Harnessing the Power of Broad Interest Targeting

So how does Facebook advertising work? Broad interest targeting can be an incredibly powerful and effective marketing tool, but only if used correctly. Most people have a good general understanding about general interests and how to target them, but I don’t see people teaching broad interest targeting the correct way. If you are selling items like t-shirts, doing a CPA campaign, selling your own products, working with offline businesses, whether it’s software or info products – you can utilize broad interest targeting.

You don’t have to use other behaviors, you can use broad interests on their own. That is unless you want to drill deeper, then you can combine additional data like income information, relationships, and behaviors to add extra layers. The more information you use the better the results will be. I have ads running on the basis of  Facebook broad interest targeting then run at around 10-12% clickthrough rate. That’s just with broad interest targeting, no additional information or layers.

Teespring Campaign

T-shirt about Football Team using post engagement. The price of the t-shirt was 19.90$.


Affiliate Offer

This is an example using only Facebook broad targeting for an affiliate offer with my landing page on unbounce.


The goal is to personalize your advertising to the people who are seeing the ads. This is important to the success of the advertising campaigns, and to your business. When using broad interest targeting you are targeting people based on their interests, so the price is almost secondary in some instances. If you’re targeting correctly your ads will be effective and successful.

Obviously you cannot ignore the prices and costings. Ads are only as successful as their ROI, so you do need to keep an eye on how much you’re spending and your conversion rates. But by targeting the correct audience, you’ll maximize your potential.

Facebook general interest targeting gives us everything we need to set-up advert targeting. The problem is that most people do not know how to use it properly. As a result you will probably have heard people complaining about getting low clickthrough rates, due to what they say are bad audiences, the wrong general interests, or other reasons. But the truth is, they were just not utilizing the information properly.

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It’s not as simple as typing in a broad keyword and expecting Facebook to return the ideal targets. It doesn’t work like that. If you have a board keyword you’re going to get broad results, digging deeper is where you find the valuable results.

Some of common mistakes I see on a regular basis include people targeting hobbies, pet owners, sports teams, and such like. But think about it, targeting such general terms who are you really trying to target?

Let’s take a dentist as an example. To target this term a lot of people would just type in “dentist”, and I can understand why – that’s the term you want to target afterall. But the Facebook targeting formula is a lot more complex than that, typing in “dentist” isn’t going to narrow the results down enough to effectively target the audience you need.

Another example to be a little more specific would be German Shepherds. It’s not just a dog, it’s a specific breed, but again just typing in “German Shepherds” is not going to target the people you want. People who have been using Facebook targeting may go a little deeper, but again it’s unlikely they will be going deep enough.

Looking into hobbies as an example, we could target golf. But looking at the results for “golf” you’ll see there are around 70 million in the audience. As you can imagine, not all of those people are actively interested in golf as a hobby or play it as a sport. In fact I would say only a small percentage of them are. So, although that is how a lot of people would target golf in Facebook, as you can see it’s not an effective way to reach the kind of target audience you want.

So why do Most People Target Incorrectly?


Going back to the dentist example, knowing the targets who are actually working as dentists and those who are just interested in the occupation would be helpful. Facebook is not going to make that distinction for you when you make the broad search for “dentist”, that’s where you need to do some work.

On a similar note, looking closer at the German Shepherd example. There are casual dog owners, and then there are those who absolutely love their dogs. Two very different groups of people, with the potential for two very different results when being targeted.

If you are targeting “German Shepherds” you will not know which group you’re hitting more of. A mix of both types of dog owner will be within the results which is not good enough, you want to target just those who love their dogs. They are much more likely to opt into your list and buy products from you for their dogs.

In the golf example it’s the same principle. There are casual fans, and then there are passionate fans. There are those who only watch casually, or those who play and compete in competitions. A lot of people like golf but these are likely not the ones you want to target. If you’re selling golf equipment you want to target people who actually play, so this is a distinction you’ll need to make.

I mentioned sports teams briefly earlier. When it comes to sports you want to target those passionate diehard fans, the ones who post their opinions on message boards, paint their faces on match days, buy all the merchandise, and follow their favorite teams regardless of the result.

So I hope it’s a lot clearer now why targeting is so important, and the audience you target is the difference success, and failure. Broad terms just aren’t going to give you the results you need, and that is why so many people target incorrectly.

How do you Dig Deeper and Target the Hidden Interests?


Going back to the dentist example, knowing the targets who are actually working as dentists and those who are just interested in the occupation would be helpful. Facebook is not going to make that distinction for you when you making the broad search for “dentist”, that’s where you need to do some work.

On a similar note, looking closer at the German Shepherd example. There are casual dog owners, and then there are those who absolutely love their dogs. Two very different groups of people, with the potential for two very different results when being targeted.

If you are targeting “German Shepherds” you will not know which group you’re hitting more of. A mix of both types of dog owner will be within the results which is not good enough, you want to target just those who love their dogs. They are much more likely to opt into your list and buy products from you for their dogs.

In the golf example it’s the same principle. There are casual fans, and then there are passionate fans. There are those who only watch casually, or those who play and compete in competitions. A lot of people like golf but these are likely not the ones you want to target. If you’re selling golf equipment you want to target people who actually play, so this is a distinction you’ll need to make.

I mentioned sports teams briefly earlier. When it comes to sports you want to target those passionate diehard fans, the ones who post their opinions on message boards, paint their faces on match days, buy all the merchandise, and follow their favorite teams regardless of the result.

Broad terms just aren't going to give you the results you need, and that is why so many people target incorrectly.

Oliver Goodwin

How do you Dig Deeper and Target the Hidden Interests?


So now you fully understand the importance of digging deeper and targeting the audiences with the more specific interest, you’re probably wondering how to do this? Well, you need to look into what motivates these people, what drives them to do what they do, and figure out what they are involved in. Building a larger picture will lead you to the answers you need.

The process can be compared to searching out keywords in Google. If you are familiar with Google and basic SEO techniques you will know what I am talking about. There are related keywords to be found within Google, and you can find these using the Google Keyword Planner tool. With this tool you have access to the Google data showing a long list of keywords with search volume, and related searches.

But anyone with experience will know that Google doesn’t give you all the keywords related to the term you have used. If you go to the Google search box and start to type a phrase you will see an auto-fill option come up. These are phrases and keywords that people have previously searched, and Google is giving you a suggestion to use the same keywords.

Facebook also has related keywords just like Google, and you will also need to dig for these. They won’t come up just by using a broad keyword, you’re going to need to search for these interests yourself.

Let’s look at another example...

Suppose I am a Steelers fan, I would look at the broad term “Pittsburgh Steelers”. However, if I am involved with Steelers Fever and have liked that group, there is a good chance that I am a big Steelers fan, more so than the average fan. The same principle ca be applied to German Shepherds, with a group called German Shepherd Rescue.

That would be a group of people who are very interested in the breed of dog and their well-being. It is probably a focus in their lives, taking up a lot of their time being involved in the rescue of the dogs. Occupations like the dentist example are huge too, when targeting them effectively you can sell them a wide range of products. Think about products that would make their lives easier, help with what they are doing, there are a lot of possibilities.

New people are continually becoming involved in new and different topics. You can target these audiences again and again, with either physical products like merchandise, or a service of some kind. If you are involved in CPA, products through Shopify, offline businesses, list building, whatever it is – you don’t have to start a new search from scratch each time. When you are targeting broad interests, Facebook does the work for you. They keep returning you people that are engaged in their audience.

In this article I am laying out everything you need to know to search out an interest, using Google to help you find exactly what you are looking for. You can use this a cheat sheet, we have foundations, federations, societies, forums, newsletters, websites and Amazon best sellers at our disposal. Some of these are being underutilized, and are there for you to use to your advantage.

You can look at events taking place at a certain time in a specific city, or research competitions, festivals, and other events to target. You will find a number of different things during your searches that you had not thought about, that’s the good thing about doing the research. As you type in different phrase and keywords you will see new suggestions popping up. Some of them will have large followings on Facebook and you will be given a suggestion based on what you’ve been searching.

So basically you can look at this as you cheat sheet. When you are starting out and trying to figure out how to target the right people. You’ll be using Google and typing in the topic you’re interested in. For example if you’re looking further into dentists you will be typing in “dentists” or “dentist foundation” or “dentist society” or “dental association” or “dental clubs” or “dentist federation”, this will bring up all kinds of resources and publications for dentists. If you’re looking into dogs you can type in “Amazon best sellers for dogs” for example. You can look for a bestselling author’s name and see if that shows up in Facebook as a broad interest.

If you want to narrow your targeting down geographically to a specific state or city, you can use the restaurant or festivals searches that are relevant. I hope you are understanding how powerful these techniques are. It is an endless circle that you can use again and again with any niche, and while you may not always find every interest you’re looking for you will certainly find enough to be successful.

You can look at these interests as the “hidden Facebook interests”, because you have to do some work to find them. Facebook does not openly make them available, but as you are searching for a term Facebook will help you finish your search. Sometimes I spend up to an hour putting in lists of interests, but it always pays off.

You may not always find a match, but that’s fine. Just take the time to put together a list of laser-focused targeted interests. Put in the time doing the searching that others are not willing to do, it will pay off. Also remember as I mentioned earlier, price is largely secondary when selling your products and services to a specific targeted group. You are going to be doing things that a lot of people aren’t aware of with Facebook broad interest targeting, giving you a competitive edge over others.

Some Key Points:

1

  • Don’t try to force your products or services to interests that do not match. Always try to match a product or interest seamlessly, building in a list building campaign too.

2

  • Once you have the broad interest you want to target, use the information above to narrow down your search and dig deeper.

3

  • Once you have the broad interest you want to target, use the information above to narrow down your search and dig deeper.


Things to Look Out For


A reminder of some of the keywords to use when searching out your audience; foundation, federation, association, forum, blog, magazine, festival, conference, club, competitions, state, Amazon best sellers, specific topics, these are more than just a few to get you started. Like I previously stated you won’t always find a match every time, but that’s fine it’s just part of the process.

Take the time to build a list of interests that are super targeted. Facebook can be chaotic at times with so many users and such dense competition, you will often run into dead ends. You can deplete your budget by testing out different interests without the proper research, so take the time to plan properly before testing.

Some of the keywords to use when searching out your audience:

Take the time to build a list of interests that are super targeted. Facebook can be chaotic at times with so many users and such dense competition, you will often run into dead ends. You can deplete your budget by testing out different interests without the proper research, so take the time to plan properly before testing.

Here is a Bonus Tip:


You can still add extra layers of interests to find even more laser-targeted results, but it isn’t always necessary. Think about the German Shepherd rescue example from earlier, you can layer that with those who buy dog food, giving you a specific group of people who buy dog food and rescue German Shepherds.

You can expect your clickthrough rate to be very high when targeting this audience, because the criteria is so specific. But this is not always necessary, it just increases your chance of an increased clickthrough. Worth keeping in mind if your other ad programs are not performing how you would like.

Implementing Automation



Automating procedures is always a great time saver. There are some tools available which can help, categorizing keywords and allowing you to filter on lists. The tool will search on Facebook, Google and Wikipedia and apply filters around all the categories I highlighted earlier such as; foundation, federation, association, forum, blog, magazine, festival, conference, club, competitions, state, Amazon best sellers, specific topics.

It helps those who are new to Facebook targeting and online marketing, giving you the results in just a few clicks. But is always helps if you have a good in-depth understanding of the process.

Check a video to see how Targetinterests.com works:

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