Psychographic Targeting Not-So-Hot House: Where to Turn When Missing the Mark

Psychographic targeting may be a thrilling, challenging, introspective and strategic cornerstone of social marketing campaigns that leads to #GreatSuccess immediately. It may also be solid in theory, less mind-blowing in practice, and heavily scrutinized once the somber reality of poor initial performance settles in 24 to 48 hours after launching a new campaign. In these turbulent times, it’s wise to keep campaign longevity at the forefront of decision-making, have a strategic plan in place for such scenarios, and know as many pivotable options as possible. AIMCLEAR loves targeting, as evidenced by some amazing hot houses over the summer. We also love long-term success, which often involves tweaking audiences, pulling various ad set level levers, and/or pivoting strategically, when necessary. Let’s take a look at a few next steps one may take if initial targeting isn’t hot enough and Facebook campaigns are under-performing out of the gate.

Not enough traffic


When confronted with unexpected low reach (which sets off a domino effect of low impressions, low click-through rate, low conversion rate, and a low feeling in your stomach) from the onset of a campaign, target targeting! You may quickly realize you don’t have the budget to pay for the very specific, thinly data-sliced, multi-layered audience you’re seeking. In such scenarios, go big. Consider removing third-party partner data, which may be a bit more pricey than first-party, Facebook-provided demographic targeting. Audiences may grow rapidly with each layer removed, but thanks to Facebook’s algorithm, which serves ads to those it believes will interact more frequently, there’s no need to panic. If running ads to a variety of audiences, pull performance data by audience and look for targeting trends that correlate with performance metrics. Use findings, both positive and negative, to gradually broaden audience scope. Expand geo-targeting from 10 to 15 miles, explore alternative ad placements (like expanding to Audience Network to include Facebook-approved mobile app and mobile website ad placements), and consider the benefits of posting organically before putting paid amplification behind a post (to get the most out of potentially lost organic traffic). Do something! You won’t know until you try.

Increased reach, lack of action

More crossroads appear when confronted with plenty of reach and impressions, but a low amount of desired activity. Like a herd of unaware zombies, the numbers are there, but it’s not resulting in any action! Regardless of conversion type (link clicks, social engagement, video views, etc.), one would be wise to first consider creative. Test multiple variations of ad creative and let data drive decisions. Insider tip: Create an easy-to-decode ad naming convention that speaks to as many aspects of creative as possible. By using said system to denote variation in text, headline, link description, image and call-to-action button, slicing and dicing data to determine what works and what doesn’t will be a piece of cake. Finally, consider alternative ad types (like carousel or video) to engage audiences in a manner they are more likely to respond to. By catering and adapting to an existing, large audience with improved creative and a focus on action, social marketing mavens better their odds of long term success (and surviving a suddenly aware mob of zombies).

Landing page problems

Perhaps performance metrics are positively trending through the roof (win for targeting and creative!), but certain landing-page-related goals, like lead form fills, product downloads or RSS subscriptions, aren’t being met. It would be wise to address this lack of external conversion as early as possible. Review landing page analytics and pay close attention to site performance metrics such as average session duration, pages per session, site speed and bounce rate. Use these key performance indicators to diagnose landing page problems like loading issues, missing information and unclear calls-to-action. A few (hopefully) quick changes to improve user experience could be the difference between campaign success and failure. More important, even if fine-tuning doesn’t lead to an upswing in external goal completion, it may keep users (ridiculously) happy and potentially open to a return visit or two.

Load up on tools

To better equip any campaign for long-term success, wise social strategists may find the following tools to be particularly helpful:

  • An experienced team: If at all possible, surround yourself with a variety of individuals with unique histories and talents to bounce ideas off of, brainstorm solutions with and challenge initial thoughts. There are many options when it comes to Facebook ad strategy and potential next steps. Plans may fail for lack of wise counsel.
  • Scheduled, regular campaign audits: Routinely grab data and stay well aware of your targeted audience. Know as much as possible, as often as possible. Pull reporting by age, gender, location, device, placement, frequency and reach to understand the people behind the numbers.
  • Social marketing news system: Keeping up to date on new tools, industry thought leadership and ever-evolving strategic trends could make or break your current or next campaign. Stay up to date with Marketing Land, MediaPost and our very own AIMCLEAR Blog for starters.

With actionable next steps and pivotable landing locations in mind, relish the freedom of knowing options exist to combat poorly performing campaigns and mistargeted audiences. Use newfound knowledge to empower creativity and risk-taking when it comes to initial campaign strategy, settings and approach. Go big or go home. Either way, go different. Lead with your biggest, best, most “I’ve never thought of that before”, “This may just be crazy enough to work” kind of step, and be ready (and excited!) to tweak social settings, pull logical levers and adjust your thinking on ANY given to attain campaign success.



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