Your Facebook Ads are an important part of your overall digital marketing strategy. In many cases, however, you may feel as though your efforts are falling far short of the mark. How are you supposed to get your content in front of the right audience--that is, the people who are most likely to be interested in your products and services? With these 17 strategies, you'll be able to more easily narrow down your target audience and ensure that your Facebook Ads are in front of the right audience.

#1: Narrow by Geographic Location

If you're a small, local business, or even one that only works regionally, it doesn't do you any good to have your ads seen by users across the country or, worse, on the other side of the world. Narrowing your ads by geographic location will allow you to target the users who are in the best position to buy your goods and services. Your geographic targeting will also allow you to create region-specific ads for your business, offering products or services that are relevant to specific areas. For example, spring comes to the south more quickly than it comes to the north: you don't want to advertise skimpy late spring or summer clothing when your customers are still shivering in their heavy winter gear!

Facebook Location Targeting

#2: Narrow by Other Interests

You know what your users are most likely to be interested in: the items that they have listed as interests in their Facebook profile or the information that they're likely to "like" as it comes across their feeds. By narrowing your ads according to interests, you can significantly increase the odds that your content will end up in front of users who are genuinely interested in the types of products you can offer them.

Facebook Interest Targeting

#3: Target Users Who Like or Follow Your Page

If users have liked or followed your page, you already know that they're interested in the content that you're providing. By targeting users who like or follow your page, you're able to make sure that new product launches, fresh information about your brand, or other key information end up directly in front of the users who are most likely to want to see your content. Keep in mind that in many cases, Facebook's algorithms will keep your content off of the newsfeed even of users who have chosen to like your page, so using Facebook Ads is the most effective way to ensure that they will see that information.

#4: Target Users Who Like Other Pages Like Yours

You have a good idea of who your competitors are. Take advantage of it! Facebook Ads will allow you to target users who have liked other, similar pages. This gets your ad content in front of customers who may not have known about your brand before seeing the ad, but who have shown an interest in things related to your brand in the past.

#5: Narrow Your Ads Based on App Use 

If you want a unique new way to target your advertisements to the users who are most likely to be genuinely interested in your content, try the 42matters Audience Finder tool. Audience Finder narrows your audience based on the apps they have installed on their devices. This allows for a more highly targeted advertisement since, for example, users who have installed a cat feeding reminder app are more likely to have a cat than users who have simply liked a Facebook page about cats.

Audience Finder: Target users that have specific apps installed, e.g. target people that have real estate apps installed when you are selling apartments

This tool has several key advantages:

  • The ability to target highly specific topics. Your targeting can be as detailed as the apps that are available on the market–and there are millions of apps that represent a range of different topics.
  • Locating and targeting a considerably stronger audience. App installs are typically a stronger signal than individuals who have merely read about or liked the information about a specific topic.
  • Making it easier and more effective to target competitors’ users or lookalikes of them.

#6: Check the Right Pages

You want to target users who are fans of pages similar to yours. Make sure you're getting the right pages! Check the numbers: if a page is "liked" by more people than can actually exist (for example, if more people than actually belong to the Boy Scouts of America like an informational page about that organization), it's highly likely that this is an informational page, not one intended for actual users. A little research before you start your ad campaign can help you narrow these pages and choose the right ones for your ad.

#7: Find the Right Interests Using Audience Insights

Facebook has provided its business users with a tool that will enable them to learn more about their customers, shaping their understanding of those individuals who are interested in their products and services so that they can construct more effective ads. Facebook Audience Insights provides several essential features that will allow you to better shape your target audience.

#8: Target Employees of Specific Organizations

Sometimes, you might have a product that is intended to target highly specific individuals: for example, those who work for a specific business. Take a look at the organizations your users work for. This simple targeting trick will help you reach employees who work for organizations that will need your services.

#9: Target by Job Role

Knowing what company your users work for is great. Even better, however, is narrowing your ad to their specific job roles. In some cases, you might want employees with purchasing power: those that have the ability to purchase the items you're selling. In other cases, you want employees who are dealing with specific types of problems or pain points that will interest them in exactly the products or services that you're offering. Targeting your ads directly to those job roles ensures that they're seen by the right eyes to help improve the odds of a sale.

Facebook Targeting by Job Titles

#10: Try Layering Keywords

You aren't stuck with just one interest when you create your ad targets. Instead, try layering your keywords. This will allow you to select more than one interest: for example, "kids" makes a great broad keyword, but "natural parenting" will narrow that target a little further, allowing you to more effectively target individuals who might be interested in cloth diapering or other natural parenting solutions.

Facebook Targeting: Narrow down targeting

#11: Check Specific Groups

These days, everyone has a Facebook group. While you can't choose specific groups to target, you can use those groups to tell you more about your ideal audience. Click on the description for a group and look at the keywords used to describe it. If you'd like to target those users and others similar to them, layer those keywords in your ad strategy. This will allow you to learn more about your audience, get more insights into them, and increase your ad targeting efforts.

#12: Examine Purchasing Behaviour

What are your customers buying? How do those purchases relate to your needs? You might, for example, choose to target users who have made a recent kitchen appliance purchase: they might be interested in new recipes, dishes, or other critical items related to that purchase. Have your users recently made women's clothing purchases? They might be interested in your unique clothing line. Examine current purchasing behavior to help target your ads more effectively.

Facebook Targeting: Purchase behavior

#13: Check Out Life Events

What major life events have recently hit your target audience? Have they recently gotten married? (Time for a new house!) Had a child? (It's time to think about life insurance!) Major life events can have a significant impact on the purchasing behaviors of your users, and targeting them accordingly is a highly effective way to get your ads in front of a highly specific audience.

Facebook Targeting: Life Event "New parents"

#14: Look at Friends of Fans

Their friends like the page. Logically, that means that they may also be interested in your ads--or they might be interested in purchasing for a friend, especially around the holidays. Targeting friends of your fans is a great way to expand your reach and see if you can draw in an audience that might not have liked your page on their own. They might also share your content with friends who do like your page or help increase purchasing behavior.

#15: Design a Custom Audience

You can send your ads directly to the people who are already in your contacts --and that can make a big difference in how your ads are received. If you want to target customers who have already tried out your products, try designing a custom audience to help expand your ad reach and improve your targeting efforts.

#16: Target a Combination of Factors

One of the most useful things about Facebook Ads is the ability to use a range of factors to identify the users who will view your advertisements. These ads may be highly specific--for example, cat owners who live in the state of North Carolina--or they might be more vague, targeting users who have two or three different things that they like. Using this variety of factors will allow you to get your ads in front of a more specific target audience.

Strategy #17: Use Audience Finder in Combination with Other Factors

You don't just want to use Audience Finder alone. The 42matters Audience Finder tool is excellent for identifying users who are using specific apps, which will allow you to choose users who have a high level of interest in one particular topic. At the same time, there may be other factors that you want to use to narrow the audience for your ad even further. By using Audience Finder in combination with the other factors used to narrow Facebook targeting, you can more effectively hyper-target your audience, which will allow you to create specific ads just for your preferred clients.

To setup the ideal audience, follow three steps:

  • The first step is to use the Audience Finder to select people based on the apps they have installed.

Audience Finder: Target people that have a real estate app installed
  • Secondly, export the audience to the Facebook Ad account. Not only is this accomplished with a single click, but a lookalike audience is also created at the same time to broaden the user’s reach.
  • Finally, create the Facebook Ad. A single click is all it takes: the custom audience and lookalike audience are already pre-selected, then use any of the mentioned tips above to further narrow down your ideal target audience