Facebook Partner Categories: Ad Targeting Becomes More Powerful

Facebook has been rolling out new advertising tools at a feverish pace. Have you been able to keep up?

The latest new tool is Partner Categories, which will give Facebook advertisers even more targeting control.

Here I’m going to talk about what Partner Categories are, how to use them and some examples of how you can benefit.

Make sure you watch my video about Partner Categories from my video blog at the top.

What Are Partner Categories?

Here is Facebook’s definition of Partner Categories:

Choose your audience based on information that data providers have about things people do off of Facebook. For example, partner categories let you show your ads to people who have a history of purchasing pet food.

Facebook has partnered with Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon as sources of this data. As always, advertisers do not have any user info, but only the size of the audience that will be targeted with your advertising.

There are currently more than 500 partner categories, and Facebook will be adding more. The Acxiom categories are focused on demographic info (home owner, renter and annual income) while Datalogix allows you to target users based on their purchase history (type, model and price of car; date of purchase; purchase history of products that include beverages, cereals, children’s foods and a whole lot more).

[I don’t yet have categories provided by Epsilon.]

The possibilities here are pretty much endless, and I’ll get to those later.

How Do You Use Parter Categories?

I’ve heard that Partner Categories will be rolled out to the self-serve ad tool, but I currently only have it within Power Editor. You need to use Power Editor anyway!

While creating an ad within Power Editor, go to Audience. Under Precise Interests, there is now an option for Partner Categories.

Facebook Partner Categories Power Editor

Simply go through and select the categories that apply to your ad. You can use these categories in addition to any other targeting you are already doing like Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, etc.

How Can You Benefit From Partner Categories?

Let’s assume you sell new Ford trucks. You can now target people who have previously purchased trucks — even Ford trucks — and live close to your dealership. Even more, you could target people whose trucks are at least five years old.

While you already have some demographic and interests info available for targeting, this provides a much better idea of what someone is willing to buy based on purchase history.

Powerful, powerful stuff!

How Would You Use Partner Categories?

I’m still figuring out how I would use this for my business. How about you? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Ron

    Hey Jon, do you know if the data they have is only about US users. I really like the idea of being able to target a very detail audience but since I’m in Chile I guess this won’t work for me.

    What I’ve been doing is collecting some info of my users via contest and then creating custom audiences, but the process is slow and a little expensive.

    I really like your work, great blog!


    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Hey, Ron. Since it’s only available to advertisers in the US, I assume the data is only for US users — but I can’t confirm that with 100% certainty.

      Gotta be sure it’s all coming though. Stay tuned!

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  • http://hubze.com/ David Foster

    Ya this is pretty cool but will be even better once they open up some categories for cool peeps like us!!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Exactly, David! I’m not even sure what those categories would be. But there’s gotta be something!

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Hey Jon, welcome back from San Diego

    This new feature looks very interesting, but I am wondering a) Do those 3 source companies have information only from the US, or global? and b) Would those 500 Partner Categories be enough?

    In case a), working with some international clients, sometimes I feel quite lost when targeting other countries that are not well to me. Seems this feature could be an excellent aid, but it will all depend on which countries are included in that DB. In regards to case b) I think if you are wise to find the right combination 500 should do, but I’m not sure why (probably Murphy’s Law), I seem to always end up finding a missing target when I create my ads on FB.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Antonio! Since it’s only available to marketers in the US, it’s likely the data is only for users in the US. It also sounds like they’ll be opening up more categories down the road. I want this as well since there aren’t many that would benefit me right now.

  • Kenneth

    Wish they had this feature advertisers based in Australia – even if it was just targeting US audience.

    • Kenneth

      *for advertisers

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  • Mala SPirit

    this is a real cool thing to do precise marketing tricks :) But like ROn and others said… it’s time to roll out Europe!!! Thanks again for this interesting news!!! Keep on writing!

  • Cynthia

    The Partner Categories drop down is blank for me. Is there something I need to do that I am missing to access this new feature. I can see where the categories should be but, like in your screen shot above, the partner categories area is blank.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I’d keep checking back. I didn’t have Epsilon at first, but I do now. Probably a roll-out.

      • Cynthia

        I wondered if I just needed to wait. Since I could see the categories option, I wasn’t sure if I was missing something. Just impatient probably. ;-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/cslovely Cynthia Segraves Lovely

        I still don’t have Partner Categories on any of the pages I manage. Do you think there could be a minimum number of Likes needed to access the Partner Categories? I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere but I’m frustrated that I can’t seem to get this new option.

      • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

        There are 500 categories, and not everyone will see all of them. I have the counts for each category, if anyone wants to email me for them.

    • Steven Mathis

      This is still blank for me. Is it still not rolled out to everyone as of May 29?

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  • John K.

    Quick question… is there a min. that you need to bid to see traffic? I mean with normal ads to target the US for example it will suggest $1 – $12 depending on niche etc.

    So just wondering what the min. is for these things.. coz in power manager it does not show suggested bid.

  • Jebaraj

    Hi Jon, how can I add these to the custom categories in the ads section –

    Purchase behavior> Purchase habits> Online buyers
    Purchase behavior> Purchase habits> Above average spending