Facebook Ads

    Facebook Advertising Strategies

    You’ve expertly built out your Facebook Page, you have some great audience insights for targeting, the team has put together some impressive creative ideas, but what’s the best way to bring it all together? Often, landing on a Facebook advertising strategy is the hardest part of the process. You should always be experimenting with new ideas and approaches, but here’s some direction and inspiration to get you started.

    Beginner Facebook advertising strategies

    Get your audience targeting down

    Don’t get lost in Facebook’s extensive audience targeting options. Instead, work outside of the platform to confidently define your target market, and then use that information to set up your audience targeting. If you’re just starting to define your target or market, or haven’t updated current info in a while, here’s a list of places to pull data from:

    • Current customer base
    • Competitors
    • Demographics you want to target — age, income, location, etc. 
    • Website and social media analytics, including other platforms you advertise on
    • Sales team 

    Getting your targeting locked down will ensure you’re not paying for unqualified leads or brining down your Relevance Score.

    Create a series of ads with sequential advertising

    We covered this strategy in this post, but here are the highlights you should know:

    What Is Facebook Sequential Advertising? It’s a way to show your targeted audience a group of ads by step, with the goal of one day following consumers’ eyes as they jump between devices. It’s different (and more advanced) than rotating ads in that it uses technology to determine which ads someone has already seen and automatically serves up the next one in the series. Sequential advertising guarantees a person will see Ad 1, then Ad 2, then Ad 3, and so on, even if they’re switching between many devices.


    When to use Facebook Sequential Advertising. There are three main reasons you’d want to adopt sequential advertising into your strategy:

    • You want to reach a broader audience with a series of ads that hit on more than one of your product’s features.
    • You want a new strategy to engage a broader audience.
    • You want to tell a whole story about a brand.

    Steps to sequence your ads. 

    1. Go to Ads Manager and create your ad campaign.
    2. Reserve your reach and frequency campaign.
    3. From the Ads Manager home screen, select the campaign you just booked and then choose which ad set you want to sequence.
    4. Once you've selected your ad set, select the Edit icon.
    5. In the editing panel, go to the Delivery section and choose Sequenced.
    6. Click Add for each ad you want to include in your sequence. Note: You can only include as many ads in a sequence as you can deliver during your campaign length. The number of ads you can include depends on your campaign schedule and how frequently you choose to show your ads. For example, if your campaign is three weeks long and you have set up your reach and frequency balance so that you're showing an ad once every seven days, you have three opportunities (or one opportunity per week) to show a new ad before your campaign ends. So, you can include a maximum of three ads in your sequence.
      To include more ads in a sequence, lengthen your campaign schedule or change your reach and frequency balance to show ads more frequently. To show the same ad more than once, click Duplicate
    7. To change the order of your sequence, click on each ad and drag them into the right order
    8. To add your sequenced creative to your campaign click Review Changes

    Use Lookalike Audiences to find more top customers

    We covered the basics of Lookalike Audiences in this post, but here’s the wrapup — Lookalike Audiences are groups of people that are similar to those in your Custom Audiences. If you have a Custom Audience of past customers, its Lookalike Audience will be filled with similar Facebook users that are likely to be interested in your offers. To create a Lookalike Audience:

    1. Go to your Audiences
    2. Click the Create Audience dropdown and choose Lookalike Audience
    3. Choose your source
      • A source can be a Custom Audience not created with your pixel data, your mobile app data or fans of your Page
      • Consider using a group of 1,000 to 50,000 of your best customers based on lifetime value, transaction value, total order size or engagement.
    4. Choose the country/countries where you'd like to find a similar set of people
    5. Choose your desired audience size with the slider.
    6. Click Create Audience

    Advanced Facebook advertising strategies

    Run A Competitive Analysis

    Take advantage of your competitors’ work by checking out what their customers are engaging with. We wrote a whole post about using Facebook’s own products to spy on your competitors. Using Facebook’s transparency tool that allows you to see the ads a Page is running across Facebook, you can:

    1. Track your competitors’ new product features and messaging
    2. Get ideas for new content
    3. Check new offers and sales
    4. Monitor pricing
    5. Get inspired by great Facebook ad examples

    Find the best frequency schedule

    You never want to turn someone off to your brand because you hit them over the head with too many messages. In How to Fight ad Fatigue and Keep Ads Fresh, we suggest doing the following to avoid overkill:

    1. Use Automation to Rotate Your Ads: By predicting when click-through rates will start falling, i.e. ad fatigue setting in, (see below: Drop poor performers) you can also calculate the ideal number of content pieces you’ll need to fill the duration of your campaign. Take it one step further by creating a narrative in your messaging. If you have five pieces of content planned, instead of advertising five standalone product benefits, create one cohesive story about your product over the course of the five ads.


    1. Test Your Audience Targeting: With any quantitative decision you’re considering, but especially marketing, you should always test. Run small tests on your LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook ad sets, or Twitter cards to assess the impact of using different targeting techniques. Depending on the results of the testing, you can make decisions on where to focus your funds.
    2. Drop Poor Performers: Even with all that testing, at least one ad will be less successful than the others. We can’t all be winners, right? However, you don’t have to coach the poor performer along until your budget is drained. Stop spend as soon as you detect a drop in performance so you can put that budget toward what’s actually working.

    Create buyer personas

    Maybe you have your targeting down, but who are these people, really? And it’s not just one person who encompasses every characteristic on your list. Your buyer personas should bring your customer to life so that your creative team can better nail down resonant messaging. If you’re having trouble building out your personas, check out our post How to Use Facebook to Create Powerful Customer Personas

    Among the ideas you’ll see there are: 

    Find High-Affinity Related Pages: Once you have your seed data, you need to find related pages that have a high affinity with your existing audience. To do this, go to “Page Likes” and sort the pages by affinity. Make a list of at least five or six pages.

    Research All Related Pages for Demographic Data: Add all the pages you found above to your list of interests. This will help you expand the audience and gather demographic data. For best results, keep your total audience size under 50k monthly active people. For smaller niches, stick to 10k people and under. For example, adding “Duct Tape Marketing,” “Derek Halpern,” and “Jeff Bullas” to the interests list shows me this:

    Buyer persona

    While this won’t give you specific customer personas, it will help paint a general picture of your target audience.

    Drill Down by Age and Education Level: Your next step is to drill down further and create specific customer personas from the general data you gathered above.Here’s how:

    • Divide audience into distinct age groups
    • Segment this audience further based on their education.

    As you’re working through potential strategies, always keep a detailed list of what you tried, and how it turned out. A running history will help you avoid what you already know doesn’t work, and you’l’ be able to more easily spot winning strategies. 

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    Breanna Lambert

    Breanna has 10+ years’ experience in marketing, though the tides & trends have pushed her almost exclusively into digital. She lives in the hills above Boulder, CO and spends her downtime outside exploring with her husband, son, and pup.