Facebook Advertising for D2C: Build Better Audiences

Facebook is still facing stiff headwinds in the wake of iOS14, but it remains advertisers’ single most powerful platform for engaging users from awareness to repeat conversion. In our last article, we covered how to pull better data in a Post-iOS14 world. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how to build audiences to test for each stage in the D2C purchase funnel.

(If you want to go beyond audiences, download our free guide, How to Succeed in D2C Facebook Advertising.) 

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As you dig into our recommended audience segments and the targeting to use for each, keep in mind that you need to develop a testing strategy to react to learnings as they come in.

Note: with this structure, you must exclude the “Hot” audiences from the “Cold” and “Warm” campaigns, and exclude the “Warm” audiences from the “Cold” campaigns. This prevents reaching the same people with different campaigns, and will better help determine campaign performance. This gives better control to help make sure people are seeing the correct messaging at the correct stage of the funnel they are in. 

With that said, let’s start with…


Cold Audiences

This audience will help you put ads in front of users with little or no awareness of your brand/product—but a relatively good likelihood of engaging.


Broad Targeting

Gender, age, and location targeting only. This gives Facebook more freedom to find users who are most likely to take your desired action. It works great for products that anyone can use, but it can be effective even for more niche products/services when you tailor your creative to the exact audience you want to reach. 

The strategy has a big bonus: if the right people start to interact with your content because of the messaging, Facebook’s algorithm will find similar users based on those signals they’re receiving from the events the campaign is optimizing towards. 

For example, If you tell Facebook you want to get more lead submissions on your website, as more people take that action, Facebook learns what type of people they should target based on that information. This tactic works particularly well with D2C because in a sense anyone can be a consumer.



These are based on pixel events or customer lists. We’ve recently seen better success with broader lookalikes (10%) than narrower (1%). This could be due to Facebook’s loss in data and fewer signals to help pinpoint users “like” your seed audience. 

To make up for Facebook’s reduced targeting power in the wake of iOS, go broad to reach a large set of people, but tailor your imagery and ad copy to entice your specific target audience to engage.



We’ve seen more success with stacking multiple interest categories into one audience than targeting single interests. You can bucket similar interests into themes or groups to increase the overall audience size while still gaining insight into what type of interests your audience responds best to.

For example, if you’re selling a product related to health/wellness, you could bucket interests into three categories: people interested in healthy eating or nutrition, people interested in working out/exercising, and people interested in health and wellness in general. Here’s what those three breakouts might look like in the UI:

Detailed targeting for people interested in healthy food. Detailed targeting for people interested in sports and exercise.

Detailed targeting for people interested in health in general.


Warm Audiences

These audiences will help you re-engage users who have demonstrated some interest in your brand or products.


Video Viewers

These audiences are composed of people who viewed specific videos by % watched. This is a strong list because users stay on Facebook’s platform, resulting in no data loss. It should go without saying that the better and more engaging your videos are, the stronger the odds your audience will take subsequent actions. 



These are people who follow or engage with your Facebook page or Instagram profile, or click on any of your content. This is another strong list because audiences are built directly in the platform, with no data leakage. Engagers work better with D2C because the audience type capitalizes on users using Facebook for their own interests.


Site Visitors

These audiences are built from retargeting pixels on your site, but it should only contain visitors who engaged on an introductory level (homepage visits, category page visits, etc.). 


Email Subscribers

This contains people who opt in to receive emails from your company or brand. They’re already engaged and familiar, but may not have shown strong purchase intent (yet). Like the other warm audiences, this one is strong, this time because it relies on 1st-party data.


Hot Audiences

These are users who have shown an extremely high interest in purchasing (and/or have purchased in the past).


Add to Carts

These are pixel/event-based audiences composed of users who added items to cart, but did not start the check out process. 


Initiate Checkouts

These are pixel/event-based audiences who made it even further down the funnel and started entering in their information, but did not complete the purchase. 


Segmented Email Subscribers

Unlike larger or more general email subscriber lists, this could entail people who have shown specific interest or purchase intent. They may have taken actions like clicking on certain newsletter links, or downloading specific product guides.


Site Visitors

These are additional audiences that are built from the retargeting pixels on your site, but may be built based on specific high-intent pages of the site.


Customer Lists

Existing or past customers that could be ripe for upsells, repeat purchases, and new purchases.



There’s a lot more to great Facebook ad campaigns than good audience segmentation, of course, especially in the wake of iOS14. Download our full guide, How to Succeed in D2C Facebook Advertising, to get a comprehensive strategy for Facebook-fueled growth in any vertical.

Facebook D2C Guide

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