January 12 13

How to Run Dating Ads on Facebook — A Step-by-Step Guide

The Dating services industry is booming. This is a fact. It is impossible to find a precise number of dating applications available in the market. Pew Research Center shows that 66% of users have experience dating someone they met online. It comes as no surprise, though. Terrific amounts of money circulating in the industry as dating services vendors need more clients. Every day new affiliate programs open doors to marketers. The only downside of being a dating affiliate is restrictions set by popular platforms towards dating ads.

Statista shows the following data on Dating Niche:

  • Revenue in the Dating niche is projected to reach $8 916 million in 2021.
  • In 2022, the revenue in the dating niche is expected to grow 9.4%.
  • The market largest segment is Online Dating with a market volume of $3 853 million in 2021.
  • In 2021, the average revenue per user in the Dating niche is projected to be $15.86.

Ok, you shouldn’t be shocked with numbers, they are well expected. If the business is thriving why not use it to your own benefit. The first platform that comes to mind while considering dating ads is Facebook. Impressive reach, global audience, over-the-top popularity — all features match perfectly with the objective of dating ads campaigns. But there is one problem — Facebook’s Advertising Policy.  


Facebook’s Advertising Policy vs. Dating Ads

Facebook has strict guidelines for advertising. Facebook's Advertising Policy has a special section Dating Policy. All advertisers that launch advertising campaigns in the Dating niche have to receive confirmation for eligibility.

These rules are applied to ads focused on:

  • Matchmaking
  • Online and offline dating
  • Any services that provide help with dating (for example, dating profile management)

However, the restrictions aren’t applied to:

  • Social applications without matchmaking features (for instance, meetup apps)
  • Entertainment elements and literature around relations (for example, TV series, documentaries, or games).

Besides setting obstacles for running dating ads, Facebook is launching its own Dating Service. As of now, the service is available only in several countries and can’t compete in popularity or functionality with other well-known dating services vendors.

Have you heard about the Facebook Dating service?
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Running Dating Ads on Facebook: A Step-by-Step Guide

Despite multiple restrictions, you still can run successful Facebook ad campaigns for offers in the Dating niche. First of all, there is a great turnaround for promoting dating services — dating apps. This makes a huge difference: now you promote an application instead of dating services. However, Facebook is still quite strict to anything related to the Dating niche. Thus, you should be ready to create ads that match all the existing requirements.

Step 1. Make sure that the dating service you promote is fully compliant with Facebook Policy.

Actually, Facebook is transparent with rules and requirements for dating ads. The platform doesn’t allow:

  • Ads promoting sexual encounters
  • Promotion of transactional relationships
  • Ads promoting infidelity
  • Non-monogamous relations
  • Blurred or pixelated ad images
  • Sexually suggestive ads
  • "Selfie images in an ad where a person is visibly photographing themselves"  
  • Ads suggesting that people will contact or meet fictitious people or groups.

Add here requirements to the language used in descriptions: ads should not contain anything that asserts or implies personal attributes, including race, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, criminal record, financial status, etc.

"Meet other black singles near you" — NO                            

"Meet singles online" — YES                            

"Gay dating online" — YES

Step 2. Apply to become a Dating Advertiser on Facebook

No kidding, it’s official. As you see below, there is an application form to fill in. Make sure you provide valid data. Facebook will check the website for compliance with its requirements; in fact, Facebook protects its users from scams and that people will pay for real services.

Step 3. Targeting Policy for Dating Ads

Again, make sure that your target audience is in line with Facebook Policies. To avoid bans or account suspension, follow the steps below:

  • Open your Ads Manager and create a new ad. Then, go to the Ad Set to determine your audience.
  • Next to Detailed Targeting, click on the text field to search for "Single". In the Relationship Status select Single and Unspecified.
  • Below the Detailed Targeting click "Narrow Audience".
  • Make sure your ad is targeted at people at least 18 years old (or older).
  • In the Interests section select "Interested in Dating". You can add other interests too.

If your ads meet all the above-mentioned requirements, you can sleep easily with no worries that your ad account will be disabled or banned for noncompliance with Facebook Advertising Policies.

Step 4. Develop your advertising strategy. As with other ad campaigns you need to select your ad objective (awareness, conversion, etc.), create and split-test several variants of creatives, run several tests to determine the best performing ad bundle.

Important: Avoid using standard images typical for dating ads — people get bored and can report your ad as spam. And negative feedback is the last thing you need. Be creative and use unique images and enticing descriptions to stand out from the crowd.  

Tip:  Ask yourself a question about why people use online dating services. Write down a list of problems they want to solve (boredom, loneliness, support, fun, etc.). If your ads provide solutions to these problems, people will click on your ads. Below you see one of the best examples of dating ads:

Using only four images a marketer told a love story that everyone understands. The ad is brief, bright, and clear. Hats off.  


Black Hat Workaround for Running Dating Ads on Facebook

Well, here we come to the issue of ethics in the first place. Second, black hat techniques might result in the banned account. Yet still, many marketers implement grey and black methods, such as farmed accounts and cloaking, to promote dating services because affiliate programs in the Dating niche offer lucrative commission rates.

Members of marketing communities on BlackHatWorld and Reddit discuss various marketing strategies and methods daily, exchange their experience with various advertising platforms, and share recent updates on new sources of traffic generation. Again, the choice of white, grey, or black techniques is up to you and your ethics.


Case Study from Zac Johnson: 253% ROI on Dating Offer with Facebook Ads

Zac Johnson shared his experience in running a dating offer on Facebook. He notes that the campaign was in testing mode.

Zac found a new dating offer that is "geared towards men who play golf" through PeerFly. In fact, he was attracted by the decent payouts for a free sign-up. He decided to target the golf audience with Facebook Ads.    

Below you see a campaign that Zac created "to quickly test out this ad campaign."

The ad copy was quite simple and aimed to grab the attention of male Facebook users who play golf. As for the target audience, there are "300 000 men on Facebook in the US between the ages of 30-50 that play golf and are single."

Once the campaign was launched, Zac set a low daily budget to see the traffic volume. After a few days of testing he received the following results:

He spent only $17.37 and the ad campaign did $44. If you count the ROI, you will see an impressive 253%.

Zac noted that the campaign continued delivering great results when pushed full scale even though he didn’t split test different images and didn’t narrow demographic targeting.


Conclusion

Now you know that you can run a dating ad on Facebook without worries of being banned. As long as you create ads in compliance with Facebook requirements, you are on the safe side. Most dating services are well aware of limitations set by Facebook, so they have app installs affiliate programs. But again, while promoting dating apps, follow the platform’s rules. The dating niche is known for a powerful lot of money, and you can get your piece of the cake taking advantage of the huge Facebook audience.

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