How to Target Core Audiences With Facebook Ads

How can Facebook Ads help you target the right people?

Facebook combines reach and precision in order to help you eliminate wasteful spending.

There are many advantages to working with Facebook to share your message with your target audience, including:

  • Unparalleled reach and engagement, which allows you to reach real people instead of proxies.
  • One of the largest sets of consumer data on the Internet.
  • Since Facebook’s targeting isn’t based solely on cookies, you can connect you with a person as they use different devices — from desktop to phone to tablet.

 

Unparalleled Reach and Engagement

 

With Facebook, it’s not just about reach it’s also about engagement.

A lot of time is spent online and on mobile with Google properties, YouTube, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Twitter and Pinterest.

But on mobile, a total time is spent on Facebook and Instagram than all of those combined.

In fact, Facebook and Instagram account for 22% of all time spent on mobile.

This accounts for 1 in 5 mobile minutes — that’s more time spent than the next 10 mobile platforms combined.

 

Precision

Precision targeting on Facebook allows you to drill into some fairly specific and granular details.

But be careful not to get too precise.

You want to compile a large enough starting user set to avoid a smaller cumulative total than you want.

Say you had a product or business that was perfect for anyone in at least one of the following categories:

  • Students in Austin, TX
  • People in a relationship with at least two children
  • People who have at least two credit cards

Being too precise with your targeting can limit the impact of your campaign. Try widening your location and/or age targeting.

 

What would a strategy with precision and scale look like?

Remember, when developing a targeting strategy, you want to reach a precise audience and do it at scale.

The result is what happens when the precision in the previous example is combined with the scale of the initial males 18+ criteria.

Facebook is unique in that it gives you the best of both worlds by offering you reach on an unprecedented scale, with precision at the most micro levels.

 

Why else is Facebook unique?

In the online environment, not all audiences are created equal. Reaching your targets can be difficult since most digital channels reach browsers and not real people, which leads to wasted impressions on people outside your core customer base.

This gets more complicated when reaching consumers across devices because many channels can’t match behavior on desktop with behavior on mobile.

On Facebook, people are identifiable on both desktop and mobile devices. This enables you to reach people wherever they are.

This addressability plays a beneficial role, as only a few digital publishers have a relationship with consumers that offers a persistent connection to their audience. On Facebook, who you are and what you represent is on your profile, and that’s incredibly powerful … especially when people’s authentic selves are represented across devices.

 

Core Audiences

Facebook uses data to help you better target your customers, and begin to build a standard audience for your campaign.

Powerful targeting capabilities are based on one of the largest collections of first-party data (FB + Advertiser) and third-party data from leading, trusted consumer data providers.

This data powers three distinct audience types:

  • Core Audiences
  • Custom Audiences
  • Lookalike Audiences

Core Audiences are pulled from data related to demographics: geographic demographics, lifestyle/life stage demographics, purchase-based demographics, etc.

This data is pulled from the information you share in your profile and the behaviors you exhibit on our platform.

Because Facebook is where people go to share information about themselves, we have a ton of native information about people that can be used for targeting.

 

Targeting Core Audiences

Target: Location
Say, for example, you had a product that you wanted to market in the United States (1+ billion people).

Target: Age
Now, let’s say you wanted to target people between the ages of 18–64 (1+ billion people).

Target: Interests
And you also want to target people who are interested in the Norwegian Olympic curling team’s pants.

Extended Reach
With Facebook and Core Audiences, you’ll be able to reach those 200,000 people who really dig those curling pants.

 

Partner Categories

Another aspect of Core Audiences is called Partner Categories, which are powered by offline data from trusted third parties. There are targetable audiences that are “on the shelf” and available to all marketers in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Brazil. These syndicated segments cover hundreds of topics, verticals, and products. The quality is maintained by machine-learning algorithms to understand how topics are related and are validated through CTR measurement and user surveys.

There are targetable audiences that are “on the shelf” and available to all marketers in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Brazil. These syndicated segments cover hundreds of topics, verticals, and products. The quality is maintained by machine-learning algorithms to understand how topics are related and are validated through CTR measurement and user surveys.

These syndicated segments cover hundreds of topics, verticals, and products. The quality is maintained by machine-learning algorithms to understand how topics are related and are validated through CTR measurement and user surveys.

The quality is maintained by machine-learning algorithms to understand how topics are related and are validated through CTR measurement and user surveys.

 

Targeting Options

Let’s start identifying targets. Here are the key components of your Core Audience.

Location
Reach people in cities, countries, and communities where you want to do business.

Show your ads to people who are near your business

  • Up to 25 countries
  • Drill down by states, cities, and ZIP codes
  • Options to exclude are also available

Demographics
Select the target demographic of those who will find your ad relevant.

  • Age range, from 13 to XXX
  • Target by women, men, or “all”
  • Birthday targeting
  • Education targeting

Options to select audience segments related to categories such as relationships, education, finances, and life events

Interests
This can include interests from timelines, as well as Page Likes, keywords or apps.

Choose from an easy-to-navigate list of categories, sub-categories, and millions of additional attributes to get suggestions at your disposal

Behaviors
Target based on digital activities, devices used, past or intended purchases, and travel.

Connect through online and offline activity
Tap into data from trusted third-party partners.

Connections
Reach people who are already connected with you on Facebook (i.e. have already liked your Page).

Connect with friends of connections.

 

Create a Core Audience

By following these steps, you’ll be able to go directly to Facebook and begin to target relevant areas.

1 Go to the Audience section of your Facebook Page.
2 The Location section will help you get your ad to the people who live in the areas relevant to your business or product.
3 Enter the cities, states, and zip code that you would like to target.
4 In the Interests section, you can reach people based on the information they share on Facebook.
5 In the Behaviors section, you can reach people based on other interests. For example, how they shop, what type of device they use, etc.
6 You may notice that some ad targeting options in the More Demographics, Behaviors and More Categories sections are labeled Partner Categories. Here is where you can target people based on things they do off of Facebook, like purchasing a new truck.
7 In the Connection section, you’ll be able to target people who already like your page, their friends, or people who aren’t connected to your business.

 

Now that you have figured out how to target your core audience with Facebook ads, the next step is to start testing.

Test different ad structures. Images, copy, audience, competitor connections, etc.

See which audiences respond well to your ads, and scale the ones that work. Shred the ones that don’t.