Surviving Facebook's Ad Targeting Changes


In March of this year, at the height of their international privacy crisis, Facebook announced they would begin to gradually remove Partner Categories – the ad targeting parameters made possible by third-party data providers. As we reported then, the move means that many audience identifiers will be removed from target audiences by October 1. These include:

  • purchase activity
  • income level
  • automobile ownership
  • likeliness to relocate
  • bank membership
  • business travel activity
  • charitable donations
  • company size
  • corporate executives

Though disappointing for some industries, businesses were (and still are) encouraged to expand their interest targeting options to make up for the cutback in audience size. This week, Facebook is making that even more challenging with an announcement that some 5,000 additional targeting options are also being removed. The biggest among them:

  • ethnic affinity
  • religious affiliation
  • cultural interests

How can you continue to utilize Facebook to reach the appropriate audience while targeting options shrink?

1.     Lead Generation Forms

The removal of key targeting features is a harsh reminder that you don’t own the Facebook audiences you’ve spent years carefully curating. The only way you, as an advertiser, can save and continue to re-market to potential leads meeting the criteria specified through a Facebook audience, is by offering those leads the opportunity to opt-in to your email marketing lists. We recommend using Facebook’s built-in Lead Generation Forms to transition as many potential customers as possible from social viewers to email subscribers.

2.     Pixel Retargeting

With a properly installed Facebook pixel on your website, you can track users who visit particular pages of interest, then serve them appropriate ads on social using a Facebook-generated list created with the pixel data.

3.     Source Third Party Data

Although Facebook will no longer absorb the cost associated with Partner Categories, you can still acquire data from the partner companies themselves. Acxiom, CCC Marketing, Epsilon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud, and Quantium will generate potential customer lists on your behalf for the right price.

Want to make the most out of Facebook’s targeting options before the October cutoff? Connect with Deph Digital Media to build a conversion-worthy audience today.