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How to Create a Facebook Ad with Demographic Targeting

Updated: Jul 17, 2018

If you had to sum up the major benefits of social media sites like Facebook for small businesses in particular, they would fall into two distinct categories. First, you have the fact that Facebook as an advertising platform comes with a global audience of literally billions of people. More than half of all adults in the United States check in with their Facebook feeds once per day, and you'd better believe that more than a few of them fall into your target audience.

Secondly, people share huge volumes of personal information with Facebook... all of which you can use to your advantage. It's that second point that Facebook's own advertising platform allows you to play directly into by way of its powerful and versatile demographic targeting. Do you want to be able to get your ad in front of 25 to 35-year-old moms who graduated from college who live in Cleveland, Ohio (or some other hyper specific group)? It isn't just possible - it's a whole lot easier than you think.

Demographic Targeting and Facebook: Breaking Things Down

For the sake of this discussion, we're going to assume that you already have the ad that you're about to publish shot, locked and ready to go. You've thought long and hard about who you're trying to reach, you've paid particularly close attention to the first three seconds and you've worked hard to provide as much real, genuine value as possible.

Your next step involves the actual demographic targeting process, which is something that you can do quickly and easily right from the Facebook advertising platform.

First, log into your account and go to the "Ad Manager" screen - something that we're also going to assume you're at least passingly familiar with. Look to the column that reads "Assets" - the first option beneath that heading will be "Audiences." Click on it one time to begin this process in earnest.

Once you create a new audience, you have an opportunity to specify just about everything about who, exactly, you're trying to target. In terms of the actual makeup of your custom audiences, for example, you can choose both A) to include people who are in at least one of the categories you select in the box on screen, and B) to exclude folks who match at least one of the same characteristics. So if you wanted to target both single parents AND exclude people who went to college, this is the portion of the screen you would use.

The next section allows you to specify a location, which can literally be anywhere your business operates. Note that you can also choose to target everyone in this location or just specific portions of that segment using the drop down menu on screen.

The section after that, allows you to specify an age range, a gender (including all) and even the languages that a person would need to speak. Being as specific as possible here is a great way to narrow down your focus even more, getting your ad in front of as many people as you can who are likely to be receptive to it.

In the "Detailed Targeting" screen, you also have the chance to include people who at least one of the following demographics, interest or behaviors that you specify. Once again, you can exclude people based on those characteristics as well.

Finally, you can choose to include people in your audience who have some type of connection to your brand or your industry. If you wanted to go after people who follow a competitor or who have a direct connection with an industry association (as might be the case in a B2B situation), this would be a perfect chance to do just that.

Note that this area also allows you to create something called a "Lookalike Audience," which is particularly helpful if you want to reach as many people as possible who are similar to those on something like your email list. Just upload your email list and Facebook will match the profiles of people who share a lot in common with those folks, allowing you to reach people who are (at least theoretically) similar to the ones you already have excellent relationships with.

If you'd like to find out more information about how to use a Facebook ad with demographic targeting to really take your marketing in Pensacola to the next level, or if you'd just like to go over your own marketing strategy with a trusted expert, feel free to contact me.

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