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Do you struggle with Facebook targeting and don’t know what you are doing wrong?

Say no more.

You may have the best product in the market. Your brand messaging may be music to consumers’ ears. You may have the most eye-catching creative that cannot compare to all other Facebook advertisers.

But, here’s a news flash.

All of that is completely useless if you are not putting your product, message, or content in front of the right people. It’s like going to a Vegan festival and promoting the best rack of ribs in town. You may be right, those ribs probably are the best anyone has ever tasted; but, guess what, your audience is not interested. Say you go to your local Meat-Lover gathering instead, with the exact same;   MESSAGE IMAGERY and PRICE   With the only difference being who you are speaking to…. Your product will perform much better. One of the biggest reasons that Facebook advertising is so popular is due to the vast amount of users that utilize the platform on a daily basis. Not only that, Facebook provides various advertising tools to allow you to create an audience that is as specific or broad as you want. So what do you need to look at when creating your audience?
  1. Research, Research, Research
  2. Location
  3. Demographics
  4. Interests
  5. Other Options Available
  Whether you need guidance on one or all of the above, we assure you that you will leave here feeling more confident about the audience you create for your Facebook advertising.  

Research, Research, Research!

  I’m sure this does not come as a big surprise, but research is key when targeting on any platform, not just Facebook. There are many outlets available to you that you can pull your research from; whether it be; Your own data and assumptions gathered from previous purchases Market trends and general data Competitor analyses Personal experiences Etc. One of the most efficient means of gathering information, however, is to use the very platform that you are working so hard to optimize: Facebook! When diving into Facebook’s Business and Ads Manager, you are presented with a variety of tools that should not be overlooked. For instance, what we at Be A Part Of like to take most advantage of are the “Audience Insights” functionalities Whether you develop a custom audience or not, Facebook’s Audience Insights will inform you on which individuals and audiences are performing the best. The reason why this is so helpful is that it may show you results and/or individuals that you were not even thinking of targeting before! Have your “A-ha” moment yet? Regardless of how you decide to do your research, the main thing is to be sure that you are asking the right questions. Take a moment, before moving forward, to see if you can answer all of the below questions about your market and your target audience. If you cannot provide at least 10-15 answers to each question, you need to do more research!   Who are the top competitors or authority figures in your market? Where do your potential consumers live? Where does your audience hang out online? (i.e., what websites, blogs, etc.) Where does your audience hang out offline? (i.e., what stores do they shop in, what gyms do they go to, what business buildings do they visit, etc.) How does your customer stay informed? (i.e., types of social media platforms, types of newspapers, types of magazines, etc.)   The overall outcome of the above questions is to develop a large enough knowledge base about your audience that you will be able to pinpoint exactly what makes them unique from other audiences. It may seem like a lot of work, but once you have the answers to the above questions or have a sufficient amount of research gathered from various sources, the rest will unfold fairly easily.  



Facebook Locations

  If you took the time to answer all of the questions above, then location should already be known. Where do your potential customers live? One easy way to find this out is by referencing who can and cannot access your products. For instance, your online store may only ship to certain areas of the United States. If this is the case, then it would only make sense to target individuals who live in these specific areas. If your company happens to ship worldwide, then it may be wise to choose the top best performing countries so that your audience is not too broad and you do not overwhelm Facebook. Location can be set to whatever you’d like. Whether it be a country, a state/province, a city, or even something as specific as a general area code… it can be anything you’d like. Just make sure that you have a substantial amount of research that proves that the location you choose is where your audience is actually located!  


  Facebook Demographics There are 2 things that are important to note when it comes to Demographics. The first being: demographics can differ based on your business, products or services offered, or maybe something as specific as the particular promotion that you are advertising for. The second being: make sure that you do not make certain generalizations and assumptions about which demographics to target. I know I know, I just contradicted myself. If you are running an ad to a promotion or landing page that you have been running for a while and you are aware of which demographics are showing interest and which are not, then this is knowledge that is specific to that promotion and set of ads. However, if you are running a promotion for the first time, it may not be wise to make certain assumptions. For example; you may be launching a promotion for a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal on golf clubs. Someone who may look blindly at this type of promotion may think to target males over the age of 30 because this is the group who will react the most to this promotion. This is an assumption. And you know what they say about assumptions… The benefits of keeping your demographics fairly general and inclusive is that you may find a particular demographic that you may have overlooked before actually outperform the demographics that you thought would raise their hand the most. Like I said, this is completely dependent on the product or service offered, but you may want to start with a general audience, demographic wise. For example:   Gender: Male and Female Age: 18-50+ Relationship Status: Single, In A Relationship, Engaged, and Married Education Level: High School, College, and Grad School Etc.   You get the point, sometimes being general at the beginning can be helpful!  


  Facebook Interests

This is where things get interesting.

(See what I did there?) As mentioned, whether or not you decide to keep your audience broad or specific is up to you. Broad audiences are good as they will allow Facebook to provide information that you never knew before. Specific audiences are good as they will allow Facebook to place the ads in front of the individuals who are the most likely to purchase. Broad audiences are a great starting point… but once you dig deeper into the promotion timeline, it may be beneficial to narrow down your audience. How do you do that? You can either refine the location or demographics as outlined above to target a specific city or a specific gender, for example, or you could use Audience Interests. Facebook identifies users based on a variety of attributes, one of them being the types of interests that they have. There are different ways that Facebook gathers insights on what a user is interested in, such as;  
  1. What people share on their timelines
  2. Applications that they use
  3. Advertisements that they have previously clicked on
  4. Pages they engage with
  5. Activities they engage with both in and outside of Facebook – i.e., if they purchase something on an external site, travel preferences, etc.
  6. The devices that they use most frequently
  Is it creepy that Facebook knows this much about us?  


  But, as business owners who are looking to market to these individuals, this is the information that we need. Now that we have done the work and know what interests to target, Facebook does the rest of the work by putting the advertisements in front of the individuals who have those interests. That is… if you have done the research. You are starting to see a recurring theme here, aren’t you? All of these different elements relate to the first step in this process – research! All of the answers that you gathered from the various questions outlined above, for instance, are the interests that you can use to create your custom audience. For example, say that you are in the home improvement business and you are looking for various interests to target. Let’s look at the first question: Who are the top competitors or authority figures in my market? For some of you, this list may fill itself up quite quickly. For others, maybe you really don’t know who the top influencers in your market are. Taking the above example, all you would need to do is type the following into Google or any other search engine: “Top 10 Home Improvement Companies” Note: this can be specified further by location if need be From then on, you get a vast amount of lists outlining all possible competitors. These competitors are now an avenue you can pursue with regards to consumer interests. If they have expressed interest in your competitor, why wouldn’t they express interest in you? So long as the company/organization has a large enough user base, Facebook will compile all possible users into a new custom audience that is made up of all individuals who have expressed interest in the 10-15 (or more) competitors you have listed. Sounds simple.

It is.

Whether you decide to just target users who express interests in your competitors, or you decide to use all of the interests gathered from your research and the above questions, it’s up to you. Just make sure that the audience size is appropriate. A good tool to use to make sure that your audience isn’t too big or too small is the following meter that will appear on the right hand side of the screen if you build your audiences using Facebook’s Ads Manager. Facebook Audience  

Other Options Available

  Seeing how vast of a platform Facebook truly is lends itself to the fact that there are multiple avenues that you can take when targeting your audience. Whether you want your audience to be broad or narrow. Whether you want to test multiple or a single audience. Whether you want to exclude certain people from seeing your ad – such as people who may already be connected to your page and are already customers Whether you want to advertise strictly to those who have been pixeled and utilize Facebook’s “Lookalike Audience” option It is completely up to you. All that you need to know is that there are so many resources available to you, you just have to know how to use them! If you haven’t taken much from this article, at least hear this: Facebook knows how to get your ad in front of the right people. You just need to know who the right people are. If you need help, all you need to do is ask!

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