How to Attract Your Perfect, Ideal Audience With Inexpensive Facebook Ads

Have you ever wondered how small businesses attract leads on Facebook?

Or how some small businesses go from zero to 1,000 or more fans so quickly?

Unless you’re a world-renowned brand, it’s almost impossible to grow a small business Facebook Page organically. Especially if you’re new to online marketing.

And frankly, small businesses don’t need more casual fans. The big numbers only matter if the new fans you’re attracting are also potential leads. Your goal is to create a thriving community of people who like, participate and eventually buy what you’re selling—the kind of people I call Super Fans.

Where are they hiding? And how do you get them onto your Facebook page?

I’ll show you—and give you behind-the-scenes insights from a successful case study so you can develop your own strategy.

The Solution: Facebook Engagement Ads

If I mention “ad campaign” and “Facebook” in the same sentence, a lot of my clients feel instant overwhelm. It seems so complicated, right? And no one wants to waste money.

But if you have a brand, book or business, and a clear vision of who can benefit from it most, then you’ve already won half the battle—because the best way to attract the right audience to your Facebook Page is to target those people. And engagement ads are my weapon of choice.

Unlike other Facebook ads, engagement ads don’t send users to an external link or sales page outside of Facebook. Instead, they advertise destinations inside Facebook, like events or apps, or in the case I’ll share with you now, a custom app on your Facebook Page.

Within the ad box itself is a “Like” button. Potential fans don’t even need to visit your Page. Nor do they need to leave whatever they’re doing. They can see your ad in the right column when they are logged into Facebook or see your ad in their News Feed, and click on Like inside the ad, and instantly become a fan of your Page and start receiving your updates. Below is an example of an engagement ad:

Facebook Engagement Ads

Engagement ads embed the Like Button directly inside the ad itself so users can Like your Page instantly.

This is a low-pressure way to hook fans with some social proof built right into it. And it works. We’ll take a look at Liz DiAlto’s actual results later in this post.

But I know what you’re thinking: with all the noise on Facebook, how do I create an ad people want to click?

3 Ways to Strategically Step Up Your Facebook Ads

Three things matter when it comes to engagement ads: targeting the right people, getting their attention, and then optimizing your actual Facebook Page. Here are three simple tips to create an effective ad:

  1. Get laser-focused on your ideal client. The reach and segmentation of Facebook ads is easy to control—and very, very powerful. You can choose demographics (age, location, gender, relationship status, education level), and then drill down on interests. For example, you can target people who are already fans of specific Facebook Pages (thus positioning yourself in front of your competition’s fans), target people who read certain magazines and newspapers, or even target people who list specific activities on their profiles.
  2. Create a compelling call-to-action. Facebook limits the characters in your headline and content, so use the space wisely. Don’t be afraid to make your potential fans uncomfortable or spark emotion. Liz taps into strong feelings in the ad above. Plenty of women want to get in better shape for the New Year, and Liz teases her audience with a solution (she’s a personal trainer) and a sense of community (other people know how I feel).
  3. Make a dynamic first impression. Since your wall is a place where, hopefully, there’s a lot of conversation, don’t send ad traffic (potential new fans!) there first. It’s confusing. Send them to a custom app instead . Hook ‘em by sending them to an app  that shows your best stuff off and is aligned with the copy in your ad.  We will get into this even more below, so stay with me!

Case Study: Liz DiAlto, Personal Trainer

Now let’s look at a real-life case study where engagement ads helped skyrocket fans, engagement and sales.

My client and good friend Liz DiAlto is a New York City-based personal trainer and nutrition coach, who also created a training program called Tighter in 10 Days. Women all over the world can access the program’s videos and use them to get healthy and fit, no matter where they are. It’s a great, scalable product.

But when I started working with Liz, she was an online marketing newbie. She wanted to use her Facebook Page as her primary platform. Unfortunately, like so many of us do, she found that putting links to her Page on her website and posting content to Facebook wasn’t cutting it.

To get the exposure she needed to make actual sales, she had to start thinking strategically—so I helped her create a Facebook engagement ad campaign that targeted her ideal clients: young to middle-aged women around the globe who expressed an interest in fitness, nutrition and getting in shape.

Quick Facebook Ad Tip

Use an ad that’s consistent with what you’re actually offering. In other words, an Engagement Ad about winning a new iPhone will definitely create buzz—but those fans won’t stick around if your updates are actually about squats and nutrition tips!  Remember, a thriving community is built on people who are interested and invested in YOU, not a temporary offer or misleading ad.

Here is a great example from Liz’s campaign. It represents exactly what she offers—and delivers to her fans—every day.

But it’s also got an irresistible call to action. How many people do you know who would click “Like”?

Also, as mentioned, if users click on the LIKE link in Liz’s ad, they become instant fans of her Page, but they will stay on the page they are currently on (meaning they will not be redirected anywhere).  But if users clicks the image in the ad or the ad copy, Liz takes the user to this custom app. Her goal now becomes two-fold: get the LIKE and the LEAD.

When you know your audience well, you can craft engagement ads that they are sure to respond to instantly.

As a result of Liz’s engagement ad campaign, she’s managed to grow her audience, build her reputation and sell her program.

Since launching her engagement ad campaign, Liz has generated:

  • 270 “Tighter In 10” program sales (to date)
  • 1,000+ new leads (and counting)
  • 2,000+ new Facebook fans (and counting)

Plus, when you grow your Page’s audience and stock it with ideal fans—the fans who advocate for you, tell their friends, interact and even buy—your Page’s engagement skyrockets. As a result, you expand your reach organically too, because all of your fans’ friends see your content whenever an existing fan engages with your Page. The results can be exponential.

Here’s an image that will help you choose the correct options inside your ads dashboard when creating your Engagement Ad.


One more word about Liz. There’s an important metric on Pages now, “[#] Talking About This,” which shows how many people are “talking” about you (i.e., liking, commenting, or sharing your stuff). Most people have only 2 to 5 percent of their Fans talking about them at any given moment. Not Liz!

Although it fluctuates, Liz’s “Talking About You” numbers have gone as high as 52% at one time. Those results are almost unheard of.

Liz achieves this because:

  • She grew an audience of Super Fans with engagement ads.
  • She gives those fans valuable content every single day.
  • She nurtures that relationship over time.

Here are two sample posts Liz posted on her Page recently. I want to show you how she continues to add value and turn her fans into actual leads:

Liz uses free webinars to deliver even more value to her Facebook Fans.


Quick Tips via short videos are surefire ways to add value to your Facebook fans.


By providing genuine value to her fans (that’s strongly aligned with her strategic goals), Liz is able to build relationships and establish credibility with her future customers. But she would never have reached this many people, no matter how great her content was, without growing her Page’s audience first.

Want more Facebook Tips?  Check out my latest Facebook Ads program,


  1. Thanks Amy.  I’m going through my notes from your webinar and starting to add some of things you talked about. Just got the facebook like box up on my homepage..curious to see what kind of effect that will have.

  2. Very helpful article. Thank you Amy.

  3. I like your example with Liz DiAlto, who has a great business to market. One of the companies I am involved with is in the business of gutter cleaning, which is not that interesting (could be, depending on how it could be marketed on a shoestring budget) but it is an absolute necessity for homeowners. I am constantly reading, searching for ideas. Your website may be invaluable for me as I peruse content to understand the strategy necessary in marketing this industry.

  4. Hey Amy,

    I’m looking into the ad stuff and see that you can no longer target users by the pages they’ve liked… at least so it seems. For example, if you target everyone in the US, for all ages, with only ‘Best Buy’ (not ‘#Best Buy’) as a precise interest, you’ll see the estimated reach only hit about 12-16K….. But the official Best Buy fan page has 5.5 million fans! A similar problem occurs if you use ‘#Best Buy’ (for topic), the estimated reach says 650K people talking about Best Buy yet when you go to the fan page it says only about 55K people are talking about them. Did Facebook change their process again? Am I doing this wrong? I thought one could target the fans of other pages? Even if Facebook changed this there still seems to be something missing from the knowledge base… Why does the ad manager say 650K people talking about best buy but their own fan page says only 55K talking about it? 

  5. Hi Amy … great info here. I really appreciate it. I’ve never used Facebook Ads but it’s something I’d certainly consider. For the mostpart, I’ve heard disaster stories from people who’ve tried it, but I’m not certain they had a sound strategy. Thanks again for sharing.


  6. Amy, awesome results here. I manage a number of FB Pages for financial advisors. Curious as to the platforms that you like for creating the custom welcome tab and using apps. I’ve played around with a number of them such as Shortstack (current favorite), North Social, and even WP4FB (WordPress for FB). Would love your insights on this!  Thanks.

  7. Bonnie — instead of focusing the facebook page on the joys of gutter cleaning, maybe have your client take photos or give examples of the ISSUES and problems that people who don’t clean their gutters face.  Deal with the problem and it naturally will lead to “how can I solve this?”

  8. Great article Amy.  I’ve seen a lot of FB ad campaigns which generate a TON of targeted leads, but the conversions to sales do not result in a positive ROI (in the short or long term).  If you’re able to share more details on Liz’s ad metrics, it would be very reassuring, I’m sure, to your readers considering investing dollars in an engagement campaign.  Thanks!  Jenn :)

  9. You said “For example, you can target people who are already fans of specific
    Facebook Pages (thus positioning yourself in front of your competition’s
    As far as I can see you can only target fans of pages of which you are the Administrator. Have you found a way rouind this?

  10. Dan Wadleigh says:

    Hi Amy, coming in from the webinar with Darren and Lewis (& signed up for FBI – Good Stuff!).  The practical tips are numerous and just make sense once considered – Likes to Leads, Engage in their (targeted audience) normal FB traffic flow (K.I.S.S.).  But to me the case study with Liz speaks the most – figure out who you’re trying to reach and then just GO DO IT!  Keep learning along the way and KEEP doing it!  Appreciated and look forward learning more along the way, thanks!

  11. Jill McCarthy says:

    Awesome Article Amy. I love your stuff.

  12. Hi Amy…great article as always. I also enjoyed your FBI webinar…learned so much from it. I cant wait to purchase it soon. I’ve applied some of the strategies you’ve talked about and now my next move is engagement ads. I’m so excited!

  13. I’ve been on Facebook for several years now, I only ever use it to put up video’s which link to my website. The only thing I achieve by doing this is a link back to my website. To be honest with you, my Facebook page is just about useless because it is full of people that aren’t interested in my product whatsoever. Consequently it doesn’t generate any leads for my business. I need to wipe the slate clean and start all over again with a definite strategy and tools to make it happen. You obviously know what your talking about, you can’t do social media work for Tony Robbins unless you know what you’re doing. I can’t believe that I’ve finally found someone who does Facebook marketing the right way. Your strategies make total sense to me, I can now see everything very clearly for the first time and I’d like to thank you so much for that. I can’t wait to start implementing your ideas. Suddenly… Facebook looks a lot more exciting to me now.

  14. Sonia! So glad to hear it. Keep me updated and let me know about your successes.

  15. @Dh – you can target fans of pages you’re not an admin of.  Try playing around with creating an ad and look under the section called: “Precise Interests”.  

  16. Breath of fresh air to read. Segment and market to your ideal customers straight off and reduce your marketing spend by 75%. Perfect. 

  17. Too few maven bloggs use good case studies. Great advise, and you’ve got me believing again, just as I was starting to doubt. Many thanks. I read Facebook for Dummies – Facebook Marketing for Dummies eh? I’ll have to check that out. 

  18. Great info. Love Liz DiAlto and her whole platform and Love this article. I will have to get some good engagement ads going for myself.

  19. So happy to get you believing again! Engagement ads really are valuable when done right!

  20. Very Informative, I like where your going with this. I learned something here.  How can I get some help from you? I could use help from someone who has expert experience in this field. You see I am new to Internet marketing, and I just put up a page @, I got alot of likes really fast, but now I am a little nervous because I don’t really know what to do with the traffic.  The few products I have promoted have gotten clicks but no sales.  Can you send me a message and let me know what I need to do to get your help?
    Charles Lemon

  21. Hi, Charles! My Facebook Strategy Overhaul program might be useful to you – you can get the details here:

  22. I’ve been playing with some of the newer features on Facebook Ads – I know geek! Thanks so much for the post. I look forward to working some of these into the ads! 

    And Liz just another like :) I’d love to permanently break up with my scale! 

  23. Amen, sister! ME TOO!! I just want to throw it out the window :-) [And much luck with your ads!]

  24. All this information you make available is so very useful Thank you Amy. :-)

  25. You are so welcome! :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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