by Nicole Hope, co-founder of The Milspo Project

In this series, we will discuss selecting the right image, constructing powerful copy, and other details involving your ads. Before we get to that though, let's chat about how Facebook ads can reach your target audience, and why that is so effective.

(If you missed Part 1 - Go Here: How To Build An Effective Facebook Ad Part 1!)

Facebook ads give you the freedom and flexibility to target any audience you want. If you want to sell yoga mats, you can target DINK (Dual Income No Kids) yogis who enjoy drinking green tea, love inspirational quotes, and who already follow Lululemon on Facebook. No offense to any of my yoga-mat-buying-friends for putting you in a box... this is how marketing to demographics work! Define your target audience, and see what commonalities they have. Where else are they shopping? What do they enjoy eating and drinking? What do they do for fun? Who are they friends with?

This is a powerful tool for the military spouse business owner. Picture this: PCS season is approaching, and you just found out you are moving from Randolph AFB, TX to Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Yikes! All of your sales are currently happening in your local San Antonio area where you have built up a large and faithful following. With Facebook ads, you can begin to market to your new Ohio audience months before you even get up there.

Another more personal example: I am a photographer who specializes in wedding photography, and has no idea where I am going to be living this time next year. All I know is that it isn't where I am currently living! Because of the following:

  • Weddings are seasonal.
  • My shooting season is wrapping up for this year.
  • Booking season is beginning.
  • I don't know where I am going to be living.
  • I DO know I want to keep shooting weddings.

I am going to target Charlotte, NC because I have family near by and it will give me a great excuse to go out and visit them while writing it off as a business expense.

When I create an ad, I don't blast it out to everyone who has a Facebook account. My ideal client (which may be different than another wedding photographer's client!) is a woman who is between the age of 25-35 in the greater Charlotte, NC area, no kids, in a relationship or engaged, has a bachelor's degree, enjoys the show New Girl and The Mindy Project, likes craft beer, and maybe also read and enjoyed the book “From The Mixed of Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” as a kid. You get two gold stars if you've read that book!

Isn't that rude to eliminate people who are older and younger? What about all the people without bachelor's degrees??

Of course, I book clients of ALL ages and education levels. And I won't hold it against anyone if they do not like The Mindy Project! The reason I target my ad to those specific parameters is because that is the most specific demographic of people that is likely to be getting married soon who can afford my wedding packages. I get more bookings per dollar that I spend on Facebook ads when I custom tailor them to a very specific audience. Also, I described myself, and I work very well with other people who share common interests and experiences as myself. If I'm going to spend your entire wedding day with you, I'd really like to like you as a person and not just as a client!

So let's get down to business. HOW do you create a Facebook Ad and target the demographic you desire? Go ahead to Facebook and find your Ad panel on the HOME screen, and click Ads Shortcuts > Create Ads and we will get started!

Step 1. Choose the Objective for your campaign.

Do you want people to just click through your ad to your website? Do you want people to actually make a purchase on your website? Do you want to just grow your following number on Facebook? Decide what your end game is with this ad, and choose your objective. If you have questions about how to decide what your objective is, please comment below so that we can tackle those together!

I personally believe in keeping as much traffic on my website as possible. Facebook owns my Facebook audience and can shut it down at anytime. I own my website audience however. I'd rather keep people there on my branded pages looking at pretty wedding pictures. I don't give a flying flip about how many fans I have on Facebook... what I care about it paying clients. For this example then, I am going to choose “Send people to your website” option without adding a conversion pixel (for another time and another place :) )

Step 2. Create your Ad set

*Note* The first line that says “Target Ads to People Who Know Your Business”... This is a POWERFUL and advanced tool, so we are going to skip it for today and come back to it later.

Moving lower, we have the options of building our audience demographics starting with:


Choose a location that you anticipate having the highest sales or that you WANT to have the highest sales. I am going to choose Charlotte, NC. It is the largest city near family, there are a lot of young people that live there, and I don't mind traveling there for a business/personal trip. I am NOT going to choose Los Angeles or New York because I have no friends or family in those areas so the cost of travel and lodging will be more than if I travel to Charlotte. I am also going to choose the +50 miles option, because the Charlotte suburbs are sprawling and have money.


As mentioned before, my target client is between 25-35. Think about your product. Who is most likely to spend their money on it? How old are they?


Most men don't care about wedding planning. So even though there are as many men getting married as there are women... it's the woman who statistically is more likely to be keeping an eye out for a wedding photographer. I will choose "women" then for this example.


I only speak English, so while it's in my best interest to work with English speakers, I normally just leave this blank. If push comes to shove and someone who ONLY speaks another language truly wants to book me for their wedding, I will bring an interpreter if the price is right. If you are an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor, you might target another specific language aside from English within the US however.


This is where I am going to get specific about my client's personality and interests! It's almost like a “Build a Friend” feature :) What type of person would create your ideal work environment?

The more specific you target your audience, the more likely your ideal client will find you.



This feature is pretty interesting. Because of Facebook's algorithm and their relationship with Amazon, GoFundMe, and other big search engines, Facebook basically knows everything about your life even if you haven't explicitly said something in a status update. If you are selling hydrating skin lotion for sunburns, you can target your audience to people who have recently returned for vacation! Maybe you are seeking donations for your Non-Profit Organization that Educates and Empowers Military Spouse Entrepreneurs (*ahem*) and so you might target people that have already made charitable donations to educational or veteran causes.


Do you want fans of your Facebook page to go to your website, or just people who don't already like your Facebook page? Or do you not care and want current fans and non fans alike to check it out? I don't want to waste money on people who already know I exist, so I'm going to only target people who do NOT like my Facebook page already.


Whew! There's your Facebook ads target demographic crash course. Next week, we are going to discuss selecting the right image for your ad, and then constructing effective copy for your ad.

How To Build An Effective Facebook Ad Part 3 - Image