How to Choose the Right Interests for Facebook Target Audience
In this article, we’ll delve into the aspects of Facebook audience targeting and explore effective methods for selecting suitable interests to optimize your Facebook ads. If you’re aiming for exceptional outcomes with your Facebook ads, then we have what you need.
- What Makes a Good Interest to Target Audience on Facebook?
- How Big Should My Audience Size Be When Setting Up My Facebook Audience Targeting?
- How to Generate a List of Interests for Facebook Audience Targeting
- What to Do After You’ve Created Your Interests Lists to Finalize Your Facebook Audience Targeting
What Makes a Good Interest to Target Audience on Facebook?
Advertisers frequently make a grave error in their Facebook audience targeting by selecting interests that are excessively broad, which can diminish the effectiveness of their ads.
To ensure optimal results, it’s crucial to choose interests that are specific to your audience targeting. In other words, you should focus on interests that only your audience would find appealing.
Suppose your target audience consists of entrepreneurs or individuals interested in becoming entrepreneurs. In that case, it’s important to select specific interests that would appeal to this group. For instance, interests such as “entrepreneurship,” “startup funding,” “business development,” or “entrepreneurial mindset” would likely resonate with this audience.
It’s important to avoid interests that are too broad or not closely related to entrepreneurship. For example, selecting an interest like Mark Cuban, a well-known entrepreneur and celebrity on Shark Tank, may not be the best choice as he is now more of a mainstream celebrity and known by a wider audience that includes non-entrepreneurs. To ensure the highest level of engagement with your target audience, it’s best to focus on specific interests that are directly related to entrepreneurship.
Thus, Mark Cuban may not be an optimal interest to target for entrepreneurs since his fame and popularity extend beyond the entrepreneurial community. Selecting such a broad interest will attract a large number of people who are not your ideal customers.
Instead, it’s better to choose a more specific interest that resonates with the entrepreneurial community. Peter Thiel, for example, is an ideal interest since he is a co-founder of PayPal, a renowned author, and a recognized figure in entrepreneurial communities. This interest is more likely to attract individuals who are directly involved or interested in entrepreneurship, rather than a broad audience that may include people who have little interest in entrepreneurship.
To determine the suitability of an interest, ask yourself: Does this interest attract a large number of people outside my target audience? If the answer is yes, then it’s best to avoid that interest and focus on more specific interests that only appeal to your potential customers.
How Big Should My Audience Size Be When Setting Up My Facebook Audience Targeting?
Facebook provides an estimated audience size when you select an interest to target, which can raise concerns about the appropriate number of people to target.
Ideally, your audience size should be at least one million people. However, not all interests may have such a large audience, and that’s perfectly acceptable.
It’s important not to discard an interest simply because it doesn’t have a million people in it. You can stack several relevant interests together within one ad set to increase your audience size above the one million-person threshold. For instance, if you’re targeting entrepreneurs, you could combine interests like “startup funding,” “business development,” and “entrepreneurial mindset” within one ad set to increase the estimated audience size.
You can view the audience size in your dashboard, as shown in the example below:
How to Generate a List of Interests for Facebook Audience Targeting
Don’t discount an interest solely because its audience size falls short of one million. Instead, you can use the following steps and tools to increase your audience size by combining relevant interests within a single ad set.
To begin, we’ll start with brainstorming. Create a spreadsheet or take out a pen and paper, and make a list of five categories. We’ll brainstorm interests for each category.
In the first column, write “Websites” at the top.
In the second column, label it as “Competitors.” Here, list all of your significant competitors.
In the third column, label it as “People” or “Influencers.” In this section, note down all of the influencers that your target audience is following.
In this column, consider the individuals your audience follows on social media or popular authors within your niche. Which authors or books are trending in your industry? Add either the author’s name or the book title to this column during the brainstorming process.
For the fourth column, label it as “Live Events” or “Conferences.” Here, brainstorm all of the live events and conferences that your ideal customer typically attends.
Consider events that are relevant to your industry or align with your target audience’s interests. For instance, if you’re in the software development space, you may want to include conferences like Google I/O and Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
In the fifth column, label it as “Tools.” In this section, list all of the different tools and services that your ideal customer uses. These may include software programs, apps, or other online services that your target audience utilizes.
For example, if we focus on the digital marketing audience, we may include tools like Active Campaign or Infusionsoft since they are popular email providers in our niche. The key is to identify tools that are specific to your target audience.
For each column, brainstorm the relevant groups and try to think of unique interests that resonate with your ideal audience. Remember, this is just the beginning, so don’t worry if you only have a few items in each column.
Now that you have a starting point, we can expand the list by using various tools and techniques to discover new interests that you may not have considered before.
Expand on the Interests You Want to Target
Now that we have completed step one, let’s move on to step two, which involves expanding your interests list.
To accomplish this, we will use various tools to help generate additional interests that align with your target audience. We will apply these tools to the brainstorming list you created in step one to generate a more comprehensive list of interests that you can potentially target.
Use SimilarWeb to Help With Facebook Audience Targeting
The first tool that we will explore is SimilarWeb. This tool enables you to enter a website and generate a list of similar sites based on its analysis.
This feature is beneficial because if you know of a website that your target audience frequents, you can input it into SimilarWeb and it will generate a list of other websites that you can potentially use in your interest targeting.
To demonstrate this, here’s an example of the five columns we created earlier that we can expand using SimilarWeb:
Let’s say the first website on your list is Social Media Examiner. You can input this website into SimilarWeb and analyze its results.
Among the information that SimilarWeb displays, the most relevant section for our purposes is the “Competitors” section.
From the “Competitors” section, SimilarWeb provides a list of competitors such as sproutsocial.com, jeffbullas.com, adespresso.com, and neilpatel.com, among others. Since your target audience consists of entrepreneurs trying to grow an online business, these are the types of competitors that are likely to appear.
Next, go through each of these competitors and determine whether they are highly relevant to your audience and not too broad. If the interest meets these criteria, add it to your list.
For instance, based on the example above, you may want to include Sprout Social and Jeff Bullas on your list. You can repeat this process for as long as you wish and even input the websites you discover back into the tool to find additional results.
Remember to include websites of influencers on your list since they may also have their own websites. Keep generating interests until you have a comprehensive list or feel that you have exhausted all potential candidates.
You can also use SimilarWeb to search for websites of the tools in your niche. For example, if you searched for infusionsoft.com, SimilarWeb would display websites for other tools like upwork.com, zoom.us, or shoutmeloud.com.
By exploring the competitors and websites of the tools in your niche, you can generate a more comprehensive list of interests that are specific to your target audience.
It’s important to note that not all interests that SimilarWeb generates will be relevant to your target audience. For example, targeting an audience interested in Zoom may not be suitable since it’s a tool that is now used by a broad range of people and doesn’t solely apply to your target audience of online entrepreneurs.
This goes back to the Mark Cuban example we discussed earlier. Ensure that the interests you select are specific to your target audience and not too broad.
Use Amazon’s Suggestion Engine to Find More Interests to Target
The next tool that we will explore is Amazon, and you’re likely familiar with it. Amazon’s suggestion engine is powerful and can help generate additional interests for your list.
To begin, enter the name of one of the influencers on your list. For instance, if you entered Peter Thiel, his book may appear in the search results.
In addition to the book by the influencer you searched for, Amazon’s suggestion engine will display a list of related books in the same category.
For instance, if you searched for Peter Thiel’s book, Amazon may display related books like “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries or “Bezonomics” by Brian Dumaine.
Take the time to research the authors and determine whether they are influencers in the space you are targeting. If they are, add them to your “Influencers” list.
However, it’s essential to keep your interests specific to your target audience. For example, in your search results, you may come across well-known figures such as Elon Musk, who is too mainstream and not specific enough to be included in your list.
Keep inputting the influencers from your original list into Amazon and use the results to expand your list of interests.
Another helpful feature on Amazon is that when you click on a book, it will display a list of other books that customers who read that book also read.
Amazon’s suggestion engine not only provides a list of similar books and authors, but by clicking on the book results, you can also see what other authors that audience is reading. This is an excellent way to expand your “Influencers” category further.
By analyzing the books that customers who read a particular book also read, you can identify additional authors and influencers that your target audience is interested in and add them to your list if they fit your criteria.
What to Do After You’ve Created Your Interests Lists to Finalize Your Facebook Audience Targeting
We suggest setting up an ad set inside the Facebook Ad Manager for each of the five columns created in our brainstorming sheet.
Each ad set will target a different group of interests. For instance, you would have one ad set targeting all of your influencers, then another for websites, and another for events, etc.
Also, as we all know, promoting ads on Facebook is tough, and there’s always a risk of failing an advertising campaign for quite a lot of reasons. One of them is simply using not suitable words in your ads. To avoid this, check out our article on this topic.
By grouping interests together, you have several ad sets to test, and you can see which group performs best. This also leads to larger audiences, which tend to outperform smaller ones on Facebook.
Continuously test new interest groups and optimize your targeting to improve performance.
Follow the steps outlined above to improve your Facebook audience targeting and achieve better results with your ads.
By targeting specific interests, you can effectively reach your ideal audience while still having a sizable audience to target. Remember that a good interest is specific and relevant to your target audience.
To recap, here are the steps to choose the right interests for Facebook audience targeting:
- Brainstorm interests across five categories: websites, competitors, influencers, conferences, and tools.
- Expand on those interests using tools like SimilarWeb and Amazon.
- Set up an ad set for each interest category to test and optimize.
Give this method a try during your next Facebook ad campaign and see how it impacts your results. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!