Expanded interests vs normal targeting
Split Test: Expanded Interests vs Normal Targeting?
December 17, 2018

expanded interests vs normal targeting

Should you use it or not?

We recently ran a split test to see if the targeting feature was worth a shot… here are our results…

What is it?

The expanded interests feature is where you essentially allow FB to go outside of the bounds of your normal targeting to try and find even more people that may be relevant to your offer.

For example, if you’re targeting “Dog Lovers” and have an audience size of 1million, selecting the expanded interest checkbox will allow you to go after 10million.

When the feature first came out about a year ago, the first test we ran came back with less than impressive results. Scrap that – it was a hot mess and us marketers soon learned to steer away from it.

But – if there’s one truth in FB Marketing is that the platform changes faster than changing underwear.

What worked one week, can bomb the next – and vice versa.

So we recently ran the test again to see if the feature had improved at all.

HYPOTHESIS

By choosing “expand interests when it may increase conversions at a lower cost per conversion” our average cost per opt-in will decrease.

TESTING BUDGET 

We used $2,300 over a two week period to test the feature against a control ad set.

CONSIDERATIONS 

It’s highly likely that the results of this test depend on the size and quality of the targeting audience. For example, if the targeting is very broad, then selecting expand interests likely won’t have much effect at all. But if the targeting is more narrow, then it’s a bit more interesting to see how expanded interests perform.

One possible use case for expanded interests is when you know you have a really good audience but it’s small and so you can’t scale it very much. If you can’t find any other good audiences and you can’t scale the original high-quality audience then it might be a good time to try expanded interests.

TESTING STRUCTURE

Standard Facebook “Split test” with the audience as testing variable.

RESULTS 

Test 1 Results:

Expanded Interests:
Total Spend: $500
Cost Per Opt-in: $8.15
CPC (Link): $0.99
CPM: $14.05

Normal Targeting:
Total Spend: $500
Cost Per Opt-in:$8.28
CPC (Link): $1.09
CPM: $14.18

Test 2 Results:

Expanded Interests:
Total Spend: $650
Cost Per Opt-In: $7.22
CPC (Link): $1.69
CPM: $28.69

Normal Targeting:
Total Spend: $650
Cost Per Opt-In: $7.93
CPC (Link): $1.80
CPM: $24.83

CONCLUSIONS 

So expanded interests won by a small fraction – but not big enough to make it a huge deal.

However, granted that the last time we ran this test it was a landslide fail, this is extremely promising and we have now ourselves started to use the expanded interests feature across our campaigns.

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