10 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips to Reach the Right Audience

10 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips to Reach the Right Audience

Why Facebook Ads?

You may be well versed with the benefits of advertising on Facebook and the massive reach this platform can give your business. But have you wondered why you have not seen an increase in traffic or your conversion rate in spite of spending so much on Facebook ads? Clearly, something’s amiss. 

In all probability, your Facebook ad is not reaching the right people. Those who would be interested in your products or services. No matter the duration of your ad or how visually appealing you make it. Nothing matters if you are not communicating to the right audience. Yes, you put up a great looking ad but what’s the point if it is shown to those who aren’t interested in your brand or service?

Simply put, poor targeting is just money wasted.

Here are 10 effective Facebook ad targeting tips to ensure you get your money’s worth and boost conversions.

1. Use Audience Insights: 

Facebook offers a wide range of tools to optimize your business’ presence on the platform. One helpful tool is Audience Insights. 

This tool helps you discover the right set of audience who are likely to be interested in your offering. Audience Insights goes deeper than just narrowing down users basics. Such as location, gender and age. It also considers more detailed factors like their interests, jobs, relationship status, purchase behaviour and more.

By looking into multiple data points, this tool allows you to define a specific target audience for your ad. This results in more engagement.

For instance, if you are advertising for a Japanese restaurant, instead of selecting those who enjoy eating out. You should include those who have an affinity for Japanese or Asian cuisine in order to speak to a more relevant audience.

While on the Audience Insights tool, use the Custom Audience feature and upload the contact details of your existing customers for Facebook to target. You can access Audience Insights from the Facebook Ad Manager page.

2. Build Lookalike Audience:

So, you have a list of users who are already your customers. But what about those who are ‘potential’ customers that have similar likes and interests with your existing customer base?

In order to grow, businesses need to reach out to new customers and target lookalike audiences.

Sources of lookalike audience can be website visitors, Facebook page fans and people who downloaded your mobile app to name a few. Remember – the smaller the size of the lookalike audience, the better the performance. Only then will you be reaching the most relevant users from the lookalike audience list.

3. Use Google Analytics:

Google Analytics offers a comprehensive view of customer insights pertaining to demographics, interests, purchase behaviours, digital habits and more. It sure is a powerhouse of customer data that you must leverage while planning your Facebook ad campaigns. How, you ask?

Start with enabling ‘Demographics Reporting’ in Google Analytics and use those insights to target ads on Facebook. The next step is to ensure you use Google UTM links in your Facebook ad to track performance on Google Analytics.

This cross-channel marketing approach is all about playing on the two giants. Facebook and Google’s strengths to enhance ad targeting and performance.

4. Incorporate User-Generated Content:

Content is not everything, but it is especially important when you are putting money behind it.

You are used to promoting branded content. Have you thought of moving beyond it and leveraging user-generated content in your Facebook ad campaigns instead?

They serve as a strong social proof while adding authenticity and credibility in your brand. As per Mavrck’s Facebook User-Generated Benchmark Report. User-generated content featuring a brand drove 6.9x higher engagement than brand-generated content.

Let your customers be the voice of your brand and showcase their positive experiences to your untapped customer base to boost conversions.

5. Target Video Engagement Custom Audience:

Video is the most engaging type of content on digital mediums. Facebook tops the list by generating an average of 8 million views per day.

Video engagement is one of the options under Engagement Custom Audience. It lets you target those users who have engaged with your video in the past. For instance, if you released a teaser video of a product. You can use the Video Engagement Custom Audience option to target the launch video to those who engaged with the previous one by liking, sharing, commenting or viewing.

This kind of funnelling while targeting your ad ensures a better performance. As you are speaking to those who have already shown interest in your earlier video.

6. Consider Life Events:

Image of Facebook Life Events
Source: Facebook

Life event-based targeting is hugely under-utilized. Facebook’s Timeline information can prove to be a goldmine of information. As people update their life events – marital status, birthdays, anniversaries, relocations, etc.

As a business owner, you should look at leveraging the data from Life Events while targeting to strike an emotional connection with the audience.

For instance, if you are a fashion retailer. You can look at targeting all those who have their birthdays coming up with an exclusive birthday offer. Similarly, a furniture retailer can target those who recently moved to the city in order to boost awareness and be considered.

7. Install Facebook Pixel:

A Facebook pixel is a unique code that needs to be installed in your website’s header. Once the pixel has been integrated, choose ‘Website Traffic’ while creating the custom audience. By doing this, Facebook targets all those who abandoned shopping carts, filled the lead form or just browsed your website.

In short, Facebook pixels helps you re-target those who visited your website but left without making a purchase.

Apart from retargeting, you can also track conversions and monitor the effectiveness of your Facebook ad. It is also a good idea to create a lookalike audience from the new customer data you receive from pixels and target a new set of relevant audience.

8. Narrowed Targeting:

Image Facebook Narrowed Targeting
Source: Facebook

We are so busy ‘including’ factors while creating the audience list. We don’t realize the importance of excluding groups to enhance targeting.

For instance, there can be campaigns when you don’t wish to target your existing customers, target audience with conflicting interests or remove overlapping groups. Remember to utilize exclusion targeting to ensure you don’t waste a single penny by targeting those who aren’t a priority or target people with the same ad twice.

9. Split Test Ads:

Image of Facebook Split Test Ads
Source: Facebook

With split testing, Facebook gives advertisers the opportunity to assess the best performing ads with respect to audiences, placements, ad creatives and bids. You no longer have to worry about draining your ad budget and can wholeheartedly rely on statistical evidence instead.

When you create a campaign, select ‘Create Split Test’ and select the variable you want to test. Variables include factors such as audience selection, ad placements, creative, formats, delivery optimization and bid strategy. You can then allot budgets and run the campaign.

Facebook then helps you identify the best-performing and efficient ad which you can further leverage for future campaigns. This trial-and-error method is a good way to ensure you are on the right track to make the most of your ad spends.

10. Monitor Performance in Real-Time:

Gone are the days when you had run a print or television advertisement and wait to see how it performs. The best part about digital marketing is getting access to real-time data. You no longer have to wait for the ad campaign to get over to take learnings from it.

Hence, it is always a good idea to monitor your Facebook ad’s performance in real-time and assess whether it is going as planned. Don’t let your money go to waste by putting up with under-performing ads. If you don’t see your ad getting the kind of engagement or clicks as expected. You can immediately tweak factors such as the creative, copy, scheduling or the budget to boost performance.


Facebook has massive global reach, letting you reach a large audience. It is one of the most popular advertising platforms but ultimately everything boils down to how optimized your ad targeting is. Well, there is no formula for running ads on Facebook. You need to constantly be on top of your game, know your customers and update your targeting practices to reach the right audience.

What’s more, Facebook as a platform offers a lot of useful tools that advertisers can benefit from. Make sure you leverage each of them to deliver relevant and compelling ads with the right targeting practices in place. Don’t be afraid to fail, that is the only way you will learn!

Featured image by Facebook Audience Insights

More reading

5 Steps for Understanding and Targeting Your Buyers Personas

Google Ads Tips to Make You More Money in 2019


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