Pet shops and veterinary clinics experience a unique challenge in today's digital world. Their audience is not merely defined by general demographics like age or location but by a specific preference, a love for cats. The task becomes trickier with Facebook's occasional removal of interest and behavior targeting. For instance, targeting behaviors like "Cat Owners" and "Pet products > Cat products" are no longer available.
But fret not! There are numerous ways to connect with cat owners on Facebook Ads, and we're here to guide you through them.
Understanding Cat Owner Behavior On Facebook
Before we delve into the tactics, let's understand the audience: cat owners. They're not just individuals who own cats - but Cat Lovers.
They're passionate about their feline friends, often treating them like family members. This passion influences their online behavior, making them different from dog owners or other pet enthusiasts. They are more likely to follow cat-related pages, join cat-related groups, or even create specific profiles for their cats on Instagram. They love sharing cat memes, cat videos, and, of course, pictures of their feline friends.
How To Target Cat Owners On Facebook Ads
To target cat owners effectively, you need to blend several Facebook Ad targeting options. It's not just about targeting one option; it's about combining them for maximum impact.
1. Custom Audience From Cat-Related Facebook Pages
Creating a custom audience from cat-related Facebook pages is a powerful strategy. These are individuals who have shown a keen interest in cats by engaging with posts or videos on these pages. So, for instance, you could target people who have watched 75% of a video about cat food or engaged with a post about a new cat toy.
2. Interest-Based Targeting
Aside from the generic "Cats (animals)" instead, you can refine your audience by targeting specific interests related to cats, such as cat food, cat accessories, or even types of cats. Here's where you leverage the power of Facebook's algorithm to find potential customers who have expressed an interest in similar cat products or themes.
- Brands: "Friskies", "Meow Mix", "Purina ONE", "Sheba", "Whiskas" and more
- Categories: "Cat food" and "Cat play and toys"
- Social Causes: "Big Cat Rescue" and "Cats Protection"
- Types: "British Shorthair", "Maine Coon", "Persian cat", "Scottish Fold", "Siamese cat", "sphynx cat" and etc
3. Behavior Targeting
While behaviors like "Cat Owners" might no longer be available, you can still target numerous other behaviors, such as "Engaged shoppers" which represent Facebook users who have clicked the "Shop Now" button in the past week.
4. Facebook Groups Targeting
Facebook groups are a goldmine for finding passionate cat owners. From groups dedicated to specific cat breeds to local cat rescue groups, there are countless communities you can tap into. You may start by searching for the groups in your city or country, but strongly narrow down to only Cat groups for maximum accuracy. I have written a separate post on how to leverage Facebook groups for ad targeting.
5. Lookalike Audiences and Retargeting
Finally, you can enhance your targeting strategy by creating Lookalike Audiences from your Facebook Pixel events. For instance, if a user has added a cat product to their cart or made a purchase, you can use this data to find similar users. Moreover, you can retarget users who have clicked on your ad but did not convert, offering them a special discount or a different product that might catch their interest.
The Feline Feat: Effective Cat Owners Targeting Combinations on Facebook Ads
The key is to experiment and find the right mix that works for your business. Each business is unique, and so is its audience. Here are 3 potent combinations of the above targeting strategies which help you to better reach cat owners on Facebook Ads:
1. Lookalike Audience + Interest-Based Targeting:
Create a lookalike audience from Facebook Pixel events, such as adding a cat product to the cart or making a purchase. Layer this with interest-based targeting around cat-related interests. This helps you reach new users who behave similarly to your existing customers and have shown an interest in cat-related content or products.
2. Facebook Groups + Custom Audience:
Use Facebook's Group Targeting to reach members of cat-related groups. Combine this with a custom audience of users who have engaged with your Facebook page. This allows you to reach passionate cat lovers who have shown interest in your brand or products, creating a highly relevant audience.
3. Custom Audience + Retargeting + Email List:
Start with a custom audience from your Facebook page, targeting those who have engaged with your content. Then, use retargeting to reach users who clicked on your ad but did not convert. Finally, upload your email list to Facebook to reach existing customers or subscribers on the platform. This combination allows you to nurture relationships with existing followers, re-engage lost prospects, and connect with your customers on a different platform.
Navigating the Changing Facebook Ad Landscape
It's important to remember that Facebook is a dynamic platform. It frequently updates or removes certain ad targeting options, which can impact your strategy. To mitigate this, it's crucial to build your audience. This could be through growing your Facebook or Instagram page, or even better, collecting emails. Having your own audience minimizes the impact of Facebook's changes and allows you to maintain a direct line of communication with potential customers.
For instance, imagine you've cultivated a thriving Facebook page dedicated to cat care. This page allows you to create engaging content about your products and services, building a loyal following of cat lovers. Now, when Facebook changes its ad targeting, you've still got an engaged audience you can reach directly, without solely relying on ads.
Moreover, email marketing isn't affected by Facebook's changes and remains a robust and effective marketing channel. By encouraging cat owners to sign up for your newsletter, you can send them personalized offers, product recommendations, and more, right into their inbox.
The Bottom Line
Navigating the world of Facebook ads can be challenging, especially when targeting a niche audience like cat owners. With Facebook's ongoing changes to its detailed targeting, it's more important than ever to build your audience and develop a diversified marketing strategy. After all, your customers aren't just on Facebook. They're browsing your website, checking their emails, and sharing cute cat photos across the internet. Make sure you're there, too!
By understanding the unique behaviors of this audience and crafting a comprehensive strategy that combines different targeting options, you can make your ads more effective and improve your cost per acquisition or return on ad spend.