Updated: Nov 17, 2021
You may have heard engaged shoppers discussed as a great category to target with your Facebook ads. Targeting the people who seem likely to buy online sounds like a great way to increase sales and grow your business. However, this category is more specific than it might seem at first, and it is worth considering both how Facebook ads work more generally, and how your business operates, before deciding whether targeting engaged shoppers is the right Facebook ads strategy for you. Read on for a deep dive into the pros and cons of targeting Facebook’s engaged shoppers, and how to know if this approach is right for your business.
What is an engaged shopper on Facebook?
‘Engaged shoppers’ is one of the many categories Facebook ads offer for filtering your ad campaign’s audience. This particular category is to filter Facebook users by their behaviour. The behaviour that would flag someone up to Facebook as an engaged shopper is clicking the ‘shop now’ button on one of it’s two platforms, Facebook or Instagram.
When you target your Facebook ads to engaged shoppers, Facebook automatically filters your audience to only include people who have clicked one of those ‘shop now’ buttons in the past week. So essentially, the engaged shoppers filter is there to help target people who seem likely to buy products directly through Facebook’s advertising, based on their recent online shopping habits.
How do you target your audience on facebook ads?
Targeting the audience for your Facebook ad campaigns is very simple. First, in your ad set, go to ‘detailed targeting’. There, you’ll see a search bar where you can enter categories you want to use to narrow your audience.
A good first filter to search is your product or service. For example, if your business sells coffee mugs, you might want to filter by ‘coffee’. This initial step targets your advert to an ‘interest’. There are different targeting categories in Facebook ads, and it’s worth narrowing by interest first.
Next, click ‘narrow audience’, and a new search bar will appear. This is where you search for ‘engaged shoppers’. In terms of Facebook ads’ targeting categories, ‘engaged shoppers’ is a ‘behaviour’.
And that’s it, your ad campaign is set up with targeting by interest and behaviour. You can add more filters to be more specific in your targeting if you want, but bear in mind audience size, which we’ll talk about later in this article.
How much does it cost to target engaged shoppers?
Targeting engaged shoppers with your Facebook ads has been proven to get a higher conversion rate on your campaign. Out of the people who see your ad, more are statistically likely to click through and buy your product then and there. But this doesn’t mean targeting engaged shoppers will always make you more money.
Facebook and other advertising platforms know that targeting a campaign to engaged shoppers often leads to a higher conversion rate. To them, this makes these type of ads more valuable, and as a result, advertising specifically to engaged shoppers is going to significantly increase the cost per view you have to put up for your Facebook ad campaign.
So whilst targeting engaged shoppers could bring you for example a 20% improvement in conversion rate, if that comes with a 50% increase in cost, then you are going to be worse off overall. Cost per conversion is key to understanding whether your Facebook ad is going to be profitable for your business. That’s why it’s important to know whether targeting engaged shoppers will bring you enough conversions to merit the extra cost.
Should you target engaged shoppers on Facebook?
Increased cost doesn’t mean narrowing by engaged shoppers is never worth it. The important thing is to know the difference between scenarios where you should be targeting engaged shoppers and those where you shouldn't
The general rule to follow is to ask yourself whether you are selling a high street product. These are the kind of products which a casual shopper might pick up when walking down the street; they have general appeal, and are familiar in some way.
Classic examples of high street products include clothing, homewares, toiletries and jewellery. These familiar categories attract the casual shoppers who are often ‘engaged shoppers’ in Facebook’s algorithm, meaning that if this is what your business is selling, then targeting engaged shoppers with your Facebook ads could definitely be worthwhile.
However, if you are advertising a more niche product, related to a specific hobby or level of expertise in a certain field, or a more abstract product, such as a service, it is unlikely that targeting engaged shoppers on Facebook is a good move for your business. The ‘shop now’ click through used to identify engaged shoppers is not a good measure of whether someone will want to buy these sorts of products. If someone has a particular interest or investment in your product before seeing it, then they are more likely to be interested in clicking on your ad, even if they don’t normally press ‘shop now’ on a regular basis.
Overall, targeting engaged shoppers on Facebook is a good strategy if your business can cater to the hoby of online shopping which is what the ‘shop now’ button really measures. If you are selling anything outside of this category, then it might be better to focus on targeting by interest or place, and save on the cost of targeting engaged shoppers.
What is a good audience size for facebook ads?
Another thing to consider when deciding if targeting engaged shoppers is the right facebook ad strategy for your business is audience size. Facebook provides a range of filters to target a specific audience with your ads, but each of these also narrows the size of that audience. As a general rule, it’s better with Facebook campaigns to go for as wide an audience as you can. Although admittedly if your company only operates in one geographical area, it is better to narrow your advertising to that region, the difference in costs per click from Facebook users globally means that for fully online businesses, a global ad campaign can bring in more conversions for your money.
A smaller audience is also less scalable, so can reduce the impact of your ad campaign for your business in terms of providing useful data about your customers and what works for your brand. This is why committing to targeting engaged shoppers comes with a lot of considerations, because you’re also committing to a smaller audience. So the conversion rate has to be high enough to outweigh the cons which come with that.
How can you test to see if your engaged shoppers ads are working?
So you’ve figured out that your product should bring in a number of engaged shoppers, and you want to try targeting them with your next Facebook ad, but how do you know if targeting engaged shoppers is going to be more profitable than reaching a wider audience?
There are two ways to test out your engaged shopper ad campaign. The first is by running two identical ad campaigns simultaneously; one targeting engaged shoppers, and one not. The downside of this approach is that your two tester ads will be in competition with one another, which can be a bit annoying, but the advantage of this method is that you can get results quickly by running both for just a week or two.
The second method is a little smoother in the sense that only one ad runs at once, so no internal competition, but it is more time consuming. This approach involves the same idea of two identical ads, one targeted to engaged shoppers and one not, but instead of running them at the same time, you run the ads separately and consecutively, letting each one run for 1 or two weeks, then taking that down and running the other for the same amount of time before comparing.
So, when it comes to targeting engaged shoppers in your Facebook ads, consider what you’re selling and whether that appeals to the engaged shopper demographic, and if you think targeting engaged shoppers is right for your business, make sure to test it out first to make sure the results are worthwhile for you.
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