Facebook Ads for Market Research and Testing Ideas

by | Jan 26, 2012 | Digital Marketing

Marketing Strategy - Testing New Ideas

Being entrepreneurs at Neumarkets, we tend to come up with ideas for solutions to everyday issues we as are both consumers and users of technology in a business context. One of our favourite ways to see whether our ideas have ‘legs’ is to put together a Facebook campaign to test how our target market might respond.

Testing each component is critical. But in this case, the call to action can be as simple as ‘Fill out this form’ to be one of our first beta testers – or ‘Sick of X? Check out this video demo of our Y solution to solve X.’

You can set up a launch page with many services, including an email form, hero shot (an image that captures attention), and messaging to test to see how to position your solution.

To get started, head over to the Apps section in Facebook, click Ads and click Create a New Ad.

Now, spend some time thinking about what kind of positioning would logically work for your solution/product and design your ad as per below. Remember, it is critical to have continuity between ad and landing page – so stay consistent with your messaging from one step to the next.

Design Facebook Ad

Once that is done, you can drill down on your target demographics. At this point, it makes sense to either go wide – or narrow in terms of location (if you were able to turn up some intel on your competitors via Alexa or Quantcast).

Location Targeting in Facebook Ads

You can then select the broad interest categories your audience might partake in (i.e. cooking, dancing, biking). These are a bit speculative, but I think we can naturally make some safe assumptions.

Next up, you will see an option for Advanced Connection Targeting, as shown below. With this tool, you can target people who already fans of one of your existing pages or apps. This tool is an excellent way to test the market on how your customer base might react to a new line of products or services.

Test New Product Lines or Services with Current Customers

The last targeting section focused on demographics. You can get most of the demographic information from Alexa or Quantcast by analyzing a few of your bigger competitors (national or international brands work best).

You can also get specific by adding in companies or universities that your target audience might work at or attend.

This last piece is cool, as you can use this information further to refine your ad, and landing page copy. For example, if you are targeting Ryerson Students, why not put ‘Ryerson Students! Are you sick of X?’

There is no limit to the number of ads and corresponding landing pages you can create – so go nuts – get as granular as your patience allows!

Once you have made it through the grunt work part of web marketing, it’s time to start adjusting your campaign to maximize your spend.

First, you should set a lifetime budget for the campaign and pick your start and stop dates. It would be a good idea to set it for at least a few days to account for variables like time of day Facebook usage.

Facebook Ad Campaign Scheduling Tips

It is also usually best from a budgeting perspective to start with a Cost per Click (CPC) campaign. Facebook runs on a Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM) model. If you can stomach the chance of impressions without many clicks – the latter will get you better exposure.

Next, you can set your maximum bid per click or 1,000 impressions. As a best practice, we like to start by bidding 80% of whatever the Facebook tool suggests trying to find the sweet spot where others are not bidding below.

Tips to Setting Bids with Facebook Ads

You will need to test this out for your specific campaign – so pick a starting point, then hit ‘Review Ad’ to make sure there are no major mistakes.

If all looks good, hit Place Ad, and wait for your Ad to get reviewed/approved by the Facebook review team.

Once you are up and running (congratulations!) – let the campaign run for a full 24 hours without touching it. If, after 24 hours, you aren’t getting a lot of clicks/impressions – try adjusting the pricing. If you aren’t getting form submits or the action you were hoping, try changing the ad and landing page content to tell the visitor more about what to expect when they click.

I hope it helps! Have fun!

Dan Goldstein

Dan Goldstein


Dan lives and breaths all things marketing and all things tech. He has spent the last ten years helping B2B focused organizations startup, expand and scale. Dan and his team at Neumarkets help B2B companies ramp up customer acquisition and customer lifetime value to achieve their next level of growth and set the roadmap for continued success. After hours you will typically find Dan experimenting in the kitchen or out exercising with his wife and pup. See all of Dan's posts here.