Navigating Facebook’s Special Ads Category for Financial Services

In mid-2019, Facebook rolled out the Special Ad Category, which limits advertisers running Housing, Employment and Credit campaigns. Campaign audiences must adhere to a specific set of parameters and have a Category applied or else they will be rejected. The most important takeaway from these changes is making sure your geo-target is greater than 15-miles, your audience age is 18-65+ and your detailed targeting parameters are accepted under the new policy.

Now, how does this affect Financial Services? Facebook defines a Credit opportunity as “Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans, and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards, regardless of a specific offer.” 

You’re thinking “okay, this doesn’t affect me in any way.” In some cases, you’re right – you probably won’t be affected. But Facebook’s algorithm is strong, and our experience dictates that it will catch anything and everything they deem requiring a Special Ad Category.

What does this mean? If your copy or your landing page makes mention of the above topics, we can guarantee your ads or your advertiser’s ads will be rejected especially if your audience doesn’t fit within Special Ad Category parameters.

The best and fastest fix is to update your audience and apply the Credit Category to your campaign and republish. This takes less time than appealing and potentially waiting for Facebook to hold firm on their rejection.

Related Article: How Best to Use Facebook’s Conversions Objective for Financial Services

Analissa Moreno is the Data Operations Lead for Tiger Pistol’s Client Success team. She has an MA in the History of Photography. As the data guardian, she owns all aspects of reporting as it relates to client support and manages non-engineering data projects. She also uses her creativity to elevate the business by making small, but impactful changes on a daily basis. When she’s not face-first in data projects, Analissa’s baking moderately complicated recipes, watching Harry Potter reruns and having fun with her dog, Rollei.

How Best to Use Facebook’s Conversions Objective for Financial Services

It’s important when choosing an objective to choose the one that aligns the best with you or your agent’s or advisor’s business goals. Naturally, advertisers want to reach potential customers who may be interested in their product or service. Facebook’s Conversions Objective takes this one step further, by targeting those customers who are not only interested but also most likely to take action on your offer. 

Take for instance the example of a national insurance provider whose customers typically submit a form for a consultation and quote on their website. For the local Page running a campaign, tracking web traffic events on a Landing Page is invaluable information. This is where the Conversions Objective is a great way to optimize Facebook and Intsagram campaigns towards these form submissions on the individual landing pages. Running the Conversions Objective directs Facebook to find those customers who have shown intent for the Conversion Event you identify as relevant to your campaign. In this case, Facebook can find those customers who perhaps visited a competing insurance company’s submission form, but did not finish completing their information.

So, what does this look like at scale? Simple – utilize individualized landing pages for each of your locations but install the same Pixel on all Pages. Each location will be able to run its own individual Facebook campaign to its target sales area but can benefit from the national brand’s inbound corporate data while still enabling local campaign optimization. In this way, both local and global partners empower each other.

About the Conversions Objective

In Facebook’s arsenal, the Conversions objective is a strong option when you not only want to drive users to a destination but to encourage them to take a specific action on this page. To be able to track specific actions such as page visits or leads, a Facebook Pixel must be installed. 

While “conversions” imply sales, in truth a “conversion” can mean many things, which is what makes the objective so flexible. For the insurance industry, a conversion might mean free quotes or scheduling a consultation on a landing page, whereas a brick and mortar QSR might consider a conversion someone viewing their menu online. 

The key to the Conversions Objective is that it enables marketers a pathway to define what success looks like through data, and its power comes from its strategic flexibility. Ultimately, what you or a user predefined as the conversion event, Facebook’s algorithm will work to find users who will do exactly that. For Financial Services in particular, where there is a reliance on a combination of online and offline attribution, the Conversions Objective is the perfect choice to empower both ends.

Best Uses of The Facebook Pixel In Financial Services Conversions Ads

Though we can’t talk about the Conversions Objective without first discussing the Facebook Pixel, as the two are inextricably linked. The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your campaigns. Using your Pixel, you can use it to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website, to drive sales, and most importantly, make sure your ads are being shown to the right people.

When it’s properly installed, the Pixel will fire when a user has taken an action on your site. This is inclusive of booking appointments, adding an item to their cart or even purchasing a product. These actions are known as “Events” and may be monitored via your Pixel’s Events Manager page. Once a user has taken an action that fired the Pixel, you’ll be able to reach this customer again through custom audience targeting.

Recommendations for Financial Services

The Conversions objective is particularly useful for the Financial Services vertical. Out of the 17 Standard Events available to install within a Pixel (either by embedding in the code or by using Facebook’s Event Setup Tool for Web), we recommend adding the following to your toolkit:

Website action

Description

Complete registration A submission of information by a customer in exchange for a service provided by your business. For example, signing up for an email subscription.
Contact A telephone, SMS, email, chat or other type of contact between a customer and your business.
Find location When a person finds one of your locations via web, with an intention to visit. For example, searching for a product and finding it at one of your local stores.
Lead A submission of information by a customer with the understanding that they may be contacted at a later date by your business. For example, submitting a form or signing up for a trial.
Schedule The booking of an appointment to visit one of your locations.
Submit application The submission of an application for a product, service or program you offer. For example, a credit card, educational program or job.

By parsing out specified events – separate from the default “PageViews” event – you can find out more information about your business. This could include discovering which areas of your website are getting a little more love than others or even which buttons might be getting more clicks.

Conclusions

The Conversions Objective is a powerful tool for financial services firms to optimize the delivery of Facebook campaigns to the best customers for your products and services. Yet, leveraging the Conversions Objective across a network of agents or advisors has historically been challenging and time-consuming. Tiger Pistol’s Conversions Objective capabilities allows brands and agencies to deploy conversion campaigns at scale with a single click. We make leveraging the Conversions Objective at scale has never been easier for financial services firms. 

To learn more about how your financial services brand can find your best customers by scaling your conversions campaigns locally, contact us today. 

Related Article: Navigating Facebook’s Special Ads Category for Financial Services

Analissa Moreno is the Data Operations Lead for Tiger Pistol’s Client Success team. She has an MA in the History of Photography. As the data guardian, she owns all aspects of reporting as it relates to client support and manages non-engineering data projects. She also uses her creativity to elevate the business by making small, but impactful changes on a daily basis. When she’s not face-first in data projects, Analissa’s baking moderately complicated recipes, watching Harry Potter reruns, and having fun with her dog, Rollei.

Best Practices for Facebook Audiences: Part 3 – Navigating Facebook Special Ad Categories

In order to comply with all rules and regulations surrounding anti-discriminatory practices, Facebook began enforcing new rules for the way Housing, Credit, and Employment advertisements were managed. Housing, Credit, and Employment ads must be certified as such. The certification process is done at the campaign level and involves checking the following box and republishing:

When you republish, you’ll also need to ensure your ad complies with the audience parameters for Special Ads. This guide outlines what kind of verticals are commonly impacted by this policy and how you can ensure that your ad complies.

Housing Opportunity (or related service): Ads that are running housing-related content. This can include listings for the sale or rental of a home or apartment, homeowner’s insurance, housing repairs, and more.

Employment Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to an employment opportunity, including but not limited to part- or full-time jobs, internships, or professional certification programs. Even if you’re just running a one-off employment opportunity, you’ll still need to make sure it is certified.

Credit Opportunity:  Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans, and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards, regardless of a specific offer. This is an especially important category for auto dealerships, as ads are often associated as part of a credit opportunity.

This infographic breaks down how Special Ad Categories affect different aspects of Facebook targeting including location, language, age/gender, Saved Audiences, Detail targeting and custom audiences.

Just because you don’t think your business applies here, make sure to be on the lookout for incorrect Special Ad category flags. For example, Facebook might associate the word “work” in your ad’s body copy as being an ad related to employment. If this happens, you can go to the ad level and request an appeal.

It’s also important to know that certification for Special Ads is always done to the individual ad. This means this is a step you’ll need to take for any current and future Special Ads.

Having less choices about your audience doesn’t have to be a limitation. It just means you could focus on finding the media or CTA that is resonating the most with your audience. Perhaps leveraging the possibilities of Facebook Stories will help you engage consumers? The exciting part about social advertising is that there are endless possibilities to help your ads stand out from the rest.

Miss the first two articles in our Best Practice for Facebook Audiences series?  Find them and other social advertising best practices on our Resources Page

Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.

Best Practices for Facebook Audiences: Part 2 – A/B Testing: When in Doubt, Test it Out!

If you’re worried your social media ads are getting stagnant, an A/B test can provide a needed refresh. Running two ads that have only one varying element can offer valuable insights about what is working (and what’s not!) as well as inform strategy for future social campaigns.

A/B testing can be particularly helpful when determining audience. For example, if your goal is to grow your audience base, you could try targeting a lookalike of website traffic against a broad/detail targeting audience. The broad audience will help you continue to establish your customer base and the lookalike will help ensure some of your ads are also directed at users similar to your best customers.

Perhaps you’re still waiting for your Pixel data to gather? Try testing media and move to the audience later. In a world of endless customization, A/B testing offers a low-pressure scenario to freshen up your campaigns and learn more in the process.

Online retailer Sole Society wanted to compare how the square image format performed compared to a traditional landscape format. The ad featured the same pair of black boots. They learned that the square image outperformed the rectangular one and delivered a 27% increase and sales and 32% increase purchased products. For future campaigns, they could now feel more confident in selecting square images.

When trying to decide what to test, focus your goal on what you ultimately want to learn. Perhaps you want to sell more products, get more in-store visits, or simply want to more fully understand a particular aspect of your business. Stepping back like this can help you examine which of Facebook’s tools may work best for your needs.

Read the next post in my Best Practices for Facebook Audiences series, where I share how to create audiences that comply with Facebook Special Ads Categories. Miss the first article in this series? Check it out here.

Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.

Best Practices for Facebook Audiences: Part 1 – Creating Audiences

Creating the perfect ad leads to the next step — who are you doing to show it to?  Here we’ll go over terminology and best practices for creating audiences for your social ads. If you’ve been asking questions about audience size, detail targeting, or Facebook custom and lookalike audiences, this is the guide for you.

Audience Size

When creating audiences, keep an eye on the Potential Reach. Facebook ads can run with a minimum audience of 1,000, but if an audience is too small, Facebook may have trouble finding users to show your ad to. This means your ad might underperform or be shown at a high frequency, causing ad fatigue among users seeing the ad over and over again! While there is no real “sweet spot” for audience size, we recommend trying to create an audience of at least 50,000. If you’re really in a pinch and are creating an audience in a lower populated area, try and keep the size to at least 10,000.

Detail Targeting

When adding detail targeting options, you can select from a variety of Facebook interests. Use OR targeting instead of AND (also called narrow) targeting when you want your audiences to be larger. Let’s talk Dogs, Cats, and Pets to illustrate the point.  In OR targeting, you would fall into the audience if you liked any one of those options (dogs, cats, or pets), but for AND targeting, you have to like all three. That’s why AND targeting produces a smaller audience. You can see the remarkable difference this can make in this illustration, where the audience difference between OR and AND is 590,000 people!

In general, it’s best not to overuse detail targeting. A broader audience may lead to potential new customers — you never know who may be interested!

Curious about detail targeting but want to use it to greater purpose? Learn how the conversions objective optimizes the delivery of your Facebook Campaign specifically towards a conversion event, rather than driving general traffic to your site or for brand awareness. This means you can still use detail targeting, but also further optimize for those people more likely to take a specific action on your page like “Add to Cart” or “Sign Up.”

Custom Audiences

Looking to apply remarketing strategies? That tactic begins with custom audiences. To create a custom audience, you will need to provide Facebook with identifiers about your customers (like email addresses or phone numbers) or have a Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Whether the uploaded identifiers or the data from your Pixel, this information is compared with the information on Facebook profiles. The overlapping group becomes your custom audience! To ensure the Information remains secure, it undergoes a hashing process before it’s sent to Facebook. (Hashing turns the information into randomized code.) After the custom audience is created, Facebook deletes the information.

This is a great way to show your ads to people who may have already interacted with your business. For example, having a Facebook Pixel installed means you could create audiences from your website traffic. Specific pages or events can also be used. A retail location who wants to focus on their summer shoes could select users who visited the “Sandals” section of their website.

You can also use custom audiences to exclude people from viewing your social ads. A fitness center whose objective is to get new members might exclude a custom list created from membership email addresses and names. This would ensure that their current customers aren’t in the ad’s audience, ensuring the business doesn’t waste its precious ad dollars.

When Beekeeper’s Naturals wanted to increase orders for its product sampler box, they showed video ads to a Custom Audience of people who had visited the Beekeeper’s Natural website within the last 30 days, added the product to their cart , but did not purchase it. In return, they saw a 39% increase in sales of a specific product bundle. They also had a 4.5X increase in return on ad spend. Custom audiences offered them the ability to show their ads to users who had already shown a demonstrated interest in the product.

In order to upload a list successfully, you’ll need at least 100 matches. This means your list might have to be a bit larger than 100 because it’s matching the information you’re providing with that on a user’s Facebook profile. If your list is uploaded, but you worry it’s a bit small for retargeting just yet, a lookalike audience might be more suited to your needs.

Lookalike Audiences 

A Lookalike Audience offers a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers. How does it work? Like a custom audience, you need to upload a data source. (It undergoes the same hashing process mentioned above.) Facebook then finds users with similar characters or qualities to that of your source.

In the “Power of the Facebook Pixel” Chris Mayer explains how this works in the case of a Lookalike Audience created from website traffic:

“A golf related e-commerce website might have a lot of users visiting their website, who also like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, and/or are “interested in” golf. The Lookalike Audiences will account for this. Facebook will literally find more people who like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, are also “interested in” golf, and share similar traits and demographics as the website visitors.”

Although Facebook doesn’t reveal which traits are generated, the value lies in its ability to optimize your audience. Clothing retailer Trina Turk was hesitant to turn to Facebook advertising because they were unsure if they could target enough people willing to spend money on a luxury brand. They first ran a dynamic campaign for broad audiences. Utilizing that campaign’s learnings “the team created and reached out to lookalike audiences based on the new shoppers who clicked through to the website from the dynamic ads.” Their year-over-years results for the following period speak to the power of the Lookalike Audience:

  • 75% increase in return on ad spend
  • 33% decrease in cost per purchase

These results are dramatic, so it’s important to highlight the two-part campaign here. Running a broad campaign helped them first get more website traffic. Just like with custom audiences, having an ample amount of data helps produce better results. If you’ve just installed your Facebook Pixel, first try running a broad or detail targeting campaign to further establish your base audience.

Hungry for more? Coming soon – how you can utilize A/B testing to find your most effective audience. In the meantime, check out our Resources Page for more social advertising best practices. 

Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.

Playbook: Social Advertising at Scale for Restaurants & Food Service Brands

While some major platforms have begun to offer advertising objectives that align with local needs such as calls or visits, none come close to the easy, effective tools Tiger Pistol provides to activate and manage your Restaurant or Food Service brand’s social advertising at scale.

Unlocking Local Activation at Scale is the social advertising playbook that reveals just how simple and efficient Tiger Pistol’s social advertising platform makes it for Restaurant and Food Service brands to onboard and empower their locations or channel partners with brand-approved, best practice, Facebook and Instagram campaigns — all customized for their local audiences.

COVID-19 Response Program for Healthcare

As clinic operations evolve under COVID-19, healthcare providers need a responsive local strategy – with the ability to provide accurate information to patients.

In our playbook, we outline Tiger Pistol’s COVID-19 Support Programs for the Healthcare Industry.  You’ll learn how templatized local campaigns give you the ability to shift creative and messaging based on in-person appointments, virtual appointments, and vital healthcare updates, with easy tools to turn campaigns on or off based on changing local orders and pandemic scenarios. Get the playbook now. 

On-Demand Webinar: The Critical Role of Local Social Advertising in Economic Recovery

Tiger Pistol’s Casey Zaffin, VP of Client Management, discusses why local social advertising is a must have for your economic recovery and revitalization efforts, the role of local social advertising in the economic rebuild, and how facilitating connections can be done at scale, whether you are a large multi-location brand, and agency, or an SMB reseller.

During this webinar, you will learn:

  • Companies that invest in local social advertising with precise targeting, refocused and flexible creative and messaging will capitalize on recovery opportunities and dominate in 2020 and into 2021.
  • With store visit optimization still off the table in many areas, we’ll define what measurements can be used to define social advertising success. ○ How engaging with consumers and the community on a personal level will establish a long-lasting connection and how ads can be dynamically scaled for localization.
  • How SMBs should take advantage of conversational commerce ○ Best practices in social advertising through the lens of three industry-leading companies:
    • A Global Fortune 500 beverage company using social to reach into communities to support local bars and restaurants
    • A Fortune 500 real estate company that’s enabling its agents to make critical connections at a time when human interaction is limited
    • A leading SMB reseller that’s empowering their customers with new and innovative tools to enhance personal connections.

Watch The Critical Role of Local Social Advertising in Economic Recovery 

COVID-19 Response Program for Financial Services

As customer behavior evolves under COVID-19, local Facebook marketing strategies need to adapt as well.

In this playbook, we outline Tiger Pistol’s COVID-19 Support Programs for the Financial Services Industry.  You’ll learn to how adapt your marketing with Conversion and Lead based Campaign templates focused on lead acquisition, virtual consultations, and online quotes.

On-Demand Webinar: How Going Local Made Anheuser-Busch InBev the Toast of Towns Around the World

By investing in localized marketing, Anheuser-Busch InBev aggregated touchpoints in communities around the world. 

Watch and learn how AB InBev’s bottom-up approach to advertising generates larger and more meaningful results for its brand, drastically lowering cost of advertising, increasing consumer engagement, and fostering loyalty among its worldwide network of bars, restaurants and retailers. AB InBev reveals how Tiger Pistol’s technology enables this global-to-local strategy, and explains how its versatility helps them promote its local recovery and revitalization initiative for its establishments around the world.

Key Takeaways

  • Pairing AB InBev brand equity with local establishments drives a more personal connection with the consumer, increasing relevance 
  • Publishing ads at scale can still be personalized and meaningful
  • Publishing ads at scale does not need to be an expensive endeavor requiring a huge staff
  • Local advertising with the right technology makes pivoting simple and efficient

Speakers

Daniel Ingram, Global Director of Trade Innovation, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Daniel develops, tests, and scales innovative media, technology, and hardware programs for bar and retail customers across ABI’s global footprint to enhance consumer experiences and drive incremental sales. Daniel is a Level II Certified Cicerone, and is passionate about bringing people together over a great pint of beer.

Talia Wachtel, VP Client Management, Tiger Pistol

Talia has extensive experience working with national and global brands to generate meaningful business results from digital marketing. Talia’s expertise lies in the productization, go-to-market and operational fulfillment of scalable social ad products, with brands such as Realogy, Yellow Pages, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Web.com leveraging her to consult on the ideation and launch of successful social ad solutions to their end advertisers.

Ready to see how Tiger Pistol can develop a global-to-local strategy to suit your brand’s needs? Contact us today!