chapter 5

Targeting New Audiences

Our coaching and campaign review team at AdEspresso commonly gives this analogy to ecommerce advertisers who are just starting out:

When you meet somebody you like at a bar, do you ask them to marry you straight away? No. You have a drink with them first, and if it seems to be going well, you start dating.

We aren’t dating strategists, but this analogy hits the right marks for ecommerce. Targeting a completely new audience and hoping for an immediate sale can leave you feeling let down, rejected, and left with the bill. Sometimes it works, but it’s often a shot in the dark.

For higher end products, it’s an even more unrealistic expectation. The more investment the customer needs to make, the more “touch-points” you’ll need in the relationship. Luckily, Facebook’s retargeting options allow you to keep the relationship going through different mediums. Of course, before you begin, you’ll need to approach someone completely new. That’s what we’ll focus on in this chapter.

Should You Target Broad or Specific New Audiences?

Broad: Also known as “or” targeting, it will target any of the characteristics you select of the audience. So if you want a sports fan to buy your product, your selection would be “baseball” or “football” or “basketball.” The audience grows larger with the more interests you add.

Specific: Also known as “and” targeting. In the “Detailed Targeting” section of your Ad Sets, simply choose “Narrow Targeting” and “Narrow Further” to add further parameters. The audience grows smaller with the more interests you add.

We suggest a minimum audience size of 10,000 people or more.

If you plan on A/B testing (also known as split testing) to see what image or value proposition resonates most, we recommended an audience of 100,000 or more.

In the picture above, you can see that the audience is too narrow. It comes in at under 1000 people total, meaning we’ll tear through our ad budget in a mere day or two.

Interest-Based Targeting

Interests allow you to target people specifically interested in a subject (or Facebook page) related to your product. For example, you could target people interested in your competitors or your broader market segment, or magazines and blogs covering your market.

Precise Interests: Precise Interest Targeting lets you target your audience based on their profile information. This includes their likes and interests, apps they use, Pages they’ve Liked, and more (you can even target your competitors’ fans!). Start typing an interest and a list of options will appear. You can also click “browse” to see some broad categories suggested by Facebook. Once you’ve added some interests, Facebook will also recommend similar ones. Adding more than one interest will target people with at least one of them so you’ll make your reach broader.

With AdEspresso, we show you the breakdown by interest if you are using “or” targeting (targeting all interests, not a matching combination).

Behavior Targeting

Unlike interest targeting, behaviors allow you to target people by purchase history, intent, and more. This data is gathered from Facebook’s analysis of many factors combined with external data sets. As an example, you can target people currently traveling or planning their next trip, which is priceless if you’re in the travel equipment/backpack market. Check them out and see if they can work for your business.

You can even target people who have made payments using Facebook in the last 90 days, and are therefore more likely to buy from your Facebook Shop.

For more, read our blog post that goes into much higher detail on behavior targeting.

Demographic and Location-Based Targeting

The first set of options to refine your audience is pretty straight forward: Basic demographic information.

Location: From country to zip code, both big brands and local shops can target their potential customers.

Age: Do you want to appeal to teenagers, young families, or retired people? You have the flexibility to choose any age range.

Gender: Target specific genders. Now that Facebook offers over 50 gender options, this is much more useful for some businesses than other ad platforms.

Facebook recently improved these options, giving you much more granularity over who will see your ads. Clicking on the “More Demographics” button will offer you a wide range of options for every need.

Just click one of the targeting topics in the menu and you’ll be able to refine your audience based on many options. As an example, you’ll be able to target people by their political views, life events, job titles, ethnicity, and so on.

When using these advanced options, always keep in mind that some of them only apply to United States citizens and may not work outside of the country.

Whether it’s country, city, or state, always think about the location. The easiest way to throw money away is to offer your product with free shipping without location targeting.

Next chapter

6. Retargeting and Custom Audiences

3 min

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