Facebook Ads Targeting Ultimate Guide

Facebook Ads Targeting
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Speaking from personal experience, Facebook ads targeting the right audience is the biggest determinant of any profitable campaign, even more, critical than ad copywriting.

However, the fact that Facebook offers an intimidating wealth of targeting options leads to paralysis of choice for many advertisers.

If you have heard anything about Facebook advertising, you know it’s both extensive and complicated. If you have ever been targeted by Facebook ads, you understand it’s almost borderline stalky. And if you have ever attempted Facebook advertising for yourself, you know it’s powerful and cost-effective.

While paid search marketing is mostly achieved by targeting specific keywords that users are typing in the search box, the Facebook ad is based on finding the audiences that are most likely to become your customer.

These targeting options focus directly on users and profiling prospects to get clicks and grow your business.

So instead of leveraging your efforts on trial and error, take advantage of your Google Analytics insights to have a head start.

You will be more likely to build a profitable campaign, faster and cheaper. Below I’ll show you how to choose the best Facebook Targeting Options for your brand, by leveraging Google Analytics data.

Types Of Facebook Ads Targeting Audiences

Before we get into the details, let’s do a quick overview of the three types of Facebook ads targeting audiences.

#1. Core audiences: This is the default audience type in Ads Manager where you can target by location, interests, demographics, behaviors, and connections.

#2. Custom audiences: These audiences are created using your data (such as people who have visited your site or a customer list) and/or Facebook’s data (such as users’ behavior on the platform).

#3. Lookalike audiences: Facebook can create audiences similar to ones you have already created or based on an uploaded list.

Now let’s get to find out the types of Facebook Ads Targeting Types.

Facebook Audience Targeting Guide

#1. Facebook Demographic Targeting

If you want to succeed in marketing, you need to attract potential customers, but you also need to ensure that you connect with buyers who are likely to need what you have to offer.

You don’t want to be paying for ads that are reaching people who aren’t interested in your offer. Facebook demographic targeting allows you to shrink the size of the pool and target customers that match your buyer persona.

With this strategy, you can boost the quality of your leads, which should lead to more sales and conversions.

When you place ads, you want them to be seen by people who will look at them and then take the next step further into your sales funnel.

You don’t want your ads to fall flat, no marketer wants that. No businesses sell products that are not going to appeal to every Facebook user, and demographic targeting is a perfect way to ensure you get more hits than misses with your ad shoots.

You have control over the criteria and settings you apply, and you can create new campaigns to suit your business and sales objectives.

If you are pitching for Mother’s Day trade, for instance, you could launch a campaign that targets men and women, parents, and new parents.

When wedding season is approaching, you can craft another ad campaign that focuses on people who are engaged and those who have recently been engaged.

How to Correctly Use Facebook Ads demographic targeting

Facebook ads revolve around targeting audiences and connecting you with people who are likely to have a genuine interest in the products you offer.

If you run a business, you possibly, have a target market in mind. It’s incredibly beneficial to create a buyer persona before you start using Facebook Ads.

If you know exactly whose attention you wish to draw to your business, you can use Facebook’s settings and audience tools to narrow down the pool of prospects and increase your conversion rate.

Demographics relate to sections of the population that are defined by a common characteristic. Facebook allows you to leverage an array of demographics to make your ad campaign precise and relevant. Examples of demographics you can shoot at for your Facebook Ad strategy include:

#1. Age

#2. Gender

#3. Location

#4. Relationship status

#5. Work and Employment

#6. Education

#7. Type of home

#8. Income

#9. Generation

#10. Life events

#11. Dependents

#12. Political interests

#13. Language

Let’s say you want to target the dental niche. Enter the word dentist in the search box and press browse; this will list the most common demographics, interests, and behaviors related to dentists.

#2. Interest Targeting

The days of Facebook being restricted to a cool place to hang out online and catch up with old friends have long been put behind us.

Today, Facebook serves a dual purpose, and it can provide a largely influential platform for businesses looking to promote their products to a captive audience.

If you are planning to capitalize on the popularity of Facebook to increase sales and conversion, it pays to be aware of the importance and benefits of targeting the right users.

Interest targeting allows you to advertise to specific target markets by reaching people based on their interests, Pages, activities, posts they like, comments and posts they make, and closely related topics.

People’s interests include those on Facebook, as well as those off-Facebook across the internet.

How to Target Audience Based On Interest

With Facebook interest targeting, you are looking to attract audiences who have interests that are in some way connected to your business.

By leveraging this strategy, you can ensure that your ads are aimed at web users who are more likely to be interested in your ad, and subsequently, more likely to want to know more about your product or to purchase from you.

Ads Targeting

This is a way of creating a targeted approach to Facebook marketing and boosting your chances of success.

You can control your audience settings by selecting different interests and choosing which interests to serve and target.

If you are selling golf products, for instance, you want to target people who are genuine lovers of golf, rather than those who have liked the odd article about Tiger Woods in the past.

You can leverage in-depth research techniques and tools like Audience Insight to get an accurate idea of what people are interested in, what they like, and how deep the affinity between the user and interest runs.

#3. Behavioral Facebook Ads Targeting

Instead of attempting to find a new audience for your brand or products, behavioral targeting is about delivering ads to those who have shown an interest in your brand or industry.

When opening a grocery store, the business owner chooses the center of a city because it has a history of consumers shopping hugely in these locations.

The same goes for our Facebook ads. We want to get our brand in front of those who have already shown an interest through their actions.

How Does Facebook Behavioral Targeting Work?

You should always pair behavioral targeting with interest to walk hand in hand because they are a perfect couple.

To get started with Facebook behavioral targeting, our focus is going to lean on the Detailed Targeting section of the ad platform.

After starting the targeting efforts based on interests, you can continue layering categories with demographics and behaviors.

As you continue layering and narrowing, this means that, for a consumer to qualify for an ad, they need to meet the variations set out not just in one layer but across all or most of them.

If you have four targeting layers, for instance, everybody who receives your ad will qualify based on the four or three characteristics.

#4. Connections Facebook Ads Targeting

You can target people who have a particular kind of connection to your online business. This will help you narrow the audience who will see your ad. You can add or include people based on the following connections:

#1. Facebook Page

Users who like your Page

Friends of users who like your Page

Exclude users who like your Page

#2. Apps

Users who used your app

Friends of users who used your app

Exclude users who used your app

#3.  Events

Users who responded to your event

Exclude users who already responded to your event

#4. Advanced Combinations

How Does Connection Targeting Work?

You have access to this sort of information via Ad Creator and Power Editor on Facebook. Log in through your admin account for your brand`s page, app, event, or group and you can see a drop-down list of who you want to target.

All you then have to do is choose according to the audience outreach strategy.

#5. Facebook Lookalike Audience Targeting

Lookalike Audience is a way to target new people who may be interested in your e-commerce store based on their similarity to your current customers. Your new lookalike audiences will be based on the characteristics from one of the following sources:

#1. Custom Audiences

#2. Website Visitors

#3. Page Fans

How does Facebook lookalike targeting work?

 If you are familiar with other ad tools, Facebook Lookalike Audiences functions similarly to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences and Google’s Similar Audiences.

When you collect a list of customers from your source audience, Facebook Ads Manager offers you an option to create Lookalike Audiences from a source audience.

When you hit on the Create a Lookalike Audiences option, Facebook helps to search through its boundless base of users’ data to find the most suitable users that have similar characteristics such as interests and demographics to the source audience.


Facebook as a social media giant offers great ways to reach new customers and grow your brand. Facebook Ads help you to target your audience based on demographics, interest, connections, behavior, lookalike, and other great ad targeting options.

This article has equipped you with the needed knowledge to plan your ads and target them to the right audience to make good sales and conversions from your marketing campaigns.

Terhemba Ucha

Terhemba Ucha

Terhemba has over 11 years of digital marketing and specifically focuses on paid advertising on social media and search engines. He loves tech and kin in learning and sharing his knowledge with others. He consults on digital marketing and growth hacking.

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