How To Use Facebook Audiences To Grow Your Business
By Austin LaRoche, ATAK Interactive CEO
With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is, without a doubt, the most important social media network today. As marketers, it is impossible to ignore these statistics and the treasure trove of data these billions of users have given Facebook access to. Thanks to this insight, you can now create Facebook audiences that can help take your business to the next level.
Read on to learn more about how Facebook has turned this data into actionable data that has allowed marketers to cut through the noise and target the right customers at the right time.
With your standard pay per click (PPC) advertising model, marketers are tasked with making educated guesses (at best) about their prospective customer’s intents and habits. That means trying to find the keywords they’re most likely to use when searching for your service or product. Altogether, that limits a marketers ability to target potential customers and despite the best data, still involves some guessing and luck.
Facebook is different.
Because of the immense wealth of knowledge they have gathered from their users, they have given advertisers incredible control over who they are targeting, when they’re targeting them, and how they’re targeting them.
One quick thing: The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that needs to be installed on your site before you can take advantage of Facebook’s targeting options. Check out our post on the Facebook Pixel to learn more about it and how to set it up.
Now, let’s dive into Facebook targeting options.
Facebook targeting options are organized around “audiences.” You can think of audiences as the market(s) or persona(s) you are looking to target with your services, products, and marketing message. They allow you to target broadly or very specifically with options like age, gender, location, interests, job title, education, and more.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg and still involves a fair bit of guessing about your ideal customer’s demographics, interests, and more.
Thankfully, Facebook provides marketers with 3 core audience types that allow for varying degrees of specificity: 1) Saved Audiences, 2) Custom Audiences, and 3) Lookalike Audiences.
Let’s start with ‘Saved Audiences.’
Saved audiences will be familiar to every marketer out there, especially those that regularly work with personas.
These audiences allow you to target to market and customer demographics like the ones mentioned above. You can then save the audience and continue to use or modify it across different campaigns.
Despite how well you know the demographics and psychographics of your ideal customer or client, saved audiences are still cold audiences and should be treated as such. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. In fact, custom and lookalike audiences both depend on saved audiences to be most effective, so spend some time making them as dialed in as possible.
Once you nail down your saved audiences, it’s time to move on Facebook’s higher converting audience options: Custom Audiences.
Custom audiences are Facebook’s highest converting targeting option and with good reason.
These audiences allow you to craft audiences in a few ways. For example, you can upload a list of customer emails or phone numbers, and once matched, show ads to just those groups of people.
If you have installed the Facebook pixel on your site (if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?), you can create audiences based off any number of actions people have taken on your website.
You can target people who have visited your website, specific pages on your site, and/or performed specific actions while there. If you have an app, you can target people based on the actions they’ve taken while using it.
Custom audiences are so powerful because you get to skip having to guess who your ideal client or customer is. With the information custom audiences provide, you can target your ideal customer with an exact marketing message at the perfect time.
If you’re serious about using Facebook ads to drive business growth, taking your time to create valuable custom audiences is well worth the effort. By doing so, you’ll put yourself in an excellent position to take full advantage of Lookalike Audiences.
Finally, we have lookalike audiences.
Once you have a created valuable custom audiences, Facebook can use its vast data to match the users in your custom audiences with other Facebook users that share many of the same characteristics.
With lookalike audiences, you can then target users that you would never have known to target otherwise.
One thing to keep in mind regarding lookalike audiences: Facebook gives you multiple options to pick from when it comes to the size of your audience. The smaller your audience, the more closely it will match your target audience, the bigger the audience, the broader, less exact your matching will be.
One Last Thing…
Although Facebook’s targeting options make our lives easier as marketers, there are still some best practices we need to follow to get the most out of the platform.
First, you need to make sure you are placing your audiences in their correct places along your buyer’s journey. Treating a lookalike audience as if they are a long-time customer is a sure-fire way to waste the advantage those audiences are giving you.
Second, your marketing message matters! You still need to address your customer’s pain points, your unique selling proposition.
Finally, make sure your message is tailored to where your audience is in their buyer’s journey.
We hope you can see why Facebook’s targeting options are crucial in today’s advertising climate. With countless options ranging from broad to pin-point specifics, Facebook has given marketers a powerful tool to add to their marketing toolkits.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Facebook advertising can help your business grow, we’d love to help. Drop us a note, we’d love to chat!