Targeting Your Audience with Facebook Ads

When you’re running Facebook Ads, to get the best return on investment, you want to make sure that you target the right people.

There are a couple different tools that you can use to really fine-tune and create custom audiences to really find your target.


Audience Insights in Facebook Ads


One of them is audience insights, and you can go in here and you can actually create custom saved audiences based on who you’re trying to target.

Let’s say in the United States I was trying to target parents, I can do that. You can also do things if you’re trying to find what kind of interests somebody says, so let’s say someone is interested in CNN and I want to find some other targets, I can go and click “page likes” and see what they’re following.

People who follow CNN, they’re following these kind of categories up here. You can add these to your saved audiences, and you can also go down and find different page likes of individuals and public pages that people are following who also follow CNN. And you can do that for anything in here.

Now, Facebook has been removing targeted-based interests as well as demographics in the last nine months, and it’s getting to be harder and harder to target certain demographics, income levels, job descriptions, all that kind of stuff. It’s really more interest-based, or it’s becoming more and more interest-based, but you can still do some good targeting in there.

And then the other thing, when you actually start to go into …You can actually go into here, so this is a saved audience, but you can target different interests and everything like that. But I wanted to actually show you, is you can go here, and you can just start typing in here.

We could say, “parents,” and it’ll come up as parent as an interest, but be sure to watch interests versus job titles versus demographics, because in this case you would actually want the demographics.

You can go in here and you can go for suggestions, and then Facebook will start giving you suggestions of topics and segments of their audience based on what you already chose. You can also hit “browse” and start to just browse through here to give yourself an idea. You can go based on education.

The only thing to keep in mind is, especially with some of these demographics, the demographics more than interests and behaviors, but the demographics especially, data is accurate in there, but they don’t have the data on everybody. So, especially when you’re doing local targeting, I see this mistake a lot.

Common Mistake while Doing Local Level Ads


People will start to get really, really targeted if they’re trying to do ads on a local level, and what they end up doing is getting their audience to be so small that the algorithm can’t actually work. The algorithm works based on data, so when an ad is running, the people who are engaging with that ad sends information back to the algorithm shows that ad to more people who already engaged with the ad.

By getting too narrow in your audience size and your pretend audience definition up in here, you can actually do yourself more harm than good. On a local level, the most that you ever want to use as targeting is the location, age, and gender, and languages. Ninety-nine percent of the time you don’t need to be bringing in detailed targeting at a local level. You just want the algorithm to do the job.

It’s a very intelligent algorithm, and you have to start to trust it. We’re not smarter than the algorithm. Once upon a time, the algorithm, back in 2013, 2014, needed a little bit more help, so to speak, but we don’t have to do that anymore. That’s the biggest thing.

When you’re picking your audience, make sure that you’re selecting between 500,000 to 3 million, if you’re targeting a cold audience.

Create Custom Audience


The other thing that you can always do is that if you already have a following on Facebook, if you have your pics on your website, if you have an email list, is you can create custom audiences and target them, but you can also do something called a look-alike. You can go into the audience section of the ads manager, and you can actually create what we call look-alikes.

If you upload your email list, which is people we know who are actively interested in what you provide, you can go in here and actually create a look-alike audience. It will take that email list that you’ve already uploaded and find people who are similar to in whatever country or countries that you want to target. This can be very, very powerful to find new clients, customers, followers, that are similar to the type of people who are already interested in you.

Now, if you’re uploading an email list, I like about 500 people in the email list before I upload it just so that there’s enough. They won’t be able to match everybody, but we want to try to match some of them. But anything less than that, and it gets a little weak. The more, the merrier with almost everything. Within any algorithm, the more, the merrier.

Hopefully you’ve learned something from this, and hopefully you enjoyed it. Be sure to like, follow, and share. Leave any comments if you have any questions, and you can always find me over at