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Targeting a Small Radius? Learn the Expert's Guide to Facebook Ads

Published on: November 17 2023 by 2Q Lead Generation Strategies with Kevin Smullin

Targeting a Small Radius? Learn the Expert's Guide to Facebook Ads

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Changes in Facebook's targeting system
  3. The importance of geographical targeting
  4. Limitations of the special ad category
  5. Bypassing the limitations with a change in strategy
  6. Using the custom audiences feature
  7. Creating a customer list
  8. Uploading the customer list to Facebook
  9. Targeting specific neighborhoods
  10. Using data services for obtaining lists
  11. Benefits of geo-targeted advertising
  12. Conclusion

How to Geographically Target Facebook Ads Despite Limitations

Facebook's implementation of the special ad category has posed challenges for advertisers in geographically targeting their ads to specific areas and neighborhoods. The restrictions put in place by Facebook, such as limitations on age and gender targeting, as well as the automatic default to a 15-mile radius for location targeting, have made it difficult for real estate agents and marketers to effectively reach their intended audience. In this article, we will explore a strategy to bypass these limitations and still achieve geographically targeted ad campaigns.

Changes in Facebook's Targeting System

Over the last year and a half, Facebook has made significant changes to its targeting system, primarily driven by the introduction of the special ad category. This category was implemented to prevent discriminatory practices in advertising, particularly in the housing sector. However, the unintended consequence of these changes is the limitation placed on the ability to geographically target ads.

The Importance of Geographical Targeting

Geographical targeting is crucial for real estate agents and marketers who need to reach specific areas and neighborhoods with their advertising. Whether it's promoting recently sold properties or conducting repetitive marketing campaigns in farming areas, the ability to narrow down the audience based on location is essential for maximizing the effectiveness of ads.

Limitations of the Special Ad Category

Within the special ad category, several limitations have been introduced that restrict advertisers from effectively targeting their intended audience. These limitations include the inability to target based on age and gender and the automatic default of a 15-mile radius for location targeting. These restrictions hamper the ability to reach specific neighborhoods and areas with precision.

Bypassing the Limitations with a Change in Strategy

To overcome these limitations, a change in strategy is required. Instead of relying solely on the targeting options provided within the Facebook Ads platform, advertisers can utilize the custom audiences feature.

Using the Custom Audiences Feature

The custom audiences feature in Facebook's Business Manager account allows advertisers to create audience segments based on custom criteria. By uploading a customer list that includes phone numbers and email addresses, advertisers can directly target specific individuals or groups.

Creating a Customer List

To utilize the custom audiences feature, a customer list is required. Title companies or brokerages may provide lists based on neighborhoods or specific areas. Alternatively, data services such as Cole Realty Resource can be used to obtain contact information for desired target markets.

Uploading the Customer List to Facebook

Once a customer list is obtained, it can be uploaded to Facebook's custom audiences section. Facebook will scan its user accounts for matches and include those individuals in the custom audience segment.

Targeting Specific Neighborhoods

With the custom audience segment created, advertisers can now target specific neighborhoods and areas without being limited by the restrictions of the special ad category. By selecting the custom audience as the targeting criteria in their ad campaigns, advertisers can tailor their content to reach the desired audience effectively.

Using Data Services for Obtaining Lists

Data services such as Cole Realty Resource provide an additional avenue for obtaining targeted lists. These services offer detailed information based on specific addresses or neighborhoods, allowing advertisers to further refine their audience and maximize the impact of their ads.

Benefits of Geo-Targeted Advertising

Geo-targeted advertising offers numerous benefits for real estate agents and marketers. By focusing on specific neighborhoods, agents can leverage recent sales and generate leads through targeted postcards. Additionally, repetitive marketing campaigns in farming areas become more effective when the ads are accurately tailored to the intended audience.

Conclusion

Despite the limitations imposed by Facebook's special ad category, advertisers can still achieve effective geographical targeting by utilizing the custom audiences feature and creating customer lists. By bypassing the limitations, advertisers can maximize the impact of their ads and generate more leads, set more appointments, and close more deals in their real estate business. With the right strategies and tools, geographical targeting on Facebook is still possible and highly rewarding.

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