Broad Vs. Narrow Ad Targeting? Here’s What Meta Says

Meta has recently published a new report that takes a look at how performance is impacted by broad, demographic-based targeting for CPG ad campaigns versus interest targeting strategies.

If you have a broadly targeted Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) ad campaign, and a honed in, slightly more restrictive interest targeting strategy, which one will perform better?

Well, which one performs better will boil down to how interest targeting is applied. According to Meta, ‘over narrowing’ your audience through interest targeting can significantly impede performance in campaigns.

Overnarrowing your audience through interest targeting can significantly impede campaign performance

To assess the performance impact of broad versus narrow ad targeting, Meta analysed 50 CPG campaigns in EMEA, measured by Facebook Brand Lift.

As said by Meta:

“The analysis found that in approximately half of the campaigns, the selected interest audiences were too narrow and therefore significantly restricted reach compared to the demographic audience. In this case (when selected interest audiences were too narrow), demographic audiences delivered almost double the reach (+99%) over interest audiences for equal budget.”

Is Demographic Targeting Better?

If we look a little deeper into the analysis, the results are not far off from what logic would say. Naturally, when you’re utilising an interest-based targeting approach versus a broader reach approach, the results need to be better to justify the limited reach.

Meta advertising

While focusing on more honed-in audiences can deliver better results, broader reach can actually deliver better outcomes most of the time due to the fact that reaching more people via more generic targeting broadened brand messaging.

Meta advertising

Although a lot it comes down to how in-tune you are with your audience, and how well you use interest targeting, having a highly refined interest-targeting process can potentially drive significantly better campaign results via a more specific focus.

Meta advertising

As seen in the comparative chart above, interest targeting performs better for lower-funnel campaigns. Whereas a broader targeting approach is better for brand awareness.

Again, the outcome of this analysis is very logical: reach as many people as possible in the early stages to maximise awareness, and then refine your targeting to drive more focused results in the next phase.

The premise of this is that through these results, Meta is highlighting that many businesses go too narrow in their targeting too early on.

What you should take from Meta’s report is to shape your targeting process by first taking a more general view early on, and then narrowing your campaign focus based on response.

Jason Muller
SEO Specialist with an ever-growing passion for the digital industry. Enjoy meeting and working with people who are visionaries and dare to go the path less traveled, inspiring others along the way.

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