How to See Audience Overlap in Facebook Ads: A Complete Guide
Let’s face it – online advertising can be about as exciting as watching paint dry. But Facebook ads don’t have to induce yawns and cause you to zone out. I promise this guide will be more entertaining than that cat video you just watched!
By the time you’ve made it through this rollicking adventure, you’ll be a certified expert on how to see audience overlap in Facebook ads. I’ll be cracking jokes and spilling savvy tips along the way so you can learn the overlap overlords’ secrets in the most enjoyable fashion.
How to See Audience Overlap in Facebook Ads
Facebook ads allow advertisers to target specific audiences to increase relevance and reduce costs. However, overlapping audiences between ad sets can lead to higher costs and lower performance. Here are some strategies to identify and resolve audience overlap in Facebook ads:
Consolidate Ad Sets
If you are running multiple ad sets with similar targeting, consolidate them into one larger ad set. It prevents your ads from competing against each other in the auction.
To consolidate ad sets:
In Ads Manager, click on the Campaign with overlapping ad sets.
- Select all ad sets you want to consolidate by checking the boxes next to them.
- Click “Editing” and select “Consolidate”.
- Choose a new name for the consolidated ad set and edit the budget, schedule, placement and other settings as needed.
- Click “Consolidate Ad Sets”.
Consolidating ad sets streamlines campaign management and reduces costs by preventing your ads from bidding against each other.
Narrow your ad set audiences by adding more demographic, interest, and behavioural filters. For example, target 25-34-year-olds interested in fitness in Sydney instead of 18-45-year-olds interested in fitness in Australia.
The more refined your targeting, the less overlap between audiences. Start broad and narrow down based on performance data.To refine audiences:
- Click “Audiences” in the left sidebar of Ads Manager.
- Select the audience you want to refine.
- Click “Refine current audience” to add more filters.
- Save the new refined audience.
- Update your ad sets to target the refined audience instead of the broader one.
Use Exclusion Targeting
You can specifically exclude people from seeing your ads using exclusion targeting. For example, you can exclude people who have already seen an ad from a different campaign.
To add exclusions:
- In the ad set audience section, click “Expand targeting”.
- Under “Exclusions”, click “Add Exclusion”.
- Select the audience you want to exclude, such as people who have already seen your ads.
- Save your exclusions.
Exclusion targeting prevents your ads from competing for the same users, reducing overlap.
Set up ad rotation in your ad sets. It shows a mixture of ads from that ad set to each user instead of showing the same ad repeatedly.
To set up ad rotation:
Create at least two ads in your ad set.
- Edit the ad set, and under “Ad rotation”, choose “Optimized”.
- Set the optimization event based on your campaign goal, such as landing page views or adding to carts.
Rotating multiple ads reduces ad fatigue and reaches more users in overlapping audiences.
Create Custom Audiences
Use Facebook’s pixel to build custom audiences from your website visitors or CRM lists. Custom audiences help reach your existing customers instead of relying solely on Facebook’s targeting options.
To create a custom audience:
Go to “Audiences” and click “+ Create Audience”.
- Select “Custom Audience” and choose the data source, such as your website traffic or customer lists.
- Follow the steps to set up the data upload and audience creation.
- Use the new custom audience in your ad sets.
Custom audiences based on your own data have no overlap with Facebook’s default audiences.
Analyze Audience Overlap
Regularly check for overlap between your ad audiences using Facebook’s overlap analysis tool. It shows the percentage of audience overlap between up to 5 audiences.
To analyze audience overlap:
- In Ads Manager, click “Audiences” in the left sidebar.
- Check the boxes next to up to 5 audiences you want to compare.
- Click “Actions” and select “Show Audience Overlap”.
Monitoring overlap helps identify optimization opportunities to reduce competing ads.
Diversify Ad Creative
Create a variety of ad creatives, even within the same ad set. Show different images, captions, videos, and calls to action to appeal to different users in an overlapping audience.A/B test your creativity and eliminates low performers. Effective creative diversification means you’re less reliant on audience targeting alone.
Varying your creatives prevents ad fatigue and makes your ads more compelling to users who may see them multiple times.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Facebook prevent overlap automatically?
No, Facebook won’t prevent overlap unless ads are identical. It’s up to advertisers to proactively manage overlap through consolidation, exclusions, custom audiences, etc.
Can I just increase my budget to resolve overlap?
Increasing budget without also refining targeting will lead to bidding against yourself, inflating costs without improving results. Budget increases should be combined with other optimizations.
How often should I check for overlap?
Check audience overlap reports at least once a week, especially if launching new ad sets or expanding targeting. Frequent checks allow you to catch issues early.
Audience overlap is common in Facebook ads but can be minimized without sacrificing reach. Consolidate similar ad sets, refine audiences, exclude users, rotate creatives, build custom audiences, analyze overlap reports, adjust bidding, diversify creative, and monitor frequency. Following these best practices will improve Facebook ad performance by reducing overlap.
With strategic audience targeting and ongoing optimization, you can achieve your marketing objectives on Facebook without repeatedly showing the same ads to the same people. Eliminating excessive overlap leads to more cost-effective campaigns and better results.
*The information this blog provides is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as financial or professional advice. The information may not reflect current developments and may be changed or updated without notice. Any opinions expressed on this blog are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s employer or any other organization. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this blog without first seeking the advice of a professional. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this blog. The author and affiliated parties assume no liability for any errors or omissions.