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#2 Facebook Audience Insights – Finding Targeted Audience

Facebook has an abundance of audience but you don’t want to target everyone, you just need to target the users who are interested in what you have to offer. Knowing how to discover audience that are really interested in what you are selling is key to reducing ad cost.

How Targeting Is Done On Facebook

Let’s begin by understanding the fundamental of Facebook’s targeting method. In Facebook targeting users begins with identify and selecting interests that are relevant to your product and service on facebook. An interest is basically the pages a user on Facebook has shown interest in by liking the page. For instance, if I am a lady who loves makeup I might like the Sephora page. Now as an advertiser we can go and target everyone who has shown an interest or liked the Sephora page in Facebook.

To start targeting audiences go to the Audience insights section in your Facebook Ads Manager.

On a general level you can start by targeting the audience by selecting the geographic location, gender and  age. Pretty simple so far, now let’s get deeper into the parts of this pillar that are important to master.

Facebook audience insights

Facebook audience insights

Interest Targeting in Facebook

One of the most common mistakes most businesses do when targeting is trying to target the big names and top level interest. Following the previous example, a top level interest would be words like Cosmetics. Most of the time interest like these carry a very broad group of audience which aren’t very targeted. You will end up losing a portion of your ad cost show ads to people who not even be interested in cosmetics.

So how do we get more targeted? We’ll the devil is in the detail. Instead of targeting broad level interest we need to look for interest only people within your niche or industry will know about.

For example, let’s say you sell boxing gloves, you can target people like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson who are world renowned boxers. However, I wouldn’t advise you to do that because not only people that are boxers will be interested in their page but also people who like these celebrities and don’t box also like them. In fact there are users who would have liked their page simply because these celebrities have been known for some famous inspirational quotes.

Instead, you need to target people who only boxers will know about. What I am saying is you don’t necessarily need to target big brands, you are better of targeting the micro influencers and mid level names that probably only people in that niche or industry will know about.

Now here is where I am going to screw with your mind a little. Don’t take this as the gospel, there are times when targeting a big brand or celebrity can work in your favour. Knowing which to target takes testing, experience, research and deep understanding of your niche.

Doing Facebook marketing for a while now has taught me a few tricks on how to determine which interest work better than others. I’ll talk about that later down this article.

Audience segmentation

Facebook interest targeting categories

Facebook interest targeting categories

You need to group your audience into different segments, such as

  • Online content: blogs and forums
  • Offline contents: Magazine, journals, newsletters, books
  • Events: conference, seminars, workshops
  • People: public figures and authors
  • Brands: competitors and non-competing brands

The reason for grouping them is to know which groups convert more and which ones convert less. This way you are able to identify and eliminate audience there are wasting you ad budget.

Once done with interest targeting, you can know more about the audience by going back to the audience targeting page and getting the demographics of the audience, you can know the gender, their interest, income level, location, and the kind of activity they are most likely interest in. This data enriches your campaigns and makes them more tailored to your targeted audience.

Deep Persona Research

Another step to consider is doing some really deep persona research, it’s like really digging deep into who your customers are. The steps involved in doing this are:

  • Browse the page of one the brands in your niche and check their content engagements to see how engaging they are.
  • Look for users who have engaged or left comments in the post of the pages. Look at the user profiles of these people to find out more about them, what they like to post and other pages they have liked. (I usually do between 10 to 20).
  • You then create a spreadsheet and copy or make note of key observations in the user’s feed and pages/groups they like. There are some additional information that you can also look for such as marital status and other biodata.
Spreadsheet to log the customer person research

Spreadsheet to log the customer person research

What I am looking for is to find traits that are most common among all the user profiles I am studying. For example, if I notice most of the audience post pictures about cats, I can consider featuring a cat in my ad along with a model of the product. What I am doing is banking on the assumption that most of my audience love cats and therefore have a higher chance of capturing the attention of my target audience.

I like to keep my persona’s fresh, so I usually conduct persona research every 4 to 6 months to keep track of the trends your audience are into. This is hard work and gives you so much valuable information that your competitors might not be doing. This is how you can keep one step ahead of the competition.

Using Facebook Pixel for Advanced Targeting

Advanced targeting with Facebook pixel

Advanced targeting with Facebook pixel

A Facebook pixel is simply a line of code that Facebook provide you to place it in your website. This allows Facebook to track and analyse what Facebook users are doing on your website. You can use this to track actions such as product pages viewed, add to cart and purchases.

Facebook then uses this data to categories the users based on the actions they take and create a profile. This profile is then used to find other users on Facebook that are similar to the profile.

The Facebook pixel also helps track Facebook users which didn’t come directly from Facebook. A lot of websites have Facebook pixels on them and what the pixel does is it records what the users are doing on their websites back to Facebook. For example, if I visit a hiking website and the website has the Facebook pixel on their website, Facebook will be able to profile me as someone that likes hiking even though I didn’t visit any hiking page on Facebook.

Facebook Lookalike audience

It’s a smart way of doing automated Facebook targeting. In the 1st stage of targeting we have to go and find the audience manually by looking up interests to target. Now we get Facebook to find new audiences for us by looking for users that are similar to those that visited our website or took a specific action on our site.

How Facebook lookalike audience works

How Facebook lookalike audience works

How this is done is, Facebook matches profiles of users who are similar to the people who visited your websites or users who took a specific action on your page such as, purchased a product on your website. Then looks for new Facebook users that lookalike to the users who visited your website or bought from your website.

There are many Lookalike audiences (LAA) that you can create. Here are some of them:

    • LAA of people who engaged with your post or ad
    • LAA of people who visited your website
    • LAA from a list of emails
    • LAA of people who visited your product page
    • LAA of people who added a product to cart
    • LAA of people who purchased a product

This can go even deeper to gain laser targeted audience when you learn how to combine or use other parameter to narrow down your audience.

Before we end, here is a recap of creating a targeted audience for your Facebook campaign.

  1. Deep audience insight and customer persona
  • Conduct a deep research on your customer behavior and interest
  1. Group up interest
  • Break your interest into categories for easier tracking and optimization later
  1.  Facebook pixel
  • The pixel helps track users who VISIT your website from Facebook and track their usage. This allows Facebook to create lookalike audience and retargeting ads.