PRO Interest Targeting – DO’s and DON’Ts

PRO Interest Targeting – DO’s and DON’Ts

Interest targeting is the old-school yet still effective way to target audiences on Facebook. 

Don’t get me wrong – LLAs are STILL more effective and recommended, but what to do if you don’t have enough data yet for HQ LLAs?

Well, you still can start off STRONG with interest targeting only if you just know what interests will work for YOU.

*One thing to remember about Facebook audiences (# of users matched by interest) – they are not all of the same quality, as they are often matched by a few abstract criteria.

There are 3 ways in which you can use interest targeting.

1. Broad interests or no targeting at all.

My FAVORITE right now – this is the thing I’ve been doing on most accounts to warm them up. You need “JUST” 2 things:

– Appealing proper ads (high CTR, low CPC)

– Well converting funnel (high CR, low cost/ATC)

Really if you have a well-converting funnel, targeting does not even matter THAT much. It can boost your sales CR by 0.5%, but ideally, it won’t matter much.

Facebook algorithms right now work in the way that you should put on them as few restrictions as possible and they will help you scale.

How do you find those broad interests? Easy! 

Go to “Detailed targeting” straight ahead -> Pick 5-10 interests that you think are most relevant (10 mil users at least) -> Set up the minimum budget on testing (the higher you can afford – the better) -> Scale winners, kill losers

For example, when selling leggings, we were targeting “just” “Leggings” as an interest.

So, “broad” interests to try for sure:

– Engaged Shoppers

– Online Shopping

– Big brands from your niche (e.g., Nike, Adidas)

– Your niche’s actual name (like “Leggings” above)

So, for this method…


a. Easy to find and manage – just choose relevant broad interests (10 mil+ users) for your product and check your KPIs

b. Scalable – this is the main reason I’m using this strategy; long-term. Your frequency will skyrocket if you’ll try to do VERY detailed targeting

c. Gives space for Facebook to optimize – all Facebook reps are promoting this idea right now, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t trust them. We need to move towards consolidation in our work.


a. May not give the immediate results – it’s an investment, so do not shut down an ad set after spending 5 bucks. Patience matters here

b. Can pick the wrong interests (bad pockets for your specific product) and not stop them in time (burn money)


2. Social pages’ targeting through Facebook Audience Insights.

A more detailed interest targeting whereby you use FB pages that are MOST similar to yours and test their engaged audience. 

Good if you are just starting and need fast high-ROAS results.

Go to “Audience Insights” -> Choose “Connected to your page” -> Go to “Page Likes” -> Sort by “Affinity” to find the closest matches

Many pages will not appear as interests (too low engagement). Look for highest-affinity pages that have at least 600k active users.

– Pick out 10-20 such interests and test them on low budgets.

– Scale winners kill losers.

– Monitor closely as frequency can go high very fast (those audiences are often very limited).

When your frequency goes high and ROAS starts going lower, you can stack several interests that worked well for you at the beginning, to expand your targeting.


a. Fast positive results (highly engaged audience on pages similar to yours)

b. Usually, high ROAS for the first few weeks.


a. Not scalable (these audiences up to 1 mil burn out very fast)

b. At the beginning, you can go off the route and choose wrong interests, as Facebook will not have much data about your own page yet.

3. Customer avatar audience targeting.

Time-consuming yet effective strategy. Requires at least basic knowledge of marketing science and analytical skills.

Do your audience research (Amazon Reviews, Google, Facebook groups, etc) -> Identify major goals, pain points, info sources, and objections of your average buyer ->  Build at least 3 customer avatars -> transform your avatar into interests to use for targeting -> Write an ad copy/creative that would correspond to your avatar

For example, you want to sell comfortable shoes (e.g., sneakers) for older ladies.

Now, you want to transform these into the targeting options. For example, based on the avatar above:

– Pain Points –  long shopping in malls (online shopping, engaged shoppers), discomfort while walking and old feet (retirement home, pension, old age, nursing home care)

– Values – comfortable shoes (shoes, sandals, sneakers, footwear), comfort while suffering from neuropathy (foot, arches of the foot, Footprint Insole Technology)

– Sources of Information – books and magazines (AARP, Good Old Days, House & Garden), gurus (Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman),  other (Rural Area, Farming, Ranch)

– Objections – high price (Discount shops, Deal of the day, Coupons).

– Look for broad interests – this will help scale with ease, without changing targeting

– Test 1 interest for 1 adset if you stack many interests inside one ad set, you will not know which one actually worked best for you

Make specific ads based on your research:

So, you EASILY have at least 20 interests to test based on JUST 1 avatar.

Put these tests into a separate campaign and monitor the results.

As always, kill the losers, scale the winners.


a. High precision – hence, high CR and ROI.

b. Better creatives that will work evergreen for you (as you made them SPECIFICALLY for your buyer).

c. Scalable – you can use it in a combination with method 1 (broad interests that apply to the specific avatar)


a. You should know what you do and have experience in marketing research

b. Time spent on marketing research.

Every month I choose a few entrepreneurs to personally help them scale their Facebook ads and businesses.

Watch the free training and apply here: