Ad Targeting On Facebook: Ideas to Get You Started

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Have you ever seen a Facebook ad in your news feed and thought, “Hey, how did that ad know my most recent purchase?”

When it comes to ad targeting on Facebook, advertisers have plenty of options. You can target based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.

But keep in mind:

It is by targeting the right people with the right message that you’re able to get the results you want!

In today’s blog post, we’re going to explore different ways to zero in on your Facebook ad audience.

(FREE resource: 25 Must-Know Facebook Ad Targeting Options)

What Is Ad Targeting on Facebook and Why Does It Matter?

When setting up your Facebook ad campaign, first, you need to select your campaign objective.

The next step involves defining your target audience – people you would like to show your ads to. (See the screenshot below.) This is what ad targeting is all about.

Facebook lets you target three types of audiences. These are:

1. Detailed Targeting – This is where you enter the interests, behaviors, or demographics that are related to your niche.

2. Custom Audience – A custom audience refers to people who’ve already interacted with your business. These people can be your previous website visitors, app users, or customers.

3. Lookalike Audience – A lookalike audience is an audience that has similar characteristics to your custom audience. When choosing a lookalike audience, you’re letting Facebook decide who to show ads to.

Targeting Can Make or Break Your Facebook Ad Campaign

Here are the ways proper ad targeting helps you succeed:

1. Lower Facebook ad costs – Being precise with your targeting does not only help you gain more clicks and conversions, but it also decreases your cost per lead and conversion. This results in higher profits.

2. Get people to like and trust you – One effective way to earn people’s trust is to understand who they are. Because when you understand them, you can deliver content that reflects their needs and desires.

3. Maximizes your time and effort – Instead of going back and forth to make changes in your campaign, you can spend your time and effort improving other areas of your business. This is what happens if you nail your Facebook ad targeting.

7 Ideas for Your Ad Targeting On Facebook

In this section, I’ll show you seven ways to target your audience with Facebook ads. At least one of these tips will dramatically improve your FB ad campaigns.

1. Get repeated sales by targeting your existing customers

You may ask, “Why should I show ads to people who’ve already bought from me?” Focusing on existing customers could be the last thing on your mind.

But here’s why it matters:

When you’re launching a new product, it’s always a great idea to start promoting to people who already know, like, and trust you. Aside from getting repeat sales, your current customers can also share your recent launch with their friends.

You can also show complementary items. For example, a shoe protection spray for that new pair of shoes somebody bought.

2. Target by industry, occupation, or employer

Does your business cater to people who have a certain job title or work in a particular industry? You can target these people too!

Let’s say that you sell medical supplies such as wheelchairs and pressure mattresses. The best people to show Facebook ads to would be those who work in the healthcare industry.

Go to Detailed Targeting > Demographics > Work:

When you click a specific industry, Facebook guides you by showing you examples of roles within the industry.

3. Use life events targeting

Why not reach out to those who’ll be celebrating a major life event? It’s another detailed way of targeting your audience.

Under Demographics > Life Events, you’ll find several options (not limited to):

  • Anniversary within 30 days
  • Upcoming birthday
  • Newly engaged (3 months, 6 months, 1 year)
  • Newlywed
  • New job

If you sell mugs, for example, you would obviously want to show Facebook ads to friends of those who recently had a new job.

Or if you sell bags for women, you would want to target close friends of women who’ll be celebrating their birthdays in a week.

4. Mirror your top spenders (create a Lookalike Audience)

When you create a lookalike audience, you’re allowing Facebook to target people who are similar to your existing audience.

To create this type of audience, first, you need to import a custom audience.

For this ad targeting strategy, your custom audience would be the top spenders in your customer list. So instead of creating a lookalike audience off of all your customers, you’re going to focus on your biggest spenders.

This strategy is especially useful for driving more sales to your most expensive products. 💵

Here’s how to entice high-end customers with your ad copy/visuals:

  • Show that your brand serves high-end customers. Display social proof.
  • Use high-quality visuals to enhance your brand.
  • Sell the benefits of your product or service.
  • Convey scarcity or urgency.
5. Target parents with children of certain ages

It’s no secret that more and more parents use Facebook.

They don’t just use the platform to connect with others, but also to discover parenting advice and products. Shopping online allows them to get what they need without making time-consuming trips to the store or mall.

If you own an ecommerce store that caters to parents and kids, you can set up an ad to target parents.

Just go to Demographics and select Parents. You can choose to target all parents or narrow down based on the age of their kids:

6. Use a layered targeting approach

Perhaps the best thing about ad targeting on Facebook is that you can use a layered approach. What does this mean?

This means that you can combine multiple demographics, behaviors, and interests to narrow down your audience further. Using layered targeting, you can address very specific needs and problems.

Consider this example:

If you’re offering yoga lessons online, you could first target yoga-related interests, and then narrow down targeting parents with school-age kids.

They are usually busy and don’t have much time to go to yoga centers, so, for example, you could approach them with an ad that says, “Yoga for busy moms & dads. From the comfort of your home.”

Do you get the point?

You can laser-target your audience using the layering feature.

To get the best results, you should know your customer’s intent. Be aware of what your audience is looking for in the buyer journey and why they want it. Research their habits and preferences.

7. Market your destination by targeting travelers

Fact: 52% of individuals ages 18-34 years in the US book their trip online because it’s convenient.

As someone who runs a travel agency or hotel, you can make it simple for people to achieve their dream vacation by connecting with them on Facebook through ads.

To target travelers, select Behaviors, then Travel.

You have the option to target frequent travelers, people who travel abroad more than once in the past 6 months, people who just returned, and more.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, make sure that your Facebook travel ads are visually appealing. Consider using video to make your offer shine.

(FREE resource: 25 Must-Know Facebook Ad Targeting Options)

Over to You

It’s time to improve your ad targeting on Facebook. You can start with any of the targeting ideas above (depending on the nature of your business) or explore other options inside Facebook Ads Manager!

Finally, I’d like to give you the opportunity to discover more hidden interests that your competitors don’t know about. My team and I have created an amazing tool called ConnectExplore that lets you do that.

By leveraging those untapped interests, you can make more money from your Facebook ads and achieve successful results.

Here’s more about ConnectExplore!