Here`s the thought process of a typical marketer…
“Audience… hmm, who should I target? Well, maybe this interest and this one and that one also look good.”
Five days later, his campaigns are throwing out some weird numbers. The kinds of numbers you and I don`t like to see and wonders why that happens.
Here`s the reality...
Much like writing great copy, audience targeting shouldn`t be a “last minute” thing.
We both know this, success in any endeavor is not for the lazy. You have to put in the work and it`s no different in your Facebook marketing efforts.
As a media buyer, most of your time should be spent researching your audience.
It can absolutely make or break a campaign.
I don`t want you to break campaigns nor your bank account, so allow me to share with you exactly how to do audience research the right way, step by step.
“Our friend Mr. Google can help you find some extra information about your prospects.”
Step 1 - Facebook`s Detailed Targeting
The first step is really to get an understanding of what types of interests Facebook have available for you to use.
Start a campaign like you normally would but without publishing it.
Let`s say you`re a mindset coach for entrepreneurs. Go to the adset level and start typing keywords related to your market.
Start typing things like “entrepreneur” or other keywords you might know related to entrepreneurship.
I`d recommend writing down these interests on a notebook or on a spreadsheet, whatever works for you with the name and the size of that interest. Take note of as much as you can.
Be careful when you`re targeting celebrities in their space who have a massive following.
A big part of their followers might not be entrepreneurs because the influencer has such a wide reach.
Look for public figures or other interests that have a decent audience and are more niche-oriented.
For example, it`s better to target Fast Company than Gary Vaynerchuk. If you`re a mindset coach for entrepreneurs, you don`t want to be showing ads to a bunch of high school kids that follow Gary Vee.
“You just can`t market any product with last-minute copy preparation and zero audience research.”
Step 2 - Facebook Audience Insights
This is a free tool you can leverage inside Facebook to really get your targeting dialed in.
Once you have a good list of interests written down, the next step is to go to Audience Insights and start typing those, one by one.
Look out for page likes, as they give you an indication of what types of interests are associated with the ones you searched initially.
What you`re doing here is finding similar interests you can target and widening your range of possibilities. You can go down a rabbit hole when doing this, by the way.
The key is to use only the most relevant ones.
Take note again of those similar interests so you can use them later in addition to the ones you already have from the initial research in step 1.
“Be careful when you`re targeting celebrities in their space who have a massive following.”
Step 3 - The Good Old Google
Our friend, “Mr. Google” can solve a lot of problems for us. It can also help you find some extra information about your prospects.
You can search for blogs, publications, associations, influencers or books relevant to your audience. Once again, take note of those. You`ll need them later.
Conferences are always great interests to target because if people like them you know they`re pretty serious about investing in themselves.
They end up being more committed prospects than someone who just likes books, for example.
“The problem is people don`t want to put in the work and don`t take the time to research the audience properly.”
Now that you have a solid list of books, blogs, public figures, magazines or conferences, go back to the detailed targeting section again, inside Ads manager and see if everything that you wrote down shows up there.
Sometimes, it can be frustrating… some interests show up with a big following on Audience Insights but they don`t appear in the detailed targeting.
Keep that in mind.
Now, you can take all the interests you`ve collected and finally create your new campaign.
I usually aim for an audience size between 500 000 and 1 million per adset. You can go as far as 20 million if you`re spending in the thousands a day.
“I usually aim for an audience size on Facebook between 500 000 and 1 million per adset.”
When Most Start At The End
I see marketers failing with Facebook Ads, not because they`re stupid or because they don`t know what buttons to click.
The problem is they don`t want to put in the work and don`t take the time to research the audience properly.
You just can`t market any product, I don`t care where it is, with last minute copy preparation and zero audience research. That`s a sure-fire way to end up with empty pockets.
By now, you have no excuses!
I`ve given you the exact blueprint I follow every time I`m marketing a product or service on Facebook. Now, it`s up to you.
Pedro is a former army soldier originally born in Portugal with the entrepreneurial bug and a passion for online advertising. He`s the author of "All Leads Convert" and founder of PedroConverts, a global Facebook marketing agency that specializes in helping impact-driven coaches grow and scale faster.