Paid for advertising on any platform can seem like a scary prospect – how do you know that the money you spend is reaching real, relevant people who would actually be interested in your business, products or services and encourage them to take a specific action (i.e. visit your website, like your page, get in touch, etc.)? The amount of data Facebook holds on each and every user is staggering, giving business owners the ability to target audiences not just based on age, gender and geographic location, but by level of education, their relationship status and their online behaviours and particular interests. The level of detail and granularity that you can achieve with Facebook advertising is remarkable.
Facebook wants businesses to advertise on it and over the last few years has taken steps to make it far simpler for business owners (including marketing ‘beginners’) to access audience demographic details when putting together paid-for adverts. Facebook wants users to stay on the platform too, so has invested heavily in giving business owners the tools they need to ensure that their adverts are only served to relevant and interested parties to prevent unsuspecting users from being ‘spammed’ by irrelevant content in their newsfeed.
There are three different ways that you can use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to find your perfect audience:
- Start your search by looking at Facebook’s entire audience, and then segmenting your search.
- Evaluate your current audience on Facebook – that is, the people who currently like and follow your page – and review common characteristics that you might not have realised existed.
- Assess a custom audience – perhaps your existing mailing list collated from your business CRM, or an audience of people who have already visited your website and have been collected via the Facebook retargeting pixel – and use this information to send out a relevant advert based on their history of activity with your business and website.
If you’ve never used the audience insights tool before, it’s worth starting your audience search by looking at ‘everyone on Facebook’ as this provides a great insight into how the tool works and how far you can narrow down your audience; Start by selecting the location, age and gender of your desired audience, and then simply start adding ‘interests’ relevant to your audience. You can drill down even further using ‘advanced’ segmentation, which includes things like relationship status, education, work and financial. Once you have selected your particular audience, you’ll be able to see how many people on Facebook meet your specific criteria. You’ll also be able to review certain information about that group, like which Facebook pages are highly followed amongst that specific audience – handy to know if you are looking for Facebook marketing (organic and paid-for) hints and tips relevant to that specific demographic!
Facebook’s analytics and their advert management tools give business owners, large and small, the ability to carry out precise paid-for marketing activities with relative ease – something that will be useful given Facebook’s recent revelation that their newsfeed is changing and business pages are likely to see a dramatic downturn in their organic traffic if they don’t change their marketing approach.
With a potential audience of 2.13 billion monthly active users as of December 31st, 2017[i], Facebook provides business owners with a huge pool of potential customers to reach out to (obviously not all at once!) via paid-for advertising in order to gain all the page likes, website visits or product purchases they could want. However, it’s important to carry out a careful evaluation of your existing customer persona first before attempting to ‘guess’ your target demographic, as it’s easy to spend money using Facebook advertising without seeing a positive ROI! Make sure that your adverts are carefully tailored for your particular and specific audience to avoid (as much as possible) the potential of your adverts being served to uninterested or irrelevant users; if you’re in any doubt seek expert advice to ensure that your paid-for marketing efforts are as productive and efficient as they should be!