How to use Facebook Ads to reach new demographics

If you are new to advertising on Facebook or want to boost your advertising game, here are some different ways you can use the platform’s ads to grow your business. These ads work like other websites with videos and images on the side of the screen. With the added layers of information, you can target your ads to specific audiences. 

The first step in advertising is to know your audience. Who is buying your products? Who do you want to buy your products? Find interests of your target audience. If you have a new business, it can be challenging to know where to target your ads until you get up and running. After gathering preliminary information, you can decide on the optimal ad placement. 

Demographics are widely used in Facebook Ads. They can help you expand your business by branching out into new demographics. Keep in mind that not every demographic listed below will be helpful to all businesses. It’s essential to evaluate the data you have gathered through market research to guide you on the path to success. 

How to use Facebook Ads

Here are 20 ways to use Facebook Ads to reach new demographics.

1. Custom audiences

Through your Facebook admin account, you can customize your audience into separate categories. This will show different versions of an ad to people based on the criteria you set. By creating a custom audience, you can change the advertisements to fit the interests of that audience while still appealing to more than one audience. 

Another perk to using custom audiences is that your customers feel like the ads are more personalized for them, and they will be more likely to click on your ad.

2. Expand customer base

Once you have determined who your primary audience is, you can start to branch out from that baseline and gain more customers. Use the information from your original customers to determine where to start. By gathering information about your current customers, you can use their interests to boost your product’s sales. 

There are links to different markets in every demographic, and learning which categories your customers fall into will lead you down the road to success

3. Facebook videos

Video ads are popular on social media networks. On Facebook, you can use video ads before other content videos, between stories, and in other parts of Facebook that support them.

Video ads are essential to a well-rounded ad campaign. They can provide more information than a single image or give further detail about your company. Video ads can also be embedded in Facebook streams to allow more people to see the ad. 

4. Image-based ads

There is also an opportunity for image-based ads within the platform. These ads are static but can draw attention through graphics or colors. There are over a billion people that use Facebook every day, and your ads will reach more people if you use multiple formats for ads. 

It’s also recommended that you create more than one version of the same ad to rotate through as customers can be prone to ad fatigue. The longer they spend on Facebook, the more ads they will see, and repetitive ads will start to be ignored. 

5. Demographics

Demographics incorporate a multitude of criteria. You can expand your target audience using these criteria to your advantage. Information on your target audience can be gathered in multiple ways, and you will need to evaluate the data as you receive it. There will likely be outliers that do not relate to your target market but could push you toward expansion. 

Information on demographics in your area can be acquired through the Census Bureau and can give you a starting point for your targeted ads. The data will vary by location but will be vital in deciding where to start expanding your demographics.

6. Age

Many advertisers have already set an age bracket for their target audience. If you are looking to expand your audience, widen your age range by a few years on each end. This allows for interest level to be more widespread. Your ad will be shown to more people that may be interested in your product. 

Members of different generations have different buying habits, and your ads should take this into account. Facebook’s main audience is people who are 25 to 34 years old. These users were in junior high or high school when Facebook became popular and will rely on it more than newer social media platforms. 

7. Gender

Products can be gender-specific, and your advertisements should reflect this. Even if your product is marketed toward all genders, your ads should be different to appeal to each gender. Some will be more impulsive shoppers, and others are planners and budgeters. Learning how each gender reacts to your product will teach you how to better market to them in the future. 

8. Ethnicity

When trying to expand your audiences using your customers’ ethnicity, ensure that you are aware of cultural differences between your company and your new target audience. Research into practices and customs can create a bond between your company and the consumer and form a long-lasting bond. 

Some ethnicities have different buying habits, and you may need to adjust your business plan to acquire more customers. Some people tend to do more research into a product before purchasing it, and having detailed information on your website will help them make a decision. 

9. Language

Marketing to a group of people that speak a language that is different from your own can create problems. You can alleviate these issues by preparing for them on your website and through your customer service. If you use language to target a demographic for your ads, make sure you support their language on your website. 

When consumers see an ad in their language and decide to look at your website but find that it is only available in a language they don’t know, they will be turned off by your product from the start. Customer diversity is essential for a successful business. 

10. Location

This demographic is essential for local businesses that do not have a substantial online business. By limiting your ads to a specific location, you will make sure your customers can get to you easily. Your money won’t be wasted on markets that are too far away, 

Location-based demographics are cities, counties, or zip codes. This will help you narrow down your target market. This is perfect for a small coffee shop, a local eatery, or individual location clothing stores. The majority of your customers will be locals, and location demographics can help you reach them. 

11. Likes or dislikes

Once you have an established customer base, examine their likes and dislikes to see if there is a trend forming. Using these specifications will help you expand your market to include customers within the same interest groups. 

Likes and dislikes are a broad topic, but they can be vital to your marketing strategies when compartmentalized into narrow categories. You can target audiences with interest that closely align with your brand for the most impact.

12. Occupation

On Facebook, you can include occupations in your advertising campaigns. A general approach is to use a customer service based job vs. an office job to separate your clients. A more advanced method is to sort each of those broad categories into subcategories.

 A food industry employee may be more interested in different products like cooking tools, than a clothing retailer. A banker might have different buying strategies than an engineer. Think about the characteristics of these career fields and how their mindset might be towards your brand. 

13. Income

The market is divided into high-cost, mid-cost, and low-cost goods. You’ll need to find where your target market is within this scale. Different economic locations will have a different interpretation of this scale, and that should be taken into consideration. 

For those that shop in a low-cost market, a high-cost product may be unappealing to the consumer. It is not suggested that you offer your items at different costs, but sales can be marketed in a lower-cost market. There, the consumer will feel better about their discounted purchase. 

14. Education level

Education levels are listed on the majority of Facebook user’s profiles to better connect them with people from their past. This information can be useful for marketing as it provides another layer of personalization to the advertising campaign. 

Those with a higher level of education may fall into the category of higher incomes. They likely have more expendable income that they can use to splurge on purchases. 

15. Politics

Also, within Facebook Ads, there is the option to customize the target audience based on political affiliations. This will not work for every business, but those with controversial products may benefit from targeting a particular demographic. 

This information is mostly self-reported by users and donations. It may not be an accurate portrayal of political affiliations. However, it can potentially be helpful information in narrowing your demographic targeting strategy.

16. Marital status

Many products are geared toward married couples, single people, or someone in a relationship. By targeting your ads to a specific marital status, you can further refine your target audience. 

Marital status will not work for every company but if you have a product or service intended for a particular marital status, consider adding it to your ad demographics. Things like family vacations and retirement policies might be more successfully marketed to those in a more established phase of life. 

17. Birthdays

This goes along with the age category, but it expands it to include the customer’s actual birthday. If you have a special at your restaurant for people’s birthdays or a coupon for 10% off your purchase during your birthday month, you can use this feature to reach another audience. 

While these people are likely in your target audience already, they will appreciate the personal touch of your ads, wishing them a happy birthday. 

18. Device used

There is a never-ending debate of Android vs. iPhone, and it will likely continue for years to come. If you are advertising an app that is only for one device or the other, you can separate customers by their devices. 

You can build upon this by including web browsers to differentiate between devices and help your advertisements be productive. 

19. Homeownership

Homeownership is often overlooked as a demographic. Your business does not need to cater to homeowners for you to use this demographic. Homeowners tend to be an older generation focused on the “American Dream.” They are likely to have the shopping habits that go along with this ideal. 

This is super helpful information when marketing products like home improvement supplies. Renters likely aren’t going to splurge on a smart thermostat, new appliances, or landscaping services, but homeowners will. 

20. Combine criteria

The above categories are good on their own, but you should consider combining some of these criteria to get the most out of your advertisements. By separating the target market into narrower categories, you can tailor your ad campaigns for each one. 

Be careful not to make your criteria too specific as it could eliminate a large portion of your potential customers. When done correctly, your clicks and pageviews can turn into profits. 

Using emotions to market your products

One of the main goals of using demographics to further define your target market is to play off the emotions of the consumer. Those that love animals and are associated with green energy are likely to be more interested in a campaign that saves wildlife and is good for the planet. 

Ads do not always need to pull on the heartstrings and use negative emotions. You can incorporate positive feelings in the advertisements that relay a positive message to the customer. There are some cases where a negative advertisement is necessary to get the point across, but there should always be a positive message to counteract the negativity. 

Facebook offers a wide variety of resources to advertisers that can help your company. They are not the only options for advertising, but as one of the primary sources for social media, they cannot be discounted. The world of marketing using demographics is always changing, and it is essential to have up to date information to better assist you and your business. 

This guest blog article was written by Gabe Nelson who is a content specialist at He has almost 10 years of marketing experience.