipops. This seems to draw immediate attention and bag the clicks. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because more guys are interested in blowjobs than dating.

I feel myself drifting off with another aimless tangent, so I’ll cut to the chase. The most success I’ve had making money on Facebook has been by laser targeting very small markets. To do this, you’re going to need a greater investment of time – and probably patience – considering you’re going to be submitting many more ads.

To take dating for an example, I know there are a lot of affiliates who direct link and manage to stay profitable. If that’s working for you, great. I don’t think I’ve ever direct linked on a dating campaign and gotten the margins of profit that would make it worthwhile for me to keep running. Instead I prefer a little market segmentation.

If you’re running dating ads, you should probably be using the CPM system. Paying by the click is notoriously expensive for this vertical and your ability to have success will pretty much hinge on what CTR you can muster. I drop any ads that aren’t getting at least 0.09% as a general CTR rule. Not only do I drop the ads, but I also banish the girls from my hard drive forevermore. You can forget HotorNot.com. The real beauty contest is whether I can use your face to get a bunch of 25 year old American guys to sign up for some lonely hearts piss-parade. Anything less than 0.1% CTR and I’m sorry girl, but it’s over.

The best way to raise a CTR with dating ads, from my experience, is to drill down and target by the city or state. I like to change my ad texts to something that is relevant and local. Better yet, I like to make it sound like the target is the hot commodity. Check this shit out but don’t go copy and pasting it or I will track you down and break your fucking balls.


You can probably change the colour of the lollipop and do some pretty advanced split testing. Maybe even the tint the lipstick. I’ll leave it to you. What I’m trying to say here is that you’re sending a message to the single guys in London that they’re wanted.

The next part of the puzzle is to build a landing page that delivers on the geographical promise. If you haven’t tracked down a PHP script for geo-targeting the user’s current location, you’re about 5 years behind the porn industry and you should probably get up to scratch right about now.

I was stumbling across a porn site the other day (research purposes fyi), and I noticed the targeting had advanced to such an extent that it was almost asking me if I’d like to fuck my nextdoor neighbour. The porn industry has been geo-targeting for so long now and it’s taken the rest of the marketplace a good couple of years to catch up. If you’re ever sitting there looking for some inspiration, looking to take your creatives to the next level…I shit you not. Go and find some porn. You’ll see marketing tactics employed that are a few light years ahead of the rest of us. Why? Because the competition encourages innovation.

Well, as far as geolocating goes, I like to jack that particular innovation and shove it straight in to my dating landing pages. If you can get the average simpleton Joe thinking that there’s a shag around the nearest block, he’s gonna be salivating all the way to that shiny Mate 1 confirmation email.

I have a custom built CMS that makes it possible for me to add a couple of location specific images, change my region settings, and spit out a fully functional landing page for any dating market in the world. This works like a wet dream for setting up new Facebook campaigns. The only problem, as you can probably imagine, is getting the intern to play ball and approve the damn thing.

The real challenge with any small-scale Facebook campaign is something that a surprising number of affiliates fail to understand: retaining your CTR.

See, not only do you have to worry about getting an initial CTR of above 0.09%, you also have to keep it stable. Many affiliates watch with confusion as their super targeted campaign starts with a surge of success – only to fade to shit by the weekend. Well, you need to conquer the banner blindness syndrome.

If you’re targeting a group size containing less than 100,000 Facebook users, you really need to be actively switching out your banners and testing new ad texts.

It doesn’t take long to rack up 100,000 impressions. Let’s say by some statistical miracle occurrence those 100,000 impressions are distributed evenly with 1 impression per user. After every user has seen the ad and decided not to click on it, you’re going to have great difficulty changing their mind when it next pops up on their screen. Banner blindness kicks in surprisingly quickly. Users begin to ignore your best worded ad texts. Your CTR fades day-by-day until your profit margins are bust or your volume of clicks is a trickle.

To beat the banner blindness, you need to create many different ad variations and KEEP THEM RUNNING. Even when one ad significantly outperforms it. I’ve felt the temptation, believe me. You see one ad raking in a CTR almost double that of another, and you remove it – what happens? The CTR of the best performing ad will invariably drop.

A lot of the time this is because the top performing ad starts to receive all of the impressions. Banner blindness quickly sets in. There’s no alternate text or image to keep the message fresh and shit begins to go wrong.

Some small scale campaigns are destined to never make it beyond a short lifespan. This is reality. You can’t milk a cow forever. But if you want to get the most out of an ultra targeted campaign, you really need to be mixing up your creatives and keeping your message fresh in the user’s mind.

One of the best examples I’ve seen on Facebook is the current campaign for Mafia Wars. I’m not going to out any creatives, but every time I refresh the page, it seems like they’ve changed the ad text or the image or something else to drag my eye back to their message. Take note and remember not to let your own profitable campaigns slip away through neglect. Keep it fresh and you’ll keep on banking.

EDIT: Just last week, this blog was voted in as one of the newest additions to the 9rules network. 9rules is a highly respected members-only community for the best content from the independent web. Naturally, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing there. But thanks for reading.

Are you serious about advertising on Facebook?

Whether you’re using CPM or CPC – the benefits of the latest Facebook Ads Manager are pretty damn obvious. Automate the process of submitting ads and create thousands of variations within a single hammer of the Go button. The Facebook Ads Manager is a brilliant solution for those who care about time and want to maximize their profitability on the ‘Book. Get it now.

Read more about Facebook Ads Manager | Read the full Finch Sells Review

The Shit I’ve Learnt Not To Do On Facebook

One of the first blogs I read before moving in to affiliate marketing was a Facebook piece over on Nicky Cakes. It explained how and why I was such a retard for failing to make money with Facebook.

I realize now, about two years too late, that Facebook Advertising was the genuine shit back in the day. Right before the guidelines started warping in to something resembling an affiliate hate list. You could put in a half day’s work and see an enormous mountain of cheap clicks. Clicks that produced conversions. One thing Facebook hasn’t lost over time is the quality of it’s traffic.

It’s a shame we can’t go back to 2007 and jump on the gravy train as if we’d seen it coming. I’d have jumped on some acai berries while I was there. But the reality? It’s 2009 and advertising on Facebook requires some actual marketing knowledge. You can go and read over Nicky Cakes’ Facebook tutorials, but as relevant as they may have been at the time, this industry swallows up profitable tactics fast.

Anyway, if you want expert advice on how to get rich using Facebook – don’t be looking at me. It’s only in the last couple of months that I’ve managed to troubleshoot my way out of the red and get some profitable campaigns on the burn. I’m currently in the process of scaling my campaigns and I’m quite happy to see them doubling my money.

But having thrown a festival sized tank of shit at the wall in the hope that a marketing strategy would stick, I can hopefully offer some advice for what NOT to do. This could be a long one.

Don’t advertise on Facebook with the Google mindset.

I don’t think enough people talk about the difference between marketing on various search engines, let alone the change in dynamics that comes with marketing on a social media site.

I was traditionally a search guy for a long time. All of my income came from search based PPC. When I decided to shift a campaign across to Facebook for the first time, it tanked embarrassingly.

This is how it goes for most people, whether they’ve got the modesty to admit it or not. Makes sense when you think about it, though. It’s much easier to reach the right demographic of people on Google. Christ, you’re bidding on keywords that consumers are actually hammering in to their browsers. If you can’t find the right audience there, well, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board.

Facebook is entirely different. You’re not bidding on keywords that people are actively searching for – rather you’re serving your ad to a certain demographic and hoping that they bite the bullet. Vague targeting is punished with a high CPC and impressions that have dried up by dawn.

My first mistake was in spreading the net too wide and advertising to as many users as I could filter in to my campaign. This, obviously, ended in tears and a very low clickthrough rate.

Sample size: 800,000
CTR: 0.05
Impressions: Not many without breaking the bank.

If you’re using Google, you get in to the mindset of trying to reach as many people as possible with your relevant keywords. Perfectly fine on Adwords. But if you try to target everybody who *might* match your demographic on Facebook, you’re going to collect a lot of wasted impressions.

I only started achieving success on Facebook when I reduced my ad target sizes to under 50,000. I’ve managed to scale upwards, but even now, I don’t like advertising to groups larger than 100,000. You need close control over the keywords that your profiles are matched to.

Do your research before you start bombarding the damn interns. Head on over to Microsoft Adlabs and put the tools to use. The Demographic Prediction tool is excellent for laying down the first building blocks of any well targeted Facebook campaign.

Enter the URL of the offer landing page (at the advertiser end, not your own), and you’ll be presented some nice starting points for targeting your campaign.


This gives you a rough idea of the demographics that are already visiting the advertiser’s site. Never a good idea to judge success on patterns as flimsy as this but we’ll take it as a starting point.

One of the areas where I see a lot of marketers failing is in taking the bigger percentage. Acai berries as a prime example. How long did it take for some of you to catch on that it wasn’t just women who were searching for acai? I’d be seeing landing pages everywhere with twenty something chicks showing off their new flat stomachs. How many of those banners featured guys? This despite the acai market having a 30/70 guys to girls split according to some networks. You might run with the 70 percent, but the 30 percent is pretty fucking significant when you’re talking about a billion dollar booming industry.

With Facebook, in particular, it’s possible to find a niche within a niche just by targeting the smaller crowd of users that everybody else ignores. A bit like Canada. Why oh why did I spend 4 months scratching around with doomed USA-based Facebook campaigns when I don’t need 13 million fucking conversions to get rich?

Anyway, moral of the story. Get to know your target market. I mean, really well. Take whatever keywords you can relate to your product and plug them in to the filtering system. This leads on to probably my most expensive mistake.

Your message has to be consistent on Facebook.

All pieces of the jigsaw have to come together. You can quite easily drive traffic to your site with a headline like “These Acai Berries Are Free”. But if your landing page headline says “Well, actually they’re not. But now that you’re here…”

This is expensive because it’ll get you a lot of clicks but a distinct lack of conversions in the column that matters. Whatever advert you place on Facebook, you have to realize that people clicking it are CHANCE clickers. They didn’t search for your shit. You threw it in their face with a headline that caught their attention. You’ve gotta make your landing page instantly sell whatever x factor it was that brought your average Facebook junkie to the party in the first place.

Facebook traffic does convert. We all know that it converts because people have built a living and a future on this one single damn platform. But you have to keep your message consistent.

Specific keywords used to filter users.
Ad title.
Ad image.
Landing page content.
Final offer page content.

They all need to have something in common, or you better know your demographic like it’s your best friend.

Facebook is all about trial and error. You’ve probably heard this so many times that it’s lost it’s meaning. And no, it might not be as easy to make instaprofit as it was a couple of years back. But the industry moves on and we all roll with it.

I’ve established some successful campaigns on Facebook over the last few months that have kinda made me reconsider the most profitable ways of marketing online. I might add a few posts of useful tips I’ve picked up along the way. I might not. Just remember that it only takes one successful Facebook campaign to pay for the dollars you’ve lost on the shit that never worked out.

Are you serious about advertising on Facebook?

Whether you’re using CPM or CPC – the benefits of the latest Facebook Ads Manager are pretty damn obvious. Automate the process of submitting ads and create thousands of variations within a single hammer of the Go button. The Facebook Ads Manager is a brilliant solution for those who care about time and want to maximize their profitability on the ‘Book. Get it now.

Read more about Facebook Ads Manager | Read the full Finch Sells Review

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