Are you currently running ads in Facebook? or are you struggling to get interactions, leads and sales?
You might be doubting if “Facebook Advertising” actually works or not? Or… You are interested to basically improve the process of finding new audience using the Audience Insights Tool?
Well, it is your lucky day. Trust me – I was in the same boat as you are. With a little help from articles similar to this, my partner and I made our business grow to thousands of dollar a year from scratch – using ONLY Facebook Ads to drive traffic.
Before I dig deeper into how to use the Facebook Audience Insights tool, please make sure you know the basics of Facebook Marketing Strategy. The strategy posts gives you a big picture view on how to make your Facebook Marketing Campaigns successful and how marketing works in general.
The importance of finding relevant audience in Facebook
Here is a little background – In late 2016, we helped a travel business – Nepal101 that wanted to use Facebook Ads as the main driver for client acquisition. Google Adwords was already competitive and most of the target audience spent a lot of time in Facebook. Moreover, for this specific niche, the customers usually bought travel packages from Facebook itself – so it made absolute sense to invest in Facebook Ads.
Our customer were on the same boat as you are right now, they had an attractive ad creative (awesome photo), informative ad content and a straightforward “Call to Action”. However, they were getting ZERO customers after running ads for a few weeks, something was definitely not going right.
“Your Ads are only as good as the people you show it to”
The customer came to us and we found out that the ads were showing to the wrong audience. The audience that were being targeted were not relevant to the product, services or offer. The audience was too broad and with generic interests – like “traveling” or interested in a certain country or activity. The interests that were targeted were not “defined” enough or relevant enough – thus the business was not getting any inquiries, messages or calls. Once the Audience and Interests were corrected, the number of conversation, enquiries and leads started pouring in. We realized that choosing the right audience was in fact one of the most important aspect of running facebook ads to get leads and customers for businesses starting out with Facebook Ads.
Looking back at it and even today – we see that majority of the advertisers starting off with facebook ads make the same rookie mistake of not showing their ads to the relevant audience. Moreover, there is no one-size-fits-all type of guide or instructional video to help you find your audience and theirs specific interests because every businesses in unique along with the purchase behavior of the customers.
How do we find the right audience then or how do we improve our ad performance?
Using Facebook’s awesome FREE tool called – Facebook Audience Insights to improve your ad performance!
What is Facebook Audience Insights Tool?
Facebook Audience Insights is a Free tool that helps advertisers find “Relevant Audience” for their businesses. This tool is simply amazing because it literally helps advertisers zero-in on competitor’s customers, fine tune interests towards a specific niche and also helps find related pages / interests that can be targeted.
To access the facebook audience insights tool, go to – facebook.com/ads/audience_insights.
The Facebook Audience Insights tool lets you create your audience based on the following –
- Page Likes
- Connections to your page
- Other Advanced Segments
How to use the Facebook Audience Insights tool?
Start with Audience Demographics –
If you already have a website with google analytics or a facebook page with a few thousand page likes or followers, you can get the demographics of your target audiences easily. Moreover, from the Google Analytics Dashboard and Facebook Analytics – you can get Location, Age and Gender of your current audience and your actual website visitors.
Once you have your demographics sorted, then you are off to a good start and now ready to focus on interests.
Finding the right interests
This is the most important part of the process of finding the right audience for your ads. The demographics just provides a criteria to zero down on your audience, but the interests part focuses on the overall audience interests that could potentially be the users that are likely to buy your products or services. Let me explain this with an example –
Let assume you are a Software As a Service (SAAS) Company with an amazing new product that is miles better than your competition in the CRM provider niche. Moreover, let us say we want to advertise this amazing new software / tool in facebook to potential buyers or convert competitor’s current customers to your users.
How would you get started? Well, we would start first targeting a competitor page of a similar service – any companies come to mind? Do a simple google search and a competitor might be running some ads.
Let us say I want to advertise to facebook users in the USA, both Men and Women aged 25 – 55, assuming that this is my target audience found from website visits or buyers profile. Next steps is to find the interest to target.
Alright, we found Zoho as one of the interests to be used in the Facebook Audience Insights tool. Now let us put Zoho in the search box. Immediately we can see that the number of facebook users available at our disposal to show our ads is around 35 – 40K monthly active users.
As a rule of thumb, we usually focus on audience size anything more than 200K monthly active users. Why? Mainly because as they are termed – “Monthly Active Users” and not “Daily Active Users”, not everyone logs in to facebook everyday.
If we were to run our ads for a month, we could potentially reach 35 – 40K users, but if we run our ads for a few weeks – then not all of those audience might be logging in to facebook. Therefore, a monthly active audience of around 200K audience will make sure we do not exhaust our audience – but it also depends on our advertising budget and campaign goal.
Just to be safe, make sure your target audience is at least 1.5 times the sum of all daily unique reach your ad spending is supposed to reach.
After searching for Zoho, we found the interest “Zoho Office Suite”, since the audience size is only 35K – 40K, we have to find an additional interest group – since we do not want to exhaust our audience while our ad campaign is running. We want to find similar interest to Zoho Office Suite – from what we know about the CRM industry and checking out the affinity score, HubSpot is another great interest to target.
The affinity and relevance score in the page likes section shows how relevant the other pages are to the selected interest or page. Use “Affinity” and “Relevant Scores” to find alternative interest pages for your target audience.
How do I find audience that is more Engaging?
As we know – Facebook algorithm system puts posts on the newsfeed of users which the algorithm deems as more “social”. How does the algorithm figure it out? Basically if your organic or ads post has more likes, comment or share, also known as engagement, your organic or ads posts will be shown in the newsfeed of higher number of users.
Thus, one of the strategy a lot of advertisers use is running an engagement campaign first and then running a reach campaign. Since engagement campaign builds up the “Social Proof” and makes the algorithm believe that the post is highly engaging and then run a reach campaign to get the most exposure. Well, this is one way.
Another awesome way to get more bang for the dollar invested is to utilize the “Activity” tab of the Facebook Audience Insights.
In our example of CRM software – let us compare the Audience Activity of audience of Zoho Office Suite vs audience of HubSpot.
Let us compare the Comments, Posts Liked, Posts Shared and Ads Clicked between the two audiences –
Zoho Office Suite
Comment – 16
Posts Liked – 24
Posts Shared – 4
Ads Clicked – 35
Comment – 21
Posts Liked – 35
Posts Shared – 4
Ads Clicked – 38
We can immediately see that the audience of HubSpot is more engaging than of Zoho Office Suite. What it means is – if you invest a dollar of Ad budget in the HubSpot interest – you are more likely to get a higher level of Engagement on your ads. Higher engagement translates to more organic impressions on Facebook users newsfeed. With a higher level of impression, the chance of making a sale is also higher – meaning higher ROI per dollar spent. But there are other ways to maximize your ROI which you will find below.
Why is it important to find alternative interests or interest pages?
If you do not already know – Facebook uses an online, real-time, automatic bidding system to show advertisements to its audiences. What it means is – If all the advertisers were to select Zoho as the interest for their ads – then all the advertisers would be competing against each other to show their ads to the same group of people who have shown interest in Zoho.
From Economics 101, on supply and demand – When the demand for a certain interest increases – the bid prices (cost) also increases.
If you want to show your ads to the same interest group like other advertisers, then your “Ad Score” has to be higher than your nearest competitor for your ads to show up. Furthermore, the bid amount – the amount of money you are willing to spend in Facebook is one of the most important factors that impacts ad score.
How to use the audience created in Facebook Audience Insights with Facebook Ads?
Once you have finalized the audience Location, Gender, Age, Interests, Page Likes, Connections to your page and any other Other Advanced Segments – scroll up to the top of the page and save audience.
Once you save the audience it will be added to your assets – under the Assets >> Audiences tab in facebook business manager.
You can either select the audience and then click on create AD or you can go to your ads manager, create a new campaign and under Ad Sets, you can select the Audience.
Create winning Ad Campaigns with the Audiences you just created
Utilize the above method to create multiple audiences with varying interests. For example – create one audience with only Zoho Office Suite as an interest and then another audience with HubSpot as an interest – keeping everything else constant. You can create one campaign with two different ad sets and then test out which interest performs better.
After running the campaign for a few days – you will be able to see which Ad Set is performing better. You can keep the ad set that performs better and stop the one that is not. After a few round of tests and verification, you will have aced this part of the Facebook Advertising game.
Make sure to check out our other blogs, where we explore how to structure the Ad Campaigns, view reports and analyze what the reports actually mean.