Recently we took you through How to Know What Type of Facebook Advert to Use, along with a whole raft of general Facebook advert tips and tricks. But, what we didn’t cover was Facebook adverts demographic targeting. So, that’s what we’ll explore today.
If used accurately, you can create highly targeted Facebook adverts, so that you reach the right people to generate more website traffic and (hopefully) more sales or subscriptions or followers. In fact, according to the boffins over at Facebook, by targeting your adverts at particular audiences, it can help you:
- Find and target the right customers for your brand across specific devices, including mobile, tablet, and desktop devices
- Deliver relevant messages to the right people at the right time
- Ensure that you get the most value, and the highest possible return on investment, from your adverting budget by reaching the people that matter most to your company
Facebook Ads Demographic Targeting
It’s quite easy to use Facebook’s demographic targeting; it just takes a little bit of getting used to. To begin with, you’ll need to set up your advert (just how we described in How to Know What Type of Facebook Advert to Use):
- Navigate to the Adverts Manager section of your account
- Click on the green ‘Create Advert’ button in top right-hand corner
- Select the objective of your advertising campaign
- Set up your creative, including images and copy
Once all your advert basics are set up, it’s time to set up your demographics targeting. All of your targeting options can be found in the same section, aptly entitled ‘Who do you want your adverts to reach?’.
Within this section, there are a number of different categories, each of which I’ll explain in detail now.
The first category is fairly self-explanatory: Location. You can target people that live in specific locations, from country, state and city, right down to postcode.
This is particularly handy if you operate a business with a storefront. You can target only people that are likely to visit your store, by selecting postcodes or suburbs immediately surrounding your store. Alternatively, if you operate a primarily e-commerce focused business, then you can target the whole of Australia, and even the whole of the world, if you so desire.
You can also opt for Exclusion Targeting. So, if you want to target all of Australia, except for Townsville and Rockhampton (for instance), you can use this nifty little feature. It can be much quicker than individually adding all the towns, cities and suburbs that you do want to target!
Now we get into the hard-core, more traditional demographics. Some of them are fairly self-explanatory:
- Age: you can select any age range that you like, from 13 to 65+.
- Gender: you can select either male or female (no surprise there), or both.
- Languages: you can select any number of languages that you like.
We really start to get into the nitty gritty in the ‘More Demographics’ section. Your options here include:
- Relationship: select from who your target audience might be interested in (men, women, or men and women), and their current relationship status (single, married, engaged, divorced, in a relationship, and so on).
- Education: there is a myriad of options here. You can select from education level (at high school, at university, university graduate, doctorate, and so on), fields of study (which is an open field), schools or universities attended (another open field), and even the years during which undergraduate school was attended.
- Work: you can target people that have had specific employers, or specific job titles, or who have worked in specific industries (from administration to veterans).
- Ethnic Affinity (US only): this category is more relevant for American Facebook users, with options like African American and Hispanic.
- Generation: select from the three main generations likely to be using Facebook these days, Baby Boomers, Generation X or Millennials
- Parents: you can even target people based on their parental status, from expectant parents, right through to parents of children aged between 16 and 19.
- Politics (US only): again, this category is more relevant for American Facebook users, with options like Conservative and Liberal.
- Life Events: Facebook can even help you target people based on what’s happening in their day-to-day lives, from the newly engaged and newlyweds, to people with birthdays and anniversaries in the near future.
Facebook even gives you the opportunity to target people based on their interests and hobbies. These are determined based on the interests that they may have listed themselves, activities, education, and job titles, as well as the Pages they have liked or the Groups to which they belong. Interests include all sorts of things: Business and Industry, Entertainment, Food and Drink, even Shopping and Fashion. And each of these categories has sub-categories, and then some even have sub-sub-categories.
This option allows you to target people based on their purchasing behaviour, device usage and a number of other activities. You can set:
- Digital Activities: this includes options like browser used, email domain used, online spenders, small business owners, operating system used, photo uploaders, early technology adopters, and so many more.
- Expats: you can choose to target expats, either collectively as a whole, or expats from specific countries.
Mobile Device User: target mobile device users, right down to what sort of mobile device is being used (Apple, Nokia, HTC, Blackberry).
- Seasonal and Events: this category changes, based on (you guessed it!) seasonal needs. At the time of writing, the options were very American-centric, focused on Autumn American Football.
- Travel: there are numerous travel options, from people who are planning to travel, those currently travelling, and those that have just returned.
Finally, we come to Connections. You can use this section to reach people who have a specific kind of connection to your Page, app or event. This will narrow your audience to include only people with that specific connection who also meet the other targeting categories that you’ve selected. You can choose to:
- Include people who are connected to your page, app or event
- Exclude people who are connected to your page, app or event
- Include people whose friends are connected to your page, app or event
And that’s it! That is all of the demographic targeting options currently available. The great thing is, that as you add different categories, you can see exactly how large the potential audience is that your Facebook advert might reach, by using the little odometer on the right hand side of your screen. I’ve quickly entered a few different demographics, in the hope to target parents (particularly mothers), to generate interest in a local craft market. Here are the results so far:
As you can see, by selecting a few choice demographics, the audience for my advert becomes much for targeted and specific. It’s always a good idea to keep the needle on the odometer in the ‘green’ section, and as close to the middle as possible. That way, you know that your audience is neither too narrow, nor too broad.
There you have it; demographic targeting in Facebook adverts. As long as you know who your ideal customer is, Facebook offers enough demographic categories for you to be able to accurately target just about anyone.
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