What is carpet bombing?
Ask a military professional or student of history this question and they will tell you Carpet Bombing is a tactic used when your objective is to reach every part of a selected area of land. This is usually achieved by dropping lots of unguided bombs, which may actually overlap slightly covering the entire area the way a carpet covers a floor.
Ask a Facebook advertising professional about carpet bombing, and you will notice the similarity. Carpet bombing is a cost-effective way of reaching as many people as possible in a certain demographic or specific geographic region. Like the unguided bombs, the first part of this program relies on a widespread message focused on just a zip code or radius.
What makes this different than simply mass marketing is the follow-up messages. Once you identify a specific audience, you can use retargeting to send more focused messages to a very niche community which has demonstrated an interest or a need for your product or service.
How does it work?
For the answer to that question, I turned to One Click Lindsey (Lindsey Anderson) who shared some very specific examples of how a chiropractor used the carpet bombing advertising strategy to identify a small segment of his community suffering from back pain.
Carpet Bombing Basics
Your initial offer needs to be informative, not sales oriented with a very specific offer or CTA at the end. Videos and slideshows work well because Facebook wants more of this interactive content, so the cost per view will be relatively low.
Your goal is to find people who are interested enough in the content to watch the entire video. These people will become your target for more focused campaigns.
The initial video doesn’t need to be too long. While Lindsey suggested 30 – 60 seconds I have seen other writers say 20 – 30 seconds will suffice. The first few seconds have to be strong visually to capture attention and get people to watch more and there should be a strong call to action at the end.
Create the advertisement using the ad manager. Do not boost an existing post for this campaign. Set a large geographic radius and only narrow it by age and gender based on your offer. Remember, you want to reach as many potential prospects as possible.
Select Video Views as the campaign objective and leave the rest of the settings at default. With no other information, Facebook will show the video to a very wide audience.
Then set up a retargeting sequence to display a second message, or series of messages, to people only after they have seen and engaged with your first message. For example, you can set up the retargeting to only show the follow-up ads to people who watched 75% or more of the first video.
The follow-up messages need to have very strong and specific calls to action such as get a coupon, get a free audit, etc. You will pay more per click, but it will be worthwhile because this is a prequalified audience. Then using a landing page with a Facebook pixel, you can identify people who took the second step and came to your website but didn’t complete the conversion form. If you run the campaign long enough you can retarget and retarget until they do.
This is a smart strategy with a high ROI, but good advertising does require an investment so get ready to invest a several hundred dollars in your carpet bombing strategy to drive the most qualified candidates to your business.