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Facebook Ad Targeting for Grassroots Communities

As some political campaigns prepare to go into hibernation for the winter, grassroots communities will be pushing into overdrive to reach new audiences and continue to grow more support.

Facebook ad targeting changes the game for many campaigns nowadays because it is so damn effective and that’s why it so important to make sure you have your targeting correct.

At Ecanvasser we recommend the very simple Funnel method and we will be focusing on the three initial stages of that today.

There are two main stages at the top of the funnel that needs to be worked on to get you to the retargeting stage:

  1. Cold/Warm
  2. Aware


The Blind Date Approach: In the beginning, you know very little about your audience but your goal is to get them to like you.


Build a Custom Audience: Facebook’s targeting tools are incredibly detailed. You can target by age, gender, location, interests, job title, employer and more. You can also use partner data and target by life events/behaviors, net worth/income, political affiliation and household composition. Facebook Custom Audiences are lists of people who you create using these targeting criteria.

**Import your database:**This leads us onto using your own contact files. For many grassroots community groups, they may have people who signed up as volunteers or people who have donated in the past. Often times emails and names will be recorded and uploading these files to Facebook will allow you to do specific targeting to these individuals. Facebook will read the email in your database and match them to existing accounts. It will then create a Custom Audience made up of these contacts. Make sure you have permission from your contacts before you proceed with this.

Build Lookalikes: This is where you take it up a notch and effectively clone your most valuable contacts. If you have a Custom Audience that is a good example of targets you would like to advertise to, but it is not very big, this is where you can create a Lookalike.

Lookalike modeling involves taking an existing Custom Audience and creating a new Custom Audience that is similar to the original, except there will be a vastly greater number of people in it. Since these new audience segments are similar to your current customers, you'll enjoy a higher likelihood of conversions, which is the goal!

Geo-target: This feature of Facebook advertising allows to target more people in an even more specific manner. You can, for example, target a segment of people in North Dakota who have recently attended a conference on community fundraising. Geo-targeting can take you from targeting 1 million people to a 100 people. This type of targeting is fantastic for local business, but also for campaigns that tend to be local.


This refers to your existing supporters, fans, and contacts with whom you have interacted in the past. These are people who may have liked your content in the past or engaged with you through Comments or Shares. Once they’re fans, you know they've raised their hand telling you they want more content from you. You will want to create a Custom Audience based on these warm leads.


These are the people who know about your product already for a number of reasons:

**1.**They have consumed your content in the past

**2.**They are former customers

**3.**They are leads you have contacted before

**4.**They have contacted you in the past interested in your campaign

This is where you deepen the relationship with your prospects, where you nurture them with your high-value content. Offer them exclusive content, invites to events , even discounts if you are selling a product.

Initial Advertising

Once you have determined your Custom Audiences you will need to decide what you are advertising to them. Consider the strategy behind your posts. You can even switch up the message and image for each time zone for maximum impact and engagement. We recommend designing at least two different types of ads. Not all messages will resonate with your audience so make sure you have a bit of variety built in.


The best practice here is to set up an FB pixel to track visitors to your site. You can set it up so that the pixel is on all pages of your site. From this, you can create customized retargeting lists.

  • Create retargeting lists:
    • All visitors
    • Pricing page visitors
    • Got to signup page but didn’t sign up
    • Read an eBook

Now you will want to create advertising to send to each of these segments of your former visitors. You will need to create ads in a visual way here, as per Facebook’s guidelines. Now you have created the top of your funnel and you can begin to target ads to those people who have visited your site and taken various actions on that site.

If you would like to take a free trial with Ecanvasser, simply click the button below.

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