Facebook Ad Targeting: Finding Focus & Reaching a Relevant Audience

If you manage social media for a business, you’ve definitely seen the notifications on Facebook Pages trying to get you to buy ads or boost a post. The question is: Do you truly know the most effective way to create a Facebook ad? Advertising dollars are precious and shouldn’t be wasted on ads that are poorly crafted.

A successful Facebook ad requires the right strategy. If you’re looking to refine your ad strategy and boost exposure for the business you are marketing, follow the steps below.

Ask Yourself These Questions to Establish Your Audience

What do you want to advertise?

The first step in creating a Facebook ad is figuring out the goal of your campaign. Do you want to raise awareness about the business? Maybe you’d like to advertise a specific product or service? Are you looking to grow the Facebook Page’s audience and likes? There are many different types of ads on Facebook that cater to each of these needs. Choosing the right goal is key.

Who do you want to reach?

The next step is figuring out exactly who you want to reach. The ad creation process will be a lot easier once you do. Sometimes, who you think you want to reach and who you actually should be reaching are two different audiences. It’s important to consider that during this step.

For building brand awareness or page likes consider what kinds of people are most likely to be attracted to your brand and use your services or products. When advertising a product or service think about the kinds of people that are most likely to buy this service or product.

What interests do these people have? Where do they work? What do they do in their spare time? What Facebook Pages might they like? Write your answers down.

Select the Right Type of Ad for Your Goal

Once you’ve figured out who exactly you want to reach, it’s time to find the right type of Facebook ad for your needs. Facebook offers ads for various types of goals, including:

    • Brand Awareness
    • Conversions
    • Engagement
    • Lead Generation
    • Reach
    • Store Visits
    • Traffic

Facebook’s Ads Guide is a great resource that helps advertisers choose the right ads for their needs.

Write Ad Copy That Is Likely to Engage

Facebook has many policies when it comes to ad content. If you write something that is against ad policies, your ad will most likely be disapproved. If the ad is close to violating the policies, Facebook won’t necessarily disapprove of it, but you may notice the ad being shown to fewer people.

Here are the most important tips to follow when writing your Facebook ad copy:

  • Write copy that is about the company—not the potential customer. Avoid using the word “you” or phrases that involve any sort of direct targeting.
  • Don’t start off with a question, as this may raise a red flag concerning Facebook’s policies. Questions like “Need to lose weight now?” or “Trouble finding a plumber?” are a bad idea for Facebook ads.
  • Don’t write an ad solely to make the business sound good. This means you don’t want to use words and phrases that sound like they could be exaggerations of the truth. This is an example of copy that may make people doubt the credibility of your ad: “We’ve repaired millions of roofs. Let our awesome technicians repair yours, too.”
  • Write about why the business does what it does and what drives the passion behind the company or its products. Think about that, write it down, and communicate it in your ads.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of what you’re advertising—not the negative.

Facebook ads should also include high-quality and compelling images, as visuals are major drivers of engagement on social media. If you would like to include text within your image, just make sure that it does not cover more than 20% of the ad.

For more information on Facebook’s ad policies, visit their Advertising Policies page.

Select Your Targeting to Reach a More Relevant Audience

After selecting the type of ad and copy you want, it’s time to set up targeting for your ads! Go back to one of the first questions you asked yourself: Who do you want to reach with your Facebook ads?

Facebook has a very useful tool located in the Ads Manager and Power Editor that allows advertisers to select the types of people they want to target based on their interests, online behaviors, and demographics. You can even target people based on their current location or their most recent locations (such as if they are currently traveling). Just type in and select whatever interests or locations you’re looking for and then save it as an audience.

Remember, Facebook advertising is a powerful tool for building exposure and generating more business—but only when it’s backed by the right strategy. Now that you have some helpful guidelines, it’s time to hit the ground running with your Facebook ads.

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