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Facebook Target Audience Guide & Strategies That Work

by Dec 21, 2022Insights0 comments

For Facebook Ads, targeting is a critical part of delivering a positive return on advertising investment. With around 2.9 billion monthly active users, reaching the right audience with ads is critical to limiting waste and increasing campaign effectiveness. Facebook target audiences can be found in a few different ways on Facebook. In this blog post, we’ll summarize the major options to find a relevant Facebook target audience.   

What is a Facebook target audience?

A Facebook target audience is a group of Facebook users you want to reach with your ad campaign. Most media platforms today, including Facebook, enable ads to be targeted to the audiences that an advertiser thinks are most relevant to them. This enables advertisers to reduce waste and improve the efficiency of their marketing budgets. 

Facebook enables a few different ways to target audiences, and some are more well known than others. Advertisers can accomplish Facebook targeted marketing using their own data that they onboard into digital environments like Facebook, premium third party data sources like Deep Sync, or Facebook target audience data that Facebook collects from users of their platform.  

All of these options are valuable to advertisers for different reasons and can be used either in isolation or in combination. 

Types of Facebook Ads audience targets

On Facebook, targeting ads to a certain audience can be easy. There are a range of options to choose from when selecting who should see your ad. The most simple option is Facebook’s Smart Audience feature, which allows advertisers to leave the targeting up to Facebook’s algorithm. If you choose this option for Facebook Ads, who sees your ads is left up to Facebook to decide for you.

However, you can choose to show your ads to people you choose through targeting, rather than selecting Facebook’s Smart Audience. This gives you access to a world of options! Within the Facebook Ads Manager’s advanced features are options for Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences. 

The Custom Audience selection is the key to unlocking advanced targeting options. This area enables advertisers to use their own sources of data, which can include customer data, prospect data, or premium third-party data sources that the advertiser can use for their campaigns. These first need to be created in Ads Manager by selecting Audiences in the Tools menu. 

For Facebook Ads, audiences selection can be a key component to campaign effectiveness. So, it’s important to choose the right audience to target.

Facebook custom audience

Any ad targeting data that an advertiser wants to use that is not offered off-the-shelf for Facebook Ads is enabled through Facebook Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences are not limited to only your customer data; they can also include a range of other ad targeting options. Custom audiences is where a wealth of ad targeting options exist, including targeting Facebook users based on website activity, app activity, existing customer data, or premium data products that the advertiser wants to utilize for new customer acquisition or customer retargeting. 

When to use Facebook custom audience

Facebook custom audience targeting is for any bespoke ad targeting solutions an advertiser wants to use to increase the performance of their advertising. Advertisers can use their own first-party customer data for loyalty marketing, or use premium third party data for new customer acquisition, competitive conquesting, or for loyalty purposes where they lack robust customer data. 

Facebook core audiences

User data that Facebook collects, including data from profile information and user behavior, is organized and classified within Facebook core audiences for Facebook ad targeting. This includes Facebook data on demographics, location or region, and interests.  

When to use Facebook core audiences

Facebook collects a lot of data from its network of users and makes this data available for audience targeting via the core audiences. This data can be useful to advertisers, but it may not address all advertiser ad targeting priorities and preferences.   

Facebook lookalike audience

Facebook lookalike audiences leverage Facebook core audience data to find users similar to users in your targeting group.  

When to use Facebook lookalike audience

Lookalike modeling, via Facebook lookalike audiences, takes other data points about users in your target audience and uses them to try to find other people who might be similar to your target. The accuracy of the resulting audience may not be as high as the initial target audience, but this can be useful when looking to increase the reach of a campaign. 

Why define a target audience on Facebook?

Targeting ads on Facebook, however it’s accomplished, is a means to increase return on ad spend (ROAS) and reduce waste in advertising budgets by only showing ads to users that are likely to be a potential customer. Rather than show ads to all users, you reduce the potential audience to just those who are more likely to find your ads relevant.

How to determine your Facebook target audience?

Learning how to target audiences on Facebook is rarely a “one and done” proposition. Using data for ad targeting, including targeting Facebook ads, should be seen as an ongoing process of testing and learning. An audience that performs very well now may not perform as well in the future, or with a different creative, or due to other campaign adjustments. While Facebook’s core audiences can be useful for some purposes, leveraging customer data, or premium third party data can also be highly effective at driving campaign effectiveness. 

What’s a good Facebook target audience size?

Determining the right audience size for a Facebook target audience, or any ad campaign, is often driven more by the campaign budget and campaign goals than by the data itself. In some cases, however, a limited audience size may dictate the size of a campaign, especially when it comes to loyalty marketing to existing customers. 

Facebook Target Audience Strategies that work

Learning how to target Facebook audiences with ads can be a mix of art and science. The most important thing is to continuously learn from trial and error so that you can optimize your ad spend. A few of the most impactful approaches are: . 

Bring Your Own Data

When Facebook deprecated its Partner Categories, it left advertisers without an easy way to access industry-leading data providers’ products on its platform. The capability did not disappear, however: It has just become a bit more challenging to enable.

By using Facebook Custom Audiences, and by simplifying things with Deep Sync One, advertisers can now license premium data on a pay-as-you-go basis and utilize it successfully for new customer acquisition, competitive conquesting, and loyalty marketing purposes. 

Bring Your Own Customer Data 

Also by using Facebook Custom Audiences, advertisers can bring their own first-partycustomer data to their campaigns and can use their own high quality data for targeting Facebook ads. This can be highly effective, especially as it pertains to driving increases in purchase volume and frequency. 

Leverage Facebook’s Core Data 

Facebook collects a wealth of data about its users, and Facebook makes this data available for advertisers to utilize for ad targeting. While there are some blind spots, using this data can deliver significant efficiencies to advertisers’ campaigns. 

Test & Learn

As always, it’s critical to continue to try new Facebook ad targeting strategies and optimize towards those that perform best. Review your results, and use what you’ve learned to improve your next campaign!

Key Takeaways about Facebook Target Audience Best Practices

When determining how to target Facebook audience with ads, it’s important to take a test and learn approach. Any digital advertising should be approached as an exercise in continual campaign optimization. When you start with theories about your target audience, the performance data from your Facebook ads will help you determine what’s working and what isn’t. 

As always, don’t limit your social advertising to just the ads targeting data made available to you by the platform. Easily activate Deep Sync’s industry-leading data as part of your Facebook target audience strategy.


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