Targeted Facebook Ads

Turn Traffic to Conversions: A Guide To Targeted Facebook Ads

Publish Date: 20 Jan 2020

Facebook sees over 1.4 billion active users everyday. Mark Zuckerberg even admits to spending upto an hour scrolling through the application on his phone. That is a lot of potential customers for you to talk to.

However, just because people are online and might stumble upon your business page, advert or post, doesn’t mean they will signup to a newsletter, purchase a product, or even click onto your website. In fact, to tap into the customers you want you need to look deep into the 1.4 billion crowd to find the audience that will like what you have to offer.

A great way to do this is by creating optimised Facebook ads that target those you want to see the ad, therefore if you’re correct, they will want what you have to offer. It’s all about your Points-Per-Click (PPC) budget, and how much return on investment (ROI) it generates.

This article will be geared towards targeting people who have visited your website but left without making a purchase or signing up to a mailing list. Then we will alter the demographic to a more broad audience who have not discovered you yet.

Here is one of our best plans for getting conversions from Facebook ads.

Related Article: Top 11 Strategies For Affiliate Marketing: How To Get Started


The Facebook ad manager

First things first, to gather information from your website so Facebook can track the people that visit, you need to set up a Facebook Pixel on your site. This pixel will produce very valuable information which we will use later.

Here is a basic look at the Facebook ad manager:

Facebook Ad Manger

I encourage you to have a look around and if you haven’t used it before, it is very simple and easy to grasp, I will be including pictures as we go along so you know where you’re going.


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6 Staples of every Facebook advert!

1. Social proof, build community value

People don’t want to risk giving information or spending money on something they can’t trust. That is why convincing people you are a reputable business that provides a solid product or service is key, as the saying goes ‘1 bad review ruins a 5 star rating’.

You might be starting from scratch which is fine, be upfront and honest about it. Creating community doesn’t have to be a customer base, a sympathetic story of a small business trying to get off the ground is just as good. Once you build an audience you can then start telling stories of all your satisfied customers.

As Hootsuite rightly demonstrates in the ad below, the customer base they have grown is so vast, people can trust they provide a good service.

Hootsuite As


By telling you they have over 16 million users, Hootsuite knows they are making you feel left out, therefore you are more likely to click the ad. After all 16 million people can’t all be wrong?


2. Offer an incentive

The average person is 57% more likely to buy from an unfamiliar brand if they offer some sort of discount or free extra. This is called impulse buying, the customer sees less risk in the purchase with the offer included.

This is perfect for those who are just starting their business and are looking to build a customer base, generate reviews, and grow their reach. You could even follow up a purchase with a discount code for leaving an honest review.


3. Create a sense of urgency

The fear of missing out or ‘FOMO’ is a real deal. If you have a great deal and put a deadline on it, it taps into people's brains and instils fear, most likely you’ll see an exponential growth in your conversions as the deadline approaches.

A great example I sore on my Facebook feed was an ad from Marvel. They were offering a free 30 trial to read all the Spiderman comics, but once the trial ended you either had to continue on a paid subscription or cancel.

Spiderman Ad


Because the deal doesn’t last forever it really made me think about signing up, but don’t just think you need to be offering subscriptions to apply this method. You could offer a free Ebook, machine, almost anything, as long as it is affordable for you business, and you put a deadline on it.

The last tip on this step is to really end the deal! Don’t say ‘Buy Now!’. I’ve seen too many ads have a deal running until the end of the month, then next month it’s the same deal they have just extended the deadline. This will make you an untrustworthy brand.


4. Utilise ad placement A/B tests

Kissmetrics does a great job of explaining the different Facebook ad placement positions available. To name them, you have to desktop news feed, the desktop right column, and the mobile ad position.

Facebook Ad Placement


Facebook will assume you want your ad to run in all 3 positions. But if you A/B test all 3, you can find out if one position does better than the others. Hence being able to target all of your future ads on that position.

You can A/B test ads in the ad manager. When you create your ad (which we will be coming to) you can select which position you wish the ad to appear in and track its progress.


5. Be consistent

You need to be consistent and honest with your audience. If you can’t provide what they are looking for you are wasting money advertising. If you promise the world but can offer a small piece of the ocean, you are going to leave people unsatisfied and annoyed, which leads to bad reviews.

Be consistent in pictures you use, text you use, and prices you use. The last thing you want is someone to click on your advert and find out you were lying about the product this whole time.


6. Create custom audiences

If you want to save money on your advertising efforts I suggest targeting people who are either likely to buy, or have thought about buying in the past. You don’t want to keep pitching to people who are not interested, or people who have already bought.

I will get into how to create custom audiences and how many you should try in a minute. This is what sets Facebook apart from its competitors, you can pick who sees your ads, by demographic, job, gender, income, or interests, it is the revolutionary ad making app.


How to target adverts to website visitors

This is where that Facebook pixel comes in handy, if you haven’t entered it on your website yet do it now then head over to the Facebook ad manager. This advert will be used to convert what we call ‘Warm Traffic’, these being the people that have considered buying from you in the past.

It is very simple to create an audience on Facebook ad manager, here are the 7 steps:

  1. Click the dropdown box in the top left corner and select Audiences
  2. Create a custom audience by clicking on the Create Audience button and selecting Custom Audience
  3. Create an audience based on your website traffic
  4. You can choose any of the options on this tab but I tend to stick with Anyone who visits your website, then you want to click the create audience button
  5. Click the Create Ad button on the right side of the screen, select on of the objectives you want to achieve, then select the new audience you’ve created and follow our 6 staples to create the best Facebook ad

This is the best practice to grow your mailing list. Check out our 7 Steps To Grow Your Business's Email List: From 0 to 1,000 Subscribers!


The best audiences for conversions

With Facebook marketing, as with any other marketing, it’s important to think about how your campaigns move people through the 3 stages of the buying cycle:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

You want to make cold traffic, being the people who have never heard of your business, and make them aware you exist. Then through continued exposure, you instill a sense of consideration for them to trust you. Once you have their trust, the conversions will come.



If you have never run Facebook ads before you need to start from the bottom, and it can cost a little bit of money.

The main areas you can target ads to people is through their interests, behaviour on Facebook, and demographic. Interest targeting allows you to create the perfect person you want to advertise to. In theory there are hundreds of ways you can target an audience, I’ve laid out a couple below:

  • Competitors
  • Books or magazines your audience have read
  • Job titles
  • Hobbies
  • Age and gender
  • Relationship status
  • Engagement on Facebook

As I mentioned, When you’re just getting started with your business, Interests are your best way to identify your ideal audiences. But when you have a bit more data collected, then Lookalike audiences are often a better option…



Lookalike audiences are probably the most powerful targeting tool that Facebook offers. They’re so important and effective that they need their own section for this article. 

In a nutshell, Lookalikes are audiences that Facebook’s algorithm creates for you based on a Custom Audience that you provide. Basically, you provide Facebook with a list of the types of people that you want to find more of and then the algorithm crunches hundreds of data points to find more people who look like your original audience. 

Obviously, in order for your Look Alike to be as effective as possible, you’ll want to start with the most relevant, high-value base audience possible. 

When you create a Lookalike audience, you’ll want to start with 1% size. That means that you want to target the 1% of people in your target country who are most similar to your base audience. In the United States that will give you about 2.1 million people. Most other countries will be much smaller.

Stick with the 1% Lookalike until you’ve found success with it. Then you can scale up to 2%, 3% and ultimately up to 10% Lookalikes.

Keep in mind though that depending on your realistic potential market size, you may never be able to scale beyond. 1%.


Quick examples of Lookalike audiences

We already talked about targeting audiences who have already visited your website, this is an example of a lookalike audience, so here are a couple more.

Lookalike based on Purchase event:

Targeting ads at a Lookalike based on your people who hit your Purchase Event is one of the highest converting audiences we see for most Ecommerce businesses. That’s because if your goal is to get more people to complete a purchase event, then it makes sense to create an audience similar to people who have already completed that same conversion event.

Lookalike based on purchase

In general, you’ll want to create the lookalike based on people who hit the conversion event in the past 180 days (the maximum time frame possible). That’s because with more people in the base audience, there will be more data points the algorithm has to work with to create stronger correlations.


Overlap lookalike and interests:

This is probably your “lowest hanging fruit” when it comes to cold audiences. When we’re getting started on a new ad campaign, this is usually the first audience that we like to test. 

You’re basically using a combination of Facebook’s idea of your best audience (Lookalike) and your idea of your best audience (interests).

The audience might not be too large (we usually aim for at least a few hundred thousand people), but it does have a great chance for converting. Once we have new ads that succeed testing here, we start to scale them to some of the other broader Lookalike audience mentioned above.


If Facebook ads aren't right for your business check out 10 Online Marketing Hack That Work For Anyone!


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