Damon Gochneaur Says Meet Them Where They Are: Using Facebook to Target Audiences

Kicking off day two of Confluence was speaker Damon Gochneaur, who spoke about Facebook targeting.

Eight years ago, he said, targeting was simple. Since then the landscape has changed. He likens audiences to Rubik’s Cubes – but not in the way you’d think.

“When I think about our audiences, I don’t think about the perfect Rubik’s Cube,” he said. He instead compared them more to an unsolved, jumbled cube.

A mistake marketers make is expecting the perfect audience and not meeting them where they are.

“We fail to attribute our audience to a specific place in time within their journey, and that journey can be mapped,” he said.

Marketers can use Facebook and the information it provides to target their audiences – sometimes very specifically. There are a few types of information marketers can glean from customers’ Facebook pages:

  • Declared data – What users tell us when they create an account (name, email, location, work, school, etc).
  • Inferred data – What users do, their likes and interests, even the kind of phone they access Facebook with.
  • Third party data – This is where it all comes together and gives us a chance to use all that data.

Even more specifically, you can target your audiences by the following information:

  • Locations – You can target by specific address. Think about geography when targeting within a certain radius. Take Dallas and New York City. In New York City, this could mean targeting a great number of people for a small amount of square mileage, whereas the number could be a fraction of that in Dallas.
  • Languages – Generally, Damon says, leave this blank unless the specific audience you’re trying to target is non-English speaking.
  • Connections – These are the pages and apps users like on Facebook. You can start to draw connections based on these likes.
  • Age and Gender – Interestingly enough, you can target people as old as 65 and as young as 13. “This is interesting to me,” Damon said. “It tells you they have some kind of buying power.”
  • Demographics – You can target by specific job title or company, you can even target by number of square feet on homes.

You can target audiences based on life events: birthdays, anniversaries, and graduation.

This seems like a lot, Damon said, but on his website, there is a spreadsheet with many parameters listed that your brand can use to help target audiences. Brands should look through this list, he said, and see which ones seem to resonate with their audience.

“Very few platforms give us the ability to target specific personas, but that’s what Facebook allows us to do,” he said.

So you got all the data you need. What now?

Interest layering is a key component of targeting audiences.

“If you want to get the perfect Rubik’s, you’re going to do a lot of turning,” Damon said. “But it’s not exclusionary. You need to say ‘Give me ___ AND ___’. For example, target “OU Sooners fans” AND “people who make over 75,000 a year” AND “people with families.”

From there, begin to build awareness. Target the general area, and then begin to layer interests from there. Reach out to those groups and offer incentives or something that will entice them.

“Try to find a way to encourage them to take just one more step,” Damon said.
“The idea is that I’ve used one platform and talked to EVERY person in my funnel.”

Remember: Behavior + Interest + Demographics

Interest layering will help you find and connect with those audiences where they are on their journey.

“Your audience is not the perfect Rubik’s cube – so take the time, use the tools, and use the insights,” Damon said.


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