One of my jobs in writing this column is to pass on cool marketing tools to you all. Buckle up, because today we are discussing one of the most interesting and useful digital tools available to anyone the Facebook Audience Insights tool.
First things first, this tool can be used for almost any marketing reason, and even plain old curiosity. Facebook which also owns Instagram provides data and information on both Facebook and Instagram users through this tool. The information available is most useful when applied to paid advertising campaigns on Facebook (and Instagram, if that makes sense).
If you are already pretty familiar with search marketing, and specifically with search engine optimization, you know how important keywords are to an effective strategy. If you know what keywords people are searching on Google, you know what content to put on your website to attract qualified traffic to your business online.
Think of building an audience on Facebook the same way you think about doing keyword research with traditional search marketing.
Instead of seeking keywords people may search when looking for a product or service you are seeking behavioral patterns and other personal interests and traits of people. By building a great audience for your ad campaign, and targeting that audience with your paid efforts, you are a greater likelihood of engaging and activating your audience through Facebook.
Facebook is often incorrectly thought about as merely a social media platform.
But, Facebook is much more "media" than "social."
With Facebook Live, Pages, Ads, and the Facebook basics, the truth is Facebook is a full-blown media unto itself. Just like TV, Radio, Print, etc.
And it's wise that marketers begin viewing it that way.
So, let's get an understanding of what this tool is all about.
The last time it was measured and made public in 2016, Facebook had 1.49 billion daily active users worldwide.
It's a media worth some time and investment.
What is Facebook Audience Insights Tool?
Facebook Audience Insights provides data and other information on its user base to enable effective advertising to Facebook users. For the marketer, you get to harness all kinds of information on Facebook users that will help you build, reach, and activate your audience to grow your business.
How To Use Facebook Insights
I don't have enough space here to give a full tutorial, because the tool is quite complex. But here are a few basics:
When the tool loads you are asked what type of audience you want to start with always start with "Everyone on Facebook" because the whole point is to start with as large of a base number as possible, and then refine it to the point when you have the exact audience you want.
If you have a regional business, input all of your markets that you are focused on or the specific cities you want to focus on in the Location section. You can also indicate how many miles around that city you want to reach, up to 50 miles. You can place as many cities as you want, too.
Next is Age, with an available range from 13 to 65+. Think critically about the age range of your audience, but also consider if Age is relevant for your audience. For example, if you are selling a business-to-business product like a chemical formulation, the age of your audience is irrelevant there are other ways to use this tool to access that audience.
"Interests" is an important category to leverage in this tool, and you have a wide variety of Interests to choose from. You can add in as many as you want in the following categories: Business and Industry, Entertainment, Family and Relationships, Fitness and Wellness, Food and Drink, Hobbies and Activities, Shopping and Fashion, Sports and Outdoors, and Technology.
I was working recently with a microbrewery that is opening this year in northeast Ohio, and with a business-to-business manufacturing company. With this tool, I can build a sizable enough audience to market to either group's prospective customers.
The fact that you can build an effective audience for niche businesses and regional businesses alike let alone the obvious large consumer-focused businesses shows that Facebook is a media poised to help your business grow.
Further, the insights learned here can be applied to all other aspects of your marketing plan. You may discover that your audience is older than you believed initially and have to rethink your entire marketing strategy.
Whether you are exploring investing part of your marketing budget in Facebook, or reexamining your entire marketing spend, the Facebook Audience Insights Tool is valuable if you know how to use it.
I will be writing even more articles like this one, including screenshots, links, and more tips a couple of times per week. The extra articles and other content will live on FullSpectrumMarketing.com/OnMarketing. I hope to see you there.
Josh Gordon is an award-winning marketing communications professional and President of Full Spectrum Marketing, a full-service advertising agency. You can reach Josh at email@example.com.