One of the reasons why I personally find Facebook to be a really good advertising platform is because of its ability to target specific groups of people depending on their interests and behavior.
You can choose to target specific genders and ages of people from a particular country or city you choose.
You can choose to target people who are interested in the space or niche your business is in. Sometimes, you can even choose to target people who are interested in your competitors.
Facebook has a lot of different targeting options for you, as an advertiser, to choose from. The key is the find the specific characteristics of your particular audience so you can get your message in front of them.
The question is, how do we find these particular characteristics and interests to target?
A big part of it would rely on how well you know your audience. How old are they? What do they like? Who do they follow? It’s difficult to just make assumptions about your audience so it’s really good to do your research as you set up your ad campaigns.
Luckily, Facebook has a tool to help business like you find how to target your customers. This tool is called Facebook Audience Insights.
In this article, we’ll discuss what Facebook Audience Insights is and how you can use it to help your ad campaigns.
What is Facebook Audience Insights?
Facebook Audience Insights is a free tool within Facebook Ads Manager which helps advertisers analyze their audiences. You can easily access Audience Insight from your Ads Manager menu.
How it works is that advertisers get to select audience characteristics and Audience Insights will deliver you more information about the group of people in that audience.
You may either input an existing audience from among your created Facebook Audiences or define a new audience with demographics and interests.
Once you input an audience and/or targeting details, Audience Insights will present you with additional information about them. They will be organized in different tabs. Let’s discuss each one briefly.
The first is the demographic targeting. The first and most basic chart you will see would indicate the gender and ages of the people in the audience you have set. Other information which you will find here would be relationship status, education level & the industry they work in. For US-based audiences, Facebook Audience Insights also share lifestyle information.
The second set of data would probably be the one you would be most interested in. The second tab, labeled ‘Page Likes’, shows the general interests of your audiences. This is where you can find possible interests to target to define your audience. The first table on the page represents the Facebook pages most liked by the audience you defined sorted out by their category. On the lower half of the page, you will find these same pages ranked out individually regardless of category.
The third set of data shows the location information of your defined audience. If you target multiple countries, this tab will show you the percentage breakdown of those countries. But if you targeting one country, you’ll see broken down data by city. If it helps, you can also see language breakdown.
The fourth set of data you can see in Audience Insights is the Activity tab. This shows how your audience engages with Facebook and the posts on their news feed on average. These engagement metrics include comments, likes and shares. It also shows the breakdown of devices used to access Facebook.
The final 2 tabs show Household and Purchase behavior but this data is limited to audiences in the US. Maybe in the future, Facebook will be able to gather more data from the rest of the world. This way, advertisers everywhere will have access to this information for the country they are from.
How to Use Facebook Audience Insights
There are 2 main ways to use Facebook Audience Insights.
The first is to help businesses analyze their custom audiences.
Custom audiences are groups of people defined by how they have interacted with your business. This interaction can be through your website, your Facebook page or your posts. It can even be data from your actual operations like your customer database.
If you’ve collected data from all your past customers saved up in an excel file, you can upload them all to Facebook and put them all in a custom audience.
Another way is to create Website Custom Audiences of the people who have taken action on your website.
Once you have your custom audiences, you can input them on the ‘Custom Audience’ Field on the left side of Audience Insights.
If Facebook has enough data, it will show you the information about your custom audiences and will give you insight about your audiences. Facebook will let you know if it doesn’t have enough data.
You can then use this information to find more people who are like your current customers or you can use it to craft a specific offer or message to your audience based on their interests.
The second way to use Facebook Audience Insights is to find interests to target your audience with when setting up your campaigns.
For illustration purposes, let’s say we’re selling basketball gear and we want to find interests to run our ads with.
The first thing we’ll do is to determine basic information about our target audience. For this example, let’s target men ages 18-50 who are interested in the NBA. Let’s put those in the applicable fields on the left side of Audience Insights.
We will be looking for particular interests to target for our campaigns so we’ll go straight to the ‘Page Likes’ tab for the information we need.
The information we’ll see on this page will show us the most common interests of our set audience (Men ages 18-50 in the Philippines who are interested in the NBA). What I’ll do now is to take down all of the relevant interests shown in the tables. These are the more specific interests I can target for my ads.
Next, I’ll want to scroll down and look at the top interests. I see that the top 2 and 3 interests are the top teams in the NBA as of this writing. I can use this information by creating ads which appeal to the audience’s fondness of the Warriors and the Cavaliers.
Another thing you can do at this point is to analyze a new interest you just found. In this example, I find that the defined audience is also interested in Spin.ph. I can then dig deeper on this idea by replacing NBA as the targeted interest with Spin.ph in the left side of the screen. This gives me a new set of results I can work with.
The information provided by Facebook Audience Insights is very valuable and can help grow businesses by analyzing your current set of audiences. It has helped a number of clients in the ad campaign set-up phase and in the expansion of those campaigns.
Try it for yourself. The only way you’ll get the hang of it is when you actually use it. Also, don’t forget to implement your findings.
Good luck and as always, feel free to reach out for any questions or comments.