Let me start by sharing a background story.
I'm the entrepreneurial type. I always have a lot of ideas and see new opportunities all around me. Over time I've started a fair number of websites - selling anything from custom printed t-shirts to ClickBank products to my own online piano courses.
I made sales. But never very consistently, because I relied on organic traffic sources like Google and YouTube. Of course free traffic is great, but you can't directly control it.
And control was important to me.
Because back then I wanted to be able to make one of my side gigs my main gig.
I wanted to be able to support our family and pay the rent - just from the (passive) income generated by my side-projects.
So I started experimenting with paid ads - to have more control and drive up revenue.
That quickly turned into an obsession.
I chased every new strategy and tactic. But I always ended up looking at the bottom of the "Amount spent" column in FB Ads Manager, knowing I spent more than I made.
That's not an effective strategy...
Because of the increasing competition on Facebook, my ad costs increased too.
Most of the campaigns I tested were too expensive - and eventually I was forced to turn them off.
I had to find a solution first - instead of throwing more money in a leaking bucket.
I started looking. And at some point, I can't precisely remember where, I read about the existence of the so-called Facebook Marketing API.
At first I didn't know what that was. But as I was desperately looking for the next tactic I could test - I ended up reading...
I never ever read manuals - but I'm glad I read this one. What I found in there blew my mind.
I discovered that there are many more interests you can target on Facebook, than just the ones that are suggested in the Facebook Ads Manager. Literally tens of thousands. Hidden in the FB Marketing API - so unknown to 99% of my competitors. I also learned HOW you should actually use interest targeting on Facebook - something that almost no-one talks about.
That's when I realised that the key to Facebook advertising success was fishing where (almost) no-one else is fishing. By targeting hidden interests, that (almost) no-one else knows about.
Copy, visuals, sales funnels. It's all important - but meaningless if the targeting is off.
So I fixed my targeting first.
And that paid off.
The very first test I did using hidden interests was already succesfull. My small experiment outperformed every other campaign I ran before. In the screenshot below, you'll see
I got a 319% ROAS on a cold-traffic campaign
Then I optimised my campaign further and I literally built a cold-traffic machine.
The screenshot below shows one of my active cold-traffic campaigns. It contains a bunch of ad sets. All targeting the US market. I'm just using interests to target and some basic demographics like age and gender. I exclude all my website visitors in this campaign - so it acquires 100% cold traffic.
The results speak for itself I think
The average ROAS is 7.06, meaning the campaign banks $7.06 for every $1 I put in.
While my newfound "hack" was effective, it still required a fair amount of repetitive manual work.
It involves copy-pasting, de-duplicating results and formatting. I would still spend hours on targeting research.
To save time I decided to create InterestExplorer, my software that uses the Marketing API to reveal hidden interests in seconds - instead of hours.
And that exact software became a huge success and is now used by hundreds of Facebook advertisers that want to outsmart their competition.
Just like you I guess?
PS: To close the loop that started this story: I still work a part-time job that I really like. While it's not necessary anymore from a strictly financial perspective - my side gigs are still not my main gig
Don't take our word for it
1400+ smart marketers use our software (from freelancers to the big firms and agencies).
You need to use a 3rd-party Facebook interest tool, because Facebook's own tools for targeting research are broken!
I assume you know this already, but just to be sure OK?
When you're using Facebook Ads Manager and type in an interest into the detailed targeting section, Facebook shows a dropdown menu with related interests you could also target.
Why would they do that?
I have two theories. My first theory is that Facebook wanted to simplify the ads manager interface to not scare off unexperienced advertisers. My second theory is that they want us to target broad audiences (more impressions to sell) and compete against each other for the exact same audience - because that drives up the bids in the exchange, like a bidding war.
Also, did you ever use Facebook Audience Insights?
It's a great tool to find relevant page likes (Facebook pages your audience might like).
They are sorted by 'Affinity' to indicate their relevance to your audience. It basically means people in your audience are for example 2471x as likely to like the page compared to everyone on Facebook.
But because pages and interests are two separate things, you often can't target these pages with ads. Problem is; Facebook Audience Insights doesn't show you which ones...
The only way to find out is to copy-paste them from Audience Insights into Ads Manager, to see if a matching interest shows up.
I came up with an idea to use the Facebook Marketing API again to build a solution.
It's a Chrome extension that runs in the background when you use Facebook Audience Insights. All the pages that are displayed, will be scraped by the extension. It then sends these 'words' to the API to learn if there is matching interest. If yes, it highlights these words with a "target" Emoji.
Super simple, but very powerful. It will save you hours.
After extensively testing it with a group of beta users, I've decided to throw it in as a bonus when you purchase InterestExplorer. These two pieces of software complement each other perfectly to help you find the best interests without spending hours.
Having access to more (hidden) data means having an unfair competitive advantage. Who doesn't want that?
Facebook's tools are seriously lacking.
I've showed you that they just show a fraction of all targetable interests - or they don't show if interests can be targeted at all.
That's also a good thing.
I mean, it can only be an advantage to you to have access to more data - if your competition doesn't have the same access. Because no-one speaks about the Facebook Marketing API, I would say at this point it's still one of the best kept secrets in the online marketing world.
Our software, InterestExplorer, is built to eliminate all the manual work I was doing before. It's a fully automated solution for you to search, explore, select and export hidden Facebook interests.
Here's how it works
Search for hidden interests related to any topic
Use the search bar to explore any broad topic you're interested in. Within seconds our software will use the Facebook Marketing API to reveal all related interests that can be targeted with ads.
Discover hyper-targeted interests in seconds
Sort the interests by audience size and use the search buttons to open a new tab with a search on Facebook or Google, to quickly assess the relevance of interests you're not familiar with.
Cherrypick the best suggestions to target
Clicking on an interest puts it in your selection box at the top of the page. You can then can copy the contents to the clipboard, save it to a project or export them to a downloadable CSV file.
Save and categorise your finds in projects
Save your interests into projects that you can continue to add to later on. You can create an unlimited number of projects to save and categorise your best interest finds.
Pick a language for localised suggestions
While the Facebook Marketing API will return most interest suggestions in English (en_US), you can also explore some additional interests in all of the other FB supported languages.
Create accounts for your team members
With our Team license you can invite an unlimited number of team members to create their own account. The only condition is that they're on the same email domain (@yourcompany.com).
Engage your clients in the process
Many of our users are run agencies. They wanted to create accounts for their clients to they could help find the best Facebook interests (clients should know their business best right?). Our new Agency license allows to invite users outside of your email domain to engage your clients.
Simple pricing for individuals, teams and agencies.
All prices exclude VAT which will be calculated at checkout.
Are you compliant with Facebook's policies?
Yes, absolutely. Our app uses the Facebook Marketing API to query interest suggestions. That is approved API usage.
Are there limitations on usage?
No, you can explore an unlimited amount of niches, save to as many projects as needed and export all the data you want.
What's the difference between your licenses?
We offer an individual license, that is meant to be used by a single user. We also offer a team license, which allows you to create sub-accounts for your team members. As long as their email address is using the same email domain as your admin account (for example @mycompany.com). And finally we offer an agency license, which allows you to invite unlimited team members and create 10 client accounts (users on different email domains). Contact us if you need more client accounts.
How do you compare to alternative solutions?
We've built an intuitive app that returns more interests than any of the alternative solutions - at a much lower cost too.
Do you offer a free plan or a trial?
No, we do not offer a free plan or trial accounts.
What's your refund policy?
When our software doesn't meet your expectations, you can request a full refund within 7 days after your purchase.
Which payment methods do you support?
We accept creditcard and PayPal.
Which languages do you support?
The application allows you to choose any of Facebook's supported languages to search for localised interests. Note that Facebook's API will always return the highest number of interests using the locale en_us.
DISCLAIMER: The results stated above are my personal results. Your results will vary and depend on many factors. This website in not a part of Facebook™ or endorsed by Facebook in any way. Facebook™ is a trademark of Facebook™, Inc.