Most Facebook Advertisers Target Age and Country, Ignore Gender

April 5, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Agency Business | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Brand Metrics | Data-driven | Digital | Personalization | Social Media

socialfresh-most-popular-facebook-ad-targeting-criteria-april2012.jpgThe most popular targeting criteria among Facebook advertisers are age and country, used always or often by 55% and 53%, respectively, according to [download page] an April 2012 report from Social Fresh. And while a significant proportion target interests, both precise (50%) and broad (42%), only about one-third target gender. Overall, 57.1% of respondents are targeting 2 to 5 audience segments, although an additional 21.6% limit their targeting to a single segment.

Despite most advertisers marketing to multiple segments per ad, the report finds that 85% of respondents are not using management software that enables more segmentation. According to a March 2012 study from comScore, which analyzed 12 national premium brand’s advertising campaigns, display ad campaigns with multiple demographic targeting variables have trouble reaching their intended audience. The same report found that 44% of the campaigns included gender in their target set.

Audience Growth Top Ad Budget Goal

Data from the Social Fresh “2012 Facebook Ads Report” indicates that when it comes to advertising goals, 44% of respondents spend the most money on audience growth, while 27% spend the most on conversion and 22% on awareness. These budget priorities differ from overall Facebook advertising goals, though: the most common reason for running Facebook ads is awareness (61%), ahead of audience growth (53%) and conversion (44%).

ROI Biggest Challenge

ROI topped the list of challenges among advertisers, cited by 46% of respondents. Tracking ad success with analytics was the second most-cited challenge, by 22% of respondents, followed by creative (12%) and split testing (9%).

In terms of split testing, two-thirds are testing their ad creative, while about 3 in 5 are testing their ad targeting. Only about one-third are testing their landing pages.

Other Findings:

  • 55% of Facebook advertisers responding to the Social Fresh survey are not using sponsored stories.
  • The most common Facebook ad lifespan is 5-14 days (37%), followed by 1-4 days (31%).
  • 7 in 10 respondents are not working with an agency. For those that are, digital agencies (31%) are more popular than social media agencies (21%).
  • Facebook ad cost per clicks (CPC) are slightly lower for those working with a Facebook ad rep ($0.78) when compared to those working without a rep ($0.83). Those working with a rep also reported a slightly higher click-through rate (CTR) than working without a rep, at 0.05% and 0.04%, respectively.
  • The average ad CTR was 0.041%, but was higher than average among respondents working for an agency (0.049%). According to a Q4 2011 TBG Digital report, released in January 2012, Facebook ad CTRs decreased by 2% in the US from Q1-Q4, 2011.

About the Data: The Social Fresh results are based on a survey distributed online by Social Fresh and its research partners from February 16 – March 2, 2012. 347 Facebook advertisers completed the survey.

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