15 Powerful Ad Targeting Strategies (Facebook and Google)

Last updated


Daniel Wade


July 28, 2022

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These ad targeting strategies for Google and Facebook will supercharge your advertisement ROI and lower the cost of pay-per-click advertising.

Conversion is the name of the game. PPC campaigns can be a big waste if they don't make the cash register ring. Proper ad targeting starts with understanding and knowing your audiences intimately. That is followed by improving campaign relevance and trying out new audiences groups.

It is easy to know when you strike gold. The right audiences are responsive. They are easier to convert. This piece will turn you into an expert in targeting campaigns to the right clients. It'll help you bring down your cost per click and improve conversion rates.


Table of contents

Powerful Ad Targeting Strategies for 2021 and Beyond

1. Capitalize on your best-selling content

It would be best to begin by enhancing your advertisement content before you even think about targeting audiences with it. If you have worked in digital marketing, you've probably effectively heard that content is king. This principle holds for both organic and paid campaigns.

Get your best performing content and capitalize on it. Your best performing content is that fresh blog entry that totally explodes on your social channels or moves to the top of search engine rankings, and drives a huge amount of traffic to your pages.

It's virtually impossible to foresee which content will go viral. In effect, that means that you should stay alert and actively review your Google and Facebook analytics. The information on views and impressions will help you see what content is working best for your brand.

And if you spot super achieving content, repurpose it as your Facebook promotion. Turn around and use that for your Ad Words landing page as well.

You can turn that into an infographic or explainer video. AB test these ideas in a different format and with different audiences.

2. Steal your competitor's audiences

Google Ads Audience Insights and Facebook Audience Insights both offer a huge amount of significant data to help you understand your audiences. You can use the information to figure out how to target site visitors and Facebook page fans.

Even so, the best way to leverage these two tools is to utilize the data they furnish to find out who you're competing with and then focus the campaign on your competitor's audiences.

On Google, focusing on your competitor's keywords or brand name allows you to reach their audiences with your offerings. However, this can be a costly strategy.

You can never really know without a doubt whether the aim behind a keyword is informational or conversion-focused. Users may be using a specific search term because they are looking for general information or want to buy something, and then -at this point targeting these persons can successfully help you outsell your competitions.

However, there are occasions when a user is looking for a specific site using certain keywords. Targeting such keywords can be a waste. On Facebook, things are a lot simpler. You can target your competitor's audiences based on interests. Facebook characterizes interests dependent on the things somebody expressly prefers and related topics.

To see who your competitor is targeting:

  • Open Facebook Audience Insights and click on Create Audience.
  • Type the name of your competitor's Facebook page and check out their demographics details on the right of the screen.
  • Create your audience list based on those insights.

3. Target based on life events

Specific brands or products are more relevant to certain life events. Funeral service homes, for instance, clearly need to reach individuals who are planning a funeral, critically ill, or lost a friend or family member. Moving companies need to get to homeowners that have recently bought another house or condo. Wedding planners must target individuals who announce engagements on social media.

Facebook has essentially every possible life event targeting criteria on choice since we all, in general, post these to our timelines. The Life Events ad targeting strategy is novel in that you can decide to target individuals at specific times before the event. For instance, a jeweler should clearly be keen on reaching couples that post about an upcoming anniversary.

So, in that sense, a jeweler could safely target couples who posted that they were in a relationship 12 months, 6 months, or 3 months ago.

4. Create custom audiences

Custom Audience is a vital component that can empower you to target the right Facebook and Google customers using your current or past audiences.

Reaching out to your current clients on Facebook or Google strengthens your image. It further offers you the chance to build brand loyalty and ignite repeat purchases.

On the flip side, why waste advertising budget on clients that you have already won? You can exclude them from your current audience list. In case you're offering a free offer to new clients, for instance, there's no motivation to show that to your steadfast clients.

Custom audiences are made by transferring your phone or email contact list as a CSV or TXT document to Facebook. This is also possible for the Google Audience manager.

Likewise, you can make a Custom Audience using demographic insights on your site guests (and explicit pages visited on your site) or on actions taken on your sales pages.

At that point, target it or avoid the entire list or use specific elements of it combined with other targeting approaches. You can focus entirely on your current clients who work in a particular profession, earn a certain amount of money, and live in a specific ZIP code. If you have a high-end product, it is easier to reach people with a higher purchasing power.

You could also target individuals who visited your blog with offers to try your product at a discount. They definitely knew your name and were intrigued enough to visit you. Using custom targeted ads on Facebook and Google can help to convert.

5. Use granular hyper-focused targeting

The number of various demographic parameters you can target on Facebook and Google is endless. Total assets, hobbies, and interests, marital status, parental status, interests, area - it's all in there, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Detailed targeting makes it possible to reach clients of a particular segment with specific interests and practices. It saves campaign costs. For example, you're a travel agency in New York that wants to promote a trip to Bali. You could have Facebook show your advertisement to people with enthusiasm for travel, nature exploration, and Asian culture and have been out of the country just recently. You can further narrow that to Asian Americans aged between 22 and 45 years.

You might not have many individuals to advertise to. Still, the few that you focus on have a greater potential in conversion. . With granular targeting, you can refine your audience lists so much that you keep away cold leads.

6. Exclude new customers

We recommended that you market to your current customer base. However, abstain from advertising to your latest clients. They aren't as likely to purchase from you again, and your promotions might be all the more an effort in futility, something that puts them off.

7. Improve advertisement copy and images

Targeting won't get you far if your promotions aren't designed to be relevant to your intended group. By now, you must have a foundational understanding of your audience. Choose wording and images that work well for them.

Perhaps video and animations even work better for them than text and pictures. This is where you turn time spent in understanding your audience into real results.

8. A/B test everything

The best way to identify the effective and ineffective targeting strategies is through side by side comparison known as A/B testing. Test your advertisements against various audience lists with zero changes to your pictures, copy, and so forth. Find out which audiences are more responsive.

Focus on the more responsive audiences and leave the rest. Continuously be trying to ensure that you're running the most remarkable, proficient, and powerful campaigns to the right audiences

9. Remarket

Remarketing is an incredible Facebook targeting methodology that captures clients who have just expressed enthusiasm for your items. Using Facebook Custom Audiences, you can decide to show your promotions to individuals who have as of recently been on your site, individuals who have visited your sales pages, or even individuals who have bought your products before

10. Target Look-alike Audiences

Facebook allows you to create and target lookalike Audiences. These are people who could be interested in your brand or offerings because they have many similarities with your current customers.

In this way, if your audience insights reveal that your current clients are probably going to be mid-30s mothers who live in Austin, you can choose to create a lookalike audience based on this group. The lookalike audience would likely be single mother career women of Asian descent.

Facebook does it for you, leveraging advanced algorithms to create a precise look alike audience for you. What you need to provide is a base audience, your current audience, for the lookalike audience to be modeled from.

  • Go to Audiences inside your Ads Manager.
  • Click on Create a Look-alike Audience.
  • Choose your base audience your current customers
  • Select the geographic region to target
  • Choose audience size, start with a small number, say a thousand, for precision
  • Click Create Audience.

11. Combine Facebook Audiences with Ad words

Perhaps you don't exactly know what interest categories or demographic classes you need to target with a particular advertisement. You just have a wide audience in mind that you'd prefer to target. What should you do?

Combine Facebook audiences with Ad Words.

The customer information which Facebook provides is significantly more than what Google has. The biggest distinction in the audience segmentation potential of Google and Facebook is that Google has a rundown of websites visited by clients and the keywords used by them.

On the other hand, Facebook provides the name, age, interests, regions, and much more. Both Facebook and Google customer data can be used by advertisers to cross-target a broader and refined audience.

Consolidating data from Google Ad Words campaigns with Facebook audience information in targeting delivers better performing campaigns on the two platforms.

It's been found that targeting Google PPC campaigns on audiences that have already been exposed to Facebook ads lead to a 30% higher ROAS and 7% increase in CTR.

One foolproof strategy to combine the two audiences is using Gmail and Facebook. Both platforms allow their promoters to include client information and send advertisements to their email (Gmail Ads) or Facebook account. To win extraordinary returns through the two platforms, you should work wisely in targeting GSP and Facebook ads.

If you are running comparative advertisements across the two platforms, you will need to make two Facebook Ad sets and bid higher for people on your mailing list, such as Gmail clients.

This strategy can increase your spending plan on Facebook, but that money is used on potentially receptive clients that have encountered your message before.

12. Check Ad Relevance Diagnostics for chances to improve focusing on

In mid-2019, Facebook enhanced its relevance score with three new advertisement diagnostics:

  • Quality
  • Engagement rate
  • Conversion rate

As Facebook says, "Individuals want to see promotions that are relatable. Furthermore, when organizations show their promotions to relevant crowds, they see better business results. That is the reason we consider how relevant every promotion is to an individual before conveying that advertisement to them."

The main goal of Facebook advertising targeting is to get your campaign before an audience that is likely to act after they see it. This is the very meaning of relevance.

To improve relevance:

  • Improve the quality of your campaign using short copy and visuals
  • Pick the correct advertisement design.
  • Choose low campaign frequency.
  • Time promotions tactfully
  • Spy on the competition

If your advertisements aren't performing as you like, you can utilize the promotion relevance diagnostics to find ways to improve by focusing on:

Positioning: Change the intended audience group to one that is more likely to be receptive to the offer in the ad.

Engagement rate: Refine your targeting to individuals who are more likely to contact you after seeing the campaign. Audience Insights can be of great assistance here.

Conversion rate: Target a high intent audience that has a proven purchasing power or history. Target people who have a strong motive to buy your product/ service, such as audiences with a wedding coming up for wedding photographers.

13. Use display exclusions

When you're running a Google PPC campaign, you may go over specific perspectives you need to exclude from the ad. You can reject interests, keywords, websites, topics, and certain demographics that you want to avoid.

Exclusions help to forestall poor campaign performance by removing unqualified leads. This is useful to your business since it keeps you from focusing on keywords or individuals that drive significant expenses yet gain your business, not many to no transformations.

14. Leverage Location Targeting

Location targeting is perhaps the least demanding approach to hyper-focused campaign targeting. When creating your Google ad targeting strategy, you'll need to zoom in on the relevant location. This feature is prominently used on Facebook, but most marketers forget to use it on Google.

When targeting local clients, you need to target the areas based on local keywords associated with your physical store. If you are an auto shop, this implies that you'll need to target keywords like "auto shops in Harrisburg, PA."

Zeroing in on local audiences will get you more relevant leads. You'll increase footfall to your brick and mortar store.

Location targeting settings on Google entail:

  • Targeting individuals who show interest in your area
  • Targeting individuals that are in your area
  • Target individuals looking for your area

If you need to drive the best outcomes with your PPC campaign, focus on individuals who live or look for your area. Doing this guarantees that you will reduce costs by reaching only those who are looking for your business.

The other alternative, focusing on individuals who show enthusiasm for your area, can increase ad spending. It could be someone on a different continent altogether.

15. Optimize for mobile platforms

More searches are done on cell phones nowadays. To get more leads, you have to use all the targeting options that Google Ads gives. That incorporates setting up Google Ads for mobile.

Mobile phones are critical in PPC. When running a Google Ads campaign, it is easy to forget that and focus on PCs; however, mobile has the highest number of searches for any keyword that you can think of, globally.

Conversion rates are also higher when targeting mobile audiences. Often these are people with strong buyer intent. You will need to decide whether to set up another PPC campaign for mobile or to enhance your current one for the mobile user. Think about these components when setting up a mobile-friendly PPC campaigns

Short and plainly composed ad copy: Unlike desktop PPC audiences, mobile users have no space or time. You need to keep your feature and promotion copy as succinct as possible.

Segment the mobile and desktop campaigns: Run separate campaigns for mobile and desktop users and measure the results. The insight can inform you which audiences have the biggest potential.

Optimize landing pages: Make them mobile-friendly. Don't send your mobile PPC leads to a landing page designed for desktop.

15 Powerful Ad Targeting Strategies (Facebook and Google)


Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

After working for multiple digital advertising agencies and managing hundreds of client accounts and spending millions of dollars via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads and Direct Media Buying, I took things out on my own and started SparrowBoost. Now, my tight-knit team and I continue to get smarter and more efficient at running our own campaigns and we share our knowledge with you.

Learn more about SparrowBoost