With close to 1.5 billion daily active users, Facebook has established itself as a necessity for any business that engages in online marketing. While the large user base is an important part of what makes advertising on Facebook so attractive, it is the ability to effectively target a very specific audience that makes it such a powerful advertising platform.
When it comes to Facebook advertising, your audience is the group you wish to reach with your ads. One of the benefits of advertising on Facebook is that you have so many options for defining your target audience. The following are a few of the ways in which a marketer can define a target audience:
With the above-mentioned targeting options, you can select from a wide range of preferences to define an audience that perfectly matches the goals of your campaign. However, Facebook also has powerful tools that allow marketers to create custom audiences.
With the Facebook Pixel, a business can install a unique code on their website to track the activity and behaviors of users who visit their site. Once the pixel is installed, the business can then access a range of options for building custom audiences. As an example, you could create an audience out of people who visited a specific product page, but did not complete the purchase.
The key to building a good audience is to get specific without narrowing things down so far that there are barely any people in it. This section is going to look at saved audiences, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences.
A saved audience is one you create and then save for use on multiple campaigns. With this option, you use the targeting choices to create an audience that is right for specific types of campaigns. The idea is to use the information you know about the ideal audience to create a buyer persona, and then use that persona to define the audience for the campaign.
To create a saved audience, you go to the Audience Page of your Facebook Ads Manager. Click on Create Audience and then select Saved Audience from the dropdown menu. From there, you will be directed to the audience creation page. This is where all of those details from your buyer personas will come in handy. Using the information from your buyer persona, create your audience by selecting the location, age, gender, interests, etc.
Once you have everything filled out, go back to check to make sure it’s is in line with the buyer persona you created. You can also look to the right side of the screen to see the potential reach of the saved audience you are creating. If everything is correct and you are satisfied with the size of the audience, click Create Audience.
Custom audiences can offer some of the best results. We call this “low hanging fruit” because these are the customers, leads, and prospects that have already engaged with you and are familiar with your brand. With this option, you can create an audience using a list of email addresses or phone numbers and put specific offers to drive sales, engagement, brand lift, or whatever your goal is for your campaign. The bigger your list, the more people you can reach!
To create a custom audience, you go to your Audience Page in the Ads Manager. Click on Create Audience and then select Custom Audience from the dropdown menu. Next, you will see a page with your custom audience options. These options include customer file, website traffic, app engagement and engagement.
With the customer file option, you upload a list of phone number or email addresses, and Facebook matches them to users on the site. You can also layer targeting options on top of your list to refine your audience further. You could choose users to exclude from the list, target people on the list based on location or use a wide range of other targeting options to narrow the audience down.
The website traffic option allows you to use information from your pixel. This could be comprised of visitors to your site, people who have visited a specific page, or visitors who took a specific action on your site. Once you create an audience using the pixel or an uploaded list, you can then filter different users out of the list with different options.
The engagement option provides the ability to target users based on ways they have interacted with your Facebook page. One of the simplest options is to target people who follow your page. You could also target users that have clicked on a call to action, liked a post or your page, or people who have commented on one of your posts.
After creating some custom audiences, you can then use lookalike audiences to expand your reach. With Facebook lookalike audiences, you take a custom audience and make a new audience that is similar.
From your audiences page, click on Create Audience, then select Lookalike Audience from the dropdown menu. Next, you will see options to select which audience you want to create a lookalike audience for. You can choose the custom audiences you built from a list, custom website audiences, custom engagement audiences, and you can also select your saved audiences.
After selecting the audience you want to create a lookalike for, you can then refine the list by location and you can also adjust the size of the lookalike audience. With a smaller lookalike audience, you have fewer people, but it will include the users who are a better match to those on the custom audience.
As an example, you might create a custom audience of customers who bought a specific product from your site. When you create a lookalike audience for that group, Facebook will identify the traits they have in common and create a new audience based on those characteristics.
This is just a brief overview of the targeting options you have and the different ways you can create an audience. If you want to dig deeper, you have a range of targeting possibilities that is almost endless. The ability to target with precision is a big part of what makes Facebook so effective. It all comes down to knowing who your audience is, and then reaching them with ads that are designed to have an impact with that group.