Facebook partner categories will soon launch in Australia, giving companies a powerful way to leverage the social media giant’s advertising network to promote their products and services.
At the moment, Australian companies using Facebook advertising for new customer acquisition, target users based on interests and demographics drawn from their activity (and the information they enter) on Facebook.
Ads can be shown to users based on information they enter into their profile (e.g. demographics, occupation, location, relationship status), and from their activity on the social media platform (interests and behaviours drawn from connections, page likes, use of Facebook in general).
Partner categories will provide new targeting opportunities – segmenting users based on interests and activities outside of Facebook. The data will be sourced from launch partners Quantium, Experian and Acxiom - marrying up Facebook users’ offline habits with its set of online information.
AdNews provides more detail on how this data is sourced:
"Acxiom combines more than 300 data sources including the Census, surveys and publically available data as well as first party CRM data for industries including retail, finance, automotive and telco. Likewise, Experian’s data sets include census and tax information, proprietary research into consumer behaviour and preferences. Quantium, 50% owned by Woolworths, works with around 200 Australian businesses, and derives anonymous data from retail transactions from NAB, property info from CoreLogic, subscription TV viewer habits via Foxtel and supermarket loyalty information from Woolworths"
Facebook explains that a pet food company that wants to reach pet owners who own their own home can now do so.
"To date, advertisers have been able to show ads to people based on their expressed interests – such as age, gender, favourite activities and city they live – on Facebook. Now, with Partner Categories, a marketer can also show ads on Facebook to people who, for instance, have previously purchased dog or cat food, and are a homeowner or renter"
This is very powerful for those looking to promote financial services. An insurance company, for example, could leverage this customer information to promote niche product offerings to markets based on a customer's purchase of a related product, or a specific type of vehicle.
For those already investing in advertising spend on social media, the ability to target campaigns with greater precision will likely offer a better ROI from existing campaigns. With greater understanding of a campaign's audience, companies have the ability to create ads that are more effective and engaging. Overseas, some brands have seen a 40% drop in cost per lead generated after using partner categories within their campaigns.
Medibank’s marketing and brand general manager, Tamalin Morton explains how Facebook partner categories will assist in their online marketing initiatives, recognising that having a deep understanding of people is crucial for the health fund provier to remain relevant in a rapidly changing and competitive environment.
“We constantly strive to know more about our customers, to be in the places they need us to be, when they need us,” she said. “Having the ability to tailor our communications enables us to build trust and helps maintain our position as market leader.”
For those yet to launch a Facebook advertising campaign, partner categories adds new incentive. Combined with dedicated effort to monitor campaign performance and appropriate conversion tracking, companies can have greater confidence money they invest is going towards a campaign that is speaking directly to their target market.
Facebook partner categories will be available to Australian advertisers from August 3rd.