You can have amazing ad copy and imagery, but if you haven’t properly defined your target audience, then your Facebook ads won’t deliver the kind of results you want. Before launching a campaign
, make sure to understand Facebook audiences and targeting so you’ll be able to define the right target audience for an effective campaign.
Learn about Facebook audiences and targeting to see how you can optimize your campaign!
Facebook Ads Audiences
Defining your target audience is essential for helping your Facebook ads show to the people you care about. There are various targeting options available to build your campaign’s target audience (which will discuss in the following section) but there are several types of Facebook audiences you should know.
You can build your target audience from scratch every time you set up a new campaign, but a quick way to save yourself time and effort is to use a ‘Saved Audience.’ Basically, it’s using the same audience from another ad set. You can keep the Saved Audience as is or edit it if there are certain targeting options you want to include or exclude in your new campaign.
A ‘Custom Audience’ allows you to import data or use Facebook sources for ad retargeting on Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Ad Network. Custom Audiences
are an effective way for businesses to reach people who have already interacted with their brand.
You can create a Custom Audience from an outside source like your website traffic, customer data file (e.g. email list), app activity, and even offline activity like calls to your business. Another way to create a Custom Audience is to use Facebook sources such as your Facebook page, video engagement, Instagram profile, lead form, events, and Instant Experience ads (formerly known as 'Canvas').
Creating a ‘Lookalike Audience
’ allows you to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they're similar to your Custom Audience, hence the name. Facebook identifies the common qualities of the people in your Custom Audience (e.g. demographic information or interests) and delivers your ad to an audience of people who are similar to them.
Special Ad Audience
Facebook’s ‘Special Ad Category
’ is an ads classification that applies to credit, housing, and employment. Facebook created this ad category to help enforce its policies against discriminatory advertising practices and prevent discrimination based on demographics such as age, gender, or zip code.
Since Facebook won’t allow targeting based on demographics or behaviors, advertisers aren’t able to create Lookalike Audiences for special category ads. However, you can make a ‘Special Ad Audience’ that will show your ad to people whose online behavior is similar to your current customers, without matching by demographics.
Facebook Ad Targeting Options
Facebook allows you to create specific or broad audiences depending on what you're trying to accomplish and what resources you have available. Although specific targeting may lead to a smaller audience, they’ll probably be more interested than a larger, broader audience. However, if you're not sure who you want to target, broad targeting is a good approach.
When building your campaign’s audience, there is a variety of targeting options to choose from:
- Location Targeting: Zip codes, cities, countries, etc.
- Demographic Targeting: Age, sex, ethnicity, education, job title, etc.
- Behavior Targeting: Prior purchases, mobile device users, digital activities, etc.
- Interests Targeting: Hobbies, entertainment, food and drink, relationships, etc.
- Connections Targeting: Include people who are connected to your Facebook Page or event, or exclude them to find new audiences.
Whichever targeting options you select, it’s always important that you research, test, and review data to see what works and doesn’t work.
Improve Your Facebook Ads Results
Well-written copy and attractive images are important for effective Facebook ads, but they’re only part of the puzzle. Your ads need to show to the right people to make your campaign truly worthwhile. Defining your target audience (and redefining it when necessary) is crucial for improving your Facebook ads results and ensuring ad spend isn’t wasted on disinterested users.