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How to Create Targeted Facebook and Instagram Ads For Your Business (+3 effective ad ideas!)

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

When it comes to cost per view, nothing is more affordable than social media advertising. We’re talking, on average, $2.50 per thousand impressions (CPM). That’s cheap!

But the CPM (the cost to get your ad seen) on any given Facebook ad campaign can vary significantly based on if your ads are targeted.

Firstly, you'll notice in this article that we refer to Facebook ads, since both Facebook and Instagram ads are created in Facebook ads manager. Once you create a Facebook ad, you'll have the option of where you want the ad to be placed, and Instagram is one of these options.

When you choose to advertise on Facebook or Instagram, you are leveraging a massive database that allows you to choose your audience based on a wide variety of criteria. It could be age, location, gender, life stage, or another criteria. That is targeted advertising.

But you can only do targeted advertising if you know where to find it. In this article, we will take you through step-by-step how to boost a post. At the end, we’ll give you examples of targeted ads you can run.

Facebook has data you can use when setting up your advertising campaign.

If you use Facebook products, you gave them permission to monitor many of your communications when you clicked “accept” in the terms of use. That doesn’t mean someone is listening in, but it does mean Facebook is collecting data on its users’ interests, relationships, occupations, spending habits and more.

This is scary as a public citizen, and remarkably empowering as a business.

How to boost a post (and target it to the right customer)

  1. Go to “manage page”

  2. Click on “Ad Center.” It is listed on the left hand margin.

  3. Choose a post you would like to boost. If you scroll to the bottom, there will be a suggested post. Facebook monitors how well your posts do compared to your other posts, and recommends your highest-performing posts for boosting.

  4. Decide on a goal. Facebook gives you two options: get more engagement or get more messages. There is a button that you can customize for your Call to Action. Depending on your goal, you don’t have to use the button. For example, if your goal is for people to share your post, a button is inappropriate.

  5. Choose your audience. This is where things get targeted.

  6. Click “Edit Audience”

  7. Choose the demographics you are interested in: gender, age, location,etc.

  8. On the right of the “Detailed Targeting” box, click “Browse.” You’ve just hit the jackpot.

  9. Go through the detailed targeting and select the characteristics of the person you want to target. It includes detailed demographics (think: occupations, education, zip codes based on affluence, parents based on children’s ages, etc.), interests, behaviours and more.

  10. Check the audience-o-meter (yes, we made that word up) at the bottom of the Audience window. If you’ve selected variables that have made your target audience less than 1000 people, you’ll want to remove a couple of your variables.

  11. After you have edited your audience, save and name it so you can save yourself this step in future campaigns.

  12. Choose your budget. Enter your budget and the length of your campaign.

  13. Select where you want it to be displayed. This includes any combination of Facebook, Messenger and/or Instagram.

3 Targeted advertisement ideas


Within the Detailed Targeting, you can select people who have a close relationship with someone who has an upcoming birthday. You can select based on gender and on time until the birthday.

If you run a boutique that caters to women, why not target their loved ones?

Have a restaurant? Target people and suggest a night out with the special someone for their birthday?


You can target people based on the age of their children in the Detailed Targeting.

Running a program for children aged 0-6? Let their parents know.

Have a product that would make a great gift for teenagers? Tell their parents about it.

Is it almost time for registration for your dance studio/art classes/insert-activity-here? Target their parents with an ad.

Life events

Facebook tracks people who have recently moved, gotten engaged, broken up, etc. When people have major life changes, they often need help navigating their new status.

An interior decorator can target people who have moved.

A wedding venue can target newly engaged couples.

A counsellor can target recent divorcees.

People need people. If you are the best at what you do and you can help people, let them know about it through targeted ads.


Targeting your ads allows you to narrow your advertising campaign to only people who are interested in your offer. It is efficient, affordable and relatively easy.

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