Step 3: Find targeted audiences

Ok now that you’ve gotten the foundations set, let’s shift our focus to the actual "Facebook” side of things.

Let’s talk about how to come up with targeting for your ads first.
Facebook has 3 types of targeting options

    Default targeting options
    Custom audiences
    Lookalike audiences

Default (Core Targeting Options)


Custom Audiences


Lookalike Audiences


Here’s how to think about choosing audiences to target

If you are trying to bring in new leads and customers from ‘cold traffic’ (aka new people), you want to try to use a mixture of default targeting options and lookalike audiences. 
If you have existing assets, you should always try to leverage those existing assets first by creating lookalike audiences based on your assets. By assets, we mean email lists, (real) fans on your fanpage or instagram, activity tracked on your website (with the Facebook pixel), etc.
Now, not all assets are considered equal. For example a list of customer emails is generally more valuable than a list of non buyer emails.
A list of your most valuable customers (those who have spent the most with you) is generally better than just a list of all customers.
A list of customers related to the particular product you are promoting is generally better than a list of buyers for another unrelated product.
As you can see, you can really slice and dice this.
You really just want to evaluate your assets based on how relevant you think that asset is to the offer you are promoting. 
At the end of the day, Facebook is going to crunch the data you give it to create audiences to target. The better the data the better the results. So thats how you should go about thinking about this.
Again, we won’t go into the technical aspects of creating audiences. That’s the easy part. Just google how to create custom audiences and how to create lookalike audiences and there are plenty of technical tutorials on how to do that.
Our goal with this guide is to teach you how to think about this stuff.

Now what happens if you don’t have any existing assets to start with?

No problem. In this case you’ll want to leverage Facebook’s core targeting options to get the ball rolling (i.e interests, behaviors, demographics, location, etc).
How do you go about coming up with targeting audiences using Facebook’s core options?
The best way is to start with an avatar in mind.
Evaluate the offer that you are promoting and come up with a list of customer avatars for that product. Who would be potential customers for that particular product or service.
For example, one of our clients, Dave, has a course called No Stress Wordpress - an online course teaching non coders how to build better websites using a software called Elementor.


Some potential avatars for him would be:

    Existing Wordpress users
    Existing Elementor users
    Web designers
    Graphic Designers

Another example:


Malorie released a program called Money Making Coach teaching women how to start successful coaching businesses.
Some potential avatars included:

    Professional women who want to start their own coaching business
    Health coaches
    Mindset coaches
    Relationship coaches

After you have a list of avatars, select the one that you think is the best and start doing audience research for that one first. (You’ll rinse and repeat the same process for the other ones later)

Note: Sometimes, your market might only have one obvious avatar. If so, then just go with that one.

After you have that avatar in mind, you want to think about how you can use Facebook’s targeting options to reach them. What are the demographics, what are the interests, behaviors, or even location that can target them?

In most cases, interests and behaviors will do the most heavy lifting here in terms of targeting the right people.

Ask yourself:

    What topics are they interested in?
    What websites do they frequent?
    What brands do they buy from?
    What associations or groups are they part of?
    What influencers or celebs do they follow?
    What books do they read/movies do they watch?
    Where do they work?
    What do they do on their spare time?

After you have a list of interests or targeting ideas, you’ll want to go into ads manager and see if you can target them since not all interests or ideas you think of will be targetable on Facebook.

  • Couple Pro Tips

If you can, try to find audience groups where the potential reach is between 100K-3 million


Use the exclusion or narrow features to create unique audience groups


Try not to lump a bunch of random interests together into one group. If possible, test one interest at a time.
If that’s not possible, try grouping them together into a logically related interests so its organized and you can draw useful insights if the audience works or doesn’t.



    3 types of targeting options - Core, Custom Audiences, Lookalike audiences
    If you are trying to bring in new leads and customers from ‘cold traffic’, you want to try to use a mixture of default targeting options and lookalike audiences if possible
    If you have existing assets, you should always try to leverage those existing assets first by creating lookalike audiences based on your assets
    If you don’t have existing assets, follow the tips we laid out to find core targeting audiences

Action Steps

  • audience

    Create a list of audiences you can test by leveraging your existing assets or using Facebook’s core targeting options

Up Next: Creating High Converting Ads