Written By: Adam Dince
Advertisers who use Facebook Ads as a medium to reach prospective customers know how important accurate demographic and psychographic targeting is. Without the appropriate targeting, advertisers will run through media budgets without much to show for it.
Facebook gives advertisers a mountain of targeting options. However, one of the major challenges advertisers have is knowing which targeting options to select. Many times, marketers working on new accounts will test various demographic and pyschographic options, then pick the one(s) that perform best. While this method does work, it’s helpful to pick targeting options with a data based approach rather than what we “think” or “feel”.
Note: If you’re looking for a solid walk-through on how to use Facebook’s targeting features, I highly recommend Facebook’s help center.
Let Google Analytics Audience Data Help You Pick The Right Facebook Ad Targeting Options
Before you can use Google Analytics (GA) audience data to help you rock Facebook Ads targeting, you must first install the GA tracking code snippet on your Website. If using WordPress, there are various plug-ins that make integrating the GA code snippet easy. However, I HIGHLY recommend using a more powerful integration through Google Tag Manager. Also, make sure that you’re implementing the Universal Analytics option.
What Is Google Analytics Audience Data?
When a person browses the Web, often times, they’ll visit Google partner (third-party) Websites. When they do so, Google uses content topics and themes and ties it to the user’s anonymous cookie ID. Additionally, Google captures specific information about the visitor like: age and gender, based on information the user has already given to the third-party partner sites. If and when that user visits your Website, Google Analytics can show you what it knows about that person’s anonymous cookie ID (aggregated with other users’ data) within your GA Audience Data. Keep in mind that you will not be able to drill down to specific user data.
Note: This audience data is the same that Google allows advertisers to use to target people on Google’s Display Network (GDN).
How to Use The Google Analytics Audience Data
1. Once signed in to your Google Analytics account, you must turn on audience data. Simply scroll down on the left-hand navigation to Audience > Cohort Analysis > Interests > Overview and enable.
2.) Once you’ve enabled Demographics and Interest Reports, it’s going to take a few days for data to start showing in your account. Please keep in mind, data is not retroactive.
3.) Use the Cohort Analysis data to help make informed Facebook Ads targeting selections. For example:
4.) To get a high-level overview of your visitor demographics data, under Demographics, select Overview. This is a pretty cool dashboard view that you can be used if not tracking conversion data.
5.) If you’re tracking conversions and want more granular demographics detail: Under Demographics, select Age and Gender to unlock valuable insights in to how those specific demographics perform on your Website. Mine through this data to decide which demographics might be useful for your Facebook Ad targeting.
6.) For a high-level overview of your site visitor interests, under Interests, select Overview. This is a pretty cool dashboard view that can be used if not tracking conversion data.
7.) If you’re tracking conversions and want more granular interest detail: Under Interests, check out the In-Market Segment Data & Affinity Categories. So much valuable data about your visitors that you can apply to refine targeting in Facebook Ads!
8.) Pro-tip: Get more granular by segmenting audience data by marketing channel.
Note: Before using GA audience data, make sure that GA has collected enough data to be meaningful.
While I didn’t cover all of the reports available in GA Audience, I have reviewed the steps required to dig in to your own data. There so many ways to use Google Analytics Audience Data. That’s where your creativity as a marketer comes in to play.
Thank you for reading!