Understanding Your Facebook Ad Targeting Options
With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social media site in the world. For advertisers, that large user base represents an unparalleled opportunity to reach consumers and grow their brand.
Within this large, diverse group of people, businesses can be sure that their ideal customer is on Facebook. But, you don’t want to cast an overly wide net and rely on luck to reach the right people. What makes advertising on Facebook so powerful is that it allows businesses to refine their target audience down to the most relevant segment.
What is a Facebook Audience?
On Facebook, your target market is called an audience. By leveraging Facebook targeting features, advertisers can zero-in on a very specific group of people for their ads. Beyond targeting options like age and gender, advertisers can target by things like education, income, and hobbies. The following is a brief description of some of the targeting options you can find on Facebook:
- Location: You can target users simply by country, but you can narrow it down even further by targeting specific states, counties, zip codes, and more.
- Demographics: This includes common demographics like age and gender, but it also includes options like job title, education, and relationship status.
- Interests: This is where you can target users by things like hobbies and the types of entertainment they like.
- Behaviour: With behaviours, you can target people based on things like device use, shopping habits, and more.
- Engagement: This is an option that allows a business to target people based on their past engagement with your Facebook page and posts.
Beyond building audiences by selecting from these options, you can also install the Facebook Pixel to target users based on the actions they take on your website, use email and phone number lists to build custom audiences, and have Facebook build lookalike audiences based on the traits of one of your custom audiences.
Types of Facebook Audiences
With Facebook advertising, you have three basic types of audiences: saved audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences. Let’s take a look at what these different options offer.
A saved audience is one you create yourself and save for future campaigns. With this option, you would develop a buyer persona for the ideal custom for the ad, and then you would use the available targeting options to build that audience. The key to success with a saved audience is to have a well defined buyer persona for the people you want to reach, and then to know which targeting options will help you zero-in on those people.
Custom audiences can offer some of the best conversions rates when it is done right. One way to leverage this option is to upload a list of emails or phone numbers to target those users. You will need to make sure to follow the best practices for preparing the information in the file, but this can be a good way to target people who have already shared their information with you.
As an alternative to uploading a file, you can also build custom audiences using information from your Facebook Pixel. As an example, you could target people who have visited your site. If you choose to get more advanced, you could try something like targeting people who visited a specific product page on your site, but did not follow through on a purchase.
A lookalike audience is an audience that resembles one of your custom audiences. Once you have some custom audiences created, Facebook can build you a lookalike audience by analysing the common traits of the original audience. This can be a great way to increase your reach to a new audience that should have a value that is similar to that of the custom audience.
Marketers have a lot of great options when it comes to targeting an audience on Facebook. Most advertisers will need to test and experiment with different targeting options, but you should be able to refine your strategy over time. If you want to get off to a faster start, you could consider working with a Facebook advertising agency. With their experience and expertise, it should take less time to develop a strategy that will deliver the most value for your marketing budget.