What is it?

The term carpet bombing in digital marketing refers to an ad campaign that aims to reach as many people as possible in a certain demographic. We often use this method when targeting for local business or any campaigns aimed at a specific area. In Facebook advertising we class any audience under 1,000,000 as small. You’ll find that when targeting most cities in the UK your audience will often be under 1,000 000, especially if you layer on any other targeting such as parents or interests.

Why should I reach more people instead of targeted people?

We accept your point. If you could reach 1,000 people who may be interested in what you have to offer it’s better than reaching 1,000,000 who aren’t But Facebook ads usually perform better with bigger audiences. So if your audience is 1,000,000 Facebook will start to realise which people from those 1,000,000 are going to respond well to your ad and it will serve them the ad first.

How can I use Carpet Bombing to my advantage?

Here’s a scenario in which we would use carpet bomb ads.

A toy shop in Liverpool, UK wants to advertise their video of their new toy that’s made for 5-10 year olds. So naturally they want to reach all parents and grandparents of children from age 5-10. When targeting this demographic with Facebook ads the audience size is very low so the ad may not build much traction. So instead of targeting parents we could:

  • Set up a video ad optimised for Link Clicks that links to the toy shop’s website. Target the ad at all people who live in Liverpool, possibly selecting an age range that are likely to be parents.
  • Along side this we would set up a Page Post Engagement ad to the same video to increase it’s engagement and organic reach through shares.
  • Set up a custom audience of website visitors of the page that the video links to.
  • Create a new ad that targets anyone who has visited the website page with an offer on the new toy that they just can’t refuse!

So although you start out with a very broad audience that will have many people in it that you wouldn’t normally want to reach, you soon narrow the audience down by people who have shown an interest by clicking through. Custom audiences could also be created with people who have engaged with the Facebook page, and people who have watched the video for a longer period of time rather than just skipping past.

So next time you’re setting up your ads think about whether it might be better to Carpet Bomb and then narrow down by people who have shown you some interest!



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