If you have ever done any SEM you know that you target by keywords, right? And to get highly targeted traffic you carefully select keywords with high commercial intent and that show the user is in the latter phase of the buying cycle. Well, Facebook is different in several ways.
You cannot target FB users based on relevance to a keyword. Instead, you target based on demographic groups, and because extreme relevancy is not possible on Facebook, your campaigns generally work best when you target the early phases of the buying cycle. Your goal is to build awareness and consideration. And with an effective campaign, you can bring a small percentage of your targeted demographic all the way to the purchase phase after they land on your website.
When targeting by demographics, tailor your campaigns to the upper portion of the “Purchase Funnel“. Then use your landing page to pull traffic from that demographic through the Purchase Funnel towards a purchase.
As with all marketing strategies, the key principle to high effectiveness is to use highly granular market segmentation to focus each campaign on the smallest demographic group that is practical. How big the demo group should vary a good deal from niche to niche. Custom tailor, you message for each specific demo group, testing various messaging to see which performs better for the market segment.
I have found an effective marketing strategy is to use Facebook to target the upper sales funnel (awareness and education) and search marketing for direct response. Facebook works great for branding and searches for direct response, using the two together gives your marketing strategy a bit of synergy, like a one-two punch.