A Mortgage broker friend of mine recently reached out regarding his facebook ad setup for lead generation and wanted to see if I could help. Having managed ads for over a decade, his story of poor quality leads was familiar so I reviewed the account and gave a few tips. It seemed potentially valuable so figured I would post it below in case it helps anyone else!
Facebook Ads Targeting is a Black Box
One thing to keep in mind with Facebook is that they have a ton of data sources and because it makes them more money, are pretty liberal with how they group people into these different interest targeting. Sometimes it’s because that person is constantly posting about say mortgages for example, but it could also be that they liked their mortgage broker cousin’s page a decade ago. It’s all a big black box with little transparency.
Facebook Ad Targeting Recommendations
Because of that, there are four things I’d recommend changing/keeping in mind.
- stick to only the more focused interests
- refine the audience by narrowing the audience to ensure a more accurate fit
- Test a couple of options
- set a target language
I’ll review these points in more detail below.
1. stick to only the more focused interests
We’re never 100% sure how FB decided someone fits in an interest group, broader terms like ‘credit cards’, ‘cash’ etc. which everyone has exposure to in some way (maybe they use credit cards or asked someone if they’d take cash in marketplace etc.) we want to avoid. There could be value in testing elements of them using the second point I’ll talk about, but to start because we’re working with smaller budgets and FB has a massive reach, we may as well stay as focused as possible.
Interests like ‘Cash out refinancing’, ‘loan’, ‘mortgage loan’, are great though. Personally, I’d probably avoid ‘interest rate’ only because while they’re less affected by it, my guess is it’s more the wealthier investment group discussing interest rates than your target demographic, could be wrong though.
2. refine the audience by narrowing the audience to ensure a more accurate fit
Under the main interest targeting box, you’ll see a ‘narrow audience’ box. When all of the interests are included in that first section, Facebook will show ads to anyone who matches any one of those interests. What the ‘Narrow Audience” section does is allow you to say people need to match something in one set of interests and also match another set of interests. This is a great way to get rid of some of the inappropriate matchings that Facebook may have done to place someone in a group, to begin with.
You don’t want to narrow things so much that you have no audience left, but I would recommend splitting it up something like:
First set of interests – ensure they’re looking at mortgages
– Mortgage Loans
– Reverse Mortgage
– Mortgage Calculator
– Mortgage Insurance
Narrow the audience to include those who might have a propensity to be less financially stable and looking for alternatives (if that’s the goal):
– credit card balance transfer
– installment loan
– consumer debt
– cash out refinancing
3. Test a couple of options
I’ve been doing this for over a decade now and am still often surprised at what works sometimes. Try testing a couple of different sets of targeting and including a couple of different ads to see what works best.
4. set a target language
You never know what people have set as their default language for facebook, but your ad sets are all set to ‘All languages’ by default. You can change that to be ‘English (All)’.