11 Ways to to Target Your Ideal Audience With Facebook Ads

11 Ways to to Target Your Ideal Audience With Facebook Ads

Learn how to use Facebook Targeting to reach your ideal audience with MagicBrief. Get the most out of your ads by targeting your exact audience.

Apr 22, 2023
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How to Use Facebook Targeting to Reach Your Ideal Audience

You could have the catchiest headline, and most persuasive copy, but if your ad isn’t reaching the right people, you can forget all about conversions. 

To really get clicks, leads and sales, you need to know how to use Facebook targeting to reach your ideal audience. 

Targeting lets Facebook advertisers decide who sees their ads. With specific criteria, you can find your facebook target audience based on an endless list of parameters. 

However, Facebook targeting goes far beyond just demographics, such as age and location. Other targeting options include interests, behaviours, job titles, and even the type of device people use to access Facebook.

In this guide, we'll go through ten amazing Facebook targeting techniques that you can use for your next ad campaign.

  1. Conduct a broad targeting strategy to your initial audience
  2. Incorporate audience interests and purchase behaviour to target your ideal audience
  3. Target audiences based on their income
  4. Identify where your audience works
  5. Target users based on Life Events
  6. Make Custom Audiences from website visitors on Facebook
  7. Use Lookalike Audiences with your most valued clients
  8. Use Layered Targeting to target specific demographics and behaviours together
  9. Revamp your targeting strategy with Facebook Ad Relevance Diagnostics
  10. Use Audience Insights to check your competitor’s target market

Start by Defining the Basic Demographics of Your Audience

Sometimes, advertisers can get a little mixed up or overwhelmed trying to define their target audience. But, it doesn’t have to be complicated, atleast, not to begin with.

The first thing to do is to use a broad targeting strategy and accumulate data on your initial audience. This means selecting only a few parameters, which could be a larger geographical area, a broad age range and gender.

Naturally, these three criteria still leave your Facebook audience far too large to deliver conversions consistently. But it's certainly a step in the right direction.

Just ensure you run ads for long enough to gather enough data to make your next move.

Find Out Your Audience Interests and Recent Purchasing Behaviour

Now that you've got your basic demographics out of the way, it's time to dig deeper into the rabbit hole.

To target real prospects, you have to know their actual interests and recent purchasing behaviour.

The more specific you are in this part of the process, the better. For example, if you're selling football shirts (or soccer for our American readers!), don't choose the broad interest of 'sports'. Instead, choose football and team-specific interests such as Manchester United or Arsenal. 

To really kick things up a notch, you can start identifying your chosen audience’s recent purchasing behaviour.

Facebook, through third-party data companies like Datalogix, have acquired massive amounts of user data. If you've bought medicine, watched a movie or eaten out in the last month, Facebook knows about it.

So, let's reference our prior example of selling football shirts. You could try finding users who have bought similar products i.e football shorts in the last six months. That way, you’re targeting football fans who are likely to be interested in your football shirts.

Purchasing behaviour subcategories are vast, including Health & Beauty, Books, Cosmetics, and more. Choose the most relevant category and see your audience's purchasing habits. For example, selecting ‘Business Purchases’ lets you target people who have recently purchased office furniture, software, and other corporate products.

Target Audiences Based on Income

Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. If you're selling high-end products, like a sports car, you need an audience that can actually afford it.

Oppositely, you can target audiences who have a lower income if you're selling products or services on the cheaper side. For example, if you're selling budget electronics, targeting older, more established audiences with money to burn isn’t ideal. 

Facebook lets you target by income through specific financial behaviours, including Net Worth, Liquid Assets, Income and more. And while Facebook's financial data isn't entirely accurate, it still massively helps when targeting your ideal audience.

The quick takeaway is this: Don't select a user base who's net income is over $2,000,000 if you're selling budget ramen - try going for broke college students!

Identify What Industry Your Target Audience Is In

Does your business cater to a specific professional industry?

If so, start targeting users who work in that industry.

Begin by selecting your demographics, then choose work. You can now select groups by their industry. But even this criteria is too vague to really target real people.

Take it a step further and select specific job titles, like 'Chief Executive Officer' or 'Marketing Manager'. You can even target businesses based on their size and type. So if you're offering entry level laptops, for example, smaller offices who are startups and businesses with fewer than 10 employees would be great targets.

By combining these unique criteria, you can reach a very specific and relevant audience.

Go Outside the Box by Targeting Users Life Events

A big reason we purchase the things we do is because of what transpires in everyday life. For example, new graduates on the hunt for their first car may purchase from an auto dealership. Or, couples who have recently moved may buy furniture from online furniture shops.

Facebook's life event parameters let you target users based on past events, such as anniversaries, birthdays, engagements, marriages and more, ranging 3-12 months. An online florist could target couples who are approaching their first wedding anniversary, based on the fact that they got married a year ago.

When analysing your own product, find out what type of life events could compel users to buy yours.

Retarget Website Visitors with Facebook Custom Audiences 

Do you know who's likely to order your products?

It's the people who already ordered them.

Facebook lets you create custom audiences from existing your website's contacts, including customers, and visitors. You can upload your custom audience via their email addresses, or phone numbers to Facebook.

Now, what you do with this list is down to your intended goal. If you plan on providing a free consultation or trial, you'll want to exclude former clients. Instead, you can retarget subscribers who have yet to purchase, which will encourage them to do so.

With your list in hand, you can combine other parameters i.e their salary, location, job title etc to create a custom and highly relevant target audience. By digging deeper and deeper, you're slowly closing in on your ideal target audience. Don't be afraid to use all relevant parameters and the tools available to you.

How to create a Facebook Custom Audience from your website

Before you can use your Facebook Custom Audience based on website visitors, you'll need to install the Facebook Pixel. 

  1. Go to your Ads Manager and select Audiences.
  2. Hover your cursor over ‘Create Audience’ and select ‘Custom Audience’.
  3. Under sources, choose ‘Website’.
  4. Choose your pixel.
  5. Underneath ‘Events’, select the type of visitors you wish to target
  6. Give your audience a name and select ‘Create audience’.

Create Lookalike Audiences Based on Your Existing Customer Base

Your best customers are shining examples of who you should target. For example, a cake company may already know that parents in their 30s with kids, who live in a certain location, enjoy ordering from them.

You can create a Lookalike audience with your best customers in mind using the 'Lookalike Audiences' tool. Facebook then analyses your custom audience then finds new individuals who fit the same characteristics and demographics.

The result is an audience that looks similar to your most valued customer base. With this tool, you don't need to start from scratch; it simply builds on what works.

But remember, you want to use your most valuable customers, not outliers.

For example, a video game company looking to sell their newest console shouldn't consider former clients who bought the original console 15 years ago. Those customers may no longer be relevant to the current sale. Instead, they'll want to target customers who purchased the most recent console.

With your custom audience, Facebook can either broaden or narrow your target audience based upon the criteria you set. If you want to expand your customer base, Facebook can locate the top 10% who have similar traits. Oppositely, if you want a narrow target audience, Facebook can find the top 1%.

Here's how to do it step by step:

  1. In ‘Audiences’, hover your cursor on ‘Create Audience’ and select ‘Lookalike Audience’.
  2. Select the custom audience you created.
  3. Select which regions you want to target and audience size.
  4. Click ‘Create Audience’.

Use Layered Targeting to Really Define Your Audience

Sometimes, one or a few parameters isn't enough to define your target audience.

If your product or service is highly specific i.e a home healthcare service providing physical therapy for elderly patients recovering from hip injuries, you'll need many more. In this case, you wouldn't want Facebook to target just anyone over the age of 65.

Layered targeting basically involves combining parameters to refine your audience. 

In our example of a healthcare provider, they could target individuals aged 60-80 who have recently been diagnosed with a hip injury, live in your local area, and have a household income of at least $50,000. You can then only select users who have searched for similar terms or have visited related websites in the past month.

Let's do another example:

Let's say you're a cat grooming centre that only caters to high-end breeds like Persians and Scottish Folds.

Instead of simply targeting just cat owners, you could target cat owners in specific zip codes, who have a household income of at least $60,000. Then from your list, you can see which users have recently purchased high-end pet products. 

Parametres are diverse because businesses are diverse, so be sure to think about the most relevant options for your target audience.

Enhance Your Facebook Ad Targeting Strategy with Facebook Ad Relevance Diagnostics

You've dug deep enough that you've finally hit your target audience. Now it's time for Facebook to compare your ad to similar ads running on the platform.

Ad relevance diagnostics measures how closely related your ad is to other top-performing ads with the following criteria:

Quality ranking - Facebook evaluates your ad as a whole, considering it’s text, image, and any other creative elements you've used. It then measures various signals, like user feedback, whether or not the ad withholds information, the use of clickbait and so on.

Engagement rate ranking - Facebook sees how your audiences are interacting with your ads. This includes your ads number of likes, shares, comments and reactions divided by the impressions your ad has received. Naturally, the more interactions your ad has, the better.

Conversion rate ranking - This measures how often people who view your ads take a desired action, such as buying a product or using your service. 

By using Facebook's ad relevance diagnostics, you can identify bottlenecks in your ads targeting strategy. For example, if you have a high number of impressions but minimal engagement, you can change your content or targeting to make it more relevant to your intended audience.

To improve your ad's ranking scores for Facebook’s ad relevance diagnostics, try doing the following:

  • Focus on a catchy headline that will draw eyes.
  • Create captivating copy that's straight to the point. Instead of 'increase facebook followers by using our service', try 'Go from 0 to 10,000 Facebook followers in days'.
  • Include eye-catching imagery - we all love visuals.
  • Choose the right ad format for your ad i.e Single image ad specs are different from Video ad specs
  • Use clear call to actions - tell your audience what you want them to do i.e 'Learn More' or 'Download Now'
  • Strategically time ads i.e if the superbowl is coming up, it's a good time to sell related products like team specific jerseys.
  • Use A/B testing to experiment with different ad variations.
  • Learn from your competitor's by saving their ads into the Facebook Ad Library of MagicBrief Ad Library.

In case you don't know about the FB ad library, we have a master guide. Learn about the Facebook Ad Library and how to master it.

By combining the ad recommendations above with in depth Facebook targeting, you'll consistently achieve a high relevance ranking.  That way, you can ensure your ads will be seen by the right people.

Check Your Competitors’ Target Market using Audience Insights

If you're stuck in the mud and need inspiration, check your competitor's. The Audience tab in Meta Business Suite Insights lets you create a potential audience along with the pages they're following. You can then type in your competitor's name in the filter box and  see their exact target audience. 

With this information, you can analyse the audience's demographics to gain new insights. For example, your competitor's target audience may be primarily male, aged 18-35, and located in urban areas. You can then narrow your own  target audience to those exact parameters and continue from there. 

You can then explore all of your Facebook competitors and come up with new audiences who may be interested in your product. 

Here's how to do it step by step:

  1. Open your ‘Audience Insights’ dashboard and click on ‘Potential audience’.
  2. Click ‘Filter’ and input targeting options like age, gender, location, and interests to start creating a potential audience.
  3. Instead of clicking ‘Create audience’, scroll down to the Top pages section.
  4. Copy and paste these pages into a text file or spreadsheet.
  5. Click on ‘Filter’ again and clear all existing filters. 
  6. In the ‘Interest’ box, type in the names of your competitors.
  7. You'll then have access to the audience data of your competitors.

Final Thoughts

Facebook ad targeting, along with delivering well-crafted appealing ads should be at the forefront of any Facebook ad campaign. Facebook users who engage with your ad improves your relevancy score and ensures your ad shows up more frequently.

By starting with a broader target audience, testing different types of parameters, and using a lookalike audience based off of your customers, you can reach your ideal customer base. Like most things, delivering relevant Facebook ads involves taking baby steps before you can run a marathon. But with the right information, you’ll tailor your ad campaigns and reach results that matter for your business.

Good luck!

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