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Monday, December 4, 2023

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Find Your Facebook Audience Gold!


Welcome to the Psychographic Targeting Hot House series, a column that originally appeared weekly on aimClear blog. Because of the popularity among our readers, we’ve partnered with Third Door Media, publisher of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, to bring you this weekly column.

We love Facebook advertising for the wealth of targeting options it provides. Sometimes we get so deep into the partner categories, layering one on top of another like a mountainous social marketing club sandwich, that we worry we’ll never see the light of day again. (Don’t worry, no online marketers were lost in the writing of this post!)

In this edition of aimClear’s Targeting Hot House, we’ll explain how you can uncover audience insights that shed light on large, profitable pockets and variables you may have missed.

While we’re in there, we sometimes find cool ways to use the targeting environment that teach us more about the audience we’re trying to find. Turning different demographic indicators on and off, or changing them just slightly, has helped us learn insights that shape our online marketing campaigns in ways that extend beyond Facebook targeting itself.

Let’s build an example. Say we have a cool piece of software for optimizing ad bids across search and social, and we want to sell it to people with the authority to purchase such a tool in medium and large companies. We’ll start with the obvious and grab all the Facebook Page Admins and users whose purchase behavior indicates they are likely to buy Business Marketing Services. We’ll also go ahead and set our company size to businesses with 100 employees or more.

We’ll also add in the job titles our target audience is likely to have. Just look at all these, and we’ve barely scratched the surface!

Job Titles

Ohhhhh yeeeeeeahhh.

Once we’re done with all the permutations of their job titles, we can dive into the Interest section. We’re looking for people who have their hands in their organization’s search and social advertising strategies, so there’s no shortage of options here! This is another place we could mine for hours. When it’s done, and we have our users’ behaviors, job titles and interests pretty well covered, we can start to glean the insights that will help focus our campaign.

But before we do, let’s address a common question: Couldn’t we stop here? We could. The audience sits at 22,000 users right now, and we’ve gone deep into what Facebook makes available to tap into our potential customers’ psychographics. But if there’s more information out there, and it could help our campaign, we want to find it.

Our friends here will be the Demographics buckets. So far with our audience, we haven’t narrowed down what industries we want to target. The product we’re selling is not specific to any one vertical and we’ll use Facebook targeting to tell us which industries are worth our time (and dollars) and which aren’t.

As we experiment with limiting the audience to different industries, we’re going to watch that 22,000 number closely for big changes:

Architecture and Engineering: Fewer than 1,000 people
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Media: 12,000 people

Whoa, stop right there: More than half our Facebook audience is in one category! Okay, let’s keep going:

Business and Financial Operations: 1,800
Healthcare and Medical: 1,900
Sales: 8,700

A few more smallish audiences and another big hit in the Sales industry. This puts almost our entire audience in two industry categories: Arts, etc., and Sales. It’s a great example of why this exercise is so valuable. Had we said, “Well, the product works for any industry, so we’ll leave industry targeting out,” we would have missed important insights that will have a big effect on the campaign going forward. Like these:

  1. The audience we built gives us opportunities to pull out two industries for additional targeting and customized creative.
  2. If we want to get in front of users who work in other industries, we are going to have to build different targeting and explore industry-specific interest and behavior categories.
  3. We need to be on the lookout for similar industry audiences in our Twitter and search campaigns.

Experimenting with various industry categories is just one of the ways we could analyze our audience. We could use income to learn how many earn six-figure salaries (It’s 4,300, if you were wondering). Perhaps a sign that we are missing key high-ranking job titles? Adding a robust list of Employers could help us break apart our Arts, etc. audiences to find just the users who work in Media companies.

The possibilities abound. Thanks to our experimentation, we are set with a group of highly targeted audiences, based on psychographic research and careful attention to what Facebook is telling us about its massive user base. We found audiences we can dominate; we built audiences where there didn’t appear to be any.

The next time you’re exploring the wonderful world of Facebook targeting, study the information different demographic combinations give you, and watch for insights that can make your targeting really sing.

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