Master Facebook ad targeting

1. Look for warm audiences that you can use to create custom, retargeting, and lookalike audiences.

Warm audiences include email contacts, page followers/engagement, and customer lists. Custom audiences are people that fit specific criteria that you might want to market to. For example, customers in Florida that bought from you within the past 12 months might be ripe for a specific offer. Or, you might want to run ads to people that follow you on Instagram or have engaged with your Facebook posts. You can also set up retargeting audiences to target people who have previously been to your website but did not buy. Lookalike audiences are groups of people that are similar to the list of people you’ve uploaded. Though these people don’t know who you are, they have several data points in common with your customers or followers.

2. Build custom audiences out of the assets that you have identified in the previous step.

In Facebook Business Manager, go to Audiences and click Create Custom Audience. A navigation window will pop up. Select the option for audience creation. If you want to create the audience from website activity, select Website. If you want to upload a customer list, select Customer list. Follow the audience creation process as presented on the screen. Name the audience and click Create. It might take a while for Facebook to populate the audience.

3. Create lookalike audiences out of the custom audiences available in the Ads Manager.

When a custom audience is created, it appears in the audiences tab. Select the audience you want to use to create a lookalike audience from.  Define all parameters, including the audience size. The lower the percentage, the more similarities the lookalike audience will have with the source custom audience.

4. Add Facebook interests to targeting at the ad set level. Type any keyword or interest into the dialog box, and you will get additional suggestions about similar targeting interests.

List any ideas that come to mind, such as competitors, influencers in your market, services, publications, or organizations the person could belong to.  Select potential interests that might appeal to your ideal customer and insert them in the interest targeting options. Find ideas for interest targeting using the Facebook Audience Insights tool. Select your target country and input keywords or competitors’ pages into the interests section.  In the Page likes tab you will see pages that people with the searched interest have also liked. You will also get information about demographics like age, gender, location, education, etc.

5. Create Facebook campaigns using created audiences or interests by selecting them from the Custom Audiences drop down in the Audience section at the ad set level.

Add demographics, interests, and behaviors that you collected from Audience Insights to the Detailed Targeting field in the Audience section. You have virtually limitless options for demographic and interest targeting, so think about your ideal customer and what they’re interested in, where they’re located, and what’s going on in their lives. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you might want to target married people with higher incomes.

6. Determine an appropriate audience size between 500,000 and 2,000,000 people.

If you find that you have listed a lot of interests and the audience size gets much larger than this, split up interests into different ad sets and test them against each other. The audience size might be drastically smaller if you’re running retargeting ads or ads using a custom audience of people engaged with your social media accounts. The minimum audience size is 100 people, though Facebook recommends going higher, even with retargeting audiences, to ensure that your ad gets impressions.