When you create multiple audiences it is important to avoid audience overlap in order to get the best performance.

When you have more than one audience, targeting the same people, the two different audiences are essentially competing against each other to reach the same people, which causes Facebook to charge you more for each impression.

Having more than 3 audiences starts to cause problems with audience overlap, but even having three can cause overlap if you don’t build your audiences correctly.

Top of Funnel Overlapping Audiences Examples:

Let’s look at an example that could occur in Top of Funnel Audiences. The 3 audiences below are almost identical, but looking carefully you will notice there is no overlap.

Audience 1: men, ages 30-40, from the USA, interested in soccer.

Audience 2: men, ages 41-60, from the USA, interested in soccer.

Audience 3: men, ages 30-60, from Canada, interested in soccer.

Now let's see an example of audiences that DO overlap.

Audience 1: men, ages 30-40, from the USA, interested in soccer.

Audience 2: women, ages 30-60, from the USA, interested in soccer.

Audience 3: women & men, ages 41-60, from USA, interested in soccer.

Audiences 2 and 3 overlap which would damage the overall performance of these campaigns.

But it's possible to easily eliminate the overlap. Here is an example similar to the one above, but without issues of audience overlap.

Audience 1: men, ages 30-40, from the USA, lookalike visits.

Audience 2: women, ages 30-60, from the USA, interested in soccer.

Audience 3: men, ages 40-60, from the USA, interested in soccer.

Middle of Funnel Overlapping Audiences Example:

Here is one more example of audience overlap that occurs often in the middle funnel.

Audience 1: women & men, ages 18-65, that visited your store in the last 30 days.
Audience 2: men, ages 18-65, that visited your store in the last 30 days.
Audience 3: women & men, ages 18-65, that engaged with your accounts or visited your store in the last 30 days.

If your campaign has the three above audiences, there would be an overlap between audiences 2 and 3 with audience 1, which would damage performance and waste your ad budget.

Some additional tips:

  • In the top and middle funnels, if you want to test several different ads and messages, instead of using Dynamic Creative ads, use single or carousel ads. Then create different ads with different messaging, from inside the same audience, so you avoid having duplicated segmentation (More information on this topic here).
  • Similarly, if you want to test different ads in the bottom funnel, build them one by one inside the same audience.
  • Remember, more overlap causes more budget wasting.
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