Facebook Advertising: Audiences
Editor’s Note on November 8, 2019: While this post was written in 2015, these Facebook advertising tips still reign true today. Some additional details have been added – the updated notes appear in bold, italic text below.
Facebook advertising can be a cheaper alternative to traditional advertising channels (newspaper ads, TV commercials, or billboards). If you aren’t utilizing Facebook advertising, it’s time you do. To get started we should take a close look at why targeting ads is so important. If your ad is targeted to the right audience, you are more likely to gain conversions from the ad, all while spending less money. The goal is to advertise to a specific group of people based on their location, demographic information, interests and behaviors. By knowing these things about people, Facebook gives us the ability to create specific audiences that are more willing and interested to hear what we have to say. So let’s look at these a little closer to understand why it’s important to take the time to specify audiences.
Location: Location, location, location. True in many situations and still true when advertising online. Using location to specify your audience helps market to people that can actually walk through your door. For many small businesses, this is crucial, especially for service companies. Targeting by location allows you to spend your ad money wisely on people that you can provide service to. Set the location parameters to a reasonable distance, including the farthest reaches of your service area.
Demographic: Depending on what type of company you are and what kind of service you provide, demographics can be a powerful tool in determining your audience. Facebook demographics can be incredibly specific. You can select your audience using parameters like relationship status, work, age and gender. Targeting your audience through demographics can get difficult if you don’t have a large audience base to begin with. Also, audiences can get too specific. Be careful to avoid making the audience so specific you end up leaving out potential customers.
Interests: If you have a large consumer base, interests can be another way to specify your ideal target audience. You want to be cautious of over-specifying your audience. If you start with a relatively small group of people to begin with, you wouldn’t need to specify interests.
Behavior: Purchases, device usage and apps. This is where Facebook gets a little spooky. Facebook can track what other sites and content you have looked at using cookies and can identify some of your online behavior and interests. Say you primarily look at Facebook on your phone; it will give you mobile ads. Say you’re in the market for new car insurance and perused a few insurance websites, you’re likely going to see some insurance ads on Facebook the next time you log in.
Custom Audience: If your email contacts are only being used for email newsletters, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to reach more people through social media. Upload your current email list to create an audience that is interested in hearing from you. You can also add a custom audience of people who have already interacted with your business on Facebook. The custom audience also serves as a reference for Facebook to identify potential customers. It’s important to install Facebook Pixel on your website. By doing so, Facebook can match your website visitors to their Facebook profiles. You can use this information to target all website visitors, or to remarket to people who have visited a specific page.
Look-Alike Audience: This audience is determined by the custom audience from your current customers. Facebook’s algorithm searches out and selects people that have commonalities with the people you provided as current customers. These new audience members might not know about your business or know the people you provided to Facebook, but they share common traits with your customer list. Because of this, they are a good target based on those that already purchase from you.
These basics for social advertising are the reasons Facebook advertising can be so successful. Reaching the right people is so important and with these tools we can. Stop by the blog soon for more information and a brief tutorial. Keep an eye out for our free downloadable guide for everything you need to know about Facebook advertising. If you’re ready to get started, check out our other post on Facebook advertising and some of our resources on Digital Toolbox.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Facebook advertising can do for your company, check out this episode of More than a Few Words with Jennifer Denney of Elevated Marketing Solutions.