We’ve all seen varying reports about how to do Facebook advertising well. Whether it’s about demographic targeting or eye-catching graphics, the theory seems to be that success is gained through targeting, messaging, imagery, and relevancy.

It’s quite typical for users to see ads that don’t relate to Facebook. An example is the ad below, in which I signed into Facebook and was immediately shown an ad for marketing on Pinterest.

facebook ad

Since I work in marketing, this isn’t the worst ad I could see from a targeting perspective.

Something that is often overlooked, though, is the fact that your target audience, while on Facebook, is on Facebook! Why always try to get them to click your ad about something unrelated to Facebook? Go with the flow. Teach them something about Facebook and use Facebook if you can ultimately relate the message back to your business.

For instance, we at HubSpot have a particular need to focus on B2B marketing and drive leads for our sales team. We know that our audience is on Facebook. While we could go the traditional route of running hyper-targeted campaigns and trusting that, just because our audience is on Facebook and we can get our ad in front of them that they will respond, sometimes it just doesn’t work. We understand that people may not want a software demo while they’re on Facebook.

So what did we do?

First of all, we kept our campaigns super-targeted; that is always crucial to your success. While I won’t go into all the specifics of the targeting, you can bet we were focused on B2B companies.  So we thought to ourselves, what would this segment want? Our theory was that since B2B marketers were on Facebook, if we were able to offer an eBook about how to attract customers with Facebook, it would resonate.

FB ad about FB

The response was fantastic. Since they were on Facebook, thinking about Facebook, and saw a free eBook showing them how to do their job better on Facebook , the value was clear.

So next time you’re thinking about a new campaign on Facebook, think about ways to help your audience ON Facebook. You don’t always have to swim upstream.

Dan Slagen, HubSpot

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Dan Slagen
Dan Slagen is SVP of Marketing for Nanigans, a Boston-based agency focused on Facebook advertising perforamance.