How to Use Facebook Audience Insights for Market Research

Examples, Facebook, How To's, Tips

Would it be valuable for you to learn more about your target customers interests, past purchasing behaviors, and demographics? Would you be interested if we also told you there was a tool that does this and more for free?

Awesome. Now that we have your attention.

Facebook Audience Insights is a free market research tool that can help you learn more about your target audience, discover new audiences, and develop relevant target audiences for your current and future advertising campaigns. We recently shared an article explaining how to use Audience Insights as the first step in creating highly effective contest campaigns.

In this article, we will dive into greater details about what Audience Insights is, how to use it for your market research, and how to analyze your findings to create custom audiences and update your content strategy messaging to resonate with those audiences.

What is Audience Insights?

Facebook Audience Insights is compiled of aggregate information that comes from two sources: Self-reported data on Facebook and third-party data partners matched to Facebook user IDs. This information covers three groups of people including people connected to your Facebook page, all Facebook users, and people in a custom audience you specify.

When it comes to marketing research, Facebook Audience Insights most powerful benefits are the ability to learn important details about your current audience and the ability to expand your customer base by finding more people that are similar to your current audience.

“[its] most powerful benefits are the ability to learn important details about your current audience and the ability to expand your customer base by finding more people that are similar to your current audience.”

Understanding your audience allows you to create more relevant content and offerings. Highly relevant content and offerings lead to greater ROI on campaigns and advertising spend.

Where is Audience Insights on Facebook?

Facebook doesn’t do a great job of promoting this market research tool to actual marketers. Where to find the tool is one of the most common questions we see. The tool can be accessed through your Facebook Ads Manager account or can be directly accessed using this link. 

How to use Audience Insights

Audience Insights can be quite overwhelming at first glance, so let’s break down how to use this valuable tool for your market research.

1. Choose the audience you want to start with.

Audience Insights starts with a prompt asking you to choose from 3 options: everyone on Facebook, people connected to your page, and a custom audience. So which one do you start with? Let’s go through each option.

Choice 1: Everyone on Facebook

Use this option if you are launching a business, don’t have a ton of knowledge about who your target audience is, or are looking to discover new audiences.

Choice 2: People connected to your page

Use this option if you are looking to learn deeper insights about your current audience and find new content ideas that are relevant to their interests.

Choice 3: A custom audience

Use this option if you have a lot of visitors to your website, or have curated a significant email list.

2. Create your audience with your current and possible customers in mind

For this step, you will focus your attention on the left-hand column of the audience insights page, under the tab “Create Audience”.

Choose the countries, regions, or specific cities your target audience lives.

Note: When you update the location in the left column, the middle of the audience insights page will update with aggregate information that is related to users who live within those specifications. 

You can start with a broad range and then research demographics from hyper-targeted location selections. For example, you may find that your customers in New York have different purchasing behaviors than your customers in Maine.

Follow the above process with the “Age” and “Gender” categories testing broader age ranges and all genders to more specific ages and individual genders. The same process goes for the advanced categories like “pages your audience might be connected to” or would not be connected to, and many advanced categories like behaviors, language, education, relationship status, and more.

3. Create a spreadsheet for tracking personas

When you are looking to learn more about different audiences, you will typically create customer personas for later use as the guide to creating relevant content messaging and campaigns.

  • On a spreadsheet, create current customer personas and test out new customer personas you discover, or create as you define different categories on the left side column.
  • As you update the left side column with specific audiences, note the aggregate information from the middle section for each persona. This way, later on, you can create specific content for these targeted audiences that are more relevant than creating more generalized campaigns. We will talk about how to analyze the aggregate information in the next section.

How to Analyze Facebook Audience Insights

The middle section is composed of customer insights based off of the personas created. These insights are the key to optimal content creation. Facebook is constantly updating its aggregate data, so the results will always be up to date.

There are 6 insight categories that we will cover.

Before we do, note that under “New Audience” you can see the number of monthly active Facebook users that fit the criteria of the personas created. 

1. Demographics

If your initial persona already had this targeting, jumping down to the “Lifestyle” data to see what your audience is interested in.

This audience seems to lean towards active lifestyles, they value work and play and are firmly established. This could be highly useful to know when creating content for this audience in the future. For example, a future campaign image could portray an active lifestyle to catch this audience’s attention.

As you scroll down in this section you can also see the personas relationship status, education level, and job titles.

2. Page Likes

There are two important things to look at in this section.

  • Top Categories: This gives you an overview of the types of pages your audience or persona likes on Facebook. This is immensely helpful to understand what the best pages are to target to reach your audience. If you dig into some of the specific pages in this section, you can see what types of posts and engagement they are using and if it’s effective.
  • Page Likes: This gives you 10 pages which are likely to matter to your audience based on a few factors.

3. Location

This section shows you a list of top location your selected audience will most likely be in. This is a great section to narrow down future campaign ideas into state or city specific targeting.

4. Activity

There are two important insights in this section: Frequency of Activities and Device Users.

Here you can see how active a user is on Facebook, and what type of activities on Facebook they perform most. In the above example, the user base seems receptive to Ads, so it makes sense to test Ads in the future. You can also see if the user accessed Facebook through their laptop, phone, iPad and more.

5. Household

The household section shares insights such as household income, home ownership, household size, their home market value, and what we believe is the most important one for future campaigns, spending methods.

6. Purchase

The most important insight in this section is “purchase behavior” which shows common purchase activity of your selected audience, and what category of products they are buying.

Closing Thoughts And Last Step

Once you have compiled all of your new audiences, personas, and customer insights in your market research, it’s important to test new content and messaging created from these insights. Woobox can help you easily and effortlessly create advertising campaigns like contests, quizzes, or sweepstakes to test out your new messaging. Make sure to test different messaging, because not everything will work, but some might yield promising results and response.

If you’re ready to start building a Woobox campaign, you can sign up for free. All free accounts can create any promotion — you only need a paid account to publish and operate a live campaign.

If you have any questions, Woobox support is here for you by email or phone (1-360-450-5200) Monday – Friday from 9 am PST to 5 pm PST.

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