Understanding Facebook’s Special Ad Categories, Part 2

August 11, 2020

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on Facebook’s Special Ad Categories. Introduced in 2019, this feature allows for additional regulation and targeting for certain particular ad areas, and is extremely valuable for online marketers in several distinct industries.

At Be Locally, we’re happy to offer a huge range of SEO services, including social media marketing solutions that feature wide-ranging expertise. We’ve assisted numerous clients with Facebook’s Special Ad Categories since this tool became available, and we’ll do the same for you if you’re among those who might need to use it. Today’s part two of our series will dig into the practical elements of defining and creating your Special Ad Categories audience, plus how to manage and monitor this area once it’s up and running.

facebook’s special ad categories

Defining Special Ad Audience

Put simply, a Special Ad Audience is any target audience that’s created specifically for campaigns within the Special Ad Categories tool. The major difference here, practically at least, is the targeting that’s allowed.

For these kinds of ads, targeting is somewhat limited compared to normal Facebook ads. You won’t have quite as much control in terms of targeting age, gender and other demographics, and tools like Lookalike Audience won’t be available. This is due to compliance requirements with the company’s Discriminatory Practices Policy – however, there are still several effective tools available for targeting those most likely to respond to your ad.

Creating Special Ad Audience

Two of the most effective options at your disposal for targeting your Special Ad Audience include:

  • Location: Special Ad Categories still allows for targeting based on a specific geographical location, a valuable tool you should capitalize on. Location targeting is different than usual, however: You can select audiences based on country, region, state, province, city or even congressional district, but targeting by ZIP code will not be available. Also, target locations will be limited to a minimum of a 15-mile radius around the target – this number can be expanded if you choose, but cannot go below 15 miles.
  • User interests: While many of Facebook’s usual ad tools for user interests are not available, a few still are. You can include multiple interests in a single job posting, for instance, though you won’t be able to narrow audiences by excluding particular groups.

Managing and Monitoring

Once you’ve set up your special categories, you have to manage and monitor them to ensure proper performance. If ads aren’t performing up to snuff, think about the ways they can be tweaked in small ways – changing the text to connect with readers, swapping out images for more eye-catching photos or several other potential areas. Don’t be afraid of some trial-and-error here for individual ad elements until you find the best option.

For more on Facebook’s Special Ad Categories and how to properly navigate them, or to learn about any of our social media marketing or SEO, web design and related services, speak to the staff at Be Locally today.

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