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Jewish Advertising On Facebook

A Platform With Significant Potential For Campaigns

Jewish Advertising on Facebook holds significant potential, but there are strategies to implement and pitfalls to avoid to have a successful campaign.

Post Updated November 2021

From a political and societal perspective, there is currently a heated debate about the dangers and potential disadvantages of Facebook and the other data collecting internet behemoths. Yet, at the same time, there is little to no argument about the immense value that the Facebooks of the world provide to marketers and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Through the tools and capabilities that Facebook provides, organizations in all sectors can now reach their optimal audiences in an unparalleled and frankly unprecedented manner.

As with the general market, when it comes to Jewish-centric marketing campaigns, the targeted digital advertising products offered by the likes of Facebook are a great resource when executed properly. In this discussion, we conduct an overview of navigating an advertising campaign on Facebook that targets the Jewish audience.

Update November 2021:

Facebook has announced that it be removing some political and religious ad targeting options such as “Jewish Holidays” which significantly handicaps the way Jewish advertising campaigns have been formulated. There is still strong potential with Facebook’s (now Meta) platforms including Instagram, though strategies need to evolve including an increased focus on lookalikes and custom audiences.

Infinite Possibilities

Advertising on Facebook offers such great potential largely because of the wealth of data they have accumulated on the more than two billion monthly active users of the social networking platform. Such vast amounts of valuable information translate into infinite potential targeting mixes to incorporate into a specific digital advertising campaign. However, combine the extensive targeting capabilities with the creative design variants, and, unsurprisingly, many reach a point of feeling very overwhelmed.

This feeling of confusion by the vast array of different options is one we encounter quite often among potential clients trying to figure out how to approach Jewish-focused advertising on Facebook. The perspective that we encourage for those looking to implement their Facebook campaigns independently is to first conduct due diligence by learning the platform’s capabilities so that relatively informed decisions can be made. Then, once a cursory amount of knowledge about the platform is obtained, we recommend diving into setting up and executing a campaign.

Such an approach might sound a bit bizarre as mistakes are likely to be made with such limited experience. These missteps, though, at least in our opinion, are very much par for the course. Only through navigating the platform and learning from controlled mistakes can one improve their efforts and go from beginner to more advanced proficiency. With that said, it is essential to conduct a relatively controlled experimental campaign with limited spend so that any mistakes made are not too substantial. Once there is a good understanding of the platform, performance data helps to tighten up targeting mixes and associated creative. In our view, it is vital to view this the initial foray into Jewish marketing on Facebook as a learning process and not seek perfection from the outset. We believe that such a view is both unrealistic and an inhibitor for future success as the nature of the platform dictates that testing and subsequent improvement only happens as one gains experience, sometimes due to mistakes, and appropriate adjustments are then executed.

Troves Of Data & Immense Targeting Capabilities

The lineup of Facebook advertising products and associated capabilities is expanding and changing regularly. When it comes to the core methods for targeting Facebook ads, though, we outline three core types below.

Interest-Based Targeting

Interest-based targeting allows advertisers to create targeting mixes based on a whole host of interest-based data points provided by Facebook. The options here are limitless. The goal is to develop creative ways to put Facebook’s vast troves of data to work advantageously and thereby reach your most optimal Jewish audience.

We initially approach creating interest-based targeting mixes by compiling optimal customer profiles based on qualitative and quantitative data. Some of this information may come from proprietary market research we conduct and includes more readily apparent audience-based insights. The targeting mixes can include various data points ranging from affinities, demographics, and psychographics. The targeting choices on offer do change from time to time. For example, after a backlash relating to alleged problematic political and issue-based advertising utilizing Facebook, some data and associated targeting provided by 3rd party partners were removed from the platform.

We generally create several different targeting mixes in conjunction with various goals that span from awareness to purchase and related conversions. Usually, the more complex the campaign, the higher the number of targeting and goal variation ad sets we create.

Once these interest-based ads run for enough time to gather relatively robust performance data, we expand on the ads that are performing best and diminish the use of the ad sets that are not performing as well. This approach allows for progressively better ad performance as such review is conducted regularly and ongoing throughout the campaign.

Custom Audience Targeting

Another core way of reaching relevant users on Facebook is through Custom Audiences. These audiences are composed of existing customer lists or related data. In essence, at least in the most basic sense, Custom Audiences allow reaching Facebook users who have already interacted in some form previously with a specific business or organization.

Manually uploading data can create Custom Audiences on Facebook, or one can have data automatically sync by incorporating the Facebook Pixel on your digital asset(s) such as a website.

When creating your audience via the upload route, there are many different data points that Facebook processes for future targeting and include name, email address, and phone number. Before uploading data, though, one should review the relevant legalese as it is crucial to comply with both Facebook’s terms and comply with legal obligations such as the GDPR.

In our view, utilizing the Facebook Pixel in conjunction with manual audience list upload is a winning combination. The Facebook Pixel, when correctly incorporated, allows for granular tracking and analytics of visitors on your website or other digital properties. This data is invaluable for business intelligence use and instrumental in making data-backed decisions. The pixel also allows for creating highly segmented Custom Audiences based on specific actions users take on a website. For example, one can create an audience that broadly targets just website visitors with corresponding awareness-focused ads while at the same time having a separate Custom Audience that targets past customers with loyalty-focused messaging. In this way, segmented targeting allows for more effective marketing since messaging and campaign funnels are more finely tailored toward customers at various stages of the buying journey.

Lookalike Audience Targeting

The third primary way of targeting via Facebook is through Lookalike Audiences. This method allows advertisers to target a new audience based on an already established audience. At the most basic level, for Lookalike Audiences, Facebook analyzes the data set of the established audience and then forms and targets a new audience based on it. The established audience can revolve around anything from a customer list to past interactions on your website or interaction with your Facebook page.

It is important to note that because the formulation of Lookalike Audiences uses complex algorithms and machine learning, there are more variables at play than with interest-based targeting or Custom Audiences. Therefore testing and regular monitoring of performance is especially important when it comes to Lookalike Audience campaigns.

Using The Audience Insights Tools

In addition to the powerful ad targeting capabilities that Facebook offers for campaigns reaching the Jewish audience, there is additional value in its Audience Insights tools. These tools are free to use and can be invaluable for forming optimal customer profiles and glean valuable data points on various Jewish audiences. The potential present via these tools is too numerous to mention. The possibilities are only limited by one’s imagination from demographic data such as gender, income bracket, education level, lifestyle, and interest breakdowns.


Facebook Has Many Faces

When people speak about Facebook, they generally refer to the social media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 during his time at Harvard University. Over the years, though, Facebook has acquired many other companies. Two of the most notable of these are their acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.

From a marketing perspective, these acquisitions have expanded the ways advertisers can reach a higher number of potential customers while still managing their campaigns under the singular “Facebook umbrella.” In addition to advertising on Facebook-owned platforms, advertisers can also run various campaigns via the Audience Network, which includes a multitude of websites and apps across the internet.

Deciding which Facebook platforms to utilize for a specific Jewish marketing campaign requires understanding the different platforms’ advantages and potential disadvantages. When starting, it is recommended to begin with more conservative placements, including the traditional news feed and Instagram. Then, branching out into Facebook’s other offerings, such as via its Audience Network, holds potential. Still, more caution needs to be undertaken there as it is more nuanced, complex, and requires more monitoring.

A/B Testing Is The Name Of The Game

In part, because of the many variables involved with advertising on Facebook, it is vital to continuously test and subsequently optimize campaign targeting, messaging, and creative design based on various performance metrics. While the concept of constant testing holds for general market campaigns, it is of particular importance when employing Facebook ads focused on reaching the Jewish audience. The reasoning is based primarily on the generally more granular targeting required when focused on such a specific audience, such as the Jewish one. Targeting must be more precise than perhaps other campaigns that offer “more breathing room” regarding who the relevant audience is. Therefore, version testing of ads relating to targeting mixes and creative design aspects takes on extra necessity. Beyond just those two core aspects of Facebook ads (ad targeting and design), it is prudent to audit the entire customer journey to make improvements on a wholesome basis. This audit may include landing pages and email campaigns among a whole host of other potential marketing components.

For optimal testing and results, we recommend running several different targeting and creative mixes. The exact number varies depending on the nature of the campaign. The goal is to get an increasingly clear picture of where advertising spend is performing best and optimize accordingly.

Conversion Tracking & Analytics Are Crucial

To correctly perform the necessary A/B testing described previously, attribution and tracking need to be strategically employed so that performance data is captured and accurate and comprehensive. There are different tools and methods in the marketer’s toolbox to accomplish analytics in line with best practices. Much depends on the platform where tracking needs to be achieved and the specific KPIs to be measured.

At the most basic level, when measuring Facebook’s advertising campaigns, the Facebook Pixel should be incorporated. It provides a whole host of capabilities similar to Google Analytics and gives a holistic picture of ad performance. In addition, when installed correctly, the Facebook Pixel allows for conversion tracking of various kinds and the viewing of useful insights that can be easily gleaned for improving future ad performance.

Facebook Ads Manager (Power Editor)

We often encounter a point of confusion in conversations with prospective clients only vaguely familiar with Facebook ads revolves around the distinction between targeted ads via Facebook’s Ads Manager versus paying to boost posts. They may have tried boosting a post with no positive results, and therefore, when mentioning Facebook advertising as a potential desirable option, there is immediate apprehension. Only after explaining that the Ads Manager allows for in-depth targeting and tracking capabilities not comparable in any way to boosting a post is there a newfound interest. For this reason, especially concerning Jewish-centric marketing, it is essential to focus on the Ads Manager, which allows advertisers to capitalize on the troves of data that Facebook has collected on its multitude of users.

Understand Your Campaign Goals & Infrastructure

When it comes to digital advertising in general, but even more specifically when running campaigns on Facebook, it is crucial to account for the goals and digital infrastructure that makes up the foundation of your marketing activity. Goals in this context refer to the immediate aim of the advertising. Granted, in a for-profit campaign, the end goal is almost always increased revenue. With that said, here, we are referring to more short-term or immediate goals. For example, a campaign may aim to gather contact information from qualified leads for a more lengthy sales process. In that case, everything should be done to ensure that post-click, the likelihood of the prospective lead inputting their information is at a maximum. Efforts to optimize the landing page or other infrastructure can range to include decreasing page load times or diminishing the number of initial queries.

Beyond campaign-specific improvement related to the close interplay between campaign goals, digital infrastructure, and overall performance, cognizance concerning the proportion of optimal customers on mobile versus desktop is also valuable. Depending on the nature of the offering at hand and once again, campaign goals may make sense to target mobile and desktop in varying degrees. For example, if the goal is to download a mobile app, it makes sense to dedicate spending more significantly to mobile devices. On the other hand, for an offering with a longer buyer journey where people need to perform significant research, targeting those on a desktop may produce better performance. A lot of the decision relating to device targeting depends on the granular details of the campaign and testing. Therefore, it is prudent to monitor analytics relating to device type and associated conversion KPI’s and make informed decisions based on such data.

Constantly Changing

One of the foundational points to be aware of when advertising on Facebook is that the platform is continuously in flux. The changes concern both the capabilities relating to campaign targeting and the different advertising products on offer. There are also rules and policies that change. The platform’s continually shifting and overall dynamic nature means that it is vital to stay updated on the current landscape to maximize campaign performance. Staying in the loop can be challenging because it is both time-consuming and a regularly recurring task. This need to stay in the know is one of the main reasons businesses choose to rely on a 3rd party to run their Facebook campaigns versus running it in-house.

A Platform With Some Of The Most Significant Potential

A properly executed advertising on Facebook holds some of the most significant potentials for Jewish-focused marketing campaigns. We believe that targeting and campaign set up based on a diversified and comprehensive data-backed foundation leads to strong performance. With the wealth of data that Facebook offers and the options to sync proprietary data, reaching the optimal Jewish audience for a specific offering can be accomplished effectively and efficiently. Further, by implementing analytics and executing campaign optimizations based on campaign data, performance can be progressively optimized on an ongoing basis. Though advertising on Facebook can initially be overwhelming and intimidating, in our opinion, pursuing marketing through this platform is a necessity based on the opportunity present.

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