Best Facebook Ad Audiences for Each Stage of Your Marketing Funnel

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With Facebook Ads, businesses can easily select exactly the audience members they want to market to, test out various options without breaking the bank, and supplement their existing initiatives in new, meaningful ways. If you’ve always dreamed of creating marketing funnels that take your target audience through the buyer journey from strangers to customers, then Facebook ads are a powerful tool to have at your disposal.

And if you’re new to the concept of a marketing funnel, here’s a quick breakdown to get you started: Imagine the funnel as a way to pull in groups of potential customers, and gradually lead them to a purchase decision by targeting them with ads. You start broad with Awareness up top, and as people interact with your content, you start to refine your audience members based on the actions that they take, all the way until they become advocates.

(Image Courtesy of BannerSnack)

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1. Awareness Audience Ads

The first phase in the funnel is awareness. Building awareness is as simple has having customers see your brand and remember it! Facebook Ads Manager is fantastic for creating awareness ads because of how widely-used the platform is and how inexpensive ad impressions can be.

Some of the best audience strategies for prospecting are:

  1. Interest targeting: Target people who have expressed interest in certain topics, brands, or pages. Examples of interests are “MTV”, “Vegan Living”, or “Oprah”
  2. Geographical targeting: Target people near your business or areas you think would be more likely to enjoy your product. One example is targeting people in Florida and California for sun care products.
  3. Lookalike Audiences: Let’s say you’ve got a list of all of your previous customers in a database. You can actually upload that list into Facebook Ads Manager and search for other users who match that same general profile. So instead of trying to guess what interests or hobbies your ideal customers have in common, you let Facebook’s powerful algorithm to do some of the heavy lifting!

You will want to exclude people who have purchased or engaged with your brand to keep your prospecting audience separate from later-funnel audiences. The prospecting campaign targets should be new to your brand, and your ads in this group should focus on telling people who you are and what you do in the simplest way possible.

2. Consideration Audience Ads

The consideration phase of the funnel pertains to people who were already exposed to one of your ads, but may not have made a purchase decision yet. In other words, your product or service has built up awareness among a specific segment of your prospecting audience, and you want to ensure that you remain in their consideration set when they’re ready to convert into customers.

A fantastic way to do this is by creating an engagement retargeting audience. This is made up of people who have engaged with an ad of yours within a certain number of days but have not yet purchased. For example, you can target individuals who:

  1.  Liked or commented on one of your ads in the last month
  2. Viewed 75% of your latest video
  3. Engaged with your page

You can qualify those who see your next round of ads as people who have already expressed some type of interest in your brand from the awareness phase of your funnel. These people might be ready for ads that offer deeper education on your product or service, show testimonials, or offer some kind of promotion to get started. Targeting people who are already aware with deeper levels of brand content can help customize your customer experience and increase conversion rates.

3. Conversion Audience Ads

The conversion portion of the marketing funnel is all about taking those who are most likely to buy your product or service, and turning them into customers if they haven’t already made a purchase via the first two steps in your marketing strategy. A very effective way to increase your conversion rate is to set up an audience based on specific actions taken on your site. We’ll call these “Event” ads, as Facebook labels these actions as events. Events can include:

  1. Visiting your landing page
  2. Clicking on a specific product
  3. Starting checkout
  4. Downloading content

Creating ads that play to specific actions can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. Here’s a scenario: Your upper and mid-funnel ads got you a bunch of clicks, but only a few purchases. You can squeeze every bit of productivity out of your remaining audience members by using event ads to retarget individuals who have added an item to their cart but didn’t finish making their purchase. Sending this group a specialized ad that gives a 5% off coupon or other special offer may be exactly what they need to convert. 

4. Loyalty Audience Ads

In the marketing funnel, the loyalty segment represents audience members who have made a purchase. The purpose of this part of the funnel is to turn these individuals into repeat customers and brand advocates, thus increasing your overall return on ad spend (ROAS), as well as improving customer lifetime value (CLV). So, how do you build loyalty audiences?

All you have to do is upload a list of your previous customers as a custom audience. Facebook will connect their contact information to their online profiles, allowing you to create highly-targeted ads for people who have previously spent money with your small business. 

These ads are all about convincing previous customers to come back for more by providing a little positive reinforcement. Whether it’s an extra discount voucher on their next purchase, or a referral incentive for getting their friends to make a purchase, loyalty audience ads have the power to convert customers multiple times over instead of losing them after the initial sale. You can even recommend products that could augment the purchases they’ve already made. The possibilities are endless!

Why Your Small Business Needs Facebook Ads

If you are a small business owner and you want to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts, Facebook Ads Manager is essential to the success of your marketing mix. It’s great for testing out new ideas without breaking the budget, and has the potential to bring in new customers for years to come. Pair that with its amazing audience targeting abilities, and you’ve got exactly what you need to take your business to the next level.


Facebook Ads Manager is an advertising platform owned by Facebook. It includes inventory in various apps, along with Facebook and Instagram. If you feel like your business needs help better managing (or creating) Facebook advertising campaigns, let us know and we would be happy to talk about your digital marketing strategy.

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