An introduction to audience insights part 1


Have you done a bit of Facebook advertising, with limited results? Are you building audiences through the ‘create ads’ tab on the menu? Think again… audience insights for the win.

Put simply – improved targeting gains better results, we all agree on that right? Audience insights will improve your targeting in comparison to the standard way of building Facebook audiences.

Before continuing to read this, you need to have an ad account linked to Facebook for business. You should have a good idea of what your target audience looks like and importantly what Facebook pages they will like (competitors, products etc). You’ll see how this helps later on.

When you have done this, go into your account and click audience insights on the left. You’ll see the following screen (aka the dashboard of prosperity);

After opening audience insights you’ll see we are automatically creating a new audience (at the top it says ‘New Audience’), where we are targeting everyone in the United States over the age of 18. The left hand column is the criteria you can use to build an audience (you will see ‘United States’ selected under location and ’18 – any’ under age and gender) and the centre slab is an insight into that audience.

As we are in the UK, i’d like you to change United States to United Kingdom as some targeting options are only available in the US.

Before editing the criteria you need to understand the centre slab, which is what I will discussing in part 1.

As the picture below shows, you’ll see the centre slab is split into Demographics, Page Likes, Location, Activity, Household and Purchase (the last 2 are only available in the US).

Starting with Demographics – you’ll see scrolling down it’s split into more than Age and Gender; you can see your audiences relationship status, education level and job title. Hover over any bar and you’ll see it gives you a comparison against the rest of Facebook. When you begin to select criteria the dark blue bar will move up or down. If it moves higher than the light blue bar, this means you audience is more likely to be in that specific demographic than the rest of Facebook. I’ve selected some dummy criteria to explain;

The comparison bars are the same on the other tabs too. Let’s move onto the Page Likes tab. In my opinion this where the magic happens. This is split into 2 main areas, top categories and page likes. Categories show the pages your audience is most likely to like in the major page categories. Scroll down and you’ll see page likes. These are a list of pages your audience is likely to like, along with the affinity. This is how many times more likely is your audience going to like this page against the rest of Facebook. The higher the affinity, the more targeted your audience. This simple idea has seen our clients harness some great results.
VERY USEFUL WHEN BUILDING AN AUDIENCE! You’ll understand how to make this work for you in part 2.

In the location you can see top cities, top countries and top languages in your selected audience. In the activity you’ll see some interesting insights in your audience, including how likely they are too click an ad and the device they are using against the rest of Facebook.

That’s an introduction understanding the audience you are building. Part 2 comes very soon, where we will be looking at how to build the audience.

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