Building your film’s audience with Facebook Audience Insight

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Kobi Shely

Whether you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign or planning to distribute your films and videos, you will need to craft the perfect message and deploy meaningful tactics in order to improve the success of your efforts. This can only be achieved by knowing your audience.

Homework done up front = Goals more quickly reached
Some filmmakers dive straight into crowdfunding or distribution with very little preparation. Basically, without laying down the necessary groundwork. But if you don’t do your homework in advance, you won’t be able to raise enough interest to support your campaign, or find the audience which pays to watch your film(s) in the cinema, or on VOD.

This is why I would encourage you to work with The Facebook Audience Insights Tool. It’s free to use, and it helps you to identify who your fans are. This tool can help you to better understand their interests, demographics, locations, gender, ages, spoken languages, as well as the pages they like and their occupations. (Yes, I know, it’s a bit creepy. But if you’re not into it, there’s always the option of closing down all your social accounts and disconnecting from the world wide web entirely)

The Facebook Audience Insights Tool provides you with three options to build and target your audience:

  1. The general Facebook audience
  2. Your existing audience
  3. People connected to your page or event

With this information, you are now able to define and focus your target audience. With that in check, you could invest a small budget into creating well-targeted ads which convert into fans.

This custom audience can be gathered from an email list, or even via paid search data from Adobe Media Optimizer. Combining the Insights tool with an ad-management platform will only further streamline your ability to target your message to a precise audience.

Here’s a quick ‘how to’ for using the tool.

From the Facebook drop down menu, choose: “Manage ads”
From the top left popup menu choose – Plan > Audience Insight

You’ll be presented with three options:

  1. Everyone on Facebook
  2. People connected to your page
  3. A custom audience

If you’re just starting out, and you don’t have enough email sign ups or just a few likes on your Facebook page, choose “Everyone On Facebook”.
Choose the location and then their interests.

Enter some keywords into the interests field – I used general filmmaking keywords for illustration purposes. By entering keywords such as “Filmmaking”, “Support Indie Film” “Film Funds” “Independent Film” and so on, I already got some interesting data and insights on who I should be targeting.

The audience tool presented the following data:

Top cities where I’ll be able to find filmmakers who might be interested in my blog, plus

their ages and gender – which is super important when purchasing media with which to promote your film. You will be presented with more metrics that could help you maximize your campaign reach, thus you’ll pay less for increased exposure.

Here are some of those metrics:

Once you’ve defined your audience, you’re good to go and start creating ads for your next crowdfunding campaign or distribution outreach, without the need to guess or rely on wishful thinking.

If you are in a more advanced stage of your audience building, you’d want to use:

  1. People connected to your page
  2. A custom audience
  3. If you created a page which has more than 1500 followers, choose “People connected to your page”, and Facebook will present you with valuable data on your followers. This becomes another layer of audience targeting which you can easily identify.

Of course, if you follow my blog, you’ll know by now that emails are essential. If you’ve already got fans signed up for your newsletter, choose “A custom audience”. Facebook will then prompt you to enter your follower’s email addresses in order to identify your target audience and present you with the data you need. Then you can use Facebook’s “Lookalike” tool to further increase your reach. Facebook will then compose shared interest groups based on your custom audience, thus multiplying your reach x millions.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. And if you like this article, please subscribe to my newsletter.

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