Facebook Ad Targeting Tips for Success in 2023‍

April 21, 2023

Facebook has become one of the most powerful platforms for digital advertising, offering businesses the ability to reach billions of potential customers. However, in order to truly capitalize on this potential, it's crucial to understand the importance of effective ad targeting.

Facebook's targeting features allow you to reach specific groups of people based on a wide range of criteria, including location, interests, behaviours, and more. By leveraging these targeting options, you can ensure that your ads are being seen by the right people, at the right time, and in the right context.

In this article, we'll provide an overview of Facebook ad targeting, and offer some key tips for success.

Know Your Audience

One of the most important factors in successful Facebook ad targeting is understanding your target audience. Without this understanding, you're likely to waste time and resources targeting the wrong people, or crafting messages that don't resonate with your audience.

Here are a few strategies for gaining a deeper understanding of your audience:

Gather and analyze data: Use tools like Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, and customer surveys to gather data about your audience, such as demographics, interests, behaviours, and preferences. Analyze this data to identify patterns and insights that can inform your ad targeting strategy.

Create buyer personas: A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. By creating detailed personas that reflect the needs, wants, and behaviours of your audience, you can guide your ad targeting decisions and ensure that your messages resonate with the right people.

Use Custom Audiences

One of the most powerful targeting options on Facebook is the use of custom audiences. These are groups of people that you have already established a connection with, such as existing customers, website visitors, or email subscribers. By creating custom audiences, you can target your ads to people who are already familiar with your brand and are more likely to convert.

To create a custom audience, you'll need to upload a list of email addresses or phone numbers to Facebook or install a tracking pixel on your website. Facebook will then match this information with its user database, and create a custom audience that you can target with your ads.

There are many different ways to use custom audiences, including:

Retargeting: Show ads to people who have previously visited your website or engaged with your brand on Facebook.

Upselling and cross-selling: Target existing customers with ads for complementary products or services.

Re-engagement: Target people who haven't interacted with your brand in a while, in order to bring them back into your sales funnel.

As you use custom audiences over time, you can refine them based on their performance. For example, you might identify certain segments of your audience that are more likely to convert and create separate custom audiences just for them.

Master Lookalike Audiences

Another powerful targeting option on Facebook is the use of lookalike audiences. These are groups of people who are similar to your existing customers or other custom audiences, based on a range of factors such as demographics, interests, and behaviours.

To create a lookalike audience, you'll need to select a source audience (such as a custom audience or a Facebook Page) and specify a target location and audience size. Facebook will then use its algorithms to find people who are similar to your source audience and create a new lookalike audience that you can target with your ads.

There are a few key strategies to keep in mind when creating lookalike audiences:

Choose the right source audience: Make sure you select a source audience that is relevant to your campaign goals, and that has enough data to generate a meaningful lookalike audience.

Refine your audience size: Depending on your campaign goals and budget, you may want to create a lookalike audience that is relatively broad (e.g. 1-2% of the target location), or more narrow and focused.

Monitor and adjust your targeting: As with any targeting option, it's important to monitor the performance of your lookalike audiences over time and adjust your targeting strategy as needed. For example, you might find that certain interests or behaviours are particularly effective at driving conversions, and adjust your targeting accordingly.

lady at desk on phone and laptop with facebook

Utilize Interest Targeting

Interest targeting on Facebook allows you to target people based on their interests, hobbies, and other activities they engage with on the platform. This targeting option is based on Facebook's vast data on user behaviour, including pages they have liked, groups they have joined, and content they have engaged with.

To effectively utilize interest targeting, you need to find the right interests to target. Some tips to help you with this include:

Research your audience: Use audience insights tools to understand the interests and behaviours of your target audience.

Look at your competitors: Check out the pages and groups that your competitors are targeting and look for commonalities.

Test and adjust your targeting: Try targeting a range of interests and monitor their performance. Refine your targeting by removing underperforming interests and adding new ones.

To make the most of interest targeting, you can also combine it with other targeting options. For example, you might target people who have shown an interest in outdoor activities and who live in a specific geographic location.

Leverage Behavioural Targeting

Behavioural targeting on Facebook allows you to target people based on their online behaviours and activities outside of Facebook. This includes data such as purchase behavior, device usage, and travel habits.

To effectively leverage behavioural targeting, you need to find and target specific behaviours. Some strategies to help you with this include:

Start with your business goals: Identify the specific behaviours that are most likely to lead to your desired business outcome, such as a purchase or a lead.

Use Facebook's built-in targeting options: Facebook provides a range of pre-defined behaviours to target, such as people who have made a purchase within the last 30 days or people who are frequent travellers.

Create custom behaviours: You can also create your own custom behaviours based on data such as website interactions or offline purchase behaviour.

people pointing at laptop screen

Experiment with Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting on Facebook allows you to target people based on factors such as age, gender, education level, and income. This type of targeting can be particularly useful for businesses that have a specific target market or audience.

There are several different demographic targeting options available on Facebook, including:

Basic demographics: This includes factors such as age, gender, and location.

Education and employment: You can target people based on their education level, field of study, and job title.

Income and net worth: This targeting option allows you to target people based on their income and estimated net worth.

Relationship status and family: You can target people based on their relationship status, whether they have children, and the age of their children.

Generation: Facebook allows you to target people based on their generation, such as millennials or baby boomers.

Advanced Agency Facebook Targeting Tips

As a Facebook advertising agency, it's important to have a deep understanding of the platform's targeting capabilities and to stay up to date with the latest best practices. Here are some advanced targeting tips that can help you take your Facebook ad campaigns to the next level:

Find People Similar to Your Best Customers with Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

While lookalike audiences are a powerful targeting option, not all lookalike audiences are created equal. One way to take your lookalike targeting to the next level is to create value-based lookalike audiences. These audiences are based on the lifetime value of your current customers, and Facebook will find people who are similar to your highest-value customers.

To create a value-based lookalike audience, you'll need to upload a list of your current customers with their lifetime value data. Facebook will then use this data to find people who are similar to your highest-value customers.

Improve Targeting with Facebook Ad Relevance Diagnostics

Facebook's ad relevance diagnostics tool can help you improve the performance of your ads by identifying which aspects of your ad may be causing it to underperform. This tool measures three key factors: engagement rate ranking, quality ranking, and conversion rate ranking.

By identifying which of these factors is dragging down your ad's performance, you can make targeted improvements to your ad creative, targeting, or landing page to improve your ad's relevance and drive better results.

Target People Who Have Recently Shopped from Facebook Ads

If you're running Facebook ads that promote products or services, one effective targeting option is to target people who have recently made a purchase from a Facebook ad. You can create a custom audience based on this behaviour and target these high-intent customers with additional offers or related products.

Find Your Unicorn Content

Not all ad creative performs equally. Some ad creatives may resonate particularly well with your target audience and drive better results than others. The challenge is identifying which ad creative is your "unicorn" – the top-performing ad creative that delivers the best results.

One way to find your unicorn content is to test multiple ad variations against each other and monitor their performance closely. Use Facebook's reporting tools to identify which ad creative is driving the most conversions or engagement and then iterate on that creative to improve its performance even further.

Get Ultra-Precise with Layered Targeting

Finally, for businesses with very specific target audiences, layered targeting can be an effective option. Layered targeting involves using multiple targeting options at once to create a highly precise audience.

For example, you could create an audience that includes people who are interested in yoga, are women aged 25-34, and live in a specific city. This highly specific targeting can help ensure that your ads are only shown to the most relevant people, maximizing their effectiveness.

By using these advanced targeting tips, Facebook advertising agencies can improve the performance of their campaigns and deliver better results for their clients.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, effective Facebook ad targeting can significantly boost the performance of your ad campaigns. By understanding your audience, using custom and lookalike audiences, leveraging interest and behavioural targeting, experimenting with demographic targeting, and utilizing advanced targeting techniques, you can create ads that resonate with the right people at the right time.

To learn more about how to use Facebook Ads retargeting to increase conversions, check out our blog post here. For a comprehensive guide to Facebook Ads best practices, head over to this post. And if you want to improve your understanding and tracking of Facebook Ads metrics, read our ultimate guide here.

At Soone Agency, we specialize in creating customized Facebook Ads strategies that drive results for our clients. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your advertising goals.