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The adviser’s guide to digital marketing #2. Using Facebook Audience Insights to identify new verticals

Facebook Audience Insights – what is it?

Facebook Audience Insights allows you access to the vast amounts of data Facebook stores on its users. We all provide Facebook with information such as our birthday, job title and what we ‘like’. Audience Insights is the marketing side of this data, allowing firms to target users using any combination of it. The endgame of providing this data is to get you to advertise with Facebook, but firms can also use it to carry out market research.

At the basic level, imagine you’re an advertiser at OK! Magazine. Using Facebook Audience Insights, you would be able to produce an audience of people who like Hello! Magazine and then advertise just to these people. Or, let’s say you weren’t interested in advertising, but were interested in launching in a foreign country, say Spain. Facebook would be able to tell you how large your potential audience would be in that country, based on applying your audience’s typical profile and asking Facebook how many people in Spain matched that profile. Simple!

Why should my advisory firm be interested?

Assuming that you’re not interested in Hello! readers, identifying a vertical with which you have a strong story can help you to develop a new client base. Using Facebook Audience Insights, you can test the size of that audience, according to Facebook. If you already focus on an established vertical you can test that audience too. A good or bad result might not be the be all and end all of focusing on that audience, but it might rule in or rule out Facebook as a route to market for you and begin to indicate whether your audience is a viable one.

Here’s a relevant example. Let’s say your firm is one of the progressive planning firms considering targeting HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet!). HENRYs are typically younger than the average planning audience, so let’s say they’re 25-35. They might be more likely to work in certain sectors (medical or legal, for example) and the capital is where the highest salaries are, so let’s say that they’re within a radius of London.

With a few more factors applied for good measure, Audience Insights estimates that there are 100k-150k potential HENRYs, matching the above criteria. Great! You have a viable audience to market to.

How do I use it?

First of all, you’ll need a Facebook page for your firm. If you already have one, you’ll need to activate Facebook Business Manager to get access to Facebook’s advertising tools. You can do that here and there are several pre-existing guides around the internet to help you if you get stuck. Once you’re in, click on the menu button and find your way to Audience Insights.

Now what?

Well, let’s say you’re the firm above, interested in HENRYs. You’ve just found a route to market (Facebook Advertising), which has the ability to put you in front of 100k-150k potential new clients. Facebook advertising is typically cheaper than Google Adwords and many firms are now using it to successfully reach their audience. Perhaps it’s time to put a little of your marketing budget towards Facebook Advertising and see what results you get!