Targeting and Formatting: Fine-Tuning Your Facebook Ads Strategy


Targeting and Formatting: Fine-Tuning Your Facebook Ads Strategy

5e8c15d280dd187b0e4a4303 Carena Marchi Profile Pic Copy
Carena Marchi
May 1, 2020

By the end of 2020, the total number of Facebook users is expected to reach an all-time high of nearly 1.7 billion people around the world. That’s a lot of eyeballs. It’s also a lot of pressure when you have a business and are trying to figure out a strategy for optimizing your tactics for targeting ads efficiently and effectively. With so many communities coming together on one social platform,there is so much potential when it comes to Facebook Ads.

The key to unlocking that potential is understanding who to target and how to catch their attention and keep them wanting more from your brand.

But, with so many options to choose from, how do you ensure your Facebook Ads strategy achieves your brand’s outreach and targeting goals without losing sight of the big picture?

It’s easy to get lost in the abyss of endless targeting and ad formatting combinations, especially when considering the wide popularity of a global social media platform like Facebook. However, taking it one step at a time will allow your company to develop a Facebook Ads strategy that accurately represents your brand while meeting the desires of potential customers.

In order to develop the best plan of action for your company, it’s important to consider two facets that can set the stage for each and every campaign you execute:

  1. How will you determine who belongs to your target audience?
  2. What kind of ad formats will work best for your target audience?

The answers to these two questions will help your brand stand out among Facebook users’ increasingly inundated feeds. Understanding the different ways to target audiences, along with knowing the benefits of various Facebook Ads formats, will allow you to succeed when it comes to vital things like lead generation and brand awareness.

Determining Your Ad Targeting Tactics

There are a number of ways to target different groups for your company’s social media outreach within the Facebook platform. When considering how to create a logical group of people to target, there are a number of questions to ask yourself about your ideal individuals. A few, for example, include:

  • Where are they from?
  • What are they interested in?
  • Who are they already in contact with?
  • What do they enjoy doing?

With the answers to those questions in mind, here are five of the most useful ways you can target users within the Facebook community:

1.  Demographics

Demographics are at the core of targeting for Facebook Ads. With the demographic information of users, it is easier to get a better understanding of who really makes up your audience. Using demographic information allows you to tap into the details of your potential target audience while developing a way to gauge the bigger picture at hand for when you have to prepare for a campaign.

Within Facebook Ads, there are a number of demographics subsets that you can use to build an audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship Status
  • Education
  • Career Status

By tapping into these aspects, you can create a specific target audience group for the campaign you plan to run. Thinking about these seemingly simple traits will allow you to develop strategies that have a higher potential of forming along-lasting interest in your brand and eventually converting. This way of targeting works across all industries and is applicable to practically every business.

2.  Location

Using location-based tactics, or geo-targeting, allows you to restrict your Facebook Ad audience to a specific area.

This is great if your ads are based on campaigns that vary by region. By using location-based targeting, you can separate users by zip code, city, country, or even just a general region you draw out on a map. Usually, location-based Facebook Ads are most successful for businesses like brick-and-mortar or retail stores that rely on the physical aspect to gain traction. This method can also benefit your business by increasing the overall local awareness of your brand.

3.  Lifestyle and Financial Standing

For businesses in the luxury industry sector, it’s important to identify who will actually be able to afford your products or services. While interest in your brand is the first step in a customer’s relationship with your company, it’s important to understand the lifestyle and financial habits of potential members of your target audience. Facebook allows you to target individuals that live a certain or way or spend a certain amount. You can target users based on:

  • Travel habits
  • Annual Income
  • Seasonal events attended (i.e. concerts, sporting events, plays, etc.)
  • Net worth
  • Residential information

All of these methods aid in optimizing your Facebook Ads by ensuring that you are only targeting those who will actually be able to afford your offerings.

4.  Interests

Facebook targeting by interest allows you to select an audience based on things people like. Interests such as sporting teams,hobbies, and more can provide insight into which segments of your audience should be targeted for a specific ad or campaign. You can use an array of different interest categories to target your audiences, including:

  • Entertainment
  • Fitness & Nutrition
  • Food & Cooking
  • Fashion
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Industry

Using interests like these to target audiences allows you to learn more about how your brand fits into the lives of potential customers.

5.  Connections

Another easy way to target Facebook users who may be interested in your brand is by peoples’ connections on the platform itself. This tactic allows advertisers to target certain ads to friends of friends on Facebook. Because Facebook is a platform that allows for the development of some pretty large communities, this method can be very helpful within industries that tend to target communities with multiple commonalities among members.

You can also utilize connection-based targeting by looking at connections of those who have visited your page, use your app or subscribe to your services, or have attended an event that you’ve hosted. This technique really allows you to effectively broaden your audience without losing sight of what matters to both your brand and your potential new leads.

Deciding on a Facebook Ad Format

Now that you’ve determined the best way to target your ads on Facebook based on your business’s needs, it’s time to decide how you will capture your audience’s attention. Luckily, Facebook has a variety of ad formats to choose from that ensure your content will be presented in the best way possible.

Here are some of the most effective formats offered by Facebook Ads and how you can use them in outreach:

1.  Image Ads

With one single image, you can make a pretty grand statement. While an image seems somewhat simple, it can very much make a quick and effective impact. With an image on Facebook, you have creative freedom and a chance to catch your audience’s attention in an instant. Be sure to include a caption that compliments and supports your image.

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Facebook Ad for SHEIN

2.  Carousel Ads

A Facebook Carousel allows you to showcase up to 10 images or videos in one ad. This format is great for things like demonstrating how a product works, highlighting an entire line of products, and telling a wide range of stories about your company. These ads combine visual and experiential advertising and are a great tool when considering both accessibility and interactivity.

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Facebook Ad for PuraVida

3.  Video Ads

Video ads on Facebook give you the chance to capture a user’s highly coveted attention and tell a story to your audience. High-quality content that communicates an idea by utilizing imagery and sound can set your ad apart from the rest of a user’s feed. Your video ads on Facebook need to be a minimum of one second, have the highest resolution possible, and conform to aspect ratios 9:16 or 16:9.

4.  Collection Ads

If your company is releasing a new range of products or services, a Facebook Collection ad allows you to drive interest in an efficient yet eye-catching way. This kind of ad can also help you get the word out about a promotion or event with multiple components.

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Facebook Ad for PacSun

5.  Event Ads

Using a local awareness ad for an event can help you reach a target audience within a certain area. Naturally, event ads work best for businesses and industries that often use location-based targeting.

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Facebook Ad for Camp-In-Movies LA

6.  Lead-Generation Ads

If your goal is to gain exposure and leads, then a lead-generation ad that links to a landing page with a form to fill out may be best for your company. Using something like an offer claim ad or a “learn more” option can increase your chances of lead generation.

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Facebook Ad for Columbia Business School

Creating a Strategy for the Right Audience

When brainstorming a strategy for your next Facebook Ads campaign, the most important factors to consider are your targeting techniques and choice of ad format. Understanding who to target and how to maintain their interest in the span of seconds is vital for success. It may take some testing, but you’ll eventually find a strategy that fits your brand’s unique needs and results in new, long-lasting connections on the largest social media platform.


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