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Special Ad Categories for Facebook Ads

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

If your business falls into one of these categories, you will need to select the “Special Ad Categories” option when creating your Facebook Ad:

  • Credit

  • Employment

  • Housing

  • Social Issues, Elections or Politics

Unfortunately, these types of businesses can’t use the FULL suite of Facebook Ad targeting options. This is because Facebook targeting can unintentionally discriminate against people based on certain personal characteristics. But don’t fret, you still can find and target your optimal customers, you just have to use a few workarounds.

Targeting for Special Ad Categories

Many of our Coursenvy clients our realtors, so they need to target specific locations and demographics of people. As you can see, the Special Ad Category AUDIENCE targeting is very limited to AVOID any potential discrimination via the Facebook ad platform.

The main targeting area that is limited by the Special Ad Category is the DETAILED TARGETING field. Nearly every targeting option is removed from INTERESTS (like “Real Estate Investing) to BEHAVIORS (like “Engaged Shoppers”) to DEMOGRAPHICS (like “Top Income by Zip Code”). So without these targeting options you will have to make use of your CUSTOM AUDIENCES and LOOKALIKE AUDIENCES.

Audiences for Special Ad Categories

One of the main audiences I use for my clients in a Special Ad Category is the CUSTOM AUDIENCE of all website traffic tracked via the Facebook Pixel. Watch the “Facebook Audiences” lecture in our course bundle to learn how to create a website traffic Custom Audience.

The second best performing audience for our Special Ad Category clients, is the SPECIAL AD AUDIENCE (via the Create Audience button).

You can create a Special Ad Audience via your Facebook Audiences page:

Special Ad Audiences are simply a LOOKALIKE AUDIENCE that you can ONLY use for Special Ad Category ad campaigns.

When creating your Special Ad Audience, you will select your SOURCE, LOCATION and SIZE. Our most successful Special Ad Audience uses either our current website traffic Custom Audience as the source OR our custom list Custom Audience. Both create amazing Lookalikes Audiences that work only for your Special Ad Category ad campaigns.

Next, select a single target country and select 1% for your audience size. This forces Facebook to find a smaller list of lookalike users, more similar to your SOURCE audience.

Continue Learning

Get access to ALL of our top-rated Facebook Ads and online marketing courses at: Join our FREE Facebook Marketing Course: How to Develop Effective Organic and Paid Strategies

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