With the 2022 change in interest-based advertising on Facebook, what now?

Gone are the days of targeting the perfect interest-based audience on Facebook.

Thanks to Meta’s newest privacy policy updates, digital advertisers and marketers have been forced to shift strategies to maintain ad performance from previous years.

In the ministry sector specifically, organizations are now unable to create advertising audiences based on religious preferences, which significantly alters cost per lead (CPL) and ongoing conversion of leads acquired.

Considering these changes, one way we’ve shifted strategies is to focus on retargeting audiences.

Some of the strongest performing ad results since the 2022 privacy policy changes have come out of retargeting audiences. And it makes sense, right? A person who’s interacted with an organization before (on the website, through social media, or elsewhere) is more likely to take an action in comparison to a cold lead.

To support this, we’ve provided an overview of some results from conversion advertising which we’ve conducted for our clients.

4.6 Thought Leadership Chart

You’ll see above that every audience with an ROAS of 1+ is a retargeting audience. Some of these include current donors, but most are retargeting people in the top and middle of the funnel, where new donor acquisition is most likely.

The challenge, however, is that the retargeting audiences can only be as big as the organization’s awareness. You can’t retarget web traffic that doesn’t exist or social media followers who don’t interact with your accounts.

This leads to the main idea: An investment on growing brand awareness will increase the available retargeting pool for middle- and bottom-funnel advertising… creating not only better top-line ad results, but also providing a higher conversion rate in the long term.

So how can we grow our retargeting audience in a way that feels organic?

Let’s start with the lowest hanging fruit. What platform provides the largest reach for your organization? Maybe it’s a podcast… or a radio program… maybe it’s a YouTube channel or an event.

Once you identify the platform with your largest audience reach, start including strategic calls to action to visit the website, to sign up for a free resource, or to follow your organization on social media.

It may feel pushy to include an ask, but to an audience that’s already committed to consuming your content, taking the next step will feel natural to them.

Once you’ve convinced them to take one or more of these next steps, you’ve done it! You’ve got them in the funnel.

If your organization is still in its infancy, or if your organic audience isn’t big enough to naturally move people into the funnel, then it’s time to make an investment in growing the number of people who are aware of your ministry – and to do it in an efficient way.

Now that we’ve tackled the easiest part, let’s talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the Google Grant.

These two are grouped together not because they are the same, but because they’re both available for free.

Start using the Google Grant to promote your existing content (blog posts, videos, etc.) to an audience searching for similar keywords. The Google Grant allows nonprofits to spend up to $10,000 in advertising dollars on Google Search ads. If you don’t have written content published on your website, create something new using pieces that already exist (e.g., transcribe audio from a podcast episode and use that copy for a blog).

Make sure your content is SEO optimized and use the Google Grant to boost its reach until organic SEO is established.

The more traffic you receive through Google Grant-related content, the larger your website retargeting audience will be.

Another way to grow your organic audience is through social media.

Of course, a social media account’s following can grow organically, but it takes time. Consider speeding up the process of audience growth by adding in a small budget to boost posts that are already performing well organically. Then, for your paid advertising strategy, you can target anyone who engages with your social media posts. You’re putting content in front of new people, and then retargeting the people who indicate interest in some way (a like, a comment, a share).

A “social media engagement audience” is much more likely to take the next step with your organization, in comparison to an audience based on “cities with the largest Christian population” or even a look-alike audience.

In summary, in order to increase conversion rate, we must first increase the audience size at the top of the funnel and efficiently move this audience into the lower levels with advertising. This will produce the highest ROI which, as you know, is imperative for a nonprofit organization.

Screenshot 2023 04 04 At 10.22.27 Am

Wherever you are in terms of audience size, there are steps forward for you in this post-interest-based-targeting world, and we’re here to help!

If you’re interested in learning more about how to increase your conversion rate and reach more people for the Kingdom, contact us today!


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Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters.