What is Facebook Audience Insights?
As a marketer, I’m sure you are customer-obsessed. You strive to understand the issues, motivations and buying paths of your target customers. You know that if you understand the psychological mechanisms to which your prospects will be sensitive, you will be better equipped to send them the messages and marketing stimuli that will be compelling.
Facebook Audience Insights is a tool that allows you to view Facebook data on a target audience. Is it the perfect tool for customer research!
You most certainly already know your Buyer Persona (your ideal customer profile) quite well: you know what he/she is concerned about, maybe even his/her age, gender, and occupation. Perhaps your customer is a 60 years old cat lady living in Oregon or a vegan 20-something dreaming to become a singer? 👩🎤🧙♂️👩🎨
But do you know what blogs or influencers he/she’s following? Where he/she does her grocery shopping? If he/she is an iPhone or Android user?
Audience Insights can answer all of these questions. And this information is far from trivial: it will allow you to refine your message in a subtle way so that you appear more convincing than your competitors. 🔥
Let’s see how to access and use it!
How to access Facebook Audience Insights?
Audience Insights is completely free. You just need to own a Facebook business page in order to access it.
You don’t have one? Don’t worry, you can create one very easily by visiting this page.
Log in to your Business Manager and select Audience Insights, under the Plan section in the top left-hand corner. Here is the direct link to access it: https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience_insights
Click on “Create New” to start creating a new audience.
You will be prompted to choose an audience to start: either “Everyone on Facebook” or “People connected to your Page”. If your page is quite new and doesn’t have a big audience, I strongly advise you to choose “Everyone on Facebook”.
N.B: Before 2018, you also had the possibility to choose a custom audience. It is no longer available in order to protect Facebook users’ privacy.
How does Facebook Audience Insights work?
You will see a section on the left that allows you to choose filters for your audience:
– Location 📍
– Age and Gender 👶👵
– Interests 🤹
– Their connection to your Business page
– Advanced filters: Language, Relationship Status, Education, Work, Market Segments, whether they are Parents or not, their political views (the US only), Life Events
And on the right, you have a graph that shows you the size of this audience.
This great variety of filters really allows you to play around and craft the right audience for your business 🙂 You can choose as little or as many as you want.
Pro tip: Thoroughly search through all the filters to find those which suit your business best.
How to use Facebook Audience Insights: Examples
The easiest way for you to understand is for me to give you examples of use. Audience Insights allows you, among other things, to:
Evaluate the Size of Your Target Market
Audience Insights allows you to know quickly and accurately how big is a target market.
Let’s say that I’m a brand that sells yoga clothes and accessories and I want to know how many people in the United States are interested in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, a popular kind of yoga.
Here is how to easily find this answer with Audience Insights:
1- I’m under the “Demographics” tab.
2- Under location, I choose “United States” and under Interests, I type “Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga”.
– 800 to 900k Facebook users are interested in this type of yoga. (Out of a total of approx. 200 million).
– 85% of people interested in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga are women. 👩 (Against 55% of the Facebook users in the United States).
– The core target is 25-34 years old (34%). 🏃♀️
– They are also more likely than the average Facebook user to be college-educated (+13%) and much more likely to have a graduate degree (+110%). 🎓
Refine your Persona
As a brand that sells yoga clothes and accessories, I’d like to know my target better = to refine my persona. With the previous step, I already confirmed that my target is mostly composed of women in their mid 20’s to mid ’30s who are mostly college-educated.
Thanks to Audience Insights, I can learn what my audience likes:
Dig further by clicking on the “Page Likes” tab:
Thanks to this tool, I can learn:
– Where my target is most likely to shop (clothes, food, etc.) (in purple) –> It allows me to learn that my target is into healthy, organic, non-GMO food (Thrive Market) and spirituality (Sage Goddess)🥕 🧙♀️
– What are the media and blogs my audience is most likely to follow (in blue) –> Unsurprisingly, my target reads a lot of healthy lifestyle and yoga-related blogs: Well+Good, Wanderlust, etc. 🧘
– A school my target is more likely to attend that the average Facebook user (in green) –> My target is likely to be very interested in Nutrition (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) 🥘
Nice, isn’t it? I can already imagine writing blog posts on themes that are close to my audience’s heart and trying to build partnerships with its favorite blog.
Pro-tip: I first tried to build this audience with an Interests filter on the word “Yoga” but the audience was way too big (+45m people), resulting in very generic Page Likes (huge brands like IKEA, H&M, Groupon, Walmart, etc.) So play around with the filters in order to build a qualified audience!
I can also learn what they do for a living…
At the bottom of the demographic tab page, you’ll find what is your audience’s job. It’s not very precise but it gives you a nice indication.
And what device they are most likely to use:
Here’s a more surprising element: the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga audience is much more fond of iPhones than the general population.
Note also that 49% of these users visit Facebook on their mobile as well as on their computer, which can be useful to know when choosing your ad’s target.
Learn where your target is located
Let’s imagine that as a yoga clothes and accessories brand, i want to internationalize my business online. In order to do so, I want to know what are the priority countries for my business.
Facebook Audience Insights also allows me to do so! Great isn’t it? Let’s see how to do it:
Under Location, remove the “United States” filter. Then, click on the Location tab. Select Top Countries. Filter by Selected Audience. You can see the following graph:
Unsurprisingly, I see that the US is the first country to target in terms of audience size but the rest of the list is quite interesting. Maybe I would not have guessed on my own that there is so much interest in yoga in Argentina or Pakistan.
Pro tip: Correlate this information with your ability to ship to these countries. There might be an untapped audience but you have to be able to deliver there!
Know the audience of your main competitors
As a yoga brand, let’s say that my main competitor is the brand Spiritual Gangster. I want to know who are their fans to be able to target them.
I will remove the “Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga” filter and replace it with a “Spiritual Gangster” filter under the Interests tab.
Here’s what I get:
So exactly like my previous examples, you now know everything you’ve ever dreamt to know about your competitor’s audience 🙂
N.B: Note that only your largest competitors will be available as filters under the Interests tab.
Thanks to this customer research, you are now able to:
– Identify which blogs or brands would be a good fit to partner with; 💻
– Craft content and/or ads that your audience will engage better with; ✍️
– Be better at targeting your ads. 🎯
Save your target audience and use it for your next ad
Now that you have played around with Audience Insights, you can save your audience to be able to use it for your next Facebook Ads campaign.
Once you’re happy with the audience you came up with, click on “Save” at the top of the page. Choose a compelling name for this audience, click on “Save” at the bottom of the pop-up.
Now that your audience is saved, click on the green “Create ad” button. You can now follow the usual steps to create your ad in Facebook Ads Manager.
Ad Manager will automatically populate the targeting fields based on the audience you saved in Audience Insights.
Audience Insights is such an awesome tool, don’t you think? 😊 It might be THE most interesting Facebook tool.
I love that it allows you to build a very detailed Buyer Persona and to have a much more scientific approach to marketing and to leave aside the guesswork. And as a result, you can show your product or services to a much more qualified audience… and convert them much more easily into sales or leads.