How to Audit Your Facebook Ads Account

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Advertising, Social
How to Audit Your Facebook Ads Account

You might be able to run the same old PPC ads on the same old search keywords without any significant dip in volume, but you won’t get away with that with Facebook Ads since they require regular maintenance to keep click-throughs high. Even when you update your ad images and copy regularly, there are many other aspects of your account that can fall through the cracks. In this guide, I’ll walk you through a comprehensive account audit to identify opportunities to improve your Facebook Ads account.

Even when you update your ads regularly, other aspects of your account can fall through the cracks.

facebook ads sidebar

Here are the main sections I’ll cover:

  1. Account
  2. Campaigns
  3. Ads
  4. Ad Settings
  5. Destinations

As you go through the guide, feel free to check each section off. Now let’s get started!

Account Level Audit

The following steps will help you make sure your overall Facebook Ads account is in good shape.

Structure – Is there a clear structure to the account’s campaigns? A well-structured campaign helps prevent problems like outdated ads and helps you spot opportunities in your reports. It also makes it easier for colleagues to help manage your campaigns if your team grows. Group your campaigns together according similar traits like goal or targeted audience.

Admins – Are there any admins that should no longer have access to the account? Keep your admin list current and remove the profiles of former employees, agencies, interns, etc.

Email Settings – Are you set to receive all important email notifications? You’ll want to at least receive email notifications of ad disapprovals, ads that require editing, and perhaps even periodic account summaries.

Conversion Tracking – Is conversion tracking set up? Is it working? Are the right conversions being tracked? With conversion tracking, you can optimize every aspect of your campaigns to maximize profit and eliminate wasted spend by measuring the impact ads have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re tracking the most important actions a visitor could take (e.g., shopping cart checkouts).

Facebook Conversion Tracking

Track conversions from your ads

 Custom Audiences – Have custom and similar audiences been created? Custom audiences allow you to upload a list of customers to target or exclude. This helps you advertise to leads or past customers exclusively, or to exclude current customers from your audience.  Update your custom audience lists or create your first. For help, read How To Use Custom & Lookalike Audiences with Facebook.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Update or create custom audiences

Campaign Level Audit

Now that we’ve made sure your overall Facebook Ads account is in good shape, let’s take a look at each campaign to make sure they’re set up optimally.

Budget – Is the campaign budget adequate? Is the campaign consistently depleting its budget? Review your spend and budget to make sure your best-performing campaigns have a high enough budget to meet your goals. If the budget is maxed out, consider lowering your bids in order to reduce your cost per click– you just might get more clicks for your money.

Facebook Campaign Date

Review your end dates

Schedule – Is the campaign end date correct? Not every campaign will have an end date, but if it does, make sure it reflects your plans for the campaign duration.

Ad Quantity – Does the campaign more than one active ad? Keeping multiple ad variations in a campaign makes it easy to test them and adds variety to the ads your customers see. Create new ads frequently to keep your tests active and fresh.

Ad Audit

Now it’s time to address the part of your campaign potential customers see. Your ads are what you’re paying to promote, after all, so let’s make sure they’re strong.

Address any disapproved ads

Address any disapproved ads

Approval Issues – Are there any ads marked as disapproved? Approval issues keep your ads from running but can be fixed quickly. If you find any, make the required change and set a reminder for yourself to check back in a few days to make sure the issue has been resolved.

Typos – Are there any typos or spelling issues in the ads? Typos reflect poorly on your business and obscure the message of your ad so address any issues.

Calls to Action – Does each ad have a call to action? Tell your customers what the next step they should take is and you’ll see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through. For help writing ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective Ads.

Freshness – Have new ad images and copy been added in the past month? Ads must be updated frequently so your audience doesn’t get fatigued causing click-through rates to drop. Create new ads with new images regularly.

Ad Types – Are the appropriate ad types being used to to reach the goals? Facebook frequently changes the ad types you can choose from and each type caters to a different purpose (e.g., Mobile app install ads). Review the current options from the ad creation screen to see if there is one that works better, given your goals.

Ad Settings Audit

Next we’ll take a look at your ad settings to make sure they’re configured for the maximum impact.

Location  – Are the ad location targeting settings appropriate? Make sure your ads are targeting only the locations your business serves. Also consider creating ads that only target your most profitable locations.

Placements – Do the ads cover all placements? Are there any placements that should be more heavily targeted? Now that Facebook allows you to choose from a wide list of placement on the screen on which your ads can display, you can craft custom ads that take advantage of each placement. You can also generate a report that includes the “placement” column to analyze your performance by placement and use it to give a placement extra attention when creation new ads.

Facebook Ad Placement Report

Analyze your placement performance

 Top Audiences – Have the top audience targeting settings been used in other ads? Since audience targeting is on the ad level, it’s easy to lose track of which audience types are perform best. Review the best performing ads and see if they have any targeting settings in common. Use this as inspiration to create new ads that target these top audiences.

Audience size – Do ads target a large enough audience size? While it’s ok to have a highly targeted ad with a small audience size, you’ll want to create other ads that target the rest of your potential audience as well. Consider increasing the audience size of low volume ads by relaxing the targeting settings, or create additional ads with larger audiences to get broad coverage.

Age – Have the appropriate ages been targeted? Age data on Facebook is fairly accurate and is a great way to exclude users that may be too young or too young then your demographic. If your customers tend to be a specific age, consider narrowing your age targeting to focus on your target age group.

Custom Audiences – Are custom audiences being used where relevant? Custom audiences can be used to target past customers, exclude current customers, and more. Review your current audiences and consider how they can be used to improve your ad performance. For example, when trying to get more page likes, you could target your customer list since they are

Conversion Specs – Have conversion specs been specified for ads? If you use Optimized CPM bidding in the Power Editor, Facebook will automatically optimize your bids for a specific action (e.g., likes, clicks, etc). If no conversion spec is specified, Facebook will choose an action by default, depending on the ad type. If you have a specific action goal for the ad (like video plays), make sure to define it. For help, read Facebook Conversion Specs.

Destination Audit

Finally, let’s review your ad destinations to make sure you’re making the most of the traffic your generating.

Facebook Page Quality- Is the brand Facebook page in need of updating? Many of your ads are tied to your brand’s Facebook page, but small teams may find it difficult to keep it up to date when they’re focusing on paid channels. Review the page and perform regular maintenance, like updating contact info, descriptions, etc.

404 error

Make sure landing pages work

Landing Page Errors – Are any ads pointing to error or “out of stock” pages? Landing page problems break your ads, frustrate potential customers and are a complete waste of money. Update the destination of ads with broken landing pages to make sure your money goes towards ads that can actually lead to conversions.

Landing Page Quality – Are you sending traffic to the right pages of your website or tabs on your Facebook Page? The messaging on the ad’s landing page should match that of the ad. If your ad is advertising a specific product, don’t send customers to your homepage and make them search– take them straight to that product so they can make a decision to buy. Review the destination of each ad to make sure the most relevant destination is being used.

Landing Page Optimization – Are the landing pages optimized for conversions? You’re going through a great deal of effort to bring customers to your website; is there anything you can do to make the most of the visitors you already have? Consider removing distractions from the landing page, adding a clear call to action, testing headlines, etc.

How To Set Your Campaign Budgets

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Advertising, Search
How To Set Your Campaign Budgets

Are you looking to launch new ad campaigns and unsure of how your budgets should be set to start? We’ll walk you through the decision making process here to start you off on the right foot. And don’t worry, your budgets can always be changed and changing them will be one of the most enjoyable steps you take to optimize your campaigns.

How Campaign Budgets Work

First, let’s look at an overview of budgets. Budgets are set at the campaign level and dictate just how much you’re willing to spend on ads in that campaign over a given period of time. Typically, budgets are measured by day, although some networks like Bing Ads & Facebook Ads offer monthly and lifetime budgets as well.

Daily budgets are not always firm limits and, in the case of Google AdWords, you could go over your daily budget. AdWords may go over your daily budget by as much as 20% in order to compensate for fluctuations in search volume that happen in any given day. However, AdWords will prevent your campaign from going over your budget for the month as a whole and will credit you if spend goes over the effective monthly budget.

It’s unlikely that your campaigns will be profitable from the moment you launch them, so set aside a budget that will help you get started testing the waters and collecting data. It’s tough to say just how much is appropriate for you to test with, but I hope you can spend at least $30 per day per campaign. (Need to spend less? That’s ok, but you may need your campaign to run for several weeks to collect data. Able to spend more. Do it. Your budget will dictate just how much data you’re able to collect and how quickly you can get it.)

Choosing a Campaign Budget

To choose your campaign budget:

  1. Take the total budget you’ve set aside for digital advertising for the month and divide it by 30.4. This will be your overall daily budget.
  2. Take your overall daily budget and divide it by the total number of campaigns you are launching across the different ad networks. This will be the initial campaign daily budget.
  3. Apply the campaign daily budget to each campaign you are launching. This will help you manage your total budget across your campaigns.

Reallocating Budget

After the first days and weeks, you’ll collect traffic and conversion data for your campaigns. You can move money out of campaigns that aren’t spending their budget and use your performance data to reallocate money towards your best performers.

Reallocating by Spend

After a few days, you will be able to see which campaigns are spending through their daily budgets and which are hardly touching their budget. You can then take money out of the latter and reallocate it towards the former.

Reallocating by Value

It may take a few weeks, but if you’re tracking conversions you can see which campaigns are most profitable. With this data, you can move budget from the low converting campaigns into the high converting campaigns.

If you’re using AdStage to manage your campaigns and track conversions, you can group campaigns into a folder and use our budget optimizer to automatically reallocate your budget towards the campaigns that are resulting in the most conversions, regardless of network.

Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ad Has Limited Reach

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Advertising, Social
Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ad Has Limited Reach

This post was originally published at
Facebook Reach

So Facebook said your ad targeting had a potential reach of 60,000, yet you’ve only reached 9,000 since you launched your campaign. What happened to the other 51,000 potential customers?

It’s easy to feel shortchanged but there’s a number of reasons why you may not reach all of your potential audience and there are even some easy ways to fix it.

First, let’s recap the terms and metrics we’re analyzing to evaluate our reach:

Potential Reach is the unique number of people you have the potential to reach based on your ad targeting. Potential Reach also gives you an idea of how narrow your targeting is. If the number is too large, you may be wasting ad impressions on people that are less than ideal and you could narrow down your targeting and be more selective. If the number is too small, your ads are targeted too narrowly and your targeting should be relaxed.

Campaign Reach is the number of unique people who actually saw ads from your campaign. We’ll explore the causes of low campaign reach below.

The 5 Causes of Low Facebook Reach

1. Budget

The most likely reason your reach is limited is you have an insufficient ad budget. A low budget means you’ll miss out on opportunities to show your ads. Raising your budget will let your ads run more frequently and for longer in the day…

2. Active Users

Another likely cause is your targeted audience hasn’t been active on Facebook. Let’s face it, all 60,000 of these potential users haven’t necessarily logged into Facebook since your ads began running.

A 15 year-old with drama will rack up more Facebook ad impressions than a conservative 50 year-old will.

They also may not have spent enough time on Facebook to see your ad. The more time they spend browsing on Facebook, the more opportunities your ad has to reach them. A 15 year-old with drama will rack up more Facebook ad impressions than a conservative 50 year-old will. It’s possible that your target audience is less active on Facebook and you’ll need to adjust your expectations, or target a wider audience.

3. Bids

Like with budget, a low bid will reach fewer users. It’s true: throwing more money at your ad’s can help improve your reach. Keep in mind you’re competing in an auction with many advertisers and limited ad inventory so raising your bid will give you a better chance at beating out other advertisers and reaching more of your targeted audience.

4. Relevance

Are your ads relevant to your audience? Facebook takes relevance into consideration when deciding which ads get displayed to users. To make sure your ad has a fighting chance at reaching your audience, make sure it’s relevant to them. You may need to make several ads that each target a different segment of your audience. This allows you to craft your ad image and copy to be more relevant to your target audience.

5. Time

The last cause of limited Facebook reach is the easiest (and cheapest) one to fix! Your ads just may need more time to run. To fix this, do nothing. Just wait. Because the more time you allow for your ads to run, the more people they will have an opportunity to reach.

Now get out there and reach more Facebook users!

How To Use Broad Categories with Facebook Ads

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in Advertising, Social
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.

Creating Effective PPC Ads [Slideshow]

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Advertising
Creating Effective PPC Ads [Slideshow]

Looking to boost the effectiveness of your online ads? Check out this presentation for quick tips for writing effective PPC ads. You can also read the original blog post here.


The AdStage Guide to Facebook Ads

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Advertising, Social
The AdStage Guide to Facebook Ads

Editors Note: This post was updated on January 2, 2014

Facebook Ads give you the opportunity to reach potential customers from the over 1 billion people on Facebook. Facebook is unique in that, while you can target by the location, gender, and age, you can also target likes and interests, relationship status, workplace, and the education of your target audience. In this guide, we’ll walk through Facebook Ads to get you familiar with the ad network.

Campaign Creation

When setting up your first ad, you’ll need to define your objective. Your choice will affect which settings are exposed to you during ad creation to simplify the process and Facebook will also report on your chosen objective.

facebook ads objectives - website clicks

  • Clicks to Website: Get people to visit your website.
  • Website Conversions: Promote specific conversion events for your website.
  • Page Post Engagement: Promote your Page posts.
  • Page Likes: Get Page likes to grow your audience and build your brand.
  • App Installs: Get people to install your mobile or desktop app.
  • App Engagement: Get people to use your desktop app.
  • Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your store.
  • Event Responses: Increase attendance at your event.

Writing your ad

  • facebook adImage: Your image should be eye-catching and relevant to your copy. Try to use a clear image that will still look good when viewed as a small thumbnail.
  • Headline: This is the most noticeable text in your ad so make sure it will capture a person’s interest and encourage them to read the rest of your copy.
  • Copy: Make sure to explain what you’re advertising along with the details of your products, services, and offers. Keep in mind that people are not actively looking for your offer, so you’ll want to write copy that will pique their interest. Your landing page can close the deal.


facebook ads targeting ageAfter creating your ad, you will be able to choose the specific audience for your ad. You’re sure to be impressed with the ways Facebook lets you precisely target an audience by demographics, attributes and interests. Here are some of the ways you can choose who will see your ad:

  • Location: Target people by where they live.
  • Age: Target people by how old they are.
  • Gender: Target people by their gender.
  • Interests & Categories: Target people by their interests.
  • Connections:  Target people by Pages they like.
  • Custom Audiences: Target specific people by email address or other identifying information.
  • Advanced: Target people by language, education, workplace, etc.

For a detailed breakdown of the different targeting options along with how to best use them, read our Guide to Facebook Ads Targeting.


Your daily budget is your spend limit on a specific campaign each day, so it should be an amount you’d be comfortable spending per day. Each campaign will have a separate budget and your ads will run until the budget has been met for that day. You’ll never accrue charges in excess of the budget you set. Additionally, you can also set a lifetime budget to spend over the entire scheduled duration of a campaign. Learn how to set your campaign budgets.


There are two main bidding methods with Facebook Ads:

  1. Bid for Clicks (CPC) – This bid is for each time a person clicks your ad. This bidding method works well if you want to drive traffic to your website.
  2. Bid for Impressions (CPM) – This bid is for each 1,000 times your ads are shown. This bidding method works well if you want to increase awareness of your brand.

facebook ad pricing model

Most people opt for the CPC bidding option, which means they’re charged according to the number of clicks they get on their ads. When you run your ad or sponsored story on Facebook, you will only be charged for the number of impressions (CPM) or clicks (CPC) it receives. The amount that you pay will never be more than your daily or lifetime budget and there are no additional fees associated with running ads or sponsored stories on Facebook. The larger your budget, the more people a campaign is likely to reach.

Facebook’s ad system uses an algorithm that chooses the best ad to display based on a variety of factors, including the historical performance of each ad and their bids. The bid necessary to display your ad will fluctuate as Facebook learns more about your ad based on its actual performance, and as the pool of competing ads changes.

Analysis & Optimization

Tracking your results

While creating Facebook Ads is fairly straightforward for new advertisers, analyzing performance after the campaign has launched can be more difficult. Learn how to analyze campaigns and ads and create reports in our Guide to Analyzing Facebook Ads Performance.

If your goal is to generate leads, inquiries, or sales that result from the clicks  you receive, you’ll also want to configure conversion tracking on your website in order to attribute those actions to your ads on Facebook and evaluate performance.

Improving your ads

You can find the best performing ad text for your targeted audience by testing multiple ads and evaluating results regularly.

  • Description: Include a clear action you want your audience to take in the body text of your ad. Also be sure to highlight your benefits and any special promotions.
  • Image: Make sure your image is relevant and eye-catching. Also be sure to update your images frequently as your customers can quickly become fatigued.

Improving your targeting

  • facebook ads audience size gaugeTest an ad with broader targeting
    Make sure you are not targeting too few people. If your targeting is too narrow, the delivery of your ad or sponsored story may be limited. To improve the performance of your ad, try relaxing your current targeting to expand your potential audience.
  • Test an ad with narrower targeting
    If you narrow down your targeting, you can reach people that will be most interested in your ad. You can check your Ad Reports and Page Insights to see who is responding to your ads and add additional targeting filters to reach the most relevant audience.

If you’re not satisfied with the number of people your ad actually reaches, read the Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ad Has Limited Reach for tips to improve it.

Auditing your account

Finally, you’ll want to audit your account every few months or so to make sure there are no major issues or missed opportunities. Check out our comprehensive Facebook Ads Audit Guide for an easy-to-use checklist.

How to Target Facebook Ads to Your Audience

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Advertising, Social
How to Target Facebook Ads to Your Audience

This post was updated on December 15, 2016

Getting started with Facebook advertising is a pretty exciting experience. You’ll be impressed with the way Facebook lets you surgically target your ad’s audience with an impressive array of settings like demographics, attributes and interests.

More than any other network, Facebook knows its user’s gender, age, and likes which you can use to focus your ads on the best audience. In this post, we’ll review the different audience targeting options Facebook Ads provides.

Audience Size

Before we dive into the different targeting options, it’s important to point out that you’ll need to be mindful of how large your target audience is.

  • Broad – Targeting too many people means you’ll end up showing your ads to people who aren’t likely to be your customers. This will limit how effective your ads are and it will take a big budget to reach your audience.
  • Specific – Targeting too few people can also limit how effective your ads are. While the people who see your ads may be highly relevant, you could end up barraging a small audience with your ads, instead of distributing your budget to many potential customers.
  • Clearly Defined – Your goal is to land somewhere in the middle with your targeting. So try to target somewhere between the extremes: 1,000 and 180,000,000 people.

facebook ads potential reach targeting size

Custom Audiences

Here you can target custom audiences you’ve previously created. Custom audiences allow you to upload a contact list to target or exclude with your Facebook ads. For example, you could upload a list of customers that placed an order on your website and add them as a custom audience. You can then advertise to this list to encourage repeat orders which may perform well since they already have a relationship with your company. Alternatively, if you sell a subscription product, you could exclude active subscribers to focus on acquiring new subscribers.facebook ads targeting custom audiences

You can also create a similar audience list (known as lookalikes) based on your custom audience. This is great for advertising to an audience that’s similar to your best customers. For more, read our post on How To Create Custom & Lookalike Audiences.


First, you’ll need to choose at least one location to narrow down who should see your ads. You should set it to where your potential customers are. You can select countries, states or provinces, cities and zip codes. To make things even easier, you can target a radius. For example, if you’re advertising a bakery in Dallas, Texas, you can include cities within 10 miles of Dallas. This will include Facebook users that live in this location to your campaign’s audience.

facebook ads location


facebook ads ageHere you can target the age range of your audience. You can specify any age range between 13 and 64 or choose “no maximum” age. If your typical customers skew towards a certain age, you can select that range. For example, a life insurance provider may choose to target people between 35 and 55. This will include Facebook users within that age range to your campaign’s audience.


facebook ads targeting genderHere you can target the gender of your audience. If your typical customers skew towards a certain gender, you can select that gender here. For example, a nail salon may choose to target women only. This will include Facebook users of that gender to your campaign’s audience.


Here you can target the language your audience speaks. This is helpful when the language your audience speaks is uncommon in the targeted location. For example, a law firm that works with immigrants may want to target their audience by their native language.

facebook ads targeting languages


Here you can select several more demographic categories to narrow down your target audience.

  • Relationship
    • Interested In – Here you can target your audience by the gender they’re interested in. For example, a dating site may target those interested in women so they can create an ad with an image of a woman along with ad copy about meeting women. One caveat with this targeting option is that Facebook officially describes this as “interested in a specific gender for friendship, gender, a relationship or networking.” That’s extremely inclusive– so your mileage may vary.
    • Relationship Status – Here you can target your audience by their relationship status. For example, a dating site would (hopefully) target single people only and avoid wasting money on people in relationships.

facebook ads targeting relationships

  • Education
    • Education Level – Here you can target your audience by the level of education they’ve completed. For example, a business school may choose to target people that have graduated college with a major in Business.
    • Fields of Study – Here you can target your audience by their college major. For example, a business school may choose to target graduates that majored in computer science for an MBA program.
    • Schools – Here you can target your audience by school they studied at. For example, if you’re trying to reach Stanford graduates, you can enter “Stanford University.”
    • Undergrad Years – Here you can target your audience by the year they graduated. For example, a business school may choose to target recent college graduates for a graduate degree program.
  • Work
    • Employers – Here you can target your audience by where they work. For example, a high-end restaurant in Mountain View may target employees of Google. This will add all users that have indicated they work there to your audience.
    • Job Titles – Here you can target your audience by their job title. For example, a caterer may choose to target people with the job title “event planner.”
    • Industries – Here you can target your audience by the industries they work in. For example, a regional sales conference may choose to target people working in Sales.
    • Office Type – Here you can target your audience by the type of office they work in. (US Only) For example, an office supply store may choose to target people working from a home office.

facebook ads targeting work

  • Financial
    • Income – Here you can target your audience by their annual income. (US Only) For example, a luxury car dealership may choose to target people with an annual income over $125,000.
    • Net Worth – Here you can target your audience by their net worth. (US Only) For example, a financial advisor may choose to target people with a net worth over $2,000,000.
  • Home
    • Home Type – Here you can target your audience by their home type. (US Only) For example, a landscaper may choose to target people living in single-family homes.
    • Home Ownership – Here you can target your audience by whether they’re homeowners or renters. (US Only) For example, an insurance company may choose to target renters in order to promote renter’s insurance policies.
    • Home Value – Here you can target your audience by the value of their home. (US Only) For example, a real estate agent may choose to target homeowners with a home value between $600,000 and $1,000,000.
    • Household Composition – Here you can target your audience by their household composition. (US Only) For example, a travel agent may choose to target Empty Nesters who are more free to travel.

facebook ads targeting home

  • Ethnic Affinity – Here you can target your audience by the ethnicity they have an affinity towards or interest in. (US Only) For example, a Spanish-speaking church may choose to target Hispanic people that speak Spanish as their primary language.
  • Generation – Here you can target your audience by the generation they identify with. (US Only) For example, a financial advisor may choose to target Baby Boomers since retirement will be on their mind.
  • Parents

    • All Parents – Here you can target parents by the age of their children. For example, a babysitting service may choose to target parents of children 4-12 years old.
    • Moms – Here you can target mothers by their specific interests or lifestyle. (US Only) For example, a car dealership may choose to target Green Moms with an ad for a 7-passenger hybrid.

facebook ads targeting parents

  • Politics – Here you can target your audience by their political affiliations. (US Only) For example, a Democratic candidate for Mayor may choose to target registered Democrats in his city.
  • Life Events – Here you can target your audience by life events they’ve had. For example, a wedding planner may choose to target people that are newly engaged.


This is a powerful targeting method because Facebook’s “Like” feature makes user interests incredibly accurate. Here you can target topics your audience is interested in. For example, if you’re advertising power tools, you can select the “Home improvement” interest, or the more precise “craftsman”  interest. This will include all Facebook users that have indicated the interest to your campaign’s audience.

facebook ads targeting interests


Here you can select behaviors you’d like to target. You can choose from purchase behaviors, device usage and more. For example, an e-commerce website may choose to target “Online buyers” since they should be more comfortable making purchases online. I’m sure you’ll find the various categories Facebook Ads provides both impressive and helpful.

facebook ads targeting behaviors

More Categories

Here you can find Facebook & Partner Categories you’ve requested access to. Don’t be disappointed if the options in this field are sparse.


Here you can target your audience by their connection to your pages, apps or events. You can specify people that are connected, aren’t yet connected or whose friends are connected to your page, app or event. For example, if you’re trying to get more likes on your page, you can exclude those that are already connected to your page and target your campaign to people whose friends are connected to your page. This will generate new likes for your Facebook page from users whose friends already like your page.

facebook ads targeting connections

Test Your Targeting

Once you’ve selected the audience to target with your first ad, be sure to experiment with other audiences as well. There is an endless number of combinations to test and you’re bound to find a better audience than the one your created on your first attempt.

How To Use Custom & Lookalike Audiences with Facebook Ads

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Advertising, Social
How To Use Custom & Lookalike Audiences with Facebook Ads

Facebook offers a great deal of targeting options that you can’t find anywhere else, but there’s much more than the ability to target users by their relationship status. In this post we’ll cover how to use both Custom & Lookalike Audiences in Facebook Ads so you can leverage your business’s contact lists and take your Facebook ad campaigns to the next level.

Custom Audiences

With Custom Audiences, you now have the ability to target your Facebook ads to specific contacts! It works like this: Over time you’ve developed contact lists of leads, customers, subscribers, and more. Many, if not most, of your contacts are on Facebook so Facebook now lets you upload your lists to target them specifically.

You now have the ability to target your Facebook ads to specific contacts.

Here’s an example of this in action: you could get more likes on your business’s Facebook page by running a like campaign to past customers that haven’t yet liked your page. They will be much more likely to respond to your like campaign than a standard audience since they already have a relationship with your business.

How to Create Custom Audiences

Building your Custom Audience is extremely easy when you have a list of contacts..

  1. First identify the contacts that you want to reach with your new Facebook campaign. Perhaps you want to reach all of your contacts, or just a segment such as you current or past customers, leads, or subscribers. Just make sure your list is at least 500 people.
    Creating a custom audience
  2. Create a spreadsheet of the corresponding emails or phone numbers for your contacts. If you utilize a CRM, simply export your list.
  3. Open the Facebook Power Editor and upload your list of emails or phone numbers.
  4. Navigate to “Audiences” on the left.
  5. Click the “Create Audience” dropdown at the top and select “Custom Audience.”
  6. This will take you to the upload screen where you can upload your list and give it a name and description.

Facebook will then encrypt your data and match it against all active Facebook profiles. The result will be a new Custom Audience in your account complete with all matching profiles.

Lookalike Audiences

In addition to Custom Audiences, Facebook allows you to create Lookalike Audiences. 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.

How to Create Lookalike Audiences

Creating Lookalike Audiences is even easier, but requires an existing Custom Audience to build off.

  1. In the Power Editor, select “Audiences” from the left.
  2. Select an existing Custom Audience or create a new one.
  3. Click Create Similar Audience.
    Create similar audience
  4. Choose the country you’re targeting along with your optimization preference.
    •  If you choose to optimize for Similarity, Facebook will scan your selected country and include the top 1% of people in your new Lookalike Audience. This means you’ll end up with a narrow list of very similar users. If you’re working on a limited budget, this is your best option.
    •  If you choose to optimize for Greater Reach, Facebook will scan your selected country and include the top 5% of people in your new Lookalike Audience. This means you’ll end up with a larger list of users to reach, although with a less precise match. If you’re looking for the broadest reach across similar users, this is your best option.
  5. Click Create (it may take 6-24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to be ready).

Pro Tip: You can create a Lookalike Audience for each of the two optimization options, but they will overlap. If you wish to advertise to both, you can exclude your Similarity audience from the ad targeting your Greater Reach audience.

Website Custom Audiences

Learn how to retarget on Facebook with Website Custom Audiences.

How to Implement Your Audiences

Once you’ve created your audience, you can implement it in your Facebook ad targeting.

  1. In the Power Editor, select the ad you’d like to modify or create a new ad.
  2. In the edit panel below your list of ads, select “Advanced Options” under “Audience.”
  3. Begin typing the name of your audience in the Custom or Excluded audience field.

If your list is larger than you like, you can narrow it down further by overlaying other Facebook targeting options just like any other ad– just keep in mind that this will affect your reach.

Selecting a custom audience

Pro tip: Consider excluding current customers from ads that are targeting new customers.

The ability to target Custom Audience is a powerful feature unique to Facebook Ads. How have you been able to take advantage of it? Please let us know in the comments.

5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Advertising
5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads

I admit it: I really get a kick out of writing online ads! It’s an opportunity to craft a message that will be seen by thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people. But the excitement doesn’t stop there– these ads generate near real-time statistics that let you evaluate their performance and make them even better! If you’re new to online advertising or are looking to be more purposeful in your copywriting strategy, check out these 5 high-impact tips for creating paid search ads.

1. Make Your Headline Count

An ad with an unclear headlineAn ad with a clear headlineDon’t waste this space with 7 purposeless characters! Your headline is the most prominent aspect of your ad so make sure it carries its weight. You have 25 characters of space to take advantage of; use it to make a statement. For ads targeting generic keywords, consider using descriptive headlines that explain your product or service. For ads targeting searches on your brand name, make sure to include your company name as well.

2. Include Keywords in Your Copy

Another helpful trick is to include your keyword in your ad copy whenever appropriate. This reinforces the relevance of your ad to the searcher and will help them see the value in your offer. Google will make keywords (and synonyms) present in your ads bold, which can really make your ad pop.

Ad copy with bolded keywords

Note: Try to avoid stuffing keywords into your ads. Keyword stuffing looks unnatural and confuses the message.

3. Create & Test Multiple Ads

Ads are social creatures… they don’t like to be alone. So never stop at only 1 ad in your campaigns and ad groups. Create 2-3 ad variations and let the networks find and serve the best performing version (you can set your ad rotation to optimize for clicks to let the networks serve the best ads). For example, duplicate your first ad and change the headline to see if that works better. You can also create an ad that highlights a different feature. Your ads are also competing with other companies for your customer so try out a few different messages and let them run. Test a wide variety of messages and you’ll likely learn that your personal favorite failed while another succeeded. Once you find a winner, you can test variations of that ad and pause all the others.

Two ad variations to test

4. Qualify Your Customers

Ad with clear pricingIt’s not hard to get a lot of clicks, but it is hard to get a lot of clicks from qualified people that are willing and able to become your customers. Make sure your ad text qualifies potential customers and prevents clicks from those that will leave your site without converting because your offer isn’t right for them. For example, if most of your competitors typically charge less than you, consider including your price in the ad copy. It may result in fewer clicks, but the clicks you do get will be from customers that are willing to pay that price.

5. Include a Call to Action

ppc ad with a clear call to actionIt’s amazing how many advertisers fail to include a “call to action” at the end of their ad text. This is your chance to tell customers what they should do once they arrive on your site, and it really works! What is your goal? Do you want to drive downloads, collect leads or increase sales? Tell your customers what the next step is and you will see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through.

Note: Make sure your website also echoes this call to action. You don’t want customers that land on your site to be confused about what to do next.

Expand Your Reach with AdStage

Check out our all-in-one online ad platform to create effective campaigns across Google, Facebook, Bing & LinkedIn. AdStage helps you amplify your reach across multiple networks from a single application to grow your business and reach new customers.

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Robert Scoble Interviews AdStage Co-founder & CEO, Sahil Jain

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Advertising

Robert Scoble of Rackspace and Scobleizer interviewed our co-founder and CEO Sahil Jain about AdStage and building online ad campaigns. Check out the full video here!

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