5 Ways to Target Facebook Ads

5 Ways to Target Facebook Ads
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Facebook Ads Manager is a robust platform created to reach users across Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience network. With more than 220 million Americans on Facebook in 2020, it is crucial that you include Facebook advertising in your strategy to reach your targeted demographic and achieve your goals.

If you’ve tried jumping into Ads Manager before, you know it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start! Even if you have great graphics, video, or ad copy, if you aren’t creating the best possible audience for your goal, you might not see success with your ad. A well-built audience is the foundation of a successful Facebook Ad campaign. 

Here are five ways to target your Facebook ad campaigns to get the best results

#1 Reach Campaign with Audience Targeting

Working on brand awareness in your community? Optimize your campaign for the Reach objective and utilize Facebook’s location targeting to zero in on an area or other specific demographics. 

In this example, we’ve chosen to target every person living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, aged 18-65+.

Target Facebook Ads based on location and other demographics

You can add as many qualifications as you’d like (age range, interests, behaviors, etc.) to narrow down your audience. Since Facebook will deliver your ad to reach as many people as possible within your audience parameters, this option is great to build brand awareness for local businesses and non-profit organizations. 

Hint: Be sure to save the audience you built here; you can use it for retargeting later!

#2 Consideration Campaign with Audience Targeting

Using the same parameters as above, you can also optimize your Facebook ad to encourage viewers to take action. Here, it is important to know exactly what action you want viewers of your ad to take. Are you looking for more website visitors? Use the Traffic objective. Do you want to show new video content to your followers? Use the Video Views objective. It’s even possible to create ads for Lead Generation or App Installs using Consideration Objectives.

Facebook offers many ad objectives, including brand awareness, traffic, and video views.

As before, Facebook will deliver ads to those most likely to complete the objective. How do you decide which campaign objective to use? Remember to always keep your end goal in mind!

#3 Custom Audiences: Video Views, Events, Lead Generation, Instagram

To really harness the power of the Facebook Ads platform, set up Custom Audiences. These audiences are different than those created from demographic data. Custom audiences can be created from users who viewed videos from your campaigns or your Facebook page, interacted with your Instagram account, attended or showed interest in your Facebook Events, or completed a Lead Generation form that you previously created through Facebook.

In this example, we created a Custom Audience using the Video Views category. We set the filter to those who watched at least 15 seconds of the video.

Create a Custom Audience based on Video Views

Then, we selected the video from a previous ad campaign. 

Facebook will then build an audience of every user who watched our video for more than 15 seconds. From there, we can create another ad campaign using this audience. Since this audience is more engaged with our content, we can be sure that our ad is delivered to users who are more likely to connect with our product or service.

#4 Custom Audiences: Website Visitors and Customer Lists

Facebook also allows custom audiences to be created using Customer Lists or Website Visitors. If you have an email newsletter where you collect users’ information or use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product, you can upload a CSV or TXT file and Facebook will match user information to their Facebook accounts and deliver your ads to those lists.

Create a Custom Audience Based on a Customer List

The more data points you can plug in, the better! Try to have email addresses and phone numbers in the file you import to get better results.

If you have a Facebook pixel set up on your website, you can also create Custom Audiences based on website visitors, including those who didn’t complete a specific goal or objective while on your website (such as making a purchase, completing a form, etc.). Work with your website developer to add the pixel to your site and set up Pixel Events to make this possible.

Here’s a recent example from a client’s campaign to obtain signatures on their petition website. 

Setting up the rules for this audience can be a little tricky; we included all website visitors but excluded those who had completed the Pixel Event we set up (which was hitting the Submit button on the website). 

You can get as specific as you’d like with this type of Custom Audience – the possibilities are endless!  However, it is important to note that you must have consent from your website visitors or customers to use their data to advertise in this way. Facebook for Developers has more information on why and how to do this, but we recommend talking to a well-versed web developer to ensure your website is compliant with all privacy laws.

#5 Lookalike Audiences

If you have created an audience that best fits your goals and ran a successful campaign, Facebook has an even more powerful way to deliver ads to new users: Lookalike Audiences. 

In a Lookalike Audience, you select the source to base the new audience off of and how similar you want the Lookalike Audience to be to your source. Then, Facebook analyzes users’ data to find new users who are similar to your source users to deliver your ads to! Pretty neat, right?

Create a Lookalike Audience based on a source.

The source for your Lookalike audience can be Custom Audiences you’ve used on other campaigns, website visitors using Facebook Pixel data, customer lists, and any other metric by which you can build a Custom Audience. The biggest difference between a Custom Audience and a Lookalike Audience is that Facebook does the work of finding new users to fit into your audience. Best of all, Lookalike Audiences now use Ad Set locations, so you can ensure that your ads are delivered only to members of your Lookalike Audience within a specific location.


With endless options for audience building, Facebook Ads Manager puts the power in your hands to reach the right people and achieve your advertising goals. However, the learning curve on the ad platform can be steep, and we know our clients’ time is valuable.

If you’re looking for an experienced Facebook Marketing Partner to help you with any or all of the process, send over an email to [email protected] or fill out our contact form.

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