Audiences are one of the most critical parts of running successful Facebook ads, they can make or break your ads. If you're not reaching the right audiences, your ads will be irrelevant which will receive low engagements, as a result your cost per thousands will rise up and the ads will get ranked lower by the facebook algorithm. On the other hand, if you targeted the right audience, you'll get more results for your buck, in fact, Facebook will reward your high performing ads with lower CPM costs.
So another question arises. How do we find the right audiences to target? There isn't the "right audience" or "perfect audience", its not how ads work. As an advertiser no matter how much research is done, you still need to test out a range of audiences to see which ones are profitable, and the ones that are performing well today may perform differently a month from now. What we're doing here is we want to find the range or list of audiences to test, so we can narrow them even further down the road.
Please note this post is ONLY for finding audiences, we'll cover how to structure and target audiences on a different post.
Audience Insights is great option for finding audiences, it gives a detailed insights based on the interest(s) you choose, such as demographic data, pages they like, location, job title, education, and much more. Even though there are lot of metrics provided, we're only going to focus on Page Likes.
As an example, we put in the interest Pizza Hut, and as you can see in the image, people who like Pizza Hut may also like Papa John's, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and more. So all those are interests you can target. I recommend going for an interest that has at least a million monthly active users, because you want to give Facebook as much room as you can so it can find you the people that are likely to engage with your ads, and that is also why we didn't focus on other metrics like demographics, unless you're an advanced marketer that wants to split test every variable, but as beginner you don't need to focus on metrics as much.
Facebook knows more about their audience than you do, and you need to give it enough data to work it in order to help you reach your goals.
You may have noticed that some audiences you've collected from Audience insights may not show in Detailed Targeting during the ad creation process, I'm not exactly sure why but its not a big deal because we don't have to test thousands of audiences. As a beginner you don't need to see every detail about the audience, and the detailed targeting suggestions will give you audiences to test right away.
Notice that on the right we see the estimated daily results, I don't recommend obsessing over it because its estimated, so its not very accurate, and your actual results will vary. I just use it as general guideline and to let me know if my audience size is too narrow or if the reach is limited by the small audience size in other words.
Another way to find audiences is to find a page on any social media platform, and at the top of the page you'll see a similar pages section, and then you go into those pages to find even more pages using the same tactic. However, you can't target fanpages or unofficial pages on Facebook, so its best to look for brands, magazines, popular influencers, and anything similar. See the images below on how its done on Facebook and Instagram as an example.
The good old search is still one of the best and simple ways to learn about anything. In our case, we can use it to find competitors of Pizza hut, look for popular pizza magazines and celebrities. No matter how advanced other audience tools are, I still do a Google search to learn more about an industry to help me create effective ads that speak to an audience.
Here are some search examples:
These are very simple yet effective strategies you can implement to run successful Facebook ads. With the options available today, you don't need to guess what to target when you can get so many ideas and detailed insights about anything in matter of seconds.