Have you ever wished that you could target the customers of your competition with Facebook ads? Facebook Ad Agencies hear this question often and maybe you can, if you were to provide your customers with competitive prices and an innovative product or service of course. When you’re up against competition, the main way that your business has a chance of standing out from the crowd will be with unique features that your competitors do not possess. As a Facebook Ads Company, we know that it would be smarter to let the customers of your competition know that you have something better, less expensive, more unique, or innovative to offer them. You could even pinch some of your competitor’s customers and turn them into customers.
Despite what you may have heard, advertising in this way isn’t impossible, however, it’s also not the easiest thing in the world to achieve either. If you’re going to target your competitor’s audience, there are two targeting methods which should be put into practice. It should however be noted that if your competitor is a well-known brand then it will be a lot easier to target their customers. So, lets delve into how you can identify your competitor’s customers:
Identifying Competitors’ Customers -
Before you can begin to target your competition’s customers you will first need to be able to identify who they are so that you can advertise to them yourself. We’re going to talk you through how to do this using a Facebook Ads account. Imagine that we have an example campaign set up right here, the first thing we’d do is head to the ad set level to demonstrate the first method.
Method N0.1: Facebook Interests -
Facebook Ad Agencies worth their salt will know that this first method is the easy way. It works part of the time. So, the very first thing you would do at the ad set level is to see if your competitor has an interest targeting option. For example, we produce a lot of content around Facebook advertising so, if we thought about some of the big content producers to do with Facebook ads online, we may come up with a name like Jon Loomer. For any of you who aren’t aware, Jon Loomer is a guy who really knows his stuff and produces excellent content on Facebook.
So, go ahead and pop that name into Facebook’s interest search bar. Here, we found him under Jon Loomer Digital. So, now that we’ve got our interest's name in there, that is good news. If you hover over the side, you’ll see that Facebook will show you a little bit more about this interest audience. You can see here that this is people who have expressed an interest in or liked pages related to Jon Loomer. So that’s going to include people who either like Jon Loomer’s page or these are people who have interacted with his content. Now, not everyone in this audience will be customers of his.
In fact, there will be plenty of people in this list who like and interact with Jon Loomer, but haven’t bought anything from him. However, if he does have customers, which we know he does, they are also very likely to be in this group. So, if we thought we had better quality content or content that can compete with Jon Loomer on a slightly different angle then we might consider testing this audience to target with our ads. We should mention that even though this example worked when using Jon as an example, the business you want to target will not always be a targeting option in Facebook. If that’s the case then you will need to use the second method.
Method N0.2: Audience Insights -
Facebook Ad Agencies like us here at rework understand this is a workaround approach. If the competition you want to target is not directly available in Facebook interests, then this is how you can target your competitor’s audience:
Firstly, go to the ‘Audience Insights’ tool from your Facebook Business Manager. Then select everyone on Facebook. The next thing that you are going to need to do is select the locations that you want to target. You can select the US or anywhere else in the world or even the whole world if you want to. Just make sure you are selecting the location(s) that make sense for your business. If you’re just starting out, we’d suggest keeping it national, going with the country where you are based. You can expand or zone into a location further down the line. Then, leave age and gender by default. All that is left to do at this point is to start searching. If your competitor wasn’t directly available in interests then you might have to get a bit creative and find interests similar to your competitor to gather an audience to target. As a Facebook Ads Company, this is often a route we find ourselves taking for clients.
For this next example we’re going to use Jon Loomer again. You’ll find some really interesting information about the audience of the interests you put in here. For instance, here you’ll see that Jon Loomer’s audience skews slightly male and is almost 50% 25 to 44 years old. The people that follow Jon are also far more likely to be married and college-educated than the average Facebook user. This kind of data is interesting and it can be useful, but the part I really like is under the Page Likes section. This section can open up a whole new world of competitors for you to target that you may not have thought of otherwise. As you are looking at this list, make sure that it makes sense for you and your industry. You’ll have to put on your thinking cap and think through these options and understand if they work for you and are closely related to what you do.
At this stage, we usually grab a Google Sheet and start popping the relevant interests in there. You can also scroll to the bottom of this section and check out the affinity score. For those of you who haven’t heard the term before, the affinity score of an interest tells you how much more likely users are to like another interest if they like the interest you are looking at. If you take a look at this for yourself, you’ll see that people who like Jon Loomer are 8354 times more likely to also like Rick Mulready. So, from here, continue to note all of these targeting options and if you are in doubt go to the Facebook Page and see if they are closely related enough to your business. If you do this, you will be able to go back to your ad set level and see which of these you can target, it’s that simple! So, in the instance that the interest you are targeting isn’t an option for you, or you’d like to test different competitor audiences, you can start plugging in interests from your list and see what is available.
Conclusion: Targeting Competitor’s Customers -
The best time to target your competitor’s customers is if you have a product or service that is demonstrably better or different to theirs. You’re going to have a very hard time convincing people to switch from the current business they are buying from. So, if you don’t have some kind of significant competitive advantage, then it’s going to be a very slow walk-up hill, with possibly no view at the top. We’ve personally used this approach effectively on a number of campaigns for clients of our Facebook Ads Company and it can work very well. However, lookalike audiences are usually still your best bet when it comes to Facebook targeting. If you’re actively seeking a professional Facebook Ads Company to assist your business, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us an email to get started!