THE LOWDOWN

How stuff works: Facebook Core Audience Targeting

Professional Facebook Targeting ad campaigns are more than merely boosting a post. Connect with the right audience at precisely the right moment. Learn to use tools to reach hyper-specific audiences across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and mobile apps as part of your omnichannel strategy.

In this post, you’re going to learn about using Facebook’s Core Targeting to connect your ads with your ideal customers. Just like a Marketing pro!

The steps I’ll take you through are from the exact playbook we use for our clients to grow their businesses.

Today, we are going to show you exactly how we do it.

Step by step.

  1. Facebook Audience & Targeting Options
  2. Elements of Facebook Core Targeting
  3. Location & Demographics
  4. Interests & Behaviours
  5. Devices & Engagement
  6. Modify & Manage Audiences

Around two billion people are logging in and using Facebook every month.

Yep, TWO BILLION people!

So how do we as mad geniuses… I mean Marketers, leverage this opportunity?

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Well, Facebook does a fantastic job of capturing audience data.

And it’s legit…mwahahaha.

Audience data enables us to target Facebook & Instagram users with a variety of evil… I mean nifty targeting tools.

Facebook Audience & Targeting Options

There are three distinct targeting options that we can choose from:

  • Core Audience – Target people using Facebook location, demographics, interests and behaviours. (This is what we will go through today)
  • Custom Audience – Custom audiences which are made up of existing customers you already have such as an email, CRM, phone app subscriptions or database.
  • Look-alike Audiences – Creating a new unique audience using your Custom Audience data and merging it with Facebook Core Audience Targeting.

Follow me, and we will take a deeper dive into Facebook Core Audience Targeting.

Elements of Facebook Core Audience Targeting

Imagine being able to target your ideal customer with a giant laser beam.

Well, Facebook Core Audience Targeting gives you the ability to do that.

Using the targeting tools provided by Facebook, we can target ads at people based on their socioeconomics, physical locations, interests, behaviours, and connections.

You can also select to include or exclude people using these tools.

And that makes Facebook incredibly powerful.

Location and Demographics

Time to get our hands dirty.

Open up your Facebook Business Manager Page and let’s walk through how we set up Facebook Core Audience Targeting.

If you haven’t set up a Facebook Business Page, have a read of our article How to create a Facebook Business page.

To begin, log into Ads Manager or Power Editor.

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Facebook Ads Manager Interface

Hit the green “Create” button in the Power Editor interface to create a new Facebook Targeted campaign.

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Power Editor interface

Create a new Facebook campaign and select an appropriate Campaign Objective.

Once you’ve selected your Facebook Campaign Objective, you’ll now see the Adset Level.

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Selecting a Campaign Objective interface
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Facebook Adset Level interface

And this is where the magic happens.

Location-based Targeting

There are four distinct ways to target Facebook ads to people using their locations, these include:

  • Everyone: People who are currently in a specific location
  • Locals: People who have said they specifically live in an area on their Facebook page
  • New residents: People who have recently changed their living address on their Facebook page.
  • Visitors: People who live in an area but have recently been to a specific location. (This is great for targeting tourists)
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Location-based targeting interface

Geographic Targeting

What if your audience is in another country?

Well with Geo-Targeting you can reach them!

Under Locations select the Browse feature to focus your ads around the world, by territory, nation, city, or postal code.

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Geographic interface targeting by country

Hot Tip: Consider changing up your written ad copy if your targeting non-English speaking nations. Facebook excludes some areas, and you can find out more by reading Facebook’s About Location Targeting.

What if your target audiences live in a specific location or postcode?

Facebook has a tool for that too.

Simply type in an area to push your ads to people who live inside a certain radius.

In the example below, we’ve selected a 1 to 50 km range in Newcastle NSW.

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Geographic user interface targeting by location

Hot Tip: You will only reach people who’ve included an address in their profile or have location services turned on.

You can also target people using postcodes.

Target by Region

Facebook Core Audience Targeting Regions enables you to target countries based on non-geographic shared characteristics.

These Include:

  • Free Trade Areas: Promote to people inside a commerce territory. For example the European Economic Area.
  • App Store Regions: You can target nations where the iTunes App Store, Android Paid Store, or the Android Free Store is accessible.
  • Emerging Markets: Promote your ads in one of more than 20 nations that are encountering fast monetary development.
  • Euro Area: You can target individuals in nations that use a specific currency, e.g. Euro as their currency.
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Region Targeting interface

Demographic Targeting

You can also target people on Facebook by their age, sex and even languages.

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Demographic targeting interface

Hot Tip: When targeting ad delivery by age, be aware that Facebook ad policies prohibit advertising specific product categories to people under the age of 18. These incorporate money related administrations, betting or lotteries, and wellbeing and wellness items — including natural and dietary enhancements. Additionally, age limitations concerning liquor can change by nation, state, or territory. You can see their advertising policies to learn more about geographic targeting limitations for restricted content.

You should ONLY add language targeting if the language you’re targeting is NOT the primary language spoken in the location you’re targeting.

Interests and Behaviours

Identifying users interests and behaviours is where things start to get interesting.

Facebook can target ads based on people’s interests and behaviours with pinpoint accuracy:

  • Interest Targeting: Enables you to focus Facebook ads to people based on their Facebook interests, pages liked, the actions taken on Facebook, and posts they like, plus posts and comments they make.
  • Behaviour: Targeting Gives you the ability to target Facebook ads to people based on the type of device they use and what they do on it. e.g. if they use an iPhone or tablet.

Let’s have a closer look.

Under Detailed Targeting, we’ve picked “Marketing” as an interest to show ads to people who like “marketing” as an interest they follow on Facebook,

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Detailed targeting interface

They might also follow Pages related to marketing, or marketing personalities like Gary Vaynerchuk, the king dingaling of entrepreneurs.

Once you’ve added interests or behaviours, Facebook may make corresponding recommendations.

Detailed targeting interface suggestions

Audience Size

Your Facebook Target audience just needs to meet one focusing criteria, not all.

Don’t overdo it and overload your Interests and Behaviours.

In the example below, 100,000 people could potentially see this ad set.

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Detailed targeting and audience reach

Hot Tip: You want to try and aim to have the Audience Size pointer aiming in the middle at the green section. Too far to the left (red) and it will be too specific, too much to the right (yellow) and it will be too broad.

Devices and Engagement

We’ve covered targeting Facebook ads based on people, and their interests. Now, let’s look at how people use Facebook.

Target by Device

Everyone accesses Facebook & Instagram differently.

Under Detailed Targeting, you can target Facebook ads to include or exclude people by desktop browsers or operating system under Digital Activities.

You can even Target people on Facebook by the type of phone they use under Mobile Device User.

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Detailed targeting interface selecting Digital activities

 

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Detailed Targeting interface selecting Mobile Device user

Target by Connections:

You can even include or exclude people from your Facebook audience depending on whether they follow your Facebook Page, if they have your apps, or if they engage or attend your Facebook Events.

You can also include or exclude people or friends of friends who have connected with your content.

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Targeting by Connections interface

Modify and Manage Audiences

Always save your Facebook Target audiences.

Why?

When you save a Facebook audience, you can reuse it and go back to it for future use.

You can optimise or alter your saved audience using Facebook Audience Insights.

You can even merge your audience with Custom Audiences or create Lookalike Audiences.

To access every saved audience, you’ve created click the Audiences icon under Assets located in Ads Manager.

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Ads Managers interface and Audiences

 

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Power Editor interface

In the left-hand column under Name click the name of an audience you’ve created to get to the audience details up on screen.

You can add or remove the chosen audience, make new audiences dependent on it, or view its history.

You can see when the audience was made, who made it, what alters have been made since its creation, and by who.

Audience Overlap

Do you have two Facebook audiences that are pretty similar? Like almost identical?

If you do, then there is an excellent tool you can use to check to see if they overlap one another.

It’s called Audience Overlap located in the Actions drop-down.

Overlap means the percentage of people that are in both audiences.

Overlap isn’t a bad thing, but it can become problematic.

We recommend using the Delivery Insights metric “auction overlap” to know for sure if the overlap is affecting your ad performance negatively.

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Audience Overlap interface & Comparison Audiences

If you think overlapping audiences are affecting the performance of your ads, try this strategy

Compose different promotions targeted at different groups to segment audiences more specifically.

For example:

  • Females, ages 20–35: Marketing classes are a great learning activity
  • Females & Males, ages 20-35: Who own their own marketing business
  • Males, ages 20–35: Learn to make marketing strategies

This strategy not only helps create more relevant messages but reduces targeting overlap and under delivery.

Audience Exclusion

To exclude an audience, select Exclude from the Audience section of your ad set.

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Audience targeting interface – Exclusion location

Click in the text field labelled EXCLUDE to remove people or groups you don’t want in your audience.

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Exclusions selection, just add in any audiences you’ve saved

Conclusion

So there you have it!

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now have a solid understanding of Facebook Core Audience Targeting capabilities.

The key takeouts are;

  • Ensure you know exactly who your target market is.
  • The better you know who your target market is, where they live, their consumer habits and interests the better you can target them using Facebook Ads.
  • Save and optimise your Facebook Target audience for later use
  • Review your audience and check for overlaps

Need Help?

NewyMedia is a digital marketing company based in Australia. If you need help with your Facebook advertising, then we are here to help. You can contact us here, or sign up below to join our mailing list for more great tips and advice.

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