Targeting Options Following Meta’s Changes for Special Audiences

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, recently announced that it is dropping targeting options that relate to “sensitive” topics such as health causes, sexual orientation, religion, politics, and social issues. The intended purpose of this restriction is to prevent ads that discriminate based on age, gender and location.

This means Facebook’s “Special Ad Audiences” are going away as a targeting option. Categories of Special Ad Audiences include housing, credit, employment, social issues, and elections/politics. For example, if you have a client in the housing industry, you cannot target the specific age of people who are looking for housing.

In short, targeting options are now severely limited for many key audiences and industries. A lot of advertisers are wondering what to do next—and if Facebook is going to continue being a viable option as an advertising platform.

The good news is that the same people you were advertising to before these restrictions are still on Facebook. It’s a matter of figuring out how to reach them. AcrobatAnt has several solutions.

1. Third-party data.

We can layer in third-party data into Facebook. AcrobatAnt has many data source providers, including a relationship with Claritas. Claritas allows us to provide targeted campaigns that are no longer possible within the platform alone. Yes, there is a fee to acquire the data that is layered into the digital media channels, but the benefit is more precise digital ad targeting.

Claritas is an industry-leading data company that provides a complete view of the American consumer. Using its own identity graph, Claritas works on a foundation of over 10,000 highly predictive demographic and behavioral indicators covering more than 120 million households and 600 million devices. Claritas PRIZM is one option we leverage for creating custom audiences. PRIZM is a geodemographic segmentation that classifies all U.S. households into 68 individual clusters. This system ties to MRI/Simmons studies, Nielsen panels, US Census data and multiple DSPs.

2. We can use first-party data.

Many organizations have access to their own customer data or prospects. These databases can be used to target the audience directly or used to create custom lookalike audiences to find those with similar characteristics and behaviors.

Even organizations with protected and sensitive data, such as clients in the healthcare and financial services industries, can benefit from custom audiences. First-party data can be provided in a hashed format for targeting.

3. Expand channel options.

We can explore other channels that allow us to be more precise with audience targeting. Many channels still have robust targeting options and can be enhanced further through first- and third-party data. Programmatic, OTT/CTV, streaming audio, TikTok and digital video are all great channels to explore and still provide robust targeting capabilities.

4. Target broadly.

If your product or service is relevant to a wide range of people, targeting a broad audience within Meta is still a viable option. Correct campaign setup is vital to ensuring that platform learning continues to improve performance over time—even to a broad audience. As the platform begins to learn and optimize performance, it’s typically best to start with a website traffic goal. As traffic and conversions increase, we can then shift to a conversion goal so the platform optimizes to the true conversion/measure of success.

If your organization needs help getting the most out of your digital advertising budget, we’d love to discuss your business goals and a plan to help you achieve them. Call 918-938-7901 or email [email protected] to get the conversation started.