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How To Build The Perfect Facebook Ad Audience

Posted by Gary Henderson on Jan 25, 2021 2:45:00 PM

This article was originally published on Search Engine Journal and has been republished here with permission.

One of the prime goals of advertising is to reach the right people as affordably as possible. 

The good thing about Facebook advertising is that it gives you full control of who can be targeted and how much money is spent. 

The platform has over 2.7 billion active users and endless advertising opportunities. 

But surprisingly, most businesses who try Facebook ads fail to produce considerable returns and then blame the platform.

Did you know over 6 million businesses are using Facebook ads to get their message across? 

Most people fail to make Facebook ads work for them because they don’t truly understand their target audience. As a result, they end up using the wrong placement for Facebook ads and they never meet their ideal customer where they are -- leaving everyone unfulfilled. 

Entrepreneurs, business coaches, influencers, and marketers typically use Facebook ads in their early days and quickly concluded that this platform isn’t the right place to focus. 

One way to get people to click your ads is to put the ads in front of the right people in the first place.

Why would anyone click on your ads if they aren’t interested in your products or services? 

So, if you want to get the most bang for your buck when advertising on Facebook, you need to learn how to target the right people at the right times with the right expectations.  

In this post, I will teach how you can dramatically lower your Facebook ad costs by crafting the perfect audience for your business or brand.

And once you have the ideal audience crafted, you can spend less on advertising and make more money in return, while reaching more people and making a bigger impact online.

Let’s get started! 

What is Ad Sequence And Why it is Important? 

Before we figure out how to build the perfect Facebook audience for your campaigns, let’s learn about ad sequences. 

Following this strategy, we present ads in a sequence and show our message to people in a specific order -- you hit all stages in the sales journey.

For example, you can use the first ad to tell the beginning of the story (to warm them up) and then show the following ads to tell your story. Your audience will see your ads in a pre-defined order. 

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you build a 3-stage ad strategy using ad sequences. 

In the first ad, you can just focus on attracting the right people without asking them to do anything. This ad is supposed to boost engagement and set the platform for the second ad which will focus on conversion or further warming them up. 

The second one could be a lead ad designed to gather contact information.

This ad will target those who interacted with your first ad. This means the second ad will be shown to people who are interested in your business. 

Now, it’s time to create a final one and show it to people who’ve already provided you with their contact information.

The third ad will be designed to retarget those who interacted with your second ad but haven’t yet visited your landing page or website. 

The point here is to understand that how tactics like ad sequencing can help you reach the right audience and how an ad sequence, aligning your messaging and timing go hand in hand when running advertising campaigns on social media.

How To Build Your Perfect Facebook Ad Audience

The worst thing you can do on Facebook is to target everyone with your ads. 

Here is a simple rule: when you try to target everyone, you end up targeting no one.

So, if you’re ready to achieve your business goals through Facebook advertising, start with discovering your audience first.

Here are 7 steps to help you build the perfect Facebook ad audience: 

Step 1: Create Your Goal

The first step involves some fundamental questions that must be addressed to build a sound advertising strategy.

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • What do you hope to achieve with Facebook ads? 

  • What is the your main objective?

  • How can you serve people?

  • What do you want people to do? 

  • Where do you want people to go?

  • What action do they take?

  • What is the end goal?

Your ad objective is what you want people to do when they click your ads.

If you want to increase website traffic, your ad should encourage and lead people to your site. 

Your goals are likely to fall into the following three major categories when it comes to advertising goals: 

  • Awareness: Your goals at this stage are to create interest in your products or services.

    You tell people how your business delivers value. It’s also called the top of the marketing funnel where you introduce your business to drive brand awareness. 

  • Consideration: Objectives when you want to go beyond the awareness stage and get people to seek more information about your business. You can create ads to encourage people to visit your site to learn more about how your business works. 

  • Conversions: Objectives that encourage people to buy your product or sign up for your services. 

Campaign goals keep changing as your business grows.

Let’s say you’ve just started your coaching business. At this point, you may want people to know about your business.

At a later stage, you can design ads that focus on acquiring new customers. 

Your goals can be anything from generating subscribers to your podcast to increasing video views.  

When you work on defining your business goals, the whole process brings clarity to who your ideal people would be. 

Pro Tip: Learn how to create a customer avatar to further improve your understanding of a perfect audience. 

Step 2: Craft Your Audience 

Your goal isn’t to reach all of those 2.7 billion active users. Is it? 

Because when you try to attract a broader audience, you have to spend a lot of money. 

I think there’s no point in placing your ads in the feeds of Facebook users who has nothing to do with your business.

For example, if your product is designed for CEOs, you don’t want to attract unemployed people. 

That’s where you craft your audience and clearly define a group or groups of your potential clients or customers.  

The goal is to get down to a relatively small audience of your ideal people. You are crafting the audience of people who go through this process to be activated and warmed up to reach your goals. 

Many people find it difficult to define a good size for their Facebook ads.

If you’re one of them, I want you to think about the number of people you can actually reach with your budget. 

Let me explain this further. 

The average cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) is $35.00 and it typically takes seven touches to get someone to take action.

This is called the rule of seven -- which says your prospects need to see or hear your message at least seven times before they’ll decide to do business with you. 

Now, let’s say your audience size is 20k. If you have to show your ad to 20k users 7 times.

How much would it cost?

Let me do the math for you: 

20k (audience size)  x 7 (touches)  = 140 

140 x $35.00 (avg. CPM) = $4,900 

If you choose to go with an audience size of 200k, it would cost you $49,000. 

So, make sure to consider your budget when setting up ad campaigns on Facebook.

When you target the right people and align your message accordingly, it becomes easier to decrease wasted ad spend. 

Facebook offers a variety of ad placement and demographics options. You can overlap demographics and interests so much until you create a super targeted audience. 

You can use all these available targeting options on Facebook to deliver your content to specific, interest-based segments. 

So, consider hyper-targeting to turn your audience into hot leads. Besides, when you have a super targeted audience like this, the placement of your ads doesn’t matter as much. 

Here is an example of an audience I created.

I ended up creating an audience size of 49,000 because those are the only people who have these specific demographics and interests in common.


Custom Facebook Ad Audience


Now, let me explain why this custom Facebook audience is magical.

Take a look at this chart -- that small circle in the middle is the ultimate goal. This small portion is how targeted and specific you want to make your Facebook audience. 

You want to overlap people interests until you only have a small group of people.




When your interests overlap and create a super targeted audience like the sweet spot where the arrow is pointing in the diagram. You want to get so specific in the details of your audience that you know they are going to love your content.

You create a super hyper niched audience and serve them with content over and over until they become your raving fans. 

Those are the people you want to find and show your ads to.

Step 3: Create A Piece Of Content

Building the perfect Facebook audience makes the rest of your advertising efforts smooth and easy.

Once you’ve crafted your audience, it’s time to create a piece of content and inspire those carefully targeted people. 

As a content creator, you can personalize your message to the buyer’s context or where they are in the buyer’s journey. 

Let me give you a quick introduction to the buyer’s journey. 

The buyer’s journey refers to a process people go through before making a purchase -- It’s a three-step process: awareness, consideration, and decision.




The awareness stage is when a buyer realizes they have a problem.

The consideration stage when buyers look for solutions to their problems.

And the final part, the decision stage is when a buyer finally chooses a solution. 

Now, you need to understand where your prospects are in the buyer’s journey to deliver the right message that fits the context.

Remember the concept of ad sequencing?

For example, if your prospects are in the awareness stage, you can serve them ads that talk about their problem. 

Let’s say you use a video that is around 60 seconds to around four minutes long. This video should meet your ideal audience where they are in their journey and should not be too brand specific. 

For example, this is a video I created to warm up my audience. . 



Step 4: Build A Facebook Custom Audience

A Facebook Custom Audience can help you build some of the best relationships in business. 

A custom audience is a defined group of people who have already interacted with your content or have relationships with your business. 

When advertising on Facebook, look at different customer segments while taking into account the context of the platform. Every social platform has a unique way of how users interact or share content. 

Facebook allows you to create a custom audience based on your existing data: website visitors, engagement, and customer list.

Audience insights further improve your understanding of those audiences. 

Now, let's see how your video on Facebook can help you build a custom audience. People who watched your video are likely to be interested in your content.

To build a custom audience on Facebook, you include everyone who watched 95% of your video. Not those who just took a peak and moved on. 

Remember, our goal here is to identify only those users who could be your ideal customers. This isn't the time to try to get someone to buy yet.

Step 5: Runs Ads To That Video Until You Have 1,000 People In That Audience

The next step is to run ads to that specific video until you get at least 1,000 people who watched 95% of your video. 

This step can last anywhere from a day to a week, a month, or three months. It takes every person a different amount of time. But rest assured it’s worth your time. 

No matter how long it takes you to reach that goal, you run the ad until you have 1,000 people in your audience. 

Why 1,000 people? 

It’s because Facebook prefers that number before allowing you to move to the next step. And once you get 1,000 people, this process will work like clockwork.

Custom audiences are a great way to expand your target audience and maximize campaign results. 


Facebook’s ad relevance diagnostics reward ad campaigns that target custom audiences. It’s a measurement the platform uses to see how well your ads fit your targeted audience. 

A higher Relevance Score means better click-through rates and lower cost per click. 

Here is a quick example: 

When Facebook first introduced Relevance Score, AdEspresso ran a test to dig deep. 

They created the same exact ad and ran it to two different audiences -- one was poorly targeted and the other was well-targeted.

When served to the well-targeted audience, the ad generated 1,103 clicks with a CPC of only $0.3.

In the second case, when served to a generic audience, the ad only got 278 clicks for a $0.142 CPC. 

Step 6: Create A 1% Lookalike Audience Of Those 1,000 People

Let’s move on to the next step which talks about Lookalike audiences. 

Let me quickly explain how Facebook Lookalike Audience works. 

When you create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook, you need to have a source audience or a custom audience. 

You’ve already created a custom audience of 1,000 people using that video of yours.

To create a lookalike audience, you identify the common characteristics, interests, and demographics of people who interacted with your video. 

The purpose here is to identify and deliver your ads to those who look like your custom audience or video viewers. 

Facebook allows you to choose the size of a Lookalike Audience during the campaign creation process.

While a larger audience may increase your reach, smaller audiences closely match your source audience. 

Note: You can select between a range of 1%-10% of the total population in your chosen target country. 

We’ve already created a lookalike audience of 1,000 people who have the potential to become your best customers. 

Now, it’s time to launch the next video in your funnel. The first video you shared and ran as an ad gave you 1,000 highly targeted people and you build a lookalike audience based on those viewers. 

The cool thing about this sequence is that you’re not talking to a cold audience anymore. Rather you’re focusing your efforts on a warm audience. 

But the story doesn’t end here. You still need to meet your end goal: turning your audience into loyal clients or customers. 

Building a perfect Facebook audience will make it super easy for you to reach those ideal prospects and now it’s up to you how you turn those highly qualified leads into your customers. 

Here is the example of the next video in my funnel. It's a testimonial of Jesse Eker that will hopefully help solidify all of the other pieces of content this audience has been seeing from me. 

This is to bump them further along in my sales journey until these people complete the desired action -- and it doesn't always have to be a purchase. 



Step 7: Repeat

You can repeat this whole process to reach new audiences and customers with ease. 

Let me recap this whole thing: 

Step1: We chose the right advertising goals to define what we really want to achieve through Facebook advertising. It could be anything depending on your business.

If you're an entrepreneur, you might be interested in creating brand awareness.

If you’re a business coach, you might be interested in selling your coaching programs or getting more traffic to your site. Likewise, an influencer might be looking to increase their following on social media. 

Step2: We used unique Facebook targeting options to narrow down our audience based on their interests and demographics. It helped us understand how we can minimize our ad spend by identifying the right people. 

Step3: We created a piece of content, a video, and showed it to the audience we came across in the second step. 

Step 4: We built a custom audience using the characteristics of people who watched our video. 

Step 5: And then we ran ads to that video to get at least 1,000 qualified viewers so we could proceed to our next step. 

Step 6: In the final step, we created 1% Lookalike Audiences of those 1,000 people. 

Don’t hesitate to repeat this process until you build your perfect Facebook audience.

You’ll get better at targeting the right people, showing them the right message at the right time. 

Bottom Line 

Getting the desired ROI from your Facebook spend is all about how you focus your budget and show your ads to qualified, relevant people. 

Whether you’re a business owner, an influencer, or a coach, use this post as a guide to expand your online reach and craft those perfect Facebook audiences.