In this blog post, we’ll be breaking down the vital Facebook ad targeting options in each of Facebook’s audience categories; these fall into the broad areas of Demographics, Interests, Behaviors, Connections, and Custom Audiences.
Facebook generated $70.7 Billion in ad revenue in 2019. The duopoly of Google and Facebook accounts for 70% of all digital ad spending worldwide.
So, why do marketers spend so much money on Facebook?
Well, it has a pretty spectacular reach, with almost 1 in every three people worldwide on one of its platforms. But more importantly, it offers an incredible range of audience targeting options to reach these people.
Any marketer who thinks Facebook can’t help them reach their customers is already far behind their competitors. However, it’s understandable if marketers or small business owners are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices available.
Facebook offers so many targeting options that you may not even be aware of the potential audiences at your disposal. Knowing the audience targeting options at your fingertips may be all you need to spark the idea for a new campaign.
Review the options below to understand just what’s possible on Facebook. Remember that you can create combinations of all the targeting options below to zero in on specific customer groups.
1. Demographic Facebook Ad Targeting
You can easily target many demographic factors on Facebook. These include Location, Language, Age, Gender, Relationship, Work, Education, Financial, Home, Generation, Parents, Life Events, and Politics.
- Location or multiple locations can be included or excluded in your targeting. You can target various continents, countries, regions, cities or postal/zip codes. You can even target based on the distance surrounding specific coordinates, entered by dropping a pin on a map.
- Language allows you to target people based on the language they have identified on their profile. This is useful if you are targeting an audience that uses a language that is not common to your chosen location or if you are running campaigns in multiple languages.
- Age allows you to target people based on a specific age range. This can be from age 13 up to 65+. Some ad content, however, won’t be permitted to target specific age ranges based on laws in your local region.
- Gender allows you to target ads toward Males, Females, or both.
- You can select relationship status and individual preferences, allowing you to target people who identify as single, in a relationship, engaged, married, separated, divorced, and more.
- Education allows you to target people based on their level of education, from high school to postgraduate. You can also target people based on the university or school they attended.
- Financial allows you to target people based on their estimated annual household income or net worth.
- Work allows you to target people based on the Industry they work in or their job title. In addition, you can also target small business owners.
- Home allows you to target people based on their homeownership status — whether they are first-time buyers, homeowners or renters. You can also target people based on the type of home they live in, such as an apartment or condo, the estimated value of their home, and their household composition — whether it’s a family-based household, young adults, grandparents or more.*
- Generation allows you to target people based on their generation, such as Baby Boomers, Millennials or Generation X.
- Life Events targets people based on major personal events or the events of their friends. You can target based on people’s birthdays, new jobs, new relationships, anniversaries, and more.
- You can target parents based on the age of their children, such as New Parents, Parents With Teens, Parents With Toddlers, and more.
2. Interest Facebook Ad Targeting
Facebook allows you to target people based on their interests. These interests are identified based on people’s activities on Facebook. Such activities include content they engage with, events they attend, and pages they like. It also takes into account websites people visit outside of Facebook.
Subcategories within this section are Business and Industry, Entertainment, Family and Relationships, Fitness and Wellness, Food and Drinks, Hobbies and Activities, Shopping and Fashion, Sports and Technology.
- Business and Industry allows you to target people based on specific business sectors or industries they have shown interest in. These include industries such as Agriculture and Aviation through to Real Estate and Science. Many of these industries also have sub-sectors you can target. Within the Design industry, you can target people based on their interest in Fashion Design, Graphic Design, or Interior Design.
- Entertainment allows you to target people based on the kind of entertainment they are interested in. At a top level, you can target people based on their interest in Games, Live Events, Movies, Music, Reading, and TV. Within each of these categories, there are more specific subcategories you can target.
- Family and Relationships allows you to target people based on their interests in things such as Dating, Family, Friendship, Marriage, Parenting, Weddings, and more.
- Fitness and Wellness allow you to target people based on their interests in things such as Dieting, Gyms, Nutrition, Bodybuilding, Running, Weight Training, Yoga and more.
- Food and Drink allow you to target people based on various categories covering the food and drinks sector. At a top level, you can target people based on their interest in Alcoholic Beverages, Cooking, Cuisine, Food and Restaurants. Within each of these categories, there are more specific subcategories you can target.
- Hobbies and Activities allow you to target people based on a wide range of interests such as Arts and Music, Travel, Social Issues, Current Events and more. Within each category, you can target people based on more specific subcategories.
- Shopping and Fashion allow you to target people based on various categories that cover the retail sector. At a top level, you can target people based on their interest in Beauty, Clothing, Fashion, Shopping and Toys. Within each of these categories, there are more specific subcategories you can target.
- Sports and Outdoors allow you to target people based on activities from Hiking and Fishing through to Biking and Surfing, as well as their interest in a variety of team and individual sports.
- Technology allows you to target people based on their interests in Computers and Consumer Electronics.
In addition to targeting based on Facebook’s categories listed above, you can also target people based on more specific keywords.
Within Facebook, you can search to target someone who likes, for example, drinks, and Facebook will present them with a wealth of other, more specific options related to drinks that you can target. Each will also provide you with an estimated reach of the number of people on Facebook who match this targeting option:
3. Behavioral Facebook Ad Targeting
Facebook allows you to target people based on various behaviours identified through their usage of Facebook and connecting with external data sources.
Some of these options are provided through external data partners, but some are only available in certain regions due to data licensing agreements. You can find more information on this directly on Facebook.
You can target behavioural areas: Automotive, Business-to-Business, Charitable Donations, Consumer Classification, Digital Activities, Financial, Expats, Media, Purchase Behavior, Mobile Device Users and Travel.
- Automotive allows you to target people based on what type of vehicle they are in the market to buy or what vehicle they currently own. It also allows you to target people based on how they buy their vehicle, such as New, Used or Lease.*
- Business-to-Business allows you to target people based on some of the critical characteristics of their job. These include the seniority of their job role and the size of the company they work for.*
- Charitable Donations allows you to target people based on their charitable donations. The categories of donation types include Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Cancer Causes, Children’s Causes, Environmental and Wildlife, Health, Political, Religious, Veterans and World Relief.*
- Consumer Classification allows you to target people based on the type of consumer they are classified as. These include whether they are likely to purchase mid-to-high-value goods or high-value goods.*
- Digital Activities tracks an individual’s online behaviour and allows you to target based on these activities. Targeting options include a person’s Operation System, Gaming Habits, Facebook Payments, Facebook Page Admin, Internet Browser, Photo Uploaders and Email Domains. In addition, you can also target people based on whether they are Technology Early Adopters.
- Financial allows you to target people based on their financial behaviours (as opposed to their earnings and net worth, which you can do with demographic and economic targeting). Behaviours you can target include whether people invest, use cash or credit cards, and other spending methods.*
- Expats allow you to target expats living abroad. You can target all expats in specific countries based on where an expat is from.
- Media allows you to target people based on their usage of Radio and Television. This includes the genres of TV shows they watch and their viewership habits.*
- Mobile Device Users allow you to target people based on the type of mobile device they use. This can include devices by brand, operating system, type of phone, network connection and more.
- Purchase Behavior allows you to target people based on the types of purchases they make. There are a lot of categories you can target that include the kinds of goods they purchase, the technology they use to make purchases, whether they’re engaged shoppers, the types of stores they shop at and many more.*
- Travel allows you to target people based on a variety of travel-related data. The top-level categories here are pretty diverse and enable targeting Business Travelers, Leisure Travelers, Commuters, Frequent Flyers, and Frequent International Travelers.*
There may also be more niche targeting categories available to advertisers in specific regions provided by local data partners. It’s a good idea to have an accurate search through the Behavioral targeting options in your area. You might find some real gems that are relevant to your marketing campaign.
4. Connection Facebook Ad Targeting
Connections targeting allows you to target people who already have a specific connection to your brand. This includes the option to target (or exclude) people who like your Facebook Page, have responded to one of your Facebook Events or have used one of your apps. You can also target the friends of people who like your Facebook Page or have used your app.
5. Custom Audience Facebook Ad Targeting
Custom Audiences target groups you create based on people’s actions and engagement on Facebook, your website or data you upload from an external list. This enables you to:
Target engaged users of your apps, canvas ads, events, videos and lead forms.
Retarget your website visitors by collecting their data using the Facebook Pixel.
Target your current customers or other lists of email addresses by uploading this data directly to Facebook.
From each Custom Audience, you can also create a Lookalike Audience. This means Facebook will create an audience similar to one of your Customer Audiences, based on the critical traits of those in that audience—and allow you to target these “Lookalikes” with your ads.
Here’s some more detailed information on Custom and Lookalike Audiences.
Facebook enables you to reach a considerable proportion of the world’s population. But it also allows you to segment and target people with incredible precision. This means you shouldn’t consider Facebook as a tool to get some engagement on your Facebook posts.
Combining demographic, interest, behavioral, and custom audience targeting will empower you to reach customers from the beginning to the end of your customer journey.
Coupling the right audience targeting with the appropriate ad campaign types can drive real action that will benefit your business. These benefits go from raising awareness to generating engagement and driving conversions.
Relevant case studies of Todays.Agency
- A New Car in Town: Multi-channel Brand Awareness Campaign for the “Swedish Miracle”
- How we increased sales and decreased CPA from 21,52 £ per purchase to 4.12 £ in Facebook Ads
- We reached CPAs under 1 Eur in Google and Facebook campaigns
At Todays.agency we can help you get a better ROI through Facebook advertising.