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How to Create a Target Audience Using Audience Insights?


Are you struggling with Facebook ads targeting? Unsure of how to find significant audiences to improve and scale your campaign? Then you need to understand how to create a target audience using audience insights.

Discovering what your ideal customers are interested in is one of the most fundamental parts of Facebook advertising. As a matter of fact, just by tweaking a single interest, you could more than double your campaign results.

Facebook Audience Insight is the “bread and butter” of any digital marketing campaign: it's a favorite tool that's preferred and used by many savvy Facebook marketers everywhere.

You can use the tool to create a target audience and learn more about users who're a fan of your brand, custom audiences (past website visitors or email subscribers) or users on Facebook as a whole.

Do you know where your customers live? Do you know their gender? Do they all speak English? Do you know what they like in real life and even on Facebook?

If you don't have these details about your audience, how can you associate with them, find similar ones, strategize your campaign and create relevant ads?

How do you know if Facebook ads campaigns are significant to people on the platform?

Well, it's time to stop guessing and turn to Facebook Audience Insights for answers to the many questions.

In this article, we're going to introduce you to Facebook Audience Insights, why they matter, and then we'll dive into how you can create a target audience using Facebook Audience Insights.

Let's get started.


Simply put, it's a targeting tool.

Audience Insights is one of the best free tools that Facebook offers to give every business the essential information needed to boost Facebook ad campaign results through laser-target ads.

Facebook Audience Insights is one of the most powerful tools that you have at your disposal: only if you're aware of how to use it.

Accessed through Facebook Ads Manager, the tool offers native analytics capabilities that marketers can use to define and access a vast amount of behavioral and demographic data about their Facebook Page's audience and competitors.

Since Facebook Audience Insights helps you to target a specific audience, it means you'll only pay to reach out to people who're most likely to become your customers.

Not just that alone, it can also help you tailor your posts to guarantee that you're offering the correct content, at the right time and in the right voice to connect with the followers you already have - the result is a much better ROI and more engagements on your ads.

You can access high-level information about your followers like gender or age, and you can also get more detailed information like hobbies, locations, activity, relationship status, job titles and many more.



The exciting thing about Facebook advertising is its ability to reach out to super specific and definite audiences.

You can narrow them down not just by age, gender, and location but also by relationship status, life events, educational level and of course, thousands of different behaviors and interests.

With Facebook Audience Insights, you'll avoid the selection of super general audiences. Which avoids wasting a lot of your advertising money.

Rather than promoting your running shoes to those who're interested in running (which comprises over 46 million users in the US alone), you can use the tool to discern laser-specific interests that'll incorporate only the most intense runners.

Below is an example of interests that are much more applicable to running.

facebook audience insights

Even if you've found an audience that converts well, you can use Facebook Audience Insights to find loads of other correlated interests to scale your campaign and get more sales.


Facebook Audience Insights is located within Facebook Ads Manager, meaning only business users can access it.

If you've not yet set up your business on Facebook, then you'll need to create a business page before diving into the following steps.


  • Open the Audience Insight Dashboard

  • Select the ad account that you'd like insight for (particularly for those with more than one ad account)

  • Select whether you want insight only about people connected to your page, or the overall Facebook audience. If you've already created any custom audiences from your Facebook ad campaigns, you'll also see an option to get insights about those users.

Since this article is geared towards the creation of better target ads using Facebook Audience Insights, we'll go with the first option: “Everyone on Facebook”. However, it's the same if you go with the "Custom Audiences" or "People Connected to your page" option.

Here's how to choose which audience to examine:

A Customer Audience:

Select this option if you'd like to learn about a custom audience like email subscribers or your existing customers so that you can discover ways to efficiently connect with them using Facebook.

People Connected to Your Page:

Select this option if you're looking to learn more about your current audience so that you can better modify your content to suit them.

Everyone on Facebook:

Select this option if you're looking for information about new potential customers and fan that you could reach out to with your Facebook ads.

When you select the "Everyone on Facebook" option, you'll be navigated to the screen in the next step.


It's now time for you to develop a target market for your ads using the information available within Facebook Audience Insights.

The Audience Insights dashboard has two segments. You can select the audience characteristics that you want to target in the left column. The right side of the page displays charts and graphs related to your audience, plus how it compares the general audience of everyone using Facebook.

Whenever you choose to refine your audience, the graphs and percentages on the right side of the screen updates automatically, so you can continuously see the impact of your choices on all the available audience.

Age and Gender

Facebook Audience Insights are only accessible by users who are over 18 years. So you won't be able to target the audience who are younger than that. You can use this option to constrict your targeting based on your audience personas and existing customer research.

If you're not sure of the age or genders to target, you can leave those fields as defaults for now. You'll get some pretty useful information about the age and gender of your audience when you begin to refine your audience by interest.


By default, the audience location is set to the United States, but this might not be the correct option for your business.

If the audience you're trying to look at is UK based (or any other country), you can modify the option by typing in the location box and choosing the appropriate state. You can also decide to exclude or include any country, city or region.

For instance, if you're selling online services, you might want to incorporate all countries worldwide.

If you sell a physical product, then you could stick to countries for which shipping is accessible and not cost-prohibitive.

If you're managing an indigenous business with a brick and mortar location, you'll probably choose only your state or city.


This's the point where it gets motivating. Select the interests box, and a drop-down menu will appear.

Select your preferred items in the drop-down menu: you can enhance these options even further.

At this point, you should get as comprehensive as you can base on the information you know about your existing customers.

You can learn so must just by observing what happens with the graphs as you refine your choices.

  • For instance, the division of all United States Users on Facebook is 46% men to 54% women.

  • Add "food and drink" as interest and notice the changes: 38% men and 62% women

  • Narrow the interest to "Restaurants" and the audience changes again. This time with 31% men and 69% of women

  • Narrow the interest further to "Coffeehouses" and the audience is now 29% men and 71% women


If you're into the marketing of local coffeehouse, you can also narrow your audience geographically. For instance, let's say your coffeehouse is located in Portland, Oregon.


You'll notice that the percentage of genders changed again- it's less skewed towards men.

In Portland, women represent 65% of your coffeehouse audience and not 71% across the whole country.

But you're not through yet.


Under the “Advanced” drop-down menu, you can constrict your audience by education level, relationship status, cultural group, job title, and office type. You can choose to reach out to target parents or even parents with children of a specific age group. Additionally, you can target using life events like people who have newly started or moved to a new job.

For the coffeehouse business, if you choose to aim at only parents, the national audience jumps to 23% men and 77% women. Unsurprisingly, the relationship status and age graphs change radically as well.

For instance, if you wish to run an ad promoting the coffeehouse as a very significant place where parents can bring their kids, the graph illustrates that you would hit more of your target audience by restricting your ad to Facebook users who're over 35 years old.

Once you're done narrowing your audience, click save and give your audience an appropriate name.

Always remember that the more detailed you get in your audience targeting, the lesser your audience will be. But then a more precise targeting also tends to make for a more receptive list: it increases your ROI for Facebook Ads.

You can get as detailed as you can but ensure to test your new audience alongside your existing Facebook campaigns to discover how the conversion rates associate and which of them delivers the best ROI.


Now that you've chosen your demographics and learned some key components about the makeup of your target audience, the next thing is to click the “Pages Likes” tab.

Here, you'll get to discover what people in your designated audience already like on Facebook.

Top Categories


It's in this section that you can learn more about your audience's general interests. Unsurprisingly, coffeehouse fans are affectionately interested in specialty “grocery stores” and the “food and beverage” category.

Surprisingly, they're also interested in “travel agencies”: this reveals the fact that coffeehouse fans are also ardent travelers.

You can use all this information to encourage ideas that you can try out in your organic Facebook marketing strategy and ads.

For instance, you could include a small wanderlust image into your next post or run a challenge where your followers can share their memorable coffee-drinking travel experience.

Page Likes


Here's very juicy information. In the “page likes” section, you can get an insight into the Facebook pages that are already connecting with people in your audience.

You'll notice that these pages are ranked in terms of affinity and relevance. Here's how Facebook defines the terms:


The pages that are most expected to be relevant to your audience based on affinity, the page size and the number of people in your audience that already like that page


The likelihood of your audience to prefer a given page compared to everyone on Facebook

Ideally, try to click through all of these pages and carry out some reasonable research about what these businesses are into and get some ideas on how to replicate their success.

Since you get the best ROI by targeting your ads as intently as possible, use the information you found about your competitor's fan to further narrow your aiming.

  • Click open in the topmost navigation bar to open your present audience and modify it based on what you learn from your competitors' research.

  • After you've entered the additional details, click more in the top navigation

  • Select Save As to create a tailored version of your audience while conserving the original

  • Evaluate your newly refined audience against your original choice to see which of them delivers the best ROI

  • Remember that you can't change the audience for an active ad campaign


Language and Location

Now, click on the Location tab.

If you're into a bricks-and-mortar business, then you already know what geographic region you want to aim. But if you're marketing an online product or service, then your potential geographic target is universal.

In the Location tab, you can see the languages that most of your potential fans speak and where they live.

For instance, let's assume that you sell Batman action figures.

Clear all location selections in the right column and enter Batman action figures as your interest. You'll notice that the top of the market is the US (52%), but you might be shocked to see that the second largest market is Tunisia (with 13%).

If you can ship your products to Tunisia or you have digital products that might appeal the Tunisian audience, then that's an unexploited market for you to explore.


Additionally, you can see the languages that are most common amongst your audience. While English is the most dominant language among Batman action figure fans (80%), 13% of the prospective market speak French. In such cases, you could create French ads and show them to only French-speaking users.


Click on the Activity tab that's next to the Location tab, and scroll down to Device Users.

That's the place where you get to know the devices that your selected audiences use to access Facebook: this information comes in handy for ad design.

For instance, among the Batman action figures, we can see that Android devices are massively popular (86% of this audience makes use of Android devices as their primary means of accessing Facebook)


On the other hand, iPhones are more popular among our Portland-based coffeehouse fans (54% of them make use of an iPod or iPhone as their primary device for accessing Facebook and only 33% use Android devices).



Once the audience you've built in Audience Insights clicks 1000+, you can use it as the target audience for an ad.

Select the Open menu located in the top navigation bar, then select the audience you want to target. Once you've done that, click the green Create Ad button located in the top right column to place an ad targeted to the selected group.


Facebooks' ad manager will mechanically populate the targeting fields with the options you pre-selected using Facebook Audience Insights.

Ensure to track the performance of every targeted ad campaign that you run and examine it against your typical Facebook ROI.

It's worth mentioning that as you progressively place more targeted ads, you might notice that the overall conversion drops off. But have it in mind that this is because you're displaying your advertisements to a reduced audience. Your Return on Investment may increase even if your conversions decrease.

Analysis and tracking will help you to discover the sweet spot that maximizes ROI while attracting the conversions you need to meet your social media objectives.


Audience Insights is one of the most important and free insight tools that provide access to highly valuable behavioral and demographic data. It enables you to learn more about your audience and potential audience through the use of the information they've provided to Facebook.

You can use this data not only to target your advertising campaigns more efficiently but also build personas and content marketing ideas that should be a significant part of a data-informed strategy.

What are your thoughts? Have any question about creating a target audience using Audience Insights? Would you be using Facebook Audience Insights to enhance your targeting? We'd be eager to hear from you; leave us a comment below.

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