How To Use Facebook Ads To Get Press For Your Website (with No Connections and without a PR Firm)

How to use Facebook ads to get press coverageIf you’re like most business professionals that I consult with, you would do anything to get some good press for your company.

Wouldn’t it be great to get quoted on a large news site or to get a product review on an influential blog?

Lots of companies pay huge fortunes to PR firms to help them get good press. But what about all the smaller companies who can’t afford to pay many thousands of dollars for a professional PR campaign?

Today, I want to teach you three little known Facebook ad techniques that you can use to get great press coverage from popular media outlets and blogs with a very small ad budget… So you can fire your PR consultant.

(Ya, I know that most PR professionals have huge rolodexes of personal connections that can really open doors for you and provide real value. But for all you guys who can’t afford that option, Facebook ads are a dream come true.)

Remember, as always, the key to a successful Facebook ad campaign is to think “outside of the box” and to implement creative strategies that nobody else is doing yet.


OK, let’s get started…

As with any PR campaign, the first step in getting noticed is to have great content to share. This can be a great article that you’ve just written, a great video explaining your new product, a previous article written about your company or any other newsworthy piece of content that can grab a journalist’s attention.

Remember, that the content you are promoting needs to make a subtle but powerful pitch for why your story is newsworthy.

Once you’ve got your content ready, it’s time to make sure that it’s seen by the right people.

Here are three tricks you can use to get noticed.


1) Target Media Outlets

When you’re setting up your ads in the Ads Manager, click to see Advanced Target Options, then use the Workplaces field to start listing the media outlets that you would like to get coverage from. This will allow you to show your ads specifically to employees of these news agencies.

Facebook ads manager workplace targeting

In practice, I wouldn’t recommend putting all your target companies in one ad like I’ve done above. It’s better to use a separate ad for each target company so that you can easily determine which audiences are working best for you. By segregating ads, you can also adjust your bids to focus more on the audiences that are most important to you.

Bonus Tip: You can also us this technique to target employees of other influential companies related to your industry.


2) Target people with interests related to journalism

This strategy work very similar to the technique listed above except that we are going to use the “Precise Interests” field to target people who list their job titles as Journalists and related functions.

Facebook Ads Precise Interests Journalists

Most people don’t realize it, but Facebook pulls information for the Precise Interests field from users’ job titles, educations, interests, and activities as well as the pages they like and the groups they have joined.

Being able to target users by job title makes Facebook ads similar to LinkedIn ads except much cheaper. (Currently the minimum cost per click on LinkedIn is $2. We can get much cheaper on Facebook.)

This strategy allows you to display your ads only to people who list their job title as journalists.

But here’s where it get really cool… When you combine this trick together with the employer targeting that we discussed above, you are able to target journalists at the specific news sites that you selected. This should leave you with a very small, but very relevant audience for your ads.

Using this approach, your CPC might be a little higher than you’re used to with other Facebook campaigns, but you will be targeting such a small and valuable audience that your overall costs should remain very low. And the impact can be HUGE.


3) Target influential bloggers in your industry

Important… OK, so let me tell you up front that this technique is probably in violation of Facebook’s terms. So you should decide for yourself if you want to risk it.

The objective here is to research and collect a list of bloggers who you’d like to write about you and your business. Once you have a list of bloggers, you need to find their personal Facebook profile pages as well as their unique Facebook ID (you can find anybody’s ID here

Once you have a good size list of bloggers (you should probably find at least 50) and their Facebok IDs, you can submit the IDs to create a custom audience using Facebook’s Power Editor. This allows you to target ads precisely at these influential bloggers who you have hand selected. (In theory, you can do this with journalists as well).


Case Study – Marty Weintraub

One of the best examples of using Facebook ads to get media attention comes from Marty Weintraub at (one of the smartest marketers I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting).

About a year ago, Marty wrote a great blog post about General Motors pulling their huge Facebook ad campaigns. Rather than wait around for news outlets to find the story, Marty ran a focused Facebook ad campaign targeting journalists, reporters, influential ad agencies and more.

In the end, Marty got incredible press coverage based on his article and was quoted in tons of related news stories.

His total ad spend on Facebook? $18.


Now it’s your turn

Have you ever tried micro targeting your Facebook ads like this? Leave a comment and tell me the results that you got.

Do you know anybody who’s trying to get more exposure for their business? Do them (and me) a favor and send them this article. You might help them make a lot of money.

And of course, don’t forget to sign up for my email list below to get all my future posts.

21 thoughts on “How To Use Facebook Ads To Get Press For Your Website (with No Connections and without a PR Firm)”

  1. Hey Aaron,

    Fun article. But…

    Aren’t you concerned at all that no pays any attention to FB ads anymore. Results from Ads on FB have been very low for months now.

    One thing that I would love to point out is using your method for local SMBs. You can augment interests to various local industries and places that target the area you are aiming for.

    1. Hey Dov,

      Thanks for visiting. I don’t think it would be accurate to say that nobody click FB ads anymore or that results have been very low for month.

      However, I would agree that many of the tactics that worked six months or a year ago aren’t working as well anymore. That’s why it’s important for marketers to continually be testing new ideas all the time. Creative ideas, like the one I wrote about above, can still provide a great ROI.

      Great tip to tweak these techniques for local marketing.

  2. Wow! What a great idea. You cannot imagine how much money my business blew on paying a PR firm last year. In the end, they weren’t really so successful. But I am going to try this approach next time.
    If this works, I would like to take you out for a beer…

  3. Thanks for sharing this technique, Aaron. But wouldn’t it be more efficient to use LinkedIn to target journalists? I usually think of Facebook as a tool for social networking rather than business development.

    1. Aaron Zakowski

      Hey Zev, You’re right that most people think of LinkedIn as the best place to target people by profession. However, most people don’t realize that you can also target your audience by job tile in Facebook as well. One of the main advantages of doing it with FB is that the CPC is much lower. LinkedIn has a minimum CPC of $2 per click. You can usually get much lower on Facebook.

      1. Hey Aaron I just want to get back to you (a few years later) on this: is the minimum CPC on Linkedin still 2$? My concern about Facebook is, that journalists maybe using FB only for leisure and don’t want to be inundated by “professional” ads. What do you think?

  4. Its an interesting approach but I don’t get it.. I mean if I want journalists to see and cover my news and to get links built into my media pickups.. just put our PR via one of the PR outlets…

    Am I missing something? Is there a cost benefit?

  5. Howard,

    When you syndicate a press release via an outlet, you pay a lot of money and there aren’t very many assurances that any journalists will ever actually click to open and read it. They get pounded with releases in their email everyday.

    When you put ads on Facebook you can be very target and your budget can be much less. In addition, in Facebook, your ads in the news feed are getting in front of journalists in a way that seems more organic. You can also benefit from the social benefits of Likes, shares, etc on your post.

  6. Great Blog Post, but I can find at the “Ad Manager” the area “Workplace” and “Precise Interests”. Has Facebook changed something? Has you more detailed Screenshots about the sections? Thanks from Germany, Andreas

    1. Aaron Zakowski

      Workplaces is under the section for “More Demographics” in the Audience section of the Power Editor. Precise Interests is on the same screen.

  7. Thank you much for education. Your connections from page to page, and follow-up of people through your pages, over emails, is great. You also repeat your profile picture and basically connect very much to the visitor and reader. The article gives good tips on some features that are not so much known, even if using Facebook ads.

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