Facebook Advertising Targeting Methods

Facebook Ads Targeting Options

One of Facebook’s strong suits is their ability to target the right users with your products or services. The variety of targeting options that Facebook offers ensures that a company can reach the appropriate new customer base or existing customer base at precisely the time they are online. The following is an overview of targeting options that Facebook offers its advertisers.

Custom Audiences

Email Custom Audience

An Email Custom Audience is an audience derived from an email list you upload to Facebook Business Manager. Facebook will match the emails on your mailing list up with Facebook accounts to build the audience to which your ads will be served.

Engagement Custom Audience

An Engagement Custom Audience is an audience made up of people who have engaged with your content on Facebook in a specified way & in a specified time frame. This audience is constantly refreshed to include any engaging Facebook users. The following are the main types of Engagement Custom Audiences:

  • Video – those who have watched a certain amount of one of your videos
  • Lead Ads – those who have opened your form, opened form but didn’t submit, or opened & submitted form
  • Canvas Ads – opened or opened and clicked the link

Custom Audience from your Website (remarketing)

A Custom Audience from your Website allows you to remarket to previous visitors of your website in a variety of manners and a variety of levels of granularity. Click here for more information about the remarketing potential on Facebook.

Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are audience lists built to resemble a custom audience list. In setting up a Lookalike Audience, Facebook will analyze one of your custom audience lists and assemble a list of Facebook users who appear to be similar users to those in your custom audience, with the idea that that list of users is also relevant to you as a business.

Partner Categories

Facebook pulls data from three of the biggest enterprise data providers (Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon) to give advertisers very specific customer data with which to target their campaigns. This targeting focuses around:


Ex: age, education, ethnic affinity, financial status, generation, home, life events, parental status, political affiliation, work status, etc.


Ex: industries, entertainment, family & relationships, fitness & wellness, food & drink, hobbies & activities, shopping & fashion, sports & outdoors, technology


Ex: automotive preference, charitable donations, consumer classification, digital activities, financial activity, job role, purchase & travel behavior

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