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How To Target Cold Audience With Facebook Ads

The temperature of your audience ranges based on exactly how familiar they are with your business.

Cold audience refers to those who haven’t seen or engaged with you and your business and those who haven’t visited your website in a very long time. Simply put, it refers to people who aren’t familiar with your business.

Whereas, warm audience is to those who have engaged with your content page, post ad, visited your page or watched more than 3 seconds of your video but never made a purchase.

And Hot audiences are visitors who have very recently visited your website and showed extremely high engagement while they were there (e.g. added an item to cart).

Whereas a healthy retargeting portfolio means targeting all three audiences, sometimes businesses get carried away spending budget on retargeting a warm and hot audience that they overlook cold audience.

While Hot audiences will yield the highest ROI, it is a mistake to focus your efforts only on that audience. Retargeting cold audience gives you the benefit of expanding your reach, landing new customers, warming them up and the using the attention you are getting from them to push them to a purchase decision.

You need to consistently introduce your brand to a new audience to increase your overall effectiveness as they are crucial for the long term growth of any business.

Cold audience can be the most difficult and expensive audience to convert into paying customers. This is because;

  1. There is a degree of brand recognition and education that has to take place before they feel comfortable making a purchase.
  2. Unlike other audiences which you can reach easily with content and some organic promotional strategy like email newsletters, businesses must rely on paid-marketing efforts, like running paid advertisement to reach cold audience.




Facebook lets you target a very specific group of audience when running Facebook ad campaigns by targeting your ideal audience based on their location, age, gender, profession, online interests and past behaviors and so much more.

With a basic understanding of who your Cold audience is, you can effectively run target ads to reach them.



Before going over to your ads manager to set up an ad campaign for cold audience, you need to do an extensive research to know who your cold audience is for effective targeting.


1. Using warm audience to understand cold audience;

Studying your warm audience will help you understand cold audience. The effort and strategies you put into converting warm audience, give you a clearer understanding of your warm and cold audience as well as they are both very similar.

Any content that does not resonate with your warm audience by getting little or no traction is likely not to impress cold audience as well.

So before running any ad to target your cold audience, you should test it out on your warm audience first.

Another way to study your warm audience would be to use the Facebook Audience Analytics. Facebook gathers information about your existing audience. Your Instagram page, your Facebook page and your pixel are all source of information.

Audience analytics give detailed information about your audience demographics, age range, people completing your desired action, the technology users are using to (desktop/mobile phone/tablets) and the geographical areas they are coming from.

If you have a website that is up and running, you should also look up Google Analytics to gain more information about your audience.


2. Using Facebook insight tool;

The Facebook insight gives you well detailed data about all of Facebook users and those that have interacted with your page.

This gives you a clean, clear platform to research and find what will work best for you in targeting your ideal audience. This tool allows you filter out  its users by location, interest, age, gender, relationship status, profession and so much more, as you can see on the left bar in the image below.

Facebook insights home page

Facebook Insight


Say you have a product for sell, say skin care products. You simply just have to insert your keyword for your product in the “interest” search box and pick out a location. This immediately gives you details regarding the demographics, ages and gender of users who have interest in such. It is important to try different interest keywords when doing your audience research, but these keywords should be relevant to your industry.

Another great thing about it is that it allows you see the different pages these users like; this gives you more insight into their interests which you can use to target them.

You should always take note of these pages; take the pages into the interest section to learn even more. The tool also allows you study insights of people who are following your page, but you must have over a thousand followers to view them.



When you have done your research thoroughly to a point you comfortable and confident about creating a well-targeted cold audience for your Facebook ad campaign, you can go ahead to run your ad.

Use the data gotten from your research to create a custom audience for your cold audience, set a budget and audience size. Of course you might not get it all right the first time. You might need to do a little bit of experimenting with different set of cold audience.

You should outline a budget specifically meant to do this. Testing new audiences enables you to figure out the conversion rate and costs associated with acquiring your new customers. Doing this enables you see how much it’ll take to acquire more customers in the future.

Audience size;

In choosing the ideal customer size for your ads, it is recommended you start with a small, specific well niched audience that could be 100,000 to a million or even less, say 50,000.

You should choose 2-5 interests to initially test cold audience, depending on your budget. These interests should however be related to your industry.

Ad Placement;

It is advisable you run your ads on different placements at the beginning of your testing phase. You can get your ads placed on news feed, stories, and in the right column to optimize your placements.



When testing your ads, you’d have to look at everything from the ad itself to the click-through rates, your cost-per-click and the number of clicks.

This information tells you how your ads resonate with the audience you are targeting. The strongest ads will generate a click-through rate of 1.5 or higher in the news feed. If you get a value below 1.5, then it is an indicator that the information you are putting up does not resonate well with your audience. This is exactly why it is important to test run your ads a couple of times with different variations until you discover what works best for both you and your audience.

Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the analytics data gotten from your ads. Take a look at the activities people are performing through your ads. This includes the number of people landing on your page, making purchase, interacting with your page, etc. The metrics you pay most attention depends on the goal of your ad campaign.

If you discover your ads drive a lot of clicks but not a good number of sales, keep it running as long as possible as long as people continue to make it all the way through your cell cycle. Some cycles may take close to a month and in this case, it would be understandable if you weren’t seeing the ads perform after a week.


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