Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ads – Interest Targeting

Facebook ads targeting interest

Here’s the only guide you’d required on Facebook interest targeting. This article explains the targeting options available on the Facebook ads manager. But before that

What is interest targeting?

Facebook Interest Targeting

Targeting people for an ad campaign based on the interest demonstrated by users. Demonstration could be by liking the fan page or like by association ( which is if a user constantly engages with such type of contents).

Interest targeting is primarily used a top of funnel in objective campaigns. Top funnel is where user first discovers about the company/services. In the top of the funnel advertisers desire engagements or interaction from the audience.

When the same users are filter down to the bottom of the funnel, based on the objective users will be converted. (sales, leads, downloads).

Types of  interest targeting strategies:

While targeting people based on the interest you can adopt two strategies.

  • Broad targeting
  • Specific targeting

Broad Targeting

google display ads - audience

Broad targeting is using most obvious interest with respect to the target audiences. For example if your targeting digital marketers, you can use interest like :

  • Digital marketing
  • Google ad words
  • Facebook for business
  • Internet marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Web analytics

Broad targeting usually covers large set of audiences. It might not target people who has high intent of buying your products. However this type of targeting can be helpful in scenarios where it could be reaching large users in top of the funnel campaigns.

If you’re looking for a campaign to generate results immediately, you should consider doing specific targeting.

Specific targeting :

google search targeting -Exact match

Specific targeting is using the interests that are very particular to the targeting audience. The reach might be lower compared to the broad targeting but it can be offset in the quality and relevancy.

Targeting digital marketers using the specific targeting, you can use interest like :

  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Semrush
  • Screaming frog
  • Hotjar
  • Jon Loomer

If you see, the above interest are also related to digital marketers. But only related to digital marketers not others.

How to come up with interest data to target.

It’s always good to have a specific targeting strategy while using interest. But coming up with interest data is quite challenging. One way to do this is not to trust your intuition about the interest if target audience and Facebook suggestions.

Instead, if you research about the your target audience behaviors, likes/dislikes, hobbies and interest you will be having sufficient data to target.

I usually use website visited, magazines read, tools used, events participated, influencers followed by the target audience.  

Audience Insights in Facebook targeting:

Audience size :

Demographics targeting -google display

Audience size is the number of audience whom can be potentially reached by using your target audience. Larger the audience size better the performance. Usually it should be greater than 100k.  

But for some geographies where the entire country population is 5 Million. The target audience will be small due to less population. In those scenarios target audience of 50k would be sufficient.

Audience Insights :

This tool will help you get interest data for broad targeting. You can access the tool here

https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience-insights/people  Assuming you have Facebook ad account. If not, you can create one here, https://business.facebook.com/.

Once you created the account, move over to the audience insights tool. You need to chose the country in the first step in the left side of the menu. And then on the right side, you see page likes along with other metrics like affinity and audience. More the better for both metrics.

Research online about the interest :

You can use google search engine to interest of your target group. Researching in google about below mentioned things would help.

  • Public figures
  • Influencers
  • Tools
  • Websites

You can research about the above parameters in google and get the interest targeting.

Liking existing fan pages

If you know at least one website that is related to startup news you can get others easily. All you have to do is like the pages and Facebook will suggest you to like other relevant pages. This can go on on greater length till you find the data.

Social graph search

Facebook - Social graph Search

You can use knowledge graph algorithm in Facebook to suggest you interest options. But to use this, you should know at least one targeting option. Here’s the syntax of how to query.

Interests liked by people who like PAGE NAME

Pages liked by people who like PAGE NAME

If you want to get a interests which is common among two pages, you can try this,

Interests like by people who like PAGE NAME 1 and PAGE NAME 2.

You can replace the “PAGE NAME” with the targeting option you already know to get other details.

Targeting options available in the interest targeting:

Interest targeting is the largest targeting category of the Facebook. Here’s the subcategories of the interest targeting :

  • Business & industry
  • Entertainment
  • Family and Relationships
  • Fitness and wellness
  • Food and drink
  • Hobbies and activities
  • Shopping and fashion
  • Sports & outdoor
  • Technology

Understanding the interest targeting options.

Word of Caution : In interest based targeting there’s a vague definition of whom might be targeted. People will be targeted based on the expressed interest or liking pages related to the topic.

Let’s start with Business & industry

Interest targeting – Business & industry

Interest Targeting - Business Industries

Business & industry interest allows you to target people based on their interest to the particular industry.

If you want to target people who are looking to buy/sell real estate property, or people interested in fashion design or people interest in personal finance

These industries or businesses can be targeted using interest :

  • Advertising
  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Aviation
  • Banking
  • Business
  • Construction
  • Design
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health care
  • High education
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Nursing
  • Online
  • Personal finance
  • Property
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Science
  • Small Business

Interest Targeting – Entertainment

Facebook Targeting -Entertainment

Entertainment in the Facebook interest targeting allows advertisers to target people based on the affinity towards entertainment choices.

You can target people based on the movies they like to watch, games they like to play, Events they like to attend to , Music , reading & television watching preferences.

Here’s the comprehensive options available under entertainment interest targeting

  • Films
  • Games
  • Live Events
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Television Program

Family & relationships

 Facebook Targeting- Family & Relationship

Thanks to all those who gave their social information to Facebook. Advertisers can take advantage of the relationships data to target audience. This may seen a little significance to a marketer who do  B2B soft sales but image a local florist can thrive using this business.

You can target fatherhood, motherhood, Marriage , dating all those important life events. If you’re business offering is a lifestyle product or service this could a boon.

Here’s the options available on the family and relationships interest targeting :

  • Dating
  • Family
  • Fatherhood
  • Friendship
  • Marriage
  • Motherhood
  • Parenting
  • Weddings

Fitness & wellness

Facebook Targeting - Fitness

The reason why most of the small companies spend their marketing budget is because of two reasons:

  • They sell lifestyle products
  • Facebook has excellent way to target those audience.

This fitness & wellness categories is specifically aimed to attract the health and fitness companies. In this category you can target people based on their fitness preferences such as whether they prefer gyms or meditation.

Here’s the complete list of options available under fitness & wellness :

  • Bodybuilding
  • Dieting
  • Gyms
  • Meditation
  • Nutrition
  • Physical exercise
  • Physical fitness
  • Running
  • Weight Training
  • Yoga
  • Zumba

Food & Drink

facebook targeting -Food & Drink

This another category to help FMCG companies to target. This food and drink category has targeting options such drinking preference, cuisine preference, food preference.

Here’s the detailed targeting options:

  • Alcoholic drink
  • Cooking
  • Cuisine
  • Drinks
  • Food
  • Restaurants

Hobbies and Activities :

Facebook Targeting - Hobbies & Activities

Hobbies and activities interest targeting category enables advertisers to target people based on the hobbies and activities. This could also help lifestyle companies to sell their products and help recruits to hire right talent.

This also includes wide array of hobbies from pets to politics. Here’s the available options:

  • Arts and music
  • Current events
  • Home and garden
  • Pets
  • Politics and social issues
  • Travel
  • Vehicles

Shopping & Fashion :

Facebook Targeting - Shopping

Most of the eCommerce fashion retailers can use this Facebook interest targeting category to target people for their business. Besides, online fashion retailers other also can make advantage of the available targeting options. You can target beauty preferences, accessory preference and clothing preference too.

These interest can be targeted in the shopping & fashion :

  • Beauty
  • Clothing
  • Fashion accessories
  • Shopping
  • Toys

Sports and outdoors :

 Facebook Targeting - Hobbies & Activities

This categories of  Facebook interest targeting contains options to target people based on the sports preferences. You can target tons of outdoor sports activities using the available options. You can also target major sports as an interest.

Available targeting options under sports and outdoors:

  • Outdoor recreation ( many sub categories)
  • Sports ( many sub categories)


Facebook Targeting - Technology

Being built by nerds, Facebook offers advertisers options to target technology geeks or nerds. This categories contains two sub categories such as computers and consumer electronics. Each of these subcategories has tons of interest targeting to choose from.

For example computer subcategory has targeting options like computer server, computer hardware etc. Consumer electronics contains tons of gadgets as an interest.

Available targeting options: .

  • Computers
  • Consumer electronics

By yathav

I'm very passionate about technology, marketing & analytics. Using WordPress and working on blogging & search engine optimization for almost 8+ years, I'd like to share my thoughts, hacks and best practices about what i do professionally & what I experience.

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