Do you want better results from your Facebook ad campaigns?

Are your ads not delivering the results you need?

In this article, you’ll discover three steps to optimize your Facebook ads to reach your ideal target audiences.

How to Improve Your Facebook Ads Results by Megan O'Neill on Social Media Examiner.

How to Improve Your Facebook Ads Results by Megan O’Neill on Social Media Examiner.

#1: Compile Your Current Audience’s Attributes

First things first, you need to get to know your audience. Who is your target customer? You probably already have a pretty good idea, but have you considered all of your ideal customer’s attributes that you can target with Facebook ads?

Here are some questions to answer about your target customer. These questions will come in handy for the tips later in this article because they’re all related to attributes you can target specifically with Facebook Ads Manager.

Where Do They Live?

This question is especially relevant if you have a brick-and-mortar store or local service. You can target people within specific countries, states, regions, cities, postal codes, and even addresses to ensure your ad is served only to areas where your potential customers may live.

How Old Are They?

If you’re not sure how old your target customer is, do a little research. Look online for information about ages related to your product. For instance, if you’re a jeweler, it’s helpful to know that the late 20s is the average age for people to get engaged in the U.S. Is there a similar trend that relates to your business?

Are They Male or Female?

This question may seem simple enough; however, this could change depending on the objective of your ad campaign. Returning to the jeweler example, you may assume that the target audience for earrings is female. However, around Valentine’s Day, it may be wise to run an ad for earrings that targets men who may be searching for a gift idea.

What Language Do They Speak?

You likely assume your target audience speaks the same language as you. However, Facebook Insights may show you something else entirely. To find this data, go to your Facebook Page Insights and select People.

You can sort the data to see where your followers (and most engaged followers) live and what language they speak. If other languages are popping up, consider running a targeted ad in a different language.

Do They Fall Into a Specific Demographic?

When you set up your targeting in Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll find the section for Demographics under Detailed Targeting. Here you can target by all sorts of demographic criteria including education, financial factors, birthplace, marital status, politics, and more.

Take some time to explore this section. There may be attributes relevant to your business you haven’t thought about that could improve the results of your next Facebook campaign.

What Are Their Interests?

Similar to the Demographics category, you can target a wide variety of interests in Ads Manager. Browse or search for topics or pages related to your business.

Where Do They Hang Out Online?

You can also target audiences based on platform or device. Are your customers more likely to be on Facebook or Instagram? Do they typically use a computer or mobile device?

Note: If your web experience isn’t great on mobile, you may want to target folks on desktop (although these days, most people browse Facebook on mobile devices).

Dive Deeper With Facebook Audience Insights

You don’t have to figure this all out on your own. Facebook Audience Insights can help. Audience Insights will break down all sorts of information about your current audience on Facebook so you can back up your answers to the questions above with data.

Use Audience Insights to learn about attributes of the people who already follow your business organically so you can target people with similar attributes. Get a variety of insights from Facebook data including age, gender, relationship status, job, education, top cities, countries, and languages, popular pages, and device usage.

Audience Insights also offers information based on third-party data around lifestyle, income, retail spending, purchase behavior, and more. You’ll need to be at least a page advertiser to access this feature.

#2: Split Test Your Ad With Different Audiences

After you’ve answered the questions above and you know what attributes you’d like to target, run some tests. Testing will help you get the most bang for your buck in the long run. Instead of putting your entire ad budget into one audience, run the same ad to a handful of audiences and see which one gives you the best results.

This is the same tactic discussed in this article on split testing Facebook videos, except instead of split testing videos, you’ll be split testing audiences.

Set Up an Audience Split Test

To set up an audience test, you can use the Split Testing feature. First, you need to create your ad. In Facebook Ads Manager, click Create Campaign or Create Ad, and choose your campaign objective. The three categories of objectives are Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.

After you choose your objective, select the Create Split Test checkbox and name your campaign. Choose a name that will remind you of the type of test you’re running when you look at it later. When you’re finished, click Continue.

Ads Manager will walk you through setting up your test. Make sure you select Audience as the variable you’d like to test.

Next, you’re ready to select your audiences. The split test will start out with fields to set up two audiences (Ad Set 1 and Ad Set 2). If you want to test more than two audiences, simply click on Test Another Ad Set. You can test up to five ad sets in your split test.

To edit your audiences, click Create New Audience or Edit. You can create your audiences according to the attributes you identified above. To illustrate, select specific locations, ages, genders, languages, and detailed targeting (demographics and interests).

Choose a budget for this test and decide whether you want to split your budget evenly or use a weighted split, as shown below. Once you’ve determined your budget, set up your ad creative, click Confirm, and your test will begin running. You’ll be notified of results via email once the test stops running.

Once you’ve found an audience (or audiences) that your message resonates with, you can save it and use it going forward. I recommend that you revisit your target audience with a new test once every few months to keep things fresh and make sure you’re getting the best results for your advertising dollar.

#3: Fine-Tune Your Ad Creative for Individual Audiences

Understanding your audience is great, but it’s just the first step. You’ll also need to think about the actual content of your ad. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about what message will resonate with them.

Modify the Copy

Sometimes you just need to tweak the text to make your ad relevant. Going back to the jewelry example, suppose Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you want to target two audiences: single women, and men in relationships who are looking for Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

For both ads, a product shot and a single ad with the same text for both audiences could work. The ad copy might say, “This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself or your favorite lady to something special!”

But it’s more effective to be specific when speaking to different audiences. For example, you might run two separate ads with the same product shot but two different messages. For the single ladies, use “This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself!” And for the fellows, opt for “The best Valentine’s gift she’s ever gotten is just a click away.”

Tweak the Imagery

Using the same creative with different ad copy can be fine sometimes. However, in some cases, you’ll also want to reposition the photo, illustration, GIF, or video you’re sharing so it resonates with your target audience. If you’re using a photo for your ad, replacing it isn’t too complicated. But what if you’re using a video?

Having to create multiple versions of a video for different audiences may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • Think about whom you’ll be targeting before you start creating your video. If one aspect of the video doesn’t feel like it will resonate with all of the audiences you’re targeting, consider an alternative.
  • Shoot the video in a way that makes it easy to update. For instance, if you have a shop with multiple locations and want to target people in specific neighborhoods, focus on the location in just one part of the video. That way, you can simply swap that one clip out for a clip featuring a different location to create other versions of the video.
  • Whether you’re using an online video maker or professional editing software, create a copy of your video before making changes to it. Then alter just the bare minimum to make something that will resonate with your new audience.

Tip: You can also split test video variations to see which variant resonates best with your audience.


When it comes to targeted advertising, nothing beats Facebook. But to get the most out of your advertising efforts, you need to get to know your existing and potential customers. Take the time to think about whom you’re targeting, use Facebook Insights to dig into the data, and create ad collateral that will resonate with the folks you’re trying to reach, and you’ll maximize your results.

What do you think? Do you use split testing to find your most effective audiences? How do you vary your ad creative for different audiences? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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