If you use Facebook, then you know that not everything that shows up in your feed is always relevant or interesting to you.
In fact, some of the updates you see will be the complete opposite of anything you’d ever be interested in seeing.
As a Facebook user, it’s no big deal.
You can tune those posts out, and focus on the stuff you actually care about.
But when you’re paying to promote your content on Facebook, the last thing you want is to be ignored by the people you’re paying to reach.
That’s why targeting is so important.
Over the last few years, Facebook has rolled out a number of new features to help advertisers target the right audience. This will improve your chances of connecting with people who are actually interested in your business, and avoid spending ad dollars on reaching the wrong people.
Not taking advantage of these powerful features is one of the biggest Facebook Ad mistakes you can make.
To help you avoid this costly misstep, let’s take a look at five ways you can use Facebook Ads to target the right audience.
If you’re a small business that primarily serves a local clientele, focusing on a specific location is a great way to connect with people in your area.
You can narrow down by state, city, or zip code and then choose a mile radius from that location. You can even choose to exclude a location. For example, targeting the state of Florida and excluding Miami.
Tip: Targeting based on location is especially important when using an ad to promote an event, or to generate foot traffic at your business. Make sure you’re targeting people who are within traveling distance of your location.
Facebook gives you a ton of demographic options as well. Age and Gender are some of the most popular options. You can select a minimum and maximum age range and target people by the gender they identify with.
In addition to these two, you can filter by Relationship Status, Education, Work, and Ethnic Affinity.
Life Events is a particularly interesting category. Here you can target groups like newlyweds, people who recently moved, or anyone with an upcoming birthday. Focusing on events like these can make your ad feel especially timely and personal.
Tip: If you’re unsure about the demographic you’re trying to reach, take some time to think about your ideal customers. It’s likely that the people who will engage with your ad, share similarities with your existing customer base.
Another great way to make sure your ad will be appreciated is to align your ad with people’s interests.
Facebook determines interests by the types of Pages users have liked, as well as information they’ve posted on their timeline.
If you own a retail store, for example, you may want to reach people who have expressed an interest in shopping and fashion. And if your ad is focused on a holiday jewelry sale, you can narrow the ad down even further to reach people who are interested in jewelry.
Tip: When targeting based on Interest, you can make smarter decisions about how your ad is designed. From the image you choose to the text you decide to include, you want your ad to reflect the interests of your target audience.
4. Creating a Custom Audience
Targeting based on location, demographics, and interests will ensure that you’re reaching a new audience that’s interested and relevant to you. This is extremely valuable when attracting new people to your business.
Facebook also offers a solution to target people who already have a connection to your business — your existing email list.
With Facebook’s Custom Audience feature, you can easily upload your list and Facebook will match those email addresses to find contacts that are already on the site. You can choose to promote your ad to this audience to improve your chances of being seen by people who already know your business.
Tip: When you have something big to promote — like a special offer, event, or product release — you want to make sure your current customers hear about it. One of the best ways to get the word out is to send an email announcement. But you can also use Custom Audience to re-target your existing contacts outside of the inbox to make sure they don’t miss it.
5. Using Lookalike Audiences
With all of these different targeting options, what you really want is to reach people who are interested in your business and are likely to act on the content you promote.
Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature makes that possible, by using the list of contacts that you upload to create a Custom Audience to generate a new audience for your ad. Facebook will use details like interests and location to identify other Facebook users who are similar to your existing email contacts.
Tip: If you’ve been sending updates to your email list, chances are you already know a lot about what they’re most interested in seeing, and what type of content moves them to action. Use what you know about your existing audience to create a better ad experience for your Lookalike Audience.
By targeting a specific audience and appreciating what they are interested in, you’ll be able to create an ad your audience will want to engage with.
Take some time to explore Facebook’s different targeting options. When you’re ready, you can export your email list and use it to create an audience for your Facebook Ad.
Put in the effort, pay attention to what’s working, and don’t be afraid to tweak your targeting until it’s just right!
Do you have any experience with Facebook ads? What kinds of things worked well for you? Let us know in the comments!