5 minutes

7 Highly Effective Facebook Ads Targeting Strategies

Are you taking full advantage of Facebook ad targeting? Here, we'll go through the best Facebook ad targeting strategies to ensure you pick the best audience for your ads.

Facebook Ads offer you great targeting potential. But toggling with over 1300 targeting options and so many ad types, how can you ensure you’re using an effective Facebook ad targeting strategy?

Here, you’ll learn the best ways to develop effective Facebook ad targeting strategies, and how to improve the ones you have.

Let’s get started.

Types of Targeting

Facebook breaks down its main ad targeting options into these five groups:

Demographics

Facebook allows you to target audiences based on all the demographic information the platform has on the user, like their age, gender, and location. In some countries, Facebook also has available location targeting, so you can target users who are, have been, or are going to be at a specific place.

You can also target users based on their current job, education level, relationship status, and homing situation, allowing you to better target according to purchasing power.

Finally, you also get access to information like their generation and ethnic affinity, as well as details on their parenthood status, their political affinity, and their life events. 

Interests

Here, you can better target your audience based on their lifestyle. You can target users with interests in specific industries and entertainment, as well as their hobbies, their food preferences, and their relationships.

On top of that, you can refine your targeting with their shopping interests, although the next segment gives you more information on their purchasing behaviors.

Behaviors

With Behaviors, you can target your ads based on the user’s behavioral data, including aspects like their job roles, the devices they use, and their general financial behavior. You also get options to target users based on their purchase behavior, their residential profiles, their seasonal interest, and the amount of travel they do.

Connections

In Connections, you’ll find different options to target people depending on their behavior on Facebook.

You can target users who like your page, use your up, or are going to your event, as well as their connections.

Remarketing

Although you don’t have as many options to finetune, in Remarketing you can target users who have already been to your site. You can also target custom lists of emails, phone numbers, and Facebook profiles.

7 Tips And Strategies For Facebook Ad Targeting

Here are 7 tips and strategies to help you get better results at targeting Facebook ads to the right audience:

1. Nail Your Target Audience

If you want to improve your targeting, you first need to know exactly who to target. The better you can define your target audience, the easier it’ll be to use Facebook’s robust targeting options to reach it.

Use the customer data you already have to craft user personas and their customer journey, defining who makes a purchase, when, and why. You can reach your existing customers with surveys to get customer data, and start collecting the data from your CRM and past marketing efforts to help you craft user personas. 

Take advantage of the Facebook Core Audience feature to segment your audiences and make sure you’re defining them as narrowly as you need.

2. Develop Powerful Remarketing Campaigns

Remarketing is commonly a highly effective marketing strategy since you’re targeting users who already know about your brand and your products or services. Facebook’s ads make it easy to plan and execute your remarketing campaigns right in-app.

You can use Facebook Custom Audiences to show ads to users who have already visited your website, allowing you to target users who have seen specific products and pages. That way, you can rekindle their interest with a discount code or a reminder of a limited offer on the item they were seeing last.

You can also use remarketing to avoid showing your ads to users who are unlikely to interact with them, helping you reach better audiences.

3. Target Your Competitor’s Audience

With Facebook Audience Insights, you can learn a lot about your followers, where they come from, and where to find more.

Start by crafting a list of your competitors’ pages. You can look up your direct competitors and see which ones have Facebook pages that are doing well to target those. You can also use Facebook search to find pages with relevant keywords, and use the “Related Pages” option to expand your list. Then, you can couple the best Facebook ads of your research with Audience Insights, looking for competitors among the pages that your audience has liked.

Now, you can use those results in Audience Insights by going to the Create Audience tab and looking up your competitors’ Facebook Pages under “Interests”. Only a few will show up. For those, note the demographic data that appears along with them to better craft your audience.

With these insights, you can create new audiences and test them against your corresponding audience to see which one performs better, and gain followers from your competition.

4. Use Live Events

You can develop strategies to target audiences who are going through a major life event and may need your products or services through them.

With Facebook, it’s easy to target anyone going through almost any major life event, allowing, for example, funeral services to target people who are in the process of suffering a lost, or jewelry shops to advertise to married couples about to celebrate their anniversary.

From new homeowners to people about to retire, if your business sells a product or service around major life events, you can develop audiences to target them. 

5. Target Lookalike Audiences

With Facebook, you can point to your existing audiences and target users who have a lot of things in common with them, but have never heard of your company. This allows you to replicate your most effective audiences and quickly expand their numbers.

Targeting lookalike audiences can be a great strategy to find users in new areas, allowing you to expand by searching for the kind of audience that has proven to be effective before in past locations

Use the Lookalike Audience feature when creating a new audience in Ads Manager, and select from your existing audiences the one you want to use. Then, select the percentage of the population of lookalikes in the location you’re looking for. The lower the percentage, the closer the users will be to your original audience.

6. Laser-Focus Ads With Layered Targeting

Although Facebook offers general targeting options, it can also offer extremely granular ones. You can use these options to better segment and define your audiences when targeting specific users or specific niches.

There are several layers of detail in each category, allowing you to narrow down very specific characteristics of your users. You can use these to develop particular ads targeted to solve particular needs.

For example, a meditation app may want to target users who are going through a loss, and layer them with options based on their location and their interest, in order to develop custom ads for each one.

By creating audiences with different layers, you can develop more engaging Facebook ads that better suit your target’s needs.

7. Look Into Ad Relevance Diagnostics For Insights

Already have audiences? You find ways of optimizing them with Ad Relevance Diagnostics. Here, you can define why an ad isn’t performing well, diagnose the issue, and determine how to improve its performance.

Ad Relevance Diagnostics defines your ads’ Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking, and Conversion Rate Ranking, allowing you to quickly identify which ad is having an issue, and where.

If your ads are low on quality ranking, you can try improving the visuals, or tweak your audience to find one more likely to find your current content appealing. You can fix low engagement by changing your target audience’s behaviors to target more active users. If the ad’s issue is conversion, you can also look into more engaged shopper behaviors (including selecting the “engaged shoppers” option), and polish your CTA.

How to Effectively Target Your Facebook Ads

Targeting your Facebook ads is easy! Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Define Your Audience

As we previously mentioned, nailing your target audience is crucial if you want your ads to perform well. Define audience personas as detailed as possible, using the Facebook Ads targeting options as guidelines.

Step 2: Define Your Goal

Now, you can determine what you want the audience to do once they see your ad. Do you want them to message you or to like your page? Do you want to promote your business in general or sell a specific product?

Use SMART goals to easily define their levels of success.

Step 3: Develop Your Ad

Once you know what you’re advertising and who you’re advertising to, you can start developing your ad. Free design platforms like Canva have templates based on the different measurements for visuals on different ads, allowing you to quickly create your visuals depending on the kind of Facebook ad you’re using.

Step 4: Create Your Audiences

You can now go to create an ad campaign on Facebook with your visuals and your target audience. Make sure you’re inputting every detail of your target audience onto Facebook.

Here, you can use layered targeting to create different audiences by altering variables. These variables may be the aspects of your audience you haven’t defined or tested before.

Step 5: Test, Test, Test

Now that you have a few variations of your audiences, you can start A/B testing them to determine which audiences perform better. Use Ad Relevance Diagnostics to look into each ad’s performance and identify issues with your current audiences.

Make sure to allocate a small budget to the testing phase to ensure you get the data you need before investing in an audience.

Step 6: Refine Your Target Audience

Keep refining your Facebook targeting aim by testing different variations, creating new customer personas, and layering your targeting options to target audiences as effectively as possible.

Final Thoughts

Facebook Ads offers you a granular level of targeting options that allow you to make the most out of your budget.

Make sure to develop your target audience, and keep testing them with updated data to improve your ROI on Facebook ads!

Posted on
July 15, 2022
under Blog
July 15, 2022
Written by
Daniel Lerman
Marketer, content developer, and SEO strategist.

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