How To Test Audiences On Facebook Ads

How To Test Audiences On Facebook

There are many different types of audiences you can target for running new test campaigns from your Facebook Advertising account.

If you are new to running ads on Facebook you might have heard terms like interests, custom audiences, and even lookalike audiences and thought what the heck does all that mean?

Do I need to test all these different audiences when running my ads on Facebook? Which ones should I be using and when? Why does this have to be so darn confusing?… LOL!

How To Test Audiences On Facebook

The good news is I’m going to spend a little time below going over the different audiences you can use when running ads on Facebook and how to test audiences on Facebook. 

Interest-Based Audiences

What Are They:

These are audiences you build by picking different interests that you know the people you want to target would be interested in. The best interests you can use are usually things that you know only people in your target market would be interested in. 

For example, if you wanted to sell something to people who played guitar you could go after interests like “guitar world” or “guitar player magazine” which are both popular magazines aimed solely at guitar players. You could also go after specific guitar manufacturer brands like Gibson, Fender or Ibanez. 

The likelihood that someone who does not play guitar would be interested in these kinds of things is pretty low so these kinds of interests would be highly targeted to your market.

There are so many different things you can do with interest-based targeting options that I thought it best to make a quick video showcasing how to use interest-based audiences. 

Hopefully that video should be enough to get you on the right track to effectively using interest-based audiences when running your Facebook ads. 

When To Use:

These are ideal to use when testing new ad campaigns and products you are trying to sell for the very first time. Since you have no data on these people you cannot yet begin to use other options like custom audiences and lookalike audiences yet so interest is the way to go. 

Interest-based audiences can also be used to scale winning ad campaigns by targeting even more interests you think your customers might like and/or going after broader interests. Interests really are the starting point and backbone of any successful marketing campaigns on Facebook. 

Custom Audiences

What Are They:

There are many different types of custom audiences you can create within Facebook which I explain more in-depth in the video below, but in a nutshell custom audiences are audiences you can target based on a person's interaction with your site and/or content. 

In e-commerce specifically, it is always good practice to create custom audiences for the people who visit your website and even specific pages on your website. For example an audience of only people who have visited the cart page or a specific product page or category of products on your site. 

All of this is useful for remarketing to people who have already visited your site in an effort to get them to return and hopefully purchase an item they were looking at the last time they were there. 

Here’s a quick video on custom audiences and some examples of what you can do with them:

When To Use: 

Since custom audiences are made up of people who have already visited your site they should primarily be used after you’ve been running some interest-based campaigns and getting visitors to your site. 

You can also think of your custom audiences like a list of contacts that you are building up for future marketing efforts as well. These are the people you might want to run special promotions to in the future. It can also be a good idea to just run simple low budget content based ads to these people as well to help build your relationship with them and hopefully turn some of them into raving fans in the future. 

Lookalike Audiences

What Are They:

As the name suggest a Lookalike Audience is an audience that Looks Like other people in an audience. You have to build these Lookalike Audiences off of the different custom audiences you have set up. 

For example, If I’ve built a custom audience for everyone who has completed the “Purchase” event on my store (these are my buyers!) then I could tell Facebook to create a lookalike audience based solely on the people in that audience. That’s a pretty powerful audience to have don’t you think! 

It’s scary to think how much data a company really has on its users, but that’s exactly what makes things like Lookalike Audiences so powerful. They are able to compare the interests and behaviors of those in your custom audience and build you a new audience of people who show very similar patterns. 

To fully understand how to set these up and utilize them for success I suggest you give this a quick peek:

When To Use:

Lookalike Audiences are best used for scaling campaigns. Once you’ve had your interest and remarketing audiences running for a little while and having success there’s always a point where you want to grow and get even more traffic and sales. That’s what Lookalikes were made for!


After reading this and watching the videos I have no doubt that you will be well equipped on how to test audiences on Facebook with the options available to you with Facebook Ads Manager

Now get out there and start launching some ad campaigns!

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