Editor’s Note: This post has recently been updated to give our readers the most recent tactics, links, and content 🙂
Original Post Date: April 24th, 2018
Facebook Audience Insights is a free tool designed by Facebook that gives marketers the ability to dive in and learn more about the users on Facebook as a whole, users who are already fans of your brand, or from a custom audience (e.g. email subscribers or past website visitors).
What Can We Learn About Audiences On Facebook?
Here are the five main categories to choose from when analyzing information found in Audience Insights. Within each of these main categories, there are numerous sub categories that can give you a wealth of information about your customers or random groups of interests on Facebook.
- Demographics — Age and gender, lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role and household size
- Page likes — The top Pages people like in different categories, like women’s apparel or sports
- Location and language — Where do people live, and what languages do they speak
- Facebook usage — How frequently are people in your target audience logging onto Facebook and what device(s) they’re using when they log on
- Purchases activity — Past purchase behavior (i.e. heavy buyers of women’s apparel) and purchase methods (i.e., in-store, online)
Though this information varies in relation to each other, many parts can be singularly used to help with numerous aspects of your campaign.
But even though Facebook Audience Insights is great, it doesn’t have all of the answers. There are a few different ways a marketer can go about opening different avenues to receive the most complete data possible. Think about data research in two categories: quantitative vs. qualitative.
Quantitative research deals with numbers/metrics based research. This is where Facebook Audience Insights shines as it gives you major demographic statistics about your audience. There are also other tools like Google Analytics, which can give you quantitative metrics about how your audience interacts with your website.
The second type of research is qualitative research. This cannot be measured by numbers, but is more focused on uncovering opinions, reasons, and motivations about your product/service.
If you’re stumped on how to get qualitative research, a great tool to get started is Hotjar. This software, when installed on your website, can help you create polls to ask your visitors, heatmaps to see where people are clicking on your site, and recordings which can show you the entire visitor process from start to finish.
So, say you have a hypothesis that having your company phone number (not clickable) is distracting people from inputting the contact form. You can use Hotjar’s heatmap to view where people are clicking the most.
The main point I’m trying to make is don’t let Facebook Audience Insights be your only driver for business and campaign decisions. Make sure to get the best 360 view you can of the journey visitors, leads, and customers take beyond just Facebook.
That’s not to say we want to diminish the value you can get from Audience Insights. I mean, after all, proving its value is what this blog post is all about.
Why Do We Care?
Should you care about this tool when creating your Facebook ad campaigns? Yes. Unfortunately, most of our ad budgets are nothing like when Floyd Mayweather goes on vacation (or just lives for that matter), so understanding how to better target our most lucrative potential customers is of the greatest value to us.
This is where auction insights comes into play. It can help us find out some of the most pivotal questions like: who, where, and when to show our ads as well as invaluable information on how to write content and display our brand in a way that is relevant and timely.
How to Find Audience Insights
First, go to your Facebook Ads Manager account where you’ll see “Ads Manager” on the top left of your screen. Once you click on this, you’ll see the “All Tools” button on the bottom right of the Ads Manager tab. From there, you’ll see the Audience Insights button under the “Plan” category.
This will take you to the main screen where you’ll be prompted to learn more about three different audiences.
- Everyone on Facebook – This will give you information on all users on Facebook across whatever target location you choose. The country you chose while setting up your ads manager will be the default, but you can get as localized as specific cities.
- People connected to your Page – Say you already have a fairly strong organic following and you’re looking to grow that by running ads. Using this option, you can see all of the great audience insights about the people who already love your brand. You can then take that information and use it to target all users on Facebook who are interested in the same things as your current followers.
- A Custom Audience – For instance, if you have a Facebook pixel planted on one or many of your pages of your website, you can create a Custom Audience based off of those users and remarket to them through Facebook.
The most common Custom Audience to use is past converters. For eCommerce, this will be your purchaser email list. Conversely, for your lead gen campaigns, these will be people who filled out some kind of contact form.
From here, you can analyze different attributes and designate trends. For more information on what attributes to look for when creating the ultimate custom audiences, we can help you with that too, here.
Once you have selected one of these options, you’ll then be taken to this screen:
Typically, the most helpful audience to analyze would be a Custom Audience, something like a customer list. You can search for it within the blank tab shown in the image above.
Now, let’s dive into how to use this information to your advantage. You wouldn’t want to get caught making targeting mistakes with your campaigns.
Useful Tips & Tricks
Let’s now walk-through 3 tricks that will give you actionable items to take away and start implementing on your current and future campaigns:
- Granulate Your Campaign Targeting Settings (Using People connected to your Page and/or A Custom Audience) — Who’s my target audience? At KB, we’re huge fans of layering lookalike campaigns with interests that we know are
- Discover Your Customer Persona (Using People connected to your Page and/or A Custom Audience) — What’s my targeted audience interested in? You can get ideas on how to begin ad research, including discovering what your audience might be interested in, here.
- Gain Competitor Customer Insight (Using Everyone on Facebook) — Say you’re a new business and you don’t have the luxury of having an active Facebook page or enough customers to have a custom audience list. Well, don’t fret, Facebook still provides you with data that you can look at to help make your first digital audience for whom to advertise. We’ll discuss strategy and how to go about competitor research as we move along in this blog.
Okay, we know how important and vital audience insights can be to your marketing campaigns, but how do we actually use the tools to gain insight? Here, I’ll dive into the most crucial parts that Facebook has provided.
1) Granulate Your Campaign Targeting Settings
For the sake of sparing your sanity, I’ll not go into the complete strategy KlientBoost takes when it comes to targeting. But as a brief overview as it relates to this blog, there are three main intent levels on Facebook, ranging from hottest to coldest like this: Remarketing, Lookalike Audiences, and Saved Audiences.
Once you have tapped out the audience size of your past website visitors, it’s then time to look at your new partner in crime, Lookalike Audiences. The issue is, Lookalike Audiences can grow to millions in size and, even with a 1% match, can be too broad of an audience to target.
That’s when we can dive back into Audience Insights and look for a key trend that we can layer on top of our Lookalike Audiences. Like I mentioned in our research for finding our customer persona, one of the first charts that I notice goes back to income and how wealthy our target audience is.
So, how does this breakout in real time? Let’s go to a real-life example of how this played out.
The SaaS client had their main goal set to have people sign up for their free trial. I was using general salesman ad copy outlining the benefits of their service, but what I was missing was the personal connection I could make with the ideal audience I found in my Facebook Audience Insights.
From a content perspective, I already knew when looking through my insights, the bulk of my customers had a high income and were married with kids. Since my service offered saves their customers time, I was able to use this as a massive connecting tool.
Instead of focusing on the couple business benefits of our service, I decided to speak to using our service as a means to save time and use that to spend with your family making lasting memories.
Not only with regard to content, but I used the income stipulation as a necessary layer of targeting overtop my customer based Lookalike Audiences.
As you can see, the results were pretty astounding. Not only was this a major win for the account as far as conversion rate goes, but even greater was the quality increase.
Speaking to our actual customers got more of them who are alike to come out of hiding and start their free trial.
By using our Facebook Audience Insights to understand who and what interests our current paying customers, we can focus less on cheap conversion techniques and more on creating campaigns as well as content that brings out our best future customers.
I speak from first hand experience, what happens “many a time” in marketing campaigns is you create amazing ad copy with words like “free” that creates tons of buzz and conversions, but something is missing: “quality”. And what you find out, at the end of the day, is all of the conversions, money, and time spent on creating your campaign did not actually make the business any money.
That’s why using Facebook Audience Insights is of the utmost importance. It gives you the power to control who and more importantly how you connect with your audience.
2) Discover Your Customer Persona
As a marketer the single most important piece of information that we can have is the knowledge of what kind of person is buying our product or service. This is the most integral piece of the puzzle, because we center our entire business (marketing, R&D, pricing) around this.
Using the Audience Insights tool can now give you greater insight than ever before into many details of your buyers. Join me on my journey into discovering who this “ideal customer” was that needed our client’s organizational software to increase business efficiency.
Using native Facebook data as well as third-party sources, Facebook can now group people into certain segments using demographics, income, affinity, interests, etc. and compiles this into the Lifestyle data tab.
As you can see in the black pop-up, Facebook gave me insight into my largest group of website converters. My top category “Work & Play” consists of “predominantly white collar, professional metrocentrics who enjoy comfortable incomes and are a mix of homeowners and renters”.
As I scroll further down the Lifestyle data tabs, I start to realize very consistent trends — the jackpot when it comes to narrowing down our targeting. I see that 53% of our buyers are married and 60% make over $75K a year. So, I now know that I’m working with wealthy family-oriented people which is exciting, because I can already begin to strategize my campaign ad copy and targeting around this information.
Before I began this dig, I was thinking about focusing my offer around the money they would save by using our client’s product–but after looking through my audience insights, I’m going to focus on the efficiency and time saving capabilities as I know this is invaluable to my newfound target audience.
3) Gain Competitor Customer Insight
Okay, so say you’re in one of the two scenarios, brand new business with little to no sales or looking to gain more insight into major competitor customer interests. Facebook has a third option that allows you to take a look at a broader set of data based on preset interests groups and various Facebook pages.
You can then begin to crawl down the left column to make your selection of data that you would like to analyze. Common categories that you should narrow down for your business include: age, gender, interests, people connected to your Page, and more advanced data such as behavior, language, education, work, etc.
Let’s work this out in a more practical example. Say you’re a startup fashion brand that’s most similar to GAP and you only sell in the United States. So, you would like to know everything possible about GAP’s customer base.
First, you would select the country to be United States. Then, you would go down to Interests and type in “GAP”. You’ll see their Facebook page listed. Warning: not all Pages will appear here. It usually depends on size of the Page; however, this is not a hard fast law. The easiest way to see is by typing the company page into the Interest search bar.
Now, how do we look at this to help our business? Let’s continue on.
One of the first major characteristics that I notice when analyzing Gap’s Facebook page audience is the percentage who have a public oriented job.
Now, if you know that a certain type of job is potentially the bulk of your business, what can you do with that information? Create loyalty programs where people who work in the public sector (e.g. teachers, government service workers, etc.) get a certain percentage off. You can publish content describing how your brand partners with local communities, etc. See how this works? You’re giving your potential customer base something you know they’ll connect with.
*Note* We used to have a section here about Acxiom data within Facebook Audience Insights. But, because of Cambridge Analytica, there’s no longer a need for us to cover non-existent data-collection tactics.
But, as always is the case with Facebook, the more targeted and customized your advertising experience, the more success you’ll see.
Wrap Up on Facebook Audience Insights
I hope that this post has granted some light on how you can use Facebook Audience Insights to better your PPC efforts. By knowing who your customers are and targeting them in the most granular way possible using standard Facebook targeting options and advanced audience layering, you can save precious marketing dollars while gaining more traction than ever before.
If you have any further questions regarding Audience Insights or any success stories to share where Facebook Audience Insights played a part, please leave comments below.