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8 Best Facebook Targeting Strategies

8 Best Facebook Targeting Strategies

By on Jul 29, 2017

Reading time: 8 minutes

… some of them you might not have thought of…

Do you run Facebook ads but don’t have enough conversions?

Or are you paying too much per click?

You might be targeting the wrong prospects. In this article, I collected all the targeting strategies you can use for your ad audience.

Table of contents:

Before you start 

The most important thing to targeting—and retargeting—is to place a conversion tracking pixel on your website. You can use it for custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and retargeting. We will cover these later in this article.

The easiest way to do this is to add the main Facebook pixel to the header section of your website.

Once your conversion points are set up (triggering when someone provides their email address on your website), you’ll want to set your Facebook campaigns up to optimize for conversions.

Here is how it looks in Ads Manager:

And in Power Editor:

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, choose “Traffic”, and you can dive more into the ad creation:

  1. Retargeting website visitors 

You can build an audience from people who have visited your website. This is a great way to reach people who are familiar with your brand, but haven’t converted. You can choose to retarget someone who has visited your entire website, one page on your website (like your homepage or order page), or people who have visited sections of your website (like your blog or specific blog posts).

  1. Demographic targeting 

Demographic targeting is great for segmenting your audience by factors like education, employment, household, and lifestyle details. The deeper you dive into your audience data, the more successful your campaigns will be.

  • What’s their education level?
  • What was/is their field of study?
  • What school did they attend? (High schools, colleges, etc.)
  • What years were they in undergrad?
  • Ethnic Affinity (African American (US), Asian American (US), Hispanic (US – All), Hispanic (US – Bilingual), Hispanic (US – English dominant), Hispanic (US – Spanish dominant))
  • What is their income range?
  • What is their net worth?
  • Are they: Renters, Homeowners, or First-time home buyers?
  • What type of home do they reside in? (Apartment, condo, multi-family home, single)
  • What is their home worth?
  • What’s the square footage of their home (or their property)?
  • When was their home built?
  • What is their household composition? (Family-based households, grandparents, housemate-based households, new parents, veterans in home, working women, young & hip, young adults in home)
  • Life events? (Anniversary within 30 days, away from family, away from hometown, long distance relationship, new job, new relationship, newly engaged, newlywed, recently moved, upcoming birthday)
  • Are they a parent?
  • Are they a mom? What type?
  • What’s their view on US politics?
  • Who are they interested in? (Unspecified, men, women, men and women)
  • What’s their relationship status?
  • Who is their employer?
  • What industry do they work in?
  • What is their job title?
  • What type of office do they work in? (Home office, small office, small business)

  1. Behavioral targeting 

Behavioral targeting allows you to reach people based on data like past purchase behavior, device usage, and intent.

  • Automotive: What kind of vehicle do they drive?
  • B2B: People who are owners or employees, how big is their company, what industry are they in, what’s their seniority level, are they a decision maker?
  • Charitable Donations: Do they donate to charitable organizations? Which ones?
  • Consumer Classification: People who are predicted to prefer mid- to high-value goods.
  • Digital Activities:  What Internet browser do they use? Are they early or late technology adopters?
  • Expats: People whose current country or residence is different from their birth country.
  • Financial: Indications of what kind of bank they use, if they’re likely to invest, if they’re likely to be high spenders, have multiple lines of credit, etc.
  • Job Role
  • Media: Do they listen to internet radio? Households who are likely to watch a particular TV station or show.
  • Mobile Device User: What brand of mobile device do they use? Are they new smartphone or tablet owners?
  • Purchase Behavior: When they shop, do they use coupons? Are they part of a savings or loyalty program? Do they buy from department stores or luxury stores? What kinds of products do they purchase the most: clothing, toys, pet supply, etc.?
  • Residential Profiles: How long have they lived in their home? Are they likely to move, or have they moved recently?
  • Seasonal and Events: People who engage in seasonal content, such as sports like baseball, football, and racing, or holidays and special events.
  • Travel: People’s actives that indicate they are likely to be frequent travelers, travel for business, take family vacations, have recently returned from a trip, etc.

  1. Interest targeting 

You can reach audiences based on their interests, which pulls data from posts they share, apps they use, and pages they like. This section includes the most targeting options, including various categories and subcategories.

If you have an idea, start typing and you’re likely to see results.

  • Business and Industry: What business or industry are they interested in?
  • Entertainment: What do they do for entertainment? Games, movies, TV shows, music, etc.
  • Family and Relationships: What are their interests in regards to family and relationships? This includes everything from dating to friendship to weddings.
  • Fitness and Wellness: Are they interested in bodybuilding, yoga, Zumba (etc.)?
  • Food and Drink: What kinds of food and drink do they like? Which restaurants do they visit?
  • Hobbies and Activities: What hobbies and activities they like?
  • Shopping and Fashion: Do they like women’s shoes, men’s suits, custom T-shirts? Are they into tattoos, make up, or jewelry? Do they prefer outlet malls, shopping boutiques, or department stores, or do they do their shopping online?
  • Sports and Outdoors: What outdoor recreation do they like to do? What sports do they like to play and/or watch?
  • Technology: What technology do they use or follow? Computers, audio equipment, TV, software, etc.

  1. Lookalike audiences 

Lookalike audiences works amazingly well if you want to target people who are similar to your current audience. Lookalikes allow you to expand beyond your reach but still target people with highly specific profiles by creating audiences that look like your own targets.

Once you’ve identified audiences that convert well, create lookalike audiences to continue to scale your business with new visitors. Remember, these are typically people who have never heard of you before, so make sure you have the right offer and message!

You can make the lookalike audience larger (broader) or smaller (more specific and similar to your original audience).


  1. Video 

Video posts and Facebook live videos are very popular on Facebook, and generate massive engagements. Facebook is also more likely to include them in the newsfeed than other content like a text update, for example.

If you’re looking to reach new audiences at a low cost, this is a great way to do it. If you already run video ads, you can create a custom audience based on who watched your videos. You can set how many seconds or what percentage they should watch.

This is a retargeting strategy, so you need audiences who already watched your video ads. Keep in mind, when you first run a video ad for a cold audience, it will reach people who have never heard of you. When you retarget them, they are already familiar with your brand, so the message has to be different.

  1. Page fans (and friends of fans) 

What better audience to target than people who are already viewing and engaging with your Facebook posts? Use this as an opportunity to get them more interested and engaged in your brand. It’s a great way to ensure that your followers are aware of your updates and current offers.

  1. Your email lists (data files) 

One of the easiest ways to ensure a positive ROI is by targeting people who already know you. People buy from those they trust. If you did your job, and built trust in your subscribers, go ahead and target them!

If you have an email list of your leads, or customers, you can upload them as an audience. Plus, you’ll be able to use this data for creating lookalike audiences.

Start building your ads

Now you have everything you need to select your Facebook ad audience, and you can target a broad audience, or select an audience that is as specific and small as you want—all you have to do is get started!

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, check out my related post on Retargeting hot, warm, and cold traffic 

Click below to like and share this article with others, and help me get the word out about how easy it can be to build an effective Facebook ad targeting strategy! Please post any comments or ask your questions after the article and I will respond as soon as I can.

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