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Which Audience Setting Approach is Perfect for Facebook Marketing?

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For Whom This Article Best Suits?

  • Company Owners
  • E-commerce Professionals
  • Digital Marketing Agency Owners
  • Brand Strategic Planners
  • Brand Marketer/Social Media Marketers
  • University Students/College Students
  • Social Media Marketer/Content Marketers
  • Anyone interested to poke his NOSE into Business Driven Digitally!!!

Learning outcome of this article:

  • Explore the 3 types of Facebook audiences
  • Create different types of Facebook audiences
  • Dive into the appropriate approaches of selecting perfect audience

As a marketer and speaker on digital marketing i face one question most of the time and that is “Which Targeting Approach is Perfect for Facebook Advertising”. Audience setting is very important and critical journey towards proceeding with any campaign. My Strong recommendation is to set up audience before starting any campaign and if you could do it before setting campaign then you are done 50% of the campaign (Still Content Making Processes are there).  

To Get Overall insight please have a deep breath and read the post thoroughly.

If you click on top menu of Facebook ad manager you will see the following screen: 

On clicking Audiences Button you will see the following screen (Depending on manager version, you will get similar though different preview): 

 There are three types of audiences on Facebook and these are: 

  • Saved Audience
  • Custom Audience 
  • Look-A-Like Audience

N.B:  A combination of saved or Saved+custom/lookalike audience can be created 

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Let me explain these audiences in a very simple way like pouring water into a glass

Facebook Saved Audience

Saved audience can be created using the information saved by Facebook. Facebook possess different types of information saved in its system provided by the users e.g. Age, Location, Job Title, educational institutions, life events, relationship etc. Moreover Facebook can analyse and save user’s interests and behavioral aspects accordingly based on user’s activity like link click, page like, comments and other activities. Let me ask you some questions: 

  • Do you have any customer database (Email, Phone No)? 
  • Did you set up Facebook pixel into your website?

If the answers of these questions is “NO”, Saved Audience is the perfect choice to start your first campaign. If your answer is “YES” then you can try with Custom Audience as well as Lookalike Audience. 

Creating & Configuring Saved Audience Properly:

When you will click on Saved Audience the following screen will be appeared (Since screen is big i had to take screenshot two times and uploaded it here accordingly) :

Creating & Configuring Facebook Saved Audience
Creating & Configuring Facebook Saved Audience - 02

Let me clarify the fields mentioned there:

  • People Living in or Recently in this Location – People whose home or most recent location is within the selected area.
  • People living in this location: People whose home is within the selected area.
  • People recently in this location: People whose most recent location is within the selected area
  • People travelling in this location: People whose most recent location is within the selected area but whose home is more than 125mi/200Km away.
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Before proceeding further let’s do some chitchat on location targeting:

Case: A brand wants to reach people from different locations of Dhaka City like Dhanmondi, Gulshan, Uttara (3 small segments of Dhaka, Bangladesh) together. How i will set locations in such case?

Solution: You can add multiple location using “add locations in Bulk” feature. You can drag “Drop a Pin” button and execute your task accordingly. See the below screenshot where i have included some segment of Dhaka city and excluded some points to get my desired location. You can use more filtering (Include and Exclude Location Pin) to get your exact desired location.

Multiple Location Inclusion & Exclusion to Create Facebook Saved Audience

Detail Targeting: There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in this case. Based on your target segment, you should use this functionality. There are three options there and these are as follows:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behavior

Case 1: A brand wants to reach those people who are from specific university students.


Demographics > Educations > School > Insert your desired institute name

You will get many of the universities there though all institutions are not there since sufficient information is not there on Facebook relevant to that institutions.

Best Practices:

  • Create multiple audience set and use these audiences in different adsets to measure performance of individual audience. (N.B: Please note that you can create different adsets with difference audiences)
  • Use “Campaign Budget Optimization” feature so that Facebook can optimize your campaign budget accordingly.

N.B: Please be careful in case of using Campaign Budget Optimization. Let me explain a case regarding this issue.

Case: You have created three adsets using 3 audience sets with the following features:

  • Adset 1 contains audience set having 500 K Audiences
  • Adset 2 contains audience having 100 K Audiences
  • Adset 3 contains audience having 50K audiences

What will be happened? Facebook will give priority to Adset 1 since it possess the maximum audiences. So please be careful in such case.

Connections: This is another interesting option in Facebook which you can use to create an audience with those people who are connected to your Facebook Page Fans, Apps or who responded to your Events.

Case 1: You want to create an audience with the following parameters:

  • People Who are fan of a page you are managing with [AND]
  • People Aged 18 – 30 [AND]
  • Gender : Female

Solution: Then using connections option is the only way to create your perfect audience.

Case 2: You want to create an audience without your Facebook fan. Sometimes you will need this type audience.

Solution: You will use exclude option from there to create such audience set.

A Debate Over Broad Audience Vs Narrow Audience

Yes, you may be confused in this regard. Generally i use broad audience for a new campaign. Over the period i take decision and use narrow audience accordingly.

Facebook Custom Audience

Custom audience can only be created if you have information like website traffic information, Customer List, App Activity, Offline Activity, Video Views, Instagram Business Profile, Lead Form, Events, Instant Experience and Facebook Page Like. In all cases who interacted with the above features, the audience should be present on Facebook.

Example 1: You have set up Facebook Pixel in your website and that pixel is sending data to Facebook Pixel, now you can use that data to create custom audience. Facebook pixel store past 180 days data that can be used in dffierent combination.

Example 2: You have a Phone No database of 5000 Customer’s, you can upload these data into Facebook custom audience segment. Let’s say Facebook is able to match 80% data, then you will get an audience set of 4000 customers there. Now if you want to promote a custom offer to these people, you can make it happen using this feature.

N.B: I used Google Tag Manager to set up and configuring Facebook Pixel. I have written a separate article titled Facebook Pixel & Google Analytics Setup using Google Tag Managerfrom where you will gather necessary information regarding Facebook Pixel.

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Now, Let’s see how to create a Facebook Custom Audience using website traffic. Just to inform that Facebook keeps last 180 days data and after 180 days the data gets removed if the visitor does not visit website again.

Facebook Custom Audience Creation

From the above screenshot you can see how we used multiple filter to get specific data. You can use different combination to get your desired result. For example, you want to create an audience with those people who visited a specific url for two times, it is possible by using “Refine By” option seen in the above screenshot. Moreover you can narrow down your audience using device refining. It means if you want to create an audience set having the following rules:

  1. People who visited specific page of your web url
  2. People who visited 2 times of that specific web url
  3. People who visited from iOS of that specific web url

Morover you can use other features like visitor by Time Spent and Visitor based on event.

Facebook Lookalike Audience

Lookalike means similar to something else and in this case of facebook look a like audience you can find people similar to certain characteristics. For example you have 1000 customers phone no/email address who purchased product from your store or organization, you have already come to know that you can create a custom audience with this data. 

Combination of Saved + Custom/Look A Like Audience: 

In this case you can create a smart saved audience leveraging the data of custom and look a like audience. You can select single or multiple custom and saved audience in the circled box below and restrict the audience set using the other parameters like location, age, gender, behaviors etc. which is available in case of save audience. 

Conclusion: I hope that you  have got a basic understanding of audience choose for facebook marketing.  Based on my experience i have come with the following summaries: 

  • If you start a facebook campaign without having any prior customer data (E.g. website traffic, customer list etc.) then you can choose saved audience. Don’t forget to set up Facebook Remarketing Pixel to your website so that in the next step you can choose custom audience and Lookalike audience accordingly. 
  • If you have prior data of customers, you can choose custom audience and accordingly Look-A-Like Audience
  • Since Look A Like Audience gives the best outcome (Based on my experience), it should be your ultimate targeting approach to find the right customers. 
  • You can create saved audience in combination of custom and lookalike audience.
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About the Writer: This Blog article is written by Md. Nazmul Hossain, Founder & CEO of T3 Communications Limited. To Learn more about the writer you can CLICK HERE.

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