Continually growing a business is far from easy. Whether you’re working at an early-stage start-up or a corporate giant, if you wound up here, you’re probably looking to grow your customer base via paid social media advertising. And, chances are, you’re undecided on the right play for targeting potential new customers.
Data-collection behemoths like TikTok and Facebook have advanced technology that allows you to target hyper-specific groups within your target audience. While a laser-focused narrow targeting strategy may seem simple and enticing, leveraging the power of broad targeting ad campaigns offers major benefits from a brand awareness and learning perspective. With this approach, you’re essentially letting the social media algorithms dictate who sees your ad.
So, which is it then? Do you pick your niche and run with a narrow targeting strategy, or let broad targeting campaigns target consumers within an array of categories.
Follow along to figure out whether a narrow or broad targeting paid ad strategy is best for your brand.
What Is Broad Targeting in Paid Media?
Facebook summarizes targeting broadly as, “you’re mostly relying on [Facebook’s] delivery system to find the best people to show your ad to… even though you still have to use at least a few basic targeting parameters…” The same definition can apply to other platforms like TikTok, Twitter, and Reddit.
While a narrow targeting approach allows you to select extremely specific parameters related to your audiences’ location, interests, age, gender, etc., broad targeting allows brands to collect valuable data about people within various wide-range categories and see how they convert. With a broad marketing strategy, you’re also building brand awareness by reaching completely new audiences.
Broad vs. Narrow Targeting: What’s the Difference?
The right paid advertising strategy comes down to your business’s specific needs and your budget. Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses of broad vs. specific audience targeting.
Pros & Cons of Narrow Targeting
Pros of narrow targeting paid ad campaigns:
- You control who sees your ad (based on age, gender, location, and/or interest). If, historically, women in their 20s in Florida are your bread and butter, you can select age, gender, and geographic parameters within these confines
- Higher average conversion rate for your ad campaigns. Selecting audiences that historically convert translates to a higher overall conversion rate.
Cons of narrow targeting paid ad campaigns
- Limited data-collection – if you only run ads targeting women from Florida in their 20s, your marketing team will only collect data on that specific niche.
- Limited reach – obviously, there are only so many women in their 20s in Florida. By sticking to a narrowly focused niche, the number of eyeballs you can get on your campaigns will be limited.
Pros & Cons of Broad Targeting
Pros of broad targeting paid ad campaigns:
- Collect valuable insights from data – brands are constantly finding out that their intuition on who converts isn’t necessarily accurate. In letting the algorithm dictate who sees your ads, you’ll collect valuable data on various age ranges, genders, locations, and interest-types and will discover new niches worth pursuing.
- Build brand awareness with new (incremental) audiences. While a broad targeting campaign won’t convert as well as a narrow campaign, your reach will skyrocket as more audience types and individuals discover your brand for the first time. Over time, if you create quality content that is high-performing, the incremental growth in engagement, impressions, and reach with a broader audience will result in a larger audience as you utilize more spend.
- Free reign to get creative with your marketing – for the data collection and brand awareness aspects of a broad targeting campaign to work, you’ll need a great deal of material to work with. The biggest brands on TikTok advertise more than 400 new pieces of content a month. Your marketing team will have the opportunity to think outside the box about a wide range of strategies to see what resonates with different audience types.
Cons of broad targeting paid ad campaigns:
- Lower conversion rates – in casting a wider net, you’re not going to see as many people convert as you would in a narrow, carefully targeted campaign.
- The algorithm has (mostly) a complete say in who sees your ads. To make a broad targeting strategy truly work, your marketing team will need to take out your own biases. You’ll need to work outside of the usual target audiences and content strategy outlined by your brand, and put faith in the Facebook and TikTok algorithms to use data to put your content in front of the right audience.
While this change may be challenging at first, this exact methodology is what allows you to expand your reach and find new customers via broad targeting.
What Are the Best Practices for Broad Targeting?
So, you’ve opted into broad based marketing so you can learn more about who converts and spread brand awareness. Excellent choice!
Here are the best practices to ensure you make the most out of your broad Facebook and TikTok ads campaigns.
- Use data collection to track performance and look for notable trends. When you’re targeting broad audiences, the goal is to improve your lead generation pipeline by testing with new audiences. Make sure you’re leveraging the Facebook and TikTok business platforms, as well as external data collection resources, to track how audiences that are broken down by age, gender, location, and interest type (or a combination of multiple categories) convert.
- Shoot to put out 10+ new ads a week. In order to cast a wide net and see who converts, you’ll need to test new advertising strategies and create new content regularly. Call on your creative team to create a variety of ad campaigns meant to appeal to different audience types. Do you have limited capacity to create new content regularly? Brkfst partners with content creators on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to produce top-notch, unique content at scale. We’ll handle producing a variety of ads so that your team can focus on closing leads and collecting granular data.
- Adapt with algorithm, regulation, and IOS changes. Things are constantly changing in the realm of digital marketing. Facebook and TikTok are regularly tweaking their algorithms. Regulations like the CCPA are changing how brands are allowed to target customers. Apple recently announced major changes to its privacy laws that directly affect how you can target customers.
Changes in digital marketing are inevitable, so you’ll regularly need to keep an eye out and pay attention to how these changes are affecting your ad campaigns, conversion rates, cost-per-customer acquisition, etc.
How to Run Broad Targeting Ad Campaigns on Facebook (& Instagram)
Why Choose Facebook for Broad Targeting?
With 2.89 billion active users and 18 years worth of valuable data about their users, Meta’s algorithm is well suited to put your ads in front of a meaningful, broad audience on Facebook and Instagram.
How to Run a Broad-Target Facebook Ads Campaign
Rather than picking narrow parameters, intentionally keep things broad. Use intentionally broad ranges when selecting a geographic location, age range, or other audience type when creating a campaign on Facebook Business.
For more information, here is Meta’s landing page on How to Run Facebook Ads.
How to Run Broad Targeting Campaigns on TikTok
Why Choose TikTok for Broad Targeting?
TikTok is closing the gap on Facebook, despite the latter having a 10-year lead. With younger audiences’ obsession with the platform (and a growing percentage of older audiences using the app too), advertising on TikTok is an amazing way to build brand awareness and cast a wide net.
How to Run a Broad Target TikTok Ads Campaign
Similar to Facebook broad targeting, you can log into TikTok Ads Manager and select a wide range of ages, interests, geographic locations, and more to ensure a wide-range of consumers see your ads on TikTok.
Here’s a resource from TikTok on Ad Targeting for more information.
Broad Audience Targeting – In Conclusion
If you’re looking to expand your lead generation campaigns and collect meaningful data on potential new audience types, broad targeting is the smartest way to go. Keep things intentionally broad on Facebook and TikTok so that the algorithm can strategically target consumers it deems fit for your product or service.
In order to truly make your broad campaign successful, you’ll need lots of creative advertising to work with. To learn more about how Brkfst can recruit top talent to produce your ads campaigns at scale, schedule a free demo!