Creating the right audience is about 75% of any potential success you’ll have with Facebook™ Ads. Conversely, creating bad or non-performing audiences will kill your marketing efforts and help you waste a ton of money.

In this article I’m going show you the method we use to create a killer top-of-funnel FB audience.

Just to let you know, you’re not going to create just one audience. You’re going to create up to 15 and test them to see which one works the best. It’s actually not that hard. If you do this, you’ll be way ahead of 99.123% of FB freelancers out there who operate on “best guess” methodology—which never works well.

Prerequisites

You’ll need these things before you start:

  • A FB business page.
  • A FB business manager account (business.facebook.com).
  • A FB pixel installed on your website.
  • Knowing how to access your FB ad account.

In a previous blog, we created a “custom audience.” Here, you’re going to create a “saved audience.” Here’s how:

  • From Ads Manager menu, click on “Audiences.”
  • Select “Create Audience” > “Saved Audience.
  • Name this audience: “TOF_test audience 1.”

Create a saved FB audience

Step 2) Select Audience Parameters

You now should be having some fun because now you get to select an infinite number of audience parameters.

  • Select a location. This can be country or group of countries, state, county, city, postal code or have fun and use FB’s pushpin feature.
  • Select your avatar’s age range. Some companies will default to FB’s 18 – 65+ setting, but most will not. Select one target age range.
  • Select either men or woman. No, you’re not being sexist but you are going to test which segment converts the best and you than can allocate ad budget as you wish. If you select “All,” you can’t allocate budget.

Note that FB’s algo is beginning to populate “Potential Audience Reach.” This metric is an extremely rough estimate and often can be ignored.

Potential Audience Reach

Step 3) Select Detailed Targeting

Here’s where “know thy customer” is important. In FB lingo, this is “interest-based” targeting. What you select will depend on your industry and target audience.

Let’s say you’re a health-care supplies provider. You are interested in generating leads or sales from hospitals, private practices, clinics, etc.

Start by entering a broad term, in this case, “health care,” making sure your selection is “interest-based.”

interest-based FB targeting

  • Next, click “Suggestions” to allow FB to populate more choices.
  • Select more choices.
  • Use the “Suggestions” feature again to find even more choices.
Your portal should look something like this:

Use FB's Suggestions targeting

Step 4) Clean Up Your Targeting

Now, you’re doing to do something that may seem odd: Delete the first item you added, “health care.” It’s simply too broad of an audience, too diverse, and you may waste money going after that huge audience.

Clean up your FB targeting

Step 5) Exclude Some Targeting

In the health-care example, what if we wanted to make sure we weren’t targeting (or paying for ads for) dentists or dental practices? Just narrow your audience and exclude the targeting parameters you don’t want.

Narrow FB audience and exclude the targeting parameters

Step 6) Create the Saved Audience

Now, just click, “Create Audience.”

Step 7) Clone, Edit, and Create More Audiences

Here’s where you’re going to get creative and develop those (up to) 15 different audiences so you can test which one or ones produce the best results.

Click on the audience you just created, click “Edit,” and immediately rename it from “TOF_test audience 1” to “TOF_test audience 2.”

Now change some stuff. Maybe just change the gender targeting to “men.”

When done, click “Save As New.” DO NOT click “Update.”

Edit the new title from “TOF_test audience 2 – copy” to “TOF_test audience 2.” Hit “Save.”

Check and make sure FB actually saved the changes. Your audiences portal now should look something like this:

FB audiences portal view

Keep replicating this process, changing interest-based targeting, age groupings—even demographics if you like. Do this until you have many audiences, but no more than 15 as the process can have diminishing results if you build too many audiences. 

Step 8) Create an Ad

Most likely you’re going to need to create a new campaign, many adsets (one per audience), and one ad that you’ll clone to each adset.

If you don’t know how to do this, just follow the pattern in this blog article.

When you create your ad, make sure it’s relevant, not “bait and switch” not overly sales-y, but contains an offer of some kind, discount, etc.

One last thought on campaign objectives: You don’t have to use or create an “Engagement” campaign. If you’re looking for leads or sales, you may want to create a “Conversion” campaign. The objective you choose will “tell” FB to match your objective to the real people who are most likely to click on your ad.

Testing

Once you’re up and running, watch the performance of the various audiences (adsets) for several days. You are more than welcome to then turn off the adsets that are not performing. This action will force more budget to those adsets that are performing.

Congrats! You’ve just entered the realm of FB science. Once you find your best performing audience(s) go ahead and use them in any number of other campaigns. 

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