When it comes to online digital advertising, nothing beats customized targeting. Being able to get your ads in front of the right people is crucial to having a cost effective lead generation campaign. The best targeting platforms by far are Google and Facebook. If you don’t currently have some kind of advertising budget dedicated to these platforms you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. According to Facebook, there are over 1.86 Billion active users on the platform. With the rising number of available customers growing every day, it’s important to know how to use Facebook ads effectively. Here are 3 targeting strategies you can use for your small business to take full advantage of the platform.

Strategy 1: Use Ads Manager to Include AND Exclude Targets

Facebook ads manager tool set

If you want to have an effective lead generation campaign on Facebook, you have to use the built in ads manager. The amount of targeting options and campaigns that you can run simply gets you a lot more options than boosting your posts. As of August 14th, Facebook will be removing third party targeting metrics. However, the built in metrics provided by Facebook will still be powerful enough to run an effective campaign if executed properly.

You may already be familiar with the basics on how to set up a Facebook ad campaign. If so that’s great! If not, You can find a guide here. The important thing to remember with Facebook targeting is you need to start with a fairly decent sized broad audience. However, it can’t be too broad or else you run the risk of having it be filled with irrelevant targets. This is why exclusion is just as important as inclusion when it comes to targeting. Here is an example of a simple broad targeting metric I ran a while ago for a client.


This client produces a rust prevention and removal oil. It is applied primarily to firearms, boats and automobiles. In the inclusions box I used metrics that related to my clients industry.

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sporting Clays
  • Hunting

While these are basic targeting metrics, I wanted to advertise in front of relevant pages that people who already liked my clients page also liked.


To do this, I used Facebook’s Audience Insight Tool to see what pages my clients fans liked so I can also apply them to my own targeting.

Facebook audience insight arrow for facebook lead generation

The Audience Insight Tool is a great section of ads manager that lets you see relevant data for your page. It lets you sort out the information of people who like your page by a variety of categories. These categories include but are not limited to:

detailed targeting on facebook for lead generation audience insight tool

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship Status
  • Education Level
  • Job title (When Available)
  • Location (When available)
  • Device Used
  • Hobbies
  • Similar Liked Pages
  • Language
  • Political Association
  • Parental Status
  • Page Activity

Basically, the amount of targeting provided to you by Facebook is one of the most in-depth targeting tools around, even more so than Google’s Targeting. I went into my clients Audience Insights and looked for relevant pages. I noticed many people who liked my clients page were also interested in Sierra Bullets, Winchester, and Mercury Marine.

Seeing as these were relevant targets, I added them to my broad audience to get more accurate targeting. However, I didn’t want my audience to be filled with irrelevant data or else I would be wasting ad spend. What I decided to do was add some exclusions to narrow my audience to people that were more likely to buy. My client has been featured by several influencers, including a cast member from Deadliest Catch.


To reduce broad audience clutter, I set up an exclusion audience to include everyone who matched at least one of my pre-determined interests, but only if they also liked The Deadliest Catch. This Way, I was left with a super relevant audience, that was decently sized, that were more likely to interact with my clients page and go to their website. Doing this generated amazing results for the client the first month it was implemented.

increased Facebook Insight metrics

Strategy 2: Use a Two-Step Sales Funnel to Generate Leads and Sales

tro 2 step facebook sales funnel Graph

The thing about Facebook is it’s an interruption platform. People aren’t actively searching for your product or services on Facebook. This means openly asking people to buy from you right off the bat can be off putting. This is why you need to provide value first before you can ask your potential clients to purchase from you. This can be a free book, quote or a coupon. After your targets have signed up for your free or discounted offering, then they are more likely to make a real purchase from you. This is because you have built trust and provided real value for them.


A simple way to build trust on Facebook is to use a two tiered advertising system. What this consists of is starting with a broad audience (like the one talked about above) and segmenting them into your funnel. This two step process looks something like this:


tro Facebook broad targeting chart image

  • Create value by offering something for free, a coupon or a powerful case study. You can also simply ask them to like your page or interact with your post.
  • Once they have engaged with you, target them specifically with recurring advertisements that have harder calls to action. ( Sign up for my newsletter, order your product today, etc.). Make sure these ads fit into their specific niche.

To get these campaigns to work, you might have to run several different second tier ads to the same audience. According to Hubspot, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before they decided to engage with a sales rep. So don’t get discouraged if your ads aren’t converting right away.

Once again, Facebook is an interruption platform. These people aren’t actively looking for your services, so convincing them they need what you are offering is half the work. Using this Two step Advertising strategy is an effective way to lead your prospects down your sales funnel to eventually convert.


Strategy 3: Use the Facebook Pixel to Target Website Visitors

facebook pixel logo blue

Using the Facebook Pixel in advertising can be very beneficial and effective for your business.  It’s placed into the code of your website, and offers analytics and information about your website traffic with regards to your Facebook retargeting.  If you are using facebook ads and don’t have a pixel installed, you could be missing out on valuable information about the people who visit your website.


How to Install

  1. The installation process is super easy and should only take about five minutes.  Open Facebook and go to the business manager page, in the search area near the top and type in “pixels”, and click on it.
  2. A page should open with instructions on how to install the pixel and the reasons for using it.  Click on the green button “create a pixel.”  You will then be asked to pick between three options.  Click on “Manually Install
  3. Next you will need to copy and paste all the code that you see in the text box.  The second box should have an auto copy plug installed where you can simply click on it, and it auto copies to your clipboard.
  4. You will then need to go into the backend/edit mode of your website, and paste that long code into your site.  This part is different for each hosting provider, but usually they can be easily located. In WordPress it is located in the “headers and footers” tab.
  5. Once it is pasted, go back to facebook and if the pixel turns green you are good to go!


For a more detailed installation guide, you can check out the one provided by Facebook here.


Congrats! You can now see specific people who visit your website and target them on their Facebook feed.  Facebook calls all actions made on your website “events”.  This means you can separate people from certain groups if they purchased something, or clicked on the About Us page, or submitted a contact form (all events).  So now you can target people who interacted positively from your website differently from people who were only on your website for three seconds.


This tool can be powerful, and very accurate.  So be sure to install it on your website in order to not miss out on targeting a valuable audience to your business within Facebook. Want more tips on how to use Facebook advertising strategies to your advantage? Check out our blog How Facebook can Time Warp Your Business.