Facebook Targeting and Retargeting: How to find the right target group

Facebook Targeting and Retargeting: How to find the right target group

Julia Gehre
Julia Gehre
published on January 18, 2023   

Facebook Targeting und Retargeting – The most important in a nutshell

  • Targeting is a valuable tool for creating ads on Facebook.

  • It allows you to define your desired target audience and reach people who will contribute to your success.

  • Retargeting lets you target people who have already visited your website or otherwise contacted you.

  • Both targeting and retargeting help you make your ads profitable.

Targeting is a valuable and extremely useful tool when it comes to creating ads on Facebook. It allows you to reach exactly those people who are relevant to your business. If you want to be successful on Facebook, you should definitely know your target group inside and out. In fact, lack of targeting is often also the reason why both Facebook users and businesses are not satisfied with Facebook ads. This is because without the right targeting, you will also reach some people who are highly unlikely to be interested in your products and therefore not potential buyers. Therefore, good targeting is of great importance for profitable advertising on Facebook.

Facebook Targeting and Retargeting: How to find the right target group
Want to know more about Facebook Ads?
We’ll show you which ad formats you can use for your advertising on Facebook

What is Targeting?

For a successful advertising campaign, it is important to address the right target group. Because with precise targeting, your advertising will reach exactly those people who are very likely to become your new customers. The goal of Facebook targeting is to address target groups on the platform as precisely as possible. Through the numerous setting options, Facebook Targeting offers various possibilities to create target groups and to define exactly under which conditions the ads should be played out.

Detailed Facebook Targeting

Facebook Ads can be used to pursue various goals. While some ads are played out for more attention and awareness among potential buyers, others are intended to open up new markets, and still others are intended to promote customer loyalty. Accordingly, advertising campaigns on Facebook can also consist of several ad groups, each of which is intended to address different target groups.

So that you can align the targeting of your ads according to your advertising goals, Facebook Targeting in the Ads Manager offers three different ways to create and define target groups:

Core Audiences: The basis

In this section, audiences can be defined based on various criteria:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behavior
  • Connections

The “Core Audience” feature forms the entry point to Facebook targeting. This means that if you want to start with ads for your business, you can use the “Core Audience” to define your desired core target group. However, thanks to the data available from Facebook, not only general geographic or demographic data such as age and gender can be defined, but also personal interests and needs of the users. Accordingly, you should also know your customers or desired new customers as well as possible, i.e. have already dealt with them extensively in advance. For this purpose, you can also view additional insights into your target group on your own Facebook company profile.

Custom Audiences: The user-defined target group

Custom Audiences allow you to retarget people in Facebook Targeting who have already interacted with your company both online and offline. These come from the following sources, for example:

  • Contact lists
  • Website visitors
  • App users

In order to reach existing customers with ads or to use targeted remarketing, Custom Audiences are the right choice. With this target group, you can address people who have already contacted your company in any form at an earlier point in time. Here, you can use already existing data, such as the customer database, newsletter subscribers or the information of your website/shop visitors generated via Facebook Pixel. With the help of this data, you have the option of creating one or more specific Custom Audiences as well as setting exclusion criteria or other conditions and thus having each ad displayed to a selected group of people in a targeted manner.

Lookalike Audiences: The statistical twins of your target audience

This audience within Facebook targeting allows you to reach new people who share the same or similar interests as your best customers.

If you’ve already paid a lot of attention to your customers or their interests, and ideally have already achieved advertising success with them, you can tap into even more potential via Lookalike Audiences. The Lookalike Audiences virtually mirror their defined target groups. That is, they have similar characteristics, interests or features. This gives you a very good chance of generating new customers, as your ads are likely to be relevant to these people.

However, to guarantee the success of a Lookalike Audience, the data source should be large enough. According to Facebook, the minimum requirement for this is 100 records, although more is always better, of course.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is one of the most effective strategies in digital marketing and continues to grow in importance. Retargeting follows a simple basic rule that has been proven in traditional marketing for years: The more often a message is received by the same prospect, the higher the likelihood that the desired action will occur.

In order for retargeting to be used optimally, appropriate data is required. Thanks to its countless users, Facebook therefore also possesses a great deal of their data. However, this does not just mean their own profile details, but also pages viewed, content clicked on or shared, search queries and purchases. Such data is of course highly relevant for companies. This data can be used to ideally define target groups for advertisements.

Facebook stores every activity and interaction of users that takes place on the platform but also outside of it. However, the prerequisite for this is the Facebook Pixel or Meta Pixel. This is an analysis tool that allows you to track all the actions of Facebook users on your website. You can easily create a personal pixel code via your advertising account and then integrate it into your website.

Facebook Retargeting with Dynamic Ads

With the help of Dynamic Ads, individuals can be served ads of exactly the products that are of most interest to the user. The content displayed is selected based on the actions the person has taken on your website or app. After uploading your product catalog, people will see exactly the items that are in their shopping cart and have not yet been purchased, or new or relevant product recommendations.

How do I create the right Facebook targeting for my ads?

Knowing your target audience is the most important success criterion. Creative ads are of no use to you if the people addressed are not interested in your products. For marketing on Facebook, the platform provides you with various targeting tools to create the right target group for Facebook and Instagram, so your ads are played out where they work. You can learn how to create such a target group in step 2 of the detailed Meta Ads Manager guide.

Facebook Targeting and Retargeting: How to find the right target group
We’ll show you how they can easily create ads for Facebook and Instagram with the Meta Ads Manager in another blog post.

4 Typical Facebook targeting mistakes and how to avoid them

As with everything else, there are Facebook targeting mistakes that can be avoided. Here’s what you should look out for when targeting:

1. Use Custom & Lookalike Audiences

Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences provide you with two highly valuable building blocks of Facebook targeting. Custom Audiences are used to retarget existing customers or drive interested visitors to make a purchase. Lookalike Audiences prove to be very useful when it comes to attracting a new target group to your store.

2. Do not choose your target group too big or too small

The perfect size for a target group depends mainly on the campaign goal. On Facebook, target groups can consist of 20 people, but also 20 million people, so there is a lot of leeway here. Should you want to reach new people with the help of Lookalike Audience, a target group size of about 500,000 to 1.5 million is recommended. In that case, larger groups should be subdivided again in a meaningful way, otherwise your targeting will not be specific enough. Custom Audiences are usually smaller and more targeted groups. The type of Custom Audience determines the size of the target group.

3. Avoid Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue occurs when campaign performance decreases due to playing an ad too often to your target audience. Especially if the target audience is very small, your budget is too high, or the campaign has been running for too long without any changes, ad fatigue can occur. This means that you should pay attention to frequency above all. With small target groups, e.g. through Custom Audiences, a high frequency can be reached quickly. As soon as the value rises above 3 or 4, you should make text changes, change images or choose a new target group.

4. Pay attention to the bounce rate of your website

The bounce rate shows you the amount of visitors who visit your website but leave it directly. However, every visitor to your website is tracked by the Facebook Pixel and thus marked for the retargeting campaign, including those who have shown no interest in your website. So, for example, if you have a bounce rate of 65%, you would spend 2/3 of your advertising budget on bringing back visitors who are not interested in your products.

Take your Facebook targeting into your own hands

By continuously collecting data, Facebook can determine exactly what users like. As an advertiser, you benefit enormously from this data. However, whether your ad is successful on Facebook also depends very much on the right targeting. And Facebook offers countless options for this. With the help of different audiences, your ads can be even better adapted to your target groups, which increases the relevance of your advertising campaign.

So if you don’t use targeting or retargeting, you should change this as soon as possible. Not only can you reach the desired target group optimally through the many setting options in Facebook targeting, but also through retargeting you can reach every person who has already visited your website or otherwise come into contact with you. There’s no arguing about the many advantages, because they help immensely to make your ad profitable and thus generate new sales.