How to Define Your Target Audience on Facebook
Learn where to find the best data-driven insights to define your Facebook target audience and how to reach that audience at all stages of the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration and conversion.
Before launching a campaign, it’s important that you define your Facebook target audience, that is, whom you want to see your ads.
To help you understand your target audience, there are tools you can use that will give you insights into your audience’s demographics, location and interests.
However, it’s important that you define not only the characteristics of the users you want to reach with your campaigns, but also what stage of the marketing funnel those users are at – awareness, consideration or conversion – so you can adapt your campaign’s objectives and ads to each stage.
In this post, we will show you where to find the best audience insights and the best Facebook audience types for each stage of the marketing funnel.
1. Find the Best Audience Insights
Define your target audience based on data-driven insights. There are a few tools to help you do that, described below.
Google Analytics Audience Reports
Google Analytics is a web analytics tool offered by Google that tracks and reports on website traffic. It is one of the best sources of information for you to understand your audience.
In the Google Analytics Audience section, you will find insights into the characteristics of your website visitors, including demographics, interests and geography.
The image above shows an example of the audience demographics report for a website. Fifty-two percent of this website’s users are males between 25 and 34 years old.
Tip: To narrow down your analysis to users who actually purchased a product from your eCommerce, click ‘Add Segment’ and select ‘Converters’. This way, you can analyse the demographic profile of your clients.
The Audience Interests report gives you insights into the interests of your audience.
The Affinity Category shows the interests of users who are higher in the purchase funnel (awareness stage).
In-Market Segments shows the interests of users who are lower in the purchase funnel (consideration or conversion stages).
In the Location report, you will find information about where your visitors are coming from. You can filter by continent, country or city.
Another item to look at is the Time-Lag report, which you can find under the conversions tab (conversions > multi-channel funnels > time lag). This report shows the length of your online sales cycle, an important insight that will help you define the number of days you should use in your retargeting campaigns.
Facebook Audience Insights
Use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to learn more about your Facebook followers, including aggregated information about geography, demographics and purchase behaviour. You can view this information for everyone on Facebook or people connected to your page.
To get insights on all users connected to your Facebook page, click ‘People connected to your Page’, and enter the name of your page. To narrow your selection, you can filter by country, age, gender and more.
Note: Facebook announced that the Audience Insights tool will no longer be available as of 1 July 2021.
2. Create Facebook Audiences
To create and manage Facebook target audiences, click the menu icon in the top-left corner of the Ads Manager, go to the ‘Advertise’ section and select ‘Audiences’.
To create a new audience, click ‘Create Audience’ in the top-left corner of the page. Then select the type of audience you’d like to create.
There are four types of audiences available: Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Special Ad Audiences and Saved Audiences.
With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can target users who have interacted with your business by visiting your website, downloading your app and interacting with your Facebook/Instagram profiles, to name but a few ways.
With Lookalike Audiences, you can target users who are similar to your Custom Audiences. For example, you can create a Lookalike Audience based on a Custom Audience of all users who purchased your products.
You can create multiple lookalikes with different levels of similarity to your source. A one percent lookalike consists of the people who are most similar to your Custom Audience. Increasing the percentage creates a bigger, broader audience.
Your source audience must contain at least 100 people from a single country for Facebook to use it as the basis for a Lookalike Audience.
To create audiences based on demographics, interests and behaviours, create a Saved Audience in the Facebook Audience Manager.
Special Ad Audiences are available only for ads in a special ad category, such as Credit, Employment or Housing.
3. Set Up Audiences Tailored to Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the steps a visitor takes from first finding out about your brand until they convert.
In other words, a user becomes aware of your brand through a social media ad (awareness stage), visits your website and browses your products (consideration stage), adds a product to the cart and completes the purchase (conversion stage).
Implementing a Facebook full-funnel strategy means launching several campaigns, with campaign goals, audience targeting and messaging adapted to each stage of the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration and conversion.
The main advantage of adopting a Facebook full-funnel approach is that you will be able to reach users at the different stages of their customer journey, from product awareness to purchase.
Facebook Target Audiences for Awareness Campaigns
At the awareness stage, you want to introduce your brand or products to new users in your target audience.
At this stage, Facebook target audiences should be based on demographics, geographic location and interests (based on the information you extracted from Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights) or on broad lookalike audiences, set above three percent.
As a best practice, create separate ad groups for each audience so you can evaluate later which ones had the best results.
For example, we saw that the top affinity categories of users for that specific website were movie-lovers and green-living enthusiasts.
We could create an ad group targeting users who love movies and a separate one for the green-living enthusiasts.
Facebook Target Audiences for Consideration Campaigns
At this stage, you want to reach users who may be interested in your products by nurturing and engaging users who have interacted with your business or are similar to your clients.
At this stage, Facebook target audiences should be based on custom audiences, for example, retargeted website visitors, users who took a specific action while using your app, audiences based on customer lists (audiences that you create by uploading a list of your clients), etc.
Take into account that these are users who have already engaged with your brand, so try to re-engage them through novelty and best-sellers, client testimonials or reviews, or any other unique selling points that you have versus your competitors.
Facebook Target Audiences for Conversion Campaigns
You’ve introduced your brand and your products, nurtured and engaged your audience by telling them more about your brand and given them reasons to buy from you. Now it’s time for you to give your final arguments and reach those users who have shown interest in your products but haven’t purchased yet.
At this stage, you can use dynamic product ads to automatically promote your products to people who viewed products or added them to the cart but didn't complete the purchase or to prospect new users with broad audience targeting, letting Facebook find new users who are likely to be interested in your products.
Other options would be targeting lookalike audiences in the one percent to three percent range; using your best customers as a source; and retargeting website visitors, newsletter subscribers or users who completed a specific action, for example, those who downloaded your app but haven’t converted yet.
One of the most relevant factors for a successful Facebook Ads campaign is to know your audience and understand their shopping journey.
Target analysis will give you insights into reaching your audience at the right time with the right message.