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The best targeting tips for your Facebook ads

The best targeting tips for your Facebook ads

My previous blog was on writing more effective Facebook ads but what about who then sees your ads?

First let’s take a step back – you have to work out who your target audience is. This is one of the most basic marketing questions to ask.

You can’t be everything to everyone – so who is your typical member or client? Is it the busy Mum, the high powered corporate, the uni student, the generation Y guy or the retiree?

Now you have worked out your typical client, what are their characteristics? What is their age? Where do they live? What do they do for work? What social activities do they enjoy? What things do they like buying? What are their typical behaviours and interests?

If they use social media, what do they use – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat? Who are they a fan of and who do they follow? When are they on social media and how long do they spend there?

You see this all gives you a much better picture of your current clients. And this is important as it is likely your future customers will have similar characteristics to your existing ones. And when you understand this, this is going to really help you when crafting and targeting your online ads.

One of the big advantages of social media compared to traditional advertising is that you can be so targeted with your ads. You can create an ad specifically for people of a certain age, location, gender, family and so forth.

So how exactly can you target your Facebook ads to your target audience? Well there are two main ways – create a brand new audience or create a custom audience.

Create a New Audience

Facebook provides a range of different characteristics you can use to narrow your target audience including:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Demographics (such as education level, income, generation, home ownership, birthday, relationship status, parents, employers, industries and job titles)
  • Interests and behaviours

The first four are pretty straight forward and should be used to define your audience so it matches your target audience.

However I want to focus on interests and behaviours. Here are some useful tips I have picked up when setting up Facebook ads for fitness businesses.

Interests

There is quite a wide range of suggested interests including business and industry, entertainment, family and relationships, food and drink, hobbies and activities, shopping and fashion, sports and outdoors and technology.

The obvious one for people managing a fitness business is the Fitness and Wellness segment which has a variety of sub interests:

  • Bodybuilding
  • Dieting
  • Gyms
  • Meditation
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Exercise
  • Physical Fitness
  • Running
  • Weight Training
  • Yoga
  • Zumba

 

Don’t choose all of these for the one campaign – someone interested in Zumba may not be interested in bodybuilding – pick and choose which ones are relevant for your campaign.

Don’t forget the sports and outdoors segment, people who are interested in some sports (such as basketball, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, tennis, triathlons, hiking, mountain biking and surfing) are likely to be interested in keeping fit too.

Behaviours

Like interests, behaviours have a lot of options too including anniversary, automotive, consumer classification, digital activities, expats, financials, job role, mobile device user, purchase behaviour, seasonal events and travel.

Look especially at purchase behaviour – what purchases does your target audience typically buy? Some ideas here:

  • Store Types – Gyms and Fitness Clubs
  • Buyer Profiles – Healthy & Fit (or outdoor enthusiasts if you run outdoor training sessions)
  • Food and Drink – Health Food
  • Health and Beauty – Health and Wellness Buyers
  • Sports and Outdoors – cycling, fitness, golf & tennis, hiking & camping, running

 

Again these areas are worthwhile looking into to see if you can fine tune your audience using any of these features.

Outside the Facebook suggested behaviours and interests

Don’t feel like you have to stick with what Facebook suggests, this is where you need to think outside the square to see what else you can use to really find your audience.

What brands do they follow?

Active wear has become so big nowadays so consider, especially if your target audience is predominantly female, targeting fans of Lorna Jane, Lulu Lemon, Nike or other similar brands.

Also what about brands such as Lite and Easy, apps such as MyFitnessPal or TV shows such as The Biggest Loser or magazines such as Men’s Health. Or what about those who follow gyms and fitness centres such as Fitness First, Anytime Fitness, Goodlife Health Clubs, Snap Fitness, Virgin Active? Obviously these people have an interest in fitness and may be more receptive to your ads.

What influencers do they follow?

Who are the fitness leaders that your current members may follow? Some examples:

  • Michelle Bridges
  • Emily Skye
  • Libby Babet
  • Ashy Bines
  • Commando Steve

 

Are there any other celebrities or well known people who your target audience follows?

Targeting fans of your competitors

It is possible to target fans of your competitors by typing in the centres name but unless they have a certain number of fan counts, it won’t show up as an interest to target.

Think about why people join a fitness business

You should always ask new members why they are signing up with you. Chances are, future members will join for similar reasons so also include those who are interested in:

  • Weight loss
  • Michelle Bridges 12 week transformation
  • Strength training
  • Personal trainer
  • Fitness boot camp
  • If you offer group fitness classes, use interests that match the type of classes you hold such as BodyPump, BodyAttack, Pilates, Yoga, indoor cycling, martial arts, boxing and so forth.
  • Also think outside of fitness, do people join up because they are taking a big trip? Then look at adding those people who are interested in traveling. Or do they want to drop a dress size and buy new clothes, then add fashion into the mix.

 

So as you can see there is no end in how you can target new people on Facebook (and if you use the same audience on a regular basis, you can name and save them for future campaigns).

But what about those who are already familiar with your business? This is the second way to target people by using custom audiences.

Facebook Custom Audiences

This is where we can get really clever by using your existing clients, members, prospects and also those who have visited your web site in the past.

First your pixel code…

Not to get too technical, a pixel code is a small snippet of code which you add to your web site pages (it is a fairly straight forward process but if you are not too technical, then get your web developer to do it).

Now there are two types of pixel codes:

  • The pixel base code – this code tracks activity on your website, providing a baseline for measuring specific events. The base code should be installed on every page of your website.
  • Event code – these are actions that happen on your website, either as a result of Facebook ads (paid) or organic reach (unpaid). The event code lets you track those actions and leverage them in advertising. Depending on what the event is (such as view content, search, add to cart, add to wishlist, initiate checkout, add payment info, make purchase, lead and completer registration). This code only goes onto those relevant pages which match the event to be tracked.

 

Website Traffic

When you have your pixel code added, this tracks the activity on your site. So when you create an ad, you can create a custom audience using web site traffic – this creates a list of people who visited your website or took a specific action using your Facebook pixel.

More specifically you can target:

  • Anyone who visits your website
  • People who visited specific web pages
  • People visiting specific web pages but not others
  • People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time

 

It is logical to think, if people visited your website, there is some interest in what you are offering so it is definitely worthwhile creating a website traffic custom audience to target your campaigns.

Customer File

Here is another cool way you can target your ads – load up either your customer file or leads file to match people on Facebook (if they are on Facebook) and create an audience from the matches.

You can either add your contacts from your own file or copy and paste. Or if you use MailChimp (like I do), even better as you can import the list straight from MailChimp.

Engagement Audience

Now this is fairly new, but you can also create a list of people who engaged with your content on Facebook or Instagram. So this mean you can create a list of people who:

  • Spent time watching your videos
  • Opened or completed a form in your lead ads on Facebook or Instagram
  • Opened your Canvas on Facebook (Canvas is fairly new and gives you a fully customisable digital space on which to build multimedia stories. Canvases open from Facebook ads in News Feed to reveal a full-screen experience where advertisers can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to build beautiful and effective brand and product experiences on mobile).
  • Interacted with your page on Facebook or your business page on Instagram

 

You can also select how many days ago people visited your site such as from yesterday to six months ago

Lookalike audience

Once you’ve set up custom audiences from your website, you can find new sets of people similar to your custom audiences by creating a lookalike audience.

A Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers. This takes the guesswork out of targeting and helps you increase sales based people that have already shown interest in your products or services.

And as a final note…

Just some last things to think about..

Think through how you can modify your targeting to have a better effect on your results. The great thing about Facebook advertising is that you can change the specifics whenever you want.

Also pay attention to user feedback for hints on how you can change your targeting, positioning and messaging for even better results!

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