Learn about Facebook ad audiences, demographics, and driving organic engagement.
June 18, 2021
With the average Kiwi now spending almost 10 hours a month on Facebook, it’s an important piece of your ecommerce marketing strategy. In a world of ever-changing algorithms and questionable ‘Facebook Gurus’, how do you make the most of Facebook?
If you’ve got the budget for Facebook advertising, getting smart with your targeting makes sure you get bang for your buck. If you’re all about creating that organic buzz, it’s time to start adding value and finding your niche.
Facebook’s sophisticated advertising tools are designed to put your ads right in front of your target customers. All you have to do is tell Facebook who those customers are!
You do this by setting up custom ‘audiences’ for your Facebook ads. An audience is a specific group of Facebook users, selected based on criteria that you choose.
Here are a few examples:
(Yes, that last one is us.)
To create an effective audience, first you need to know who your target customers are.
If you’ve got several different target customers, Facebook allows you to create and save multiple audiences and use them across different ads or campaigns.
With ecommerce, you aren’t limited to customers who can drive right up to your business... but you still need to take location into consideration.
Some questions to consider:
Where do your customers live?
Is there an international market for your product?
Do you want to advertise in locations where your competitors are active?
Are there any regions, cities, or towns where your product is particularly popular?
This is a pretty broad category, and you’re unlikely to use all of these pieces of information in a single Facebook audience (at the most, you might use two or three).
How old are your customers?
Are they married? Do they have children? How old are their children?
Are they renting, or do they own their own home?
Are they studying, working full-time, or getting ready for retirement?
Do they work in a specific industry?
Are they living in their hometown, or away from friends and family?
Marketing to people who are interested in your product seems pretty obvious, right? It’s also important to think about your customers’ other hobbies and interests, because Facebook only has a limited amount of information about its users.
Here’s why that matters: If you’re selling affordably priced family tents, your customers are very different to people who are buying high-spec tents for camping in extreme alpine temperatures. But… as far as Facebook is concerned, both audiences are just interested in ‘camping’.
By adding related interests to your audience - like ‘family holidays’ and ‘kids clothing’ - you’re narrowing this group to include people who are more likely to be interested in your product. This works the other way, too; you can choose to exclude people who are interested in ‘hiking’ and ‘extreme sports’ from your audience.
When you go to set up your Facebook audience, use all that great customer information to create a defined group of people who are likely to be interested in your product.
In the camping tent example above, you might end up with an audience of people who...
A quick word of warning: if you use too many criteria to filter your audiences, you can end up only showing your ad to a small number of people. It’s all about balance!
You might have heard of A/B testing, where you split-test two versions of the same ad or campaign to see which performs better.
Ongoing A/B testing is a good way to make sure you’re consistently improving your Facebook ad campaigns and getting the most out of your budget.
Common A/B tests include ad creative, audience, and ad placement.
You can A/B test on a large scale - like showing the same ad creative to two completely different audiences - or at a very detailed level (like changing one photo or line of copy).
During the Level 4 lockdown the New Zealand Made Products Facebook group (now Chooice) took Facebook by storm, and with good reason! Businesses who had their posts accepted into the group had the chance to be seen by over 400,000 Kiwis - without paying a cent in advertising.
A quick Facebook search will show that there’s a group for every niche, industry and location, so find yours and join the conversation. As well as putting you directly in front of your target customers, taking part in Facebook groups that are relevant to your industry means you’re likely to come across other awesome businesses to collaborate with.
Kiwis love supporting local, so join your neighbourhood’s Facebook group as well – in between the discussion about car parking and lost cats, there might be some great opportunities to share your story and build your reputation with your target customers.
One important note about Facebook groups: they’re pretty quick to shut down spammers, and can spot excessive self-promotion a mile off. Make sure your posts are relevant, contribute to the conversation, and add value to the group.
Keep it shareable
Just like in the offline world, there’s nothing quite like word of mouth! Creative, appealing posts on your business Facebook page can get picked up and shared quickly, creating buzz and driving more traffic to your Facebook page and your online store.
When it comes to creating great content every brand is different, but here are some quick guidelines: