Facebook Ads

How To Use Broad Categories with Facebook Ads

According to Facebook, 137,663,700 of their users are away from family. This isn't data from a recent report… I pulled it by simply looking at the reach estimates provided for the “Away from Family” broad category. Maybe they relocated for a job, are away for college or even emigrated to the US in pursuit of the American Dream. Regardless of why they're away, they're apart from family and likely miss them. Why does this matter?

Having this level of insight about your audience allows you to create extremely relevant ads.

Facebook Broad Category Away From Home

As a marketer, having this level of insight about an audience is wonderful. For example. if I’m advertising a video chat platform, I could create some powerful ads that acknowledge the loneliness that comes from being away from family and highlight the joys of talking face-to-face over video chat with them. It’s an emotional roller coaster just thinking about it and if I were away from family, I’d click that ad!

So what makes this “Away from Family” targeting possible? Broad categories.

What Are Broad Categories?

Broad categories are predefined targeting categories provided by Facebook that group users according to their Likes and Interests, apps they use, Pages they like and other profile content they’ve provided. With broad categories, you can easily and comprehensively reach a desired audience on Facebook by selecting it from a list.


For example, you can now reach people who like conservative US politics with a single category selection rather than adding every conservative interest individually. It's like a ready-to-go cluster of targeting settings!

Some Awesome Example Categories

Here are some of my favorite examples of broad categories. They highlight the unique targeting available for Facebook advertisers:

  • Currently Traveling
  • Owners of Old Computers
  • Small Business Owners
  • Technology Early Adopters
  • Frequent Casual Diner
  • Has Birthday in 1 week
  • New Job
  • New Serious Relationship
  • Recently Moved
  • Engaged (6 months)
  • Expecting Parents
  • Long Distance Relationship
  • Parents (child: 13-15yrs)
  • Politics (US Non-Partisans)
  • Blackberry Mobile Users
  • Bollywood Movies
  • Reggae Music
  • Luxury Goods

How to Get Started

To take advantage of these broad categories:

  1. Browse the categories available from the audience targeting section of Facebook's ad creation.
  2. Note which ones match your personas.
  3. Brainstorm ways you can tailor an ad to promote your product or service to that audience.
  4. Consider the other targeting settings (like location) to further narrow your reach towards your ideal audience without wasting your money on people that are unlikely to be your customer.
    • If you select additional targeting setting like gender, it will act as an “and” clause. E.g., Users that are women and are in the category "Pets (Cats)."
    • If you select multiple broad categories, it will act as an “or” clause. E.g., Users in either “Away from Family” or “Long Distance Relationship.”
  5. Finally, create at least one relevant ad for each category.

For more on Facebook ad targeting, read How to Target Facebook Ads to Your Perfect Audience.

AdStage Team