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A Simple Way to Improve Your Facebook Ad Relevance Score

By now, Facebook ads aren’t exactly a new thing.

We all know the drill: It’s all about promoting your “unicorns” – the top 1-3% of your best content and/or offers, the ones with unusually high engagement rates, e.g. click-through rates of 10% or higher.

Why? Facebook sponsored posts with high engagement rates get assigned high Relevance Scores, which get rewarded by the Facebook Ad algorithm through increased exposure at lower cost.

facebook relevance score

The cost per click for a sponsored post with 1% engagement rate might be around $3-5 per click, but if you can raise the engagement rate to 10%, your CPC will fall to around 25 cents.

But how do you make the content you’re trying to promote get 10%+ click-through rates?

How Your Ad Targeting Strategy Affects Relevance Score

The normal way to increase relevance and CTR on Facebook is to be a bit picky with your ad targeting – no matter how boring your sponsored content is, if you get it in front of a targeted enough audience, it can become exciting to a smaller number of people. Or at least, that’s how the theory goes.

For example, if you’re selling PPC marketing software, you promote your offers to people who have:

  • An interest in marketing
  • Middle-management job titles
  • Recently visited your site
  • Etc.

Here we’re casting a narrower net, and maximizing the engagement rates within it.

The problem is that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink - just because you’ve created a perfectly targeted ad set, doesn’t guarantee the prospective buyer will find your offer worthy of clicking on.

Further, sometimes you can over-define your audience, meaning you’re only showing your ad to a tiny pool of people.

A New Way of Ad Targeting: The Inverted Unicorn Method

My new ad targeting strategy has the potential to dramatically increase your sponsored post engagement rates and your relevance scores, which, in turn, will simultaneously increase reach and lower cost per engagement.

Basically, the idea here is rather than only targeting correlated interests (e.g. marketers with middle-management job titles), we’re going to target two completely different interests: for example, liberals who watch Star Trek Deep Space Nine.

These are two big audiences, but we’re only targeting the overlap:

advanced ad targeting strategies

A Crazy Example of the Inverted Unicorn Method for Facebook Ad Targeting

Two weeks ago I created a case study which highlighted how fake news being spread via Facebook ads can pose a danger to society.

larry kim facebook ad targeting

I only had a $400 budget to promote the story using Facebook ads, yet the content promotion efforts yielded:

  • Gazillions of views
  • Over 1300 likes

The story got picked up in Business InsiderForbes, and a major international television network is filming a story on this next week at my office.

Last week, Facebook started taking out ads on the fake news issue.

facebook ad policies

And they even updated their ad reviewing policy:

facebook ad reviewing

Interestingly, about a hundred people at Facebook checked out my LinkedIn profile last week.

Did my story cause all this? Impossible to know. But I can share the Inverted Unicorn Facebook Ad targeting strategy that I employed.

As a reminder, I only had $400 to spend on content promotion, so I picked a demographic that I thought would find this story to be particularly interesting: Liberals.

how to target the right facebook audience

Unfortunately, this audience is just too big (26 million people). That’s too broad considering I only have $400 to spend.

I had to find a subset of this huge audience that I could still meaningfully target.