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The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Audiences 2019 (for Advertisers, Marketers and Businesses)

The best advertising campaigns reach the right people, at the right time, with the perfect offer…

…our guide to Facebook audiences shows you exactly how to do that with walk-throughs, tips and tricks that you can’t afford to miss…

Table of Contents

  • Facebook Audiences First Steps

  • Saved Audience

  • Audience Name

  • Custom Audiences

  • Locations

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Languages

  • Detailed Targeting

  • Demographics (Detailed Targeting)

  • Broad Targeting

  • Narrow Targeting

  • Interests (Detailed Targeting)

  • Behaviours (Detailed Targeting)

  • Connections

  • ‘Create Audience’

  • Conclusion

Advertisements only work when they reach the right audience. Whilst that might sound incredibly simple, in practice there are a lot more technicalities.

The digital era has opened up a whole new world of possibilities (and complexities) that allow advertisers, marketers and businesses to target their ideal market down to the finest details…

…and when you truly understand how to wield the power of audience targeting, you’re able to optimise your advertising spend, sky-rocket your ROI and most importantly, penetrate your target market.

There is nobody bigger and better in the social media advertising space than Facebook. They boast over 1 Billion Daily Active Users and have an incredibly powerful ad management platform, allowing businesses (and marketers) to reap all the benefits of highly-targeted advertising campaigns.

In this guide I’m going to explain all the Facebook Audiences and then walk you through building and optimising them.

If you’re just starting out with Facebook ads, don’t go anywhere, this guide holds massive value for you…

…if you’re already running Facebook ads, stick around. I’m going into serious depth about every step of audience building and it’s likely that I’ll cover something you might’ve missed (that could transform your ROI).

And before we dive into the action, just remember, every penny spent on an ad that reaches somebody other than your target market, is a penny lost.

Facebook Audiences First Steps

If you already know your way around Facebook Business Manager, skip down to the next sub-head. This section is purely for the complete beginners.

Before you can build Facebook audiences (or run a targeted advertising campaign), you must have a Facebook Business Manager account. Get over there and create one now…it’s free and just a matter of following their simple steps.

When you’re all set-up, click on the three lines on the top-left of the navigation bar, find the ‘Assets’ section and select ‘Audiences’:

If you haven’t created Facebook audiences before, the ‘Audiences’ page will look something like the below screenshot, with three audience types listed:

If you have created Facebook audiences, you’ll see a list of your created audiences. Above this spreadsheet-style grid, you will see a blue button that reads ‘Create Audience’. This will act as your starting point for the rest of this guide:

You should all now be ready for the first steps of this guide. Let’s begin by looking and walking you through building one of the three Facebook audience types…

Saved Audience

The ‘Saved Audience’ option will be the starting point for the vast majority of you (especially if you’re new to Facebook ads).

They’re incredibly simple to build, hold massive value and boast a ton of advertising options. By selecting this audience type, you can define your target audience by their location, age, gender, language, demographics, interests, behaviours, connections and even narrow down your custom audiences (which we’ll cover later).

Let’s get this thing started by selecting the ‘Saved Audience’ option (or hitting the ‘Create a Saved Audience’ button for new audience builders):

This will open a page that looks something like this:

Don’t worry if this looks confusing, I’m going to hold your hand through every step and show you a few tips and tricks along the way!

The first thing I want you to do is keep a close eye on the ‘Potential Audience’ details (on the right-hand side). The number beneath this title estimates the size of the audience that you’re going to target. Every time you make an audience targeting decision (e.g. adjusting age targeting) the number here will increase or decrease.

The ideal size of your audience depends on your budget, industry and objective…but just remember, the bigger your audience, the more you’ll need to spend to reach everyone (which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want to run a continuous campaign).

Audience Name

It’s crucial that you name EVERY audience clearly, so you can remember exactly what you selected when it comes to creating an ad. These will be listed by the name you select here.

Selecting the audience name will have no effect on your audience size or the results of your campaign. It is purely for ease of creation at ad building level.

Custom Audiences

For the time being, I want you to ignore this option until I’ve explained Custom Audiences (a little later in this guide).

Don’t worry, we’ll come back to it!


Next to the ‘Locations’ title, you’ll notice a dropdown menu.

These options all seem (fairly) self-explanatory. But, because this is the Ultimate Guide to Facebook Audiences, let me explain them in a little more depth:

  • Everyone in this location: the most recent location of any Facebook user.

  • People who live in this location: a location selected as their home by a user on their Facebook profile, and/or confirmed by their IP address.

  • People recently in this location: this is tracked by mobile usage in the targeted location.

  • People travelling in this location: users who have been in your designated target location, and this area is at least 100 miles from their home location.

If you’re not sure which option to select, stick with the default ‘Everyone in this location’ option. It’s the safest choice for the majority of advertisers.

When you’re ready, move down to the map and click on the search bar:

Within the search bar (just above the map), you can enter any of the following location options:

  • Country

  • County

  • Postcode/zip-code

  • State/region

  • City/town

  • Specific address

  • DMA (designated market area)

  • Continent

The choice you make here will largely depend on your business, offering and target audience. For instance, if I was running a local business, I would narrow my audience down heavily by location. However, if I was running an online store that could deliver anywhere in the U.K and E.U, I would adjust the size of my audience to fit these locations and niche down with the options we’ll cover later.

If your audiences are heavily location dependent, you can easily target by any of the options above and adjust the radius accordingly.

The more targeted you are with location, the more you can reduce the radius. In the example (above) I have targeted by city, in this case, London. I am only allowed to reduce the radius down to 17km.

In order for your Facebook audiences to be more targeted, you can use a postcode, target a particular part of London (by address) or use the ‘Drop Pin’ option. By dropping a pin, you can reduce the radius down to 1km.

In addition to all these amazing location targeting options, you can also exclude particular areas. This is done in the exact same way as described above, all you need to do is click on the ‘Include’ dropdown option and select ‘Exclude’.

This can be very useful for businesses who ship internationally but are unable to reach certain regions or countries. For instance, if you were running an eCommerce store, which delivered to anywhere in Europe, but were struggling for a distribution company in Belarus, you could simply ‘exclude’ it from your location targeting.

Both ‘Including’ and ‘Excluding’ locations can also be done in bulk by selecting the ‘Add locations in bulk’ option underneath the map:

This is a very handy option for advertisers who have large reach, but would like to target specific locations. E.g. U.S.A, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.