If you aren’t using the power of Facebook’s advertising platform to tailor your digital advertising to your ideal customer demographics, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to connect with your audience.
Facebook frequently updates their categories, interests, and demographic options, so it is best to review and adjust accordingly based on updates to ensure you keep your business in front of as many as possible.
Currently, you have the option of creating target audiences in Ads or Business Manager. You can either create audiences as you go during the setup process of the ad campaign, or, you can create audiences through the Audiences page in Ads or Business Manager.
But first, you need to know which targeting option is right for you (hint: a combination of all three is the most valuable). Here’s a quick rundown of each type of targeting and their unique features.
With Facebook users topping 2 billion, your customers are out there. But is your message getting to them? Core Audience targeting allows you to use the data people share on Facebook to get a very specific audience in front of your ads.
With Core (or Saved) Audiences, you can select who sees your ad based on their demographics, location, interests, and behaviors. The audience you select when creating your ad can be as narrow or broad as you like.
Do your customers tend to be homeowners? Are they generally college educated? Do they all seem to all REALLY like Taylor Swift? Keep track of key demographics that your customers have in common. Start with the demographics of your top customers, and then use that information to create Core and/or Saved Audiences to use in your Facebook and Instagram campaigns to reach people who are likely to buy your products or services.
The best customer is a returning one. While attracting new customers is a valuable goal, don’t forget about retaining your existing customers. By targeting people on Facebook who you've already communicated with, you can foster relationships and drive additional sales.
With Custom Audiences you can create audiences using your current customers’ email addresses or phone numbers. You can then use these audiences to target ads to current customers or exclude those audiences to target ads to people who haven’t purchased from you yet.
The potential for Custom Audiences is only as limited as your contact list. If you have a CSV or TXT format customer list, like purchaser email addresses or newsletter subscribers, you're ready to get started. Once uploaded, your list information will also be encrypted to protect customer information.
Lookalike Audiences are ideal for ad campaigns where finding new customers is the goal. They help you work smarter, not harder, by using your existing customer information to find people similar to them on Facebook.
This audience tool uses the customer data you’ve gained from other marketing campaigns to increase your chances of reaching new people who might be interested in your business. There are many options to choose from when creating a lookalike audience: you can create Facebook lookalike audiences from your existing customer and prospect lists, people who have visited your website or app, or people who have interacted with your Facebook page.
Once selected, Facebook then identifies the common qualities of the people in the group, such as demographic information or interests, then finds people who are similar to (or "look like") them. You can choose the size of your targeted audience during the creation process. Smaller audiences are best when you have a hyper-targeted offer, whereas a larger umbrella provides more opportunities for exposure and awareness.
Remember: quality matters! A source audience for a lookalike audience made up of your best customers versus ALL your customers could lead to truer targeting and better engagement.
Which Is Right For You?
Core, Custom and Lookalike Audiences all have best uses cases, but when combined only strengthen the power of your ads. There’s no wrong way to start with audience targeting except for not doing it. The Facebook Business Manager setup process for creating audiences aims to make improved targeting possible for any advertiser to implement.
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