How Facebook Ads Can Predict The Future

Brett Middleton
Aug 7, 2017 · 3 min read

That was a deceptively click-baity title wasn’t it? Sorry for that. But I promise if you love Facebook Advertising it will be worth it. I’m going to tell you the story of how I suggested a long-term play that is currently unfolding, but in an ingenious way. I’m not going to give the company name or the exact service provided, but I’ll take you through how Facebook Ads can be used to find your target audience months before they’re you’re audience.

Did you know that Facebook allows ad targeting based on your relationship status?

If you’re a business that helps people through break-ups (be it a therapist, life coach, dating expert, Ben & Jerry’s…hit me up Ben & Jerry) being there at the moment someone needs you is crucial to success. How can you be sure you’re there way before? The answer is deceptively simple. Create an audience of Facebook users in a current relationship and show them a video ad. Don’t waste their time, make it something useful right now. If you’re a dating expert provide tips on how to keep a relationship spicy. If you’re a therapist offer a 5-step guide on avoiding bringing work-stress home with you. If you’re Ben & Jerry’s seriously just show them a video of ice cream. Why would we spend advertising on this? Hopefully you’ve taken my suggestions to heart and crafted something useful, but even if you’re just getting in front of each person you’re still getting something out of it.

How? Facebook allows creating a custom audience of people who view your videos. How is this useful? For any business where you want to reach a person when they go from Phase 1 to Phase 2 (single to married, renting to homeowner, salary under $50k to a salary over that, etc) or in this instance from In A Relationship to Single…it’s pretty straightforward.

Create your offer and video ad

Target People In A Relationship (narrow down by location or age, as needed to hit your best audience)

Create an audience of video viewers in the past 365 days

Create an ad campaign that markets your service to typical Phase 2 people (in this case, the single people)

Narrow this audience down to also include people who have seen your video ad

Come to terms with the diabolical genius of what you just did

By creating an audience of video viewers, who were in a relationship at the time they viewed it, and people who are single according to Facebook; we have just found a trigger that will actually allow you to build a campaign that is sparked at the exact right moment. Now, let’s get away from the focus on relationship status. This has so many more applications. You’re a streaming provider that wants to get in front of people who need a break. You see that “away from family” is an audience that is available to target, so you decide to start building an ad campaign around these people. But how do you reach them as soon as they actually move away from their family, how do you know you’re actually reaching them at a time when the message will be relevant? Serve video ads to people who Facebook notes are Members of a Family-Based Household. Follow the steps above. Is this tactic for everyone? No, it involves an investment today that might not pay off for months, or at all. But when your business is searching for scalable tactics and a way to create intent and awareness, you may have just found an option.

Talk to me more about marketing at, let me know how I can help!

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