I remember doing Facebook ads when it first came out in 2013, it was fun and all but it wasn’t as easy as it is now because there were a lot to do but not so many tools to use like now.
Facebook has launched a bunch of tools that help advertisers and the latest tool that I love is Facebook analytics.
The other tool that I love the most is Facebook audience insights, this tool is absolutely amazing because it helps me understand my target audience better and it’s more than just “search volumes” like in AdWords, it actually gives me a deeper look into what ticks my target audience.
If you run Facebook ads and you haven’t spend 60% on Facebook audience insights, you are doing it wrong.
Running ads is all about doing research and understanding your target audience BEFORE launching a campaign.
The better you understand your audience, the better you can sell them.
What you will learn from this blog post;
- What Facebook audience insights can tell you about your audience
- How to use Audience insights (detailed explanation)
- Stuff that matters in audience insights dashboard
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the blog post, if you have any questions – feel free to leave a comment in the comment section and I’ll get to you as soon as possible.
What does Facebook audience insights tell you?
Audience insights tool is similar to AdWords keyword planner except only much more detailed and insightful, it tells you everything you need to know about the target audience.
This is how Audience insights dashboard looks like.
Now I am going to break down what each of it means and what you can do to fully utilize it.
Age & gender of your target audience
When you don’t have a ton of information about your target audience, the easiest place to start with is their age and gender.
Start by typing in the interest you want to do research on in the “interest field” on the left hand side. For this example, I’ll type in “baseball” and the audience that I want to do research on is US so I’ll choose “All United States”.
We will see what comes up.
According to Facebook audience insights, the majority of my target audience is “women” which is 52%, that surprises me a little, to be honest. I didn’t know women love baseball more than men.
Anyway, people in the age of 25 – 44 years old make up 50% of my target audience, that’s huge.
Pages that they like & follow
Knowing what pages they like and follow can help you figure out if the interest that you are going to use in your ad targeting is too broad.
What I recommend is that at least the top 5 categories that your target audience likes MUST be related to the interest you are going to use.
In this example, as you can see “baseball” is obviously too broad because in the top 5 categories of pages that the target audience likes aren’t all about baseball, in fact, number 3 is a women’s clothing store. That tells me that this interest is way too broad to use in my ad targeting.
Sometimes you want your ad targeting to be laser focus and you need to know where your target audience resides so you can better focus on ads on.
In Audience Insights, you can do that by clicking on “location” tab and this is what you will see.
You have to click on “see all” button on the bottom of the page to see other cities that your target audience is from.
To me, I like to know where my target audience is from because that can affect the cost of my ads, sometimes very significantly.
Activities (devices they use, how active they are and etc.)
In the activity tab, you will see insights about how active your target audience is on Facebook and if they are the kind of people who click on ads.
If they don’t click on ads or leave a comment at all then they are probably very casual users who aren’t worth much to you and you shouldn’t target them (use the interest in your ad targeting)
According to the dashboard, I can see that most of the target audience in “baseball” interest use iPhone or iPod to browse on Facebook.
That’s very interesting to know because phone users are usually very casual and outright sell them something hardly ever works unless they happen to be looking for whatever you are selling in the back of their mind while waiting for their food to be ready at McDonald’s.
What they like to buy
In the purchase tab, you will see what type of products your target audience likes to buy, personally I don’t know how accurate this information is but I think it’s definitely worth a try.
According to Audience insights, my target audience likes to buy subscription services (Netflix?) and food & drink, but what concerns me is that they barely spend on Sports and outdoors but the target interest I use for this is “baseball”, oh boy, I am going to have a hard time selling something to these people. Haha.
These are some of the good insights that Audience Insights tool has to offer, you can play around with it and see what might interest you.
How to use Audience Insights tool (step-by-step)
Getting started with Audience insights tool is kinda easy (because it’s free), you can find it by clicking on the 3 bar on the higher left corner of your ad management dashboard.
Now that you’ve clicked on it, you will see a drop down menu like this. Just go ahead and click on “Audience Insights”
Now we are going to have some fun together playing around with the tool and see what you can do to get the best out of it. I will drop some knowledge bombs here and there in this blog post.
On the left hand side, you can add whatever kind of audience you want to do research on before creating an ad campaign. I don’t think I need to explain much because the panel is quite intuitive but if you have a question, let me know in the comment.
What I like the most is this tab right there called “advanced”. You can find it by scrolling down a bit.
This gives you even more insights into your target audience, like I said the more we know the audience the better we are to craft an ad that they like and want to buy.
Let’s look at some of them and see what kind of insights they offer.
As you can see, you can dig deep into what kind of audience you are targeting, you can target them by their digital activities such as Facebook ad spend, operating system used, internet browser used, and many more.
I find that behavior of the target audience “on the platform” affects the conversion rate a lot so I’d go through their this “behavior” section just to be sure.
Most people completely overlook to add “education” to their ad targeting because it seems insignificant but on Facebook, I can tell you that education of your target audience is “very important”.
The reason is that you can weed out people with low purchasing power and the ones that have no education but have a load of money are an exception, they are not the norm.
So if you want to refine your targeting even better, target people who have at least an undergraduate degree.
Facebook ad targeting can be off quite a bit because many people put fake information there and many simply just put very little to no information.
If they are your target audience, then it will be a bit of a challenge to get them.
What you can do is to target them by their job title because most people usually just add a job title to their profile account and that’s it.
This tab is quite interesting because it shows the income & net worth of your target audience. Normally, I ignore this kind of information even if the target audience is the one giving me this information.
The majority of the people don’t like to openly talk about their income & net worth and I doubt Facebook has accurate data on this.
So I recommend you to focus on other data rather than this because we have no way to know for sure that the data is correct and it’s just a waste of time, to be honest.
This one is very important, let’s be honest, once one becomes a parent, their life pretty much revolves around the child for about 18 years more or less.
And when the child is small, he/she is even more dependent on the parents.
Keep in mind that if your target audience is a parent then you have to craft an ad that is more tailored to them than a regular message.
When your target audience at a certain life event, there might be a set of certain things that trigger their emotion and make them want to buy from you or find out more about you.
For example, if you run a floral shop and you target people who are in a long distance relationship, you can advertise your flower/gift delivery to them.
I’ve had a lot of success using this targeting – sometimes I don’t add any interests to my targeting at all – just target them based on their life events.
If you do so, you will get a very broad but still targeted audience.
The advanced targeting that I’ve just mentioned above are the important ones – you can play around with other life event tabs to see what would suite your target audience.
Create a buyer persona for your audience
Now that you have got insights about your target audience and I assume that you already have an idea of who they are.
The next best thing you can do now is to create a buyer persona for your audience because your target audience, more or less, would be pretty similar in life style and behavior.
No matter how unique they think they are, chances are they are quite similar.
3 reasons why you need a buyer persona.
- You can understand them better if you think of them as one person, not hundreds or thousands of people.
- Having a clear buyer persona helps you craft a much better targeted message.
- You will waste MUCH less money on the wrong target audience.
After you’ve created a buyer persona, it should look something like this.
As you can see, now your target audience is a person, not a group of people anymore.
I will write a separate blog post for this as there will be a lot to it but for now, I am sure you already know how to create a good buyer persona for your target audience.
Keep testing & optimizing
Finding the right audience doesn’t take just one time of going through Audience Insights tool and call it a day, you are going to have to keep testing and optimizing along the way to get the best target audience for your ads.
Even if you’ve already got a great target audience, you will still have to optimize it as the competition arises and compete with you and make your targeting less effective.
That’s it for today and like I said, if you have any questions about Audience Insights tool, feel free to let me know in the comment section below and I’ll get to it as soon as possible (I am usually online, so it will be quick).