Scale Your Facebook Paid Ads Campaign By Finding New Audiences

February 6, 2019 Tina Bahadur

Running a Facebook paid ads campaign has an incredibly different dynamic than running an AdWords campaign. The chief differentiating factor is that success with AdWords relies on the users' needs and intents with search terms while Facebook ads center around interests and user data. This presents a challenge when it comes to properly targeting a Facebook paid ads campaign and finding the right audiences, and these tips can help you scale your campaign and test which groups of users end up becoming the most responsive.

Facebook Paid Ads Campaign Audience Hack #1 - Work With Buyer Personas and Make Note of the Interests They Have.

Buyer personas are key to identifying your target buyers. You can differentiate your personas by key factors like markets, demographics, and psychographics that affect how they're likely to approach the purchasing process and perceive your brand. Personas can be incredibly detailed beyond those three groups of information, particularly when it comes to psychographics like goals, values, and common problems that this persona is seeking solutions for. They help guide decision-making for SEO and SEM campaigns and for Facebook paid ad campaigns in particular, prove highly effective if they were crafted well.

If you haven't created buyer personas yet though, you can start with a list of interests and topics to create a simple demographic profile of sorts.

For example, if your chief product is clothing designed to appeal to the female Millennial business traveler who needs multi-purpose garments that work great for both nights out and meetings, your demography profile would look something like this:

  • Age: 28-35
  • Gender: Female
  • Markets: US- San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, other cities with major airports

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While age and gender are usually among the top priorities for basic demography profiles, other ones may be included like location (market), income level, marital and family status, and other easily-defined criteria as psychographics are ultimately what make personas more fine-tuned and distinct from one another.

Thus the next step in fine-tuning your profile of the ideal customer has less emphasis on psychographics but more emphasis on potential hobbies, interests, and likes. What other types of media does this customer engage in and which influencers do they like? What kind of music, TV shows, original Internet series are they into? If you're selling a technical solution, what tools do they currently use?

For our Millennial businesswoman traveler, expanding her profile could look like this:

  • Annual Income: $120,000 - $150,000
  • Interests: Nightlife, dining out
  • Favorite Websites: The Points Guy, Lonely Planet
  • Favorite TV Shows: This is Us, The Good Place
  • Fashion Influencers: Refinery29, Modcloth

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This expansion doesn't need to be as conclusive and detailed as a buyer persona. However, it should have enough information to help you target new audiences on Facebook.

Facebook Paid Ads Campaign Audience Hack #2 - Improve Your Ad Targeting With Audience Insights.

One of the foremost challenges that lies in a Facebook paid ads campaign is determining how to appeal to your target audience's interests when they're likely to just scroll past your ad since they're not specifically searching for what you're offering. The Audience Insights tool is meant to serve as your treasure map, so to speak. 

With all of the information Facebook collects about its user base, that knowledge is meant for marketers to tap into so they can improve their ad targeting over time.

All you need to do is log into the Ads Manager and select "Audience Insights" under the "Plan" section of the menu. Enter one of the terms from the second half of your list of ideas in the "Interests" field, such as Lonely Planet or The Good Place.

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Facebook will then show you basic demography information such as splits for this interest based on age and gender, followed by marital status and income. If your full demography profile matches up with these interests, this is an audience you'll want to keep. If it doesn't match well enough, try a different potential interest.

You can also gain further insights by clicking "Page Likes" to find out what people interested in this particular topic also click "Like" on. You can find out favorite influencers, publishers, TV shows, brands, and other relevant information that you should make note of for purposes of this ad campaign or further honing the buyer persona creation process.

Remember to scroll further down to see other potentially relevant pages to this target audience, and repeat the process for each of the interests and companies you've noted on your list.

Facebook Paid Ads Campaign Audience Hack #3 - Analyze Social Shares With BuzzSumo or a Similar Tool.

Next, you need to leave Facebook to gain further insights on how people are actually using the platform. Tools like Buzzsumo compare content that's popular and being frequently shared on social media. The author, publication, and any topics or people mentioned in your demography and interest lists should be analyzed further as potential Facebook interests to see if they match up.

On BuzzSumo or other content analysis tools though, you need to research the items you sell. In this case, it's clothing (travel-friendly clothing to be specific.) Look at popular content that was created within the past year. Note the creators and authors, publishers, guest stars or bloggers, websites, and other relevant information to include in your list of interests.

Analyze social shares with BuzzSumo

Where was this content shared the most? Pictures of both travels and travel-friendly clothing seem to be shared the most on Instagram followed by Pinterest, those two sites can be added to the interest list.

If you're unsure if you should invest in BuzzSumo or other platforms just yet, a simple Google search can also suffice as the top results can provide further places, people, and topics of interest that may prove worth looking into. Analyzing all of the most popular content will give you a wider net to cast on Facebook to improve your campaign's targeting.

Facebook Paid Ads Campaign Audience Hack #4 - Browse the Interest List on Amazon.

People also use Amazon as a search engine. For authors and influencers in particular, it can prove to be a robust tool for finding out what their audiences are looking for through their author pages and product listings.

Browse the interest list on Amazon

Simply enter your topic (travel-friendly clothing) into the search bar. You'll find relevant authors and influencers right away alongside best match and top-selling product listings for travel-friendly clothes. Any matches for brands, like Beyond Travel, should be noted along with search terms like "wrinkle resistant". Searching brands and people, like authors of travel books, could also reveal more items to your list of interests.

Facebook Paid Ads Campaign Audience Hack #5 - See Which Interests Can be Targeted on Facebook.

You might have an incredibly long list of potential interests by now, but not all of them are going to be found in Ads Manager. You'll need to try them all out by creating a new campaign and navigating to the "Detailed Targeting" section under "Audience". See if the interest can be targeted and if it can't, delete it from the master interest list.

Now let's further examine interests that can be targeted. Click on "Suggestions" to see targetable related interests, which should be pretty thorough given the amount of data Facebook collects. Since these are definitely targetable, add these suggestions to the master interest list.

Facebook Paid Ads Campaign Audience Hack #6 - Test the Three Interests That seem The Most Viable, And Create Your Test Ad Set.

The challenge was initially in demystifying how to target ads based on interest and coming up with several different ideas. Now it lies in identifying just three crucial interests that are the most likely to yield nice conversions. It also helps to isolate an ad from a prior campaign that performed really well.

Next, create your new ad sets and ad in the Ads Manager then define your audience. This is where you'll want to use your demography data from the beginning, then the first interest in your three finalists to create your first test audience. For testing purposes, you'll want to define your budget around $10 per day for just 3-5 days. 

At the ad level, paste the ad ID number for the successful ad from a previous campaign. You can find the ID by going to the Ads Manager dashboard then clicking "Overview" followed by "Creative Reporting". 

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The ad will open in a new tab and the ID is the last part of the URL. Alternatively, you can look for Post ID from Page Posts in the main menu. In your test campaign, open up the ad level, click "Edit", then "Use Existing Post" and paste the ID number in the field. Click "Submit", and your top performing ad is now being shown to your new test audience.

To repeat this process for the other two interests you'd like to test, go to the Ad Sets tab in Ads Manager and hover over the test ad you just created. Click "Duplicate", scroll to the detailed targeting section, and replace the original test interest with the second one from your list and repeat for the third one. You'll know which test was successful by price per conversion.

Facebook ads make for robust lead generation and it doesn't take high-level data science to stay on top of relevant interests.

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