The Truth About Open Targeting With Facebook Ads In 2023 (Is it the future?)

In this article, you’re going to gonna discover the top way to use open targeting on Facebook ads especially now that we're moving towards a new future of advertising on Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg admitted he failed to anticipate the way people share videos on social and missed the trend of AI.

Things with Facebook's algorithms are taking a turn where they're seriously working on pushing ahead of their competitors.

Because Facebook isn’t going anywhere as they take its machine learning to the next level.

But there doing it in a way that most advertisers might not understand.

Now, even though their usage is up and a lot of advertisers are moving to other platforms this makes it cheaper for us to take advantage of.

How The Future Of Targeting Has Changed

However, meta, Facebook, or whatever you wanna call it these days has been under fire over their use of data that affects us marketers with targeting.

The future for advertisers will look very different from what you might see now as opposed to the next years to come.

As targeting on Facebook is getting narrower and having that edge over your competitors with targeting seems to be making a big turn.

This article will help you prepare for the future of advertising and how you can take advantage of facebooks best targeting right now.

The quicker you start figuring out how to use this way of targeting the quicker you’ll stay ahead of advertising on Facebook.

What Is Open Targeting

Open targeting is when you leave everything open without anything set to target including interests. You’re essentially going to unrestrict Facebook to search their entire platform for your perfect audience to target.

However, there are some areas you shouldn’t unrestrict and it’s important to add the location.

Screenshot of facebook ads with audience targeting left open with a location set for location control.

You need to still let the machine learning know which country you want it to search for audiences in.
So with that said…

I wanna explain in a bit more detail about how machine learning works when you leave everything open.

Open Targeting Misconceptions

There are some misconceptions from people who are new or don’t know what open targeting is.

Some think that since you're not telling Facebook who to target it’s going to give a poor quality audience or it’s just gonna waste your money, since it doesn’t have any direction of who your audience is.

But this simply isn’t true.

Facebook’s ultimate goal is to make money from us advertisers.

The last thing they want is for you to just waste your money so you leave the platform and advertise elsewhere.

They're gonna use their sophisticated machine learning along with all the data points that they have about you and their users.

This helps to target your best audience as long as you’ve done a few things right.

How Facebook's Algorithm Works

Now, unless you're one of the super geeks and work in the secret confines of Facebook, no one truly knows how machine learning exactly works.

But we can have a calculated theory along with lots of testing and results to give us the best data to understand how their algorithms really works.

Which shows us that when you write your copy…

it takes all the signals you write, and uses keywords in your copy, looks at and scans your creative, and picks up the call to actions.

Even going to your landing page to understand everything you're trying to do so it can begin to detect the right people to show it to.

And This is all happening before it's in review.

Then once you launch it out.

The machine learning gets to work to start figuring out the best audience for your offer.

Diagram showing how facebook ads algorithm takes copy from landing page for facebook ad targeting.

It wants you to get as many conversions as possible so you keep feeding it with more money which means money for them.

So using all its data points it puts in front of a bucket of people to match your ad, creative, and headline.

Facebook Algorithm Data Points

Then it detects all the actions of these people including:

  • When they stop scrolling, how long it takes to read your ad.
  • Do they go from creative to copy and then to the CTA.
  • The engagement actions they take.
  • And all these things they start categorizing people who don’t like the ad and those who love the ad and convert.

And as it gathers this information and serves your ad to more people who fit the criteria and they continue to rinse and repeat as the audiences get larger and larger.

So with all this said…

You should have a good idea and a basic grasp of how the algorithm works which leads to the question...

Is Open Targeting Right For You

Whether open targeting is right for you depends on a few factors but here are 6 reasons why you might want to consider using open targeting.

Reason 1: Increasing Profit

Facebook is looking to get you into the most profit so you start spending more on their platform and if you give control to Facebook’s team of geeks and let the machine learning figure it out.

This will make it as efficient as possible to work out your best audience for conversions.

Reason 2: Reducing Ad Costs

The more you unrestrict Facebook's machine, the more it helps it learn how to unlock its abilities to scan more of what it’s programmed to do.

By unrestricting it, advertising will be cheaper than if you were to restrict its machine learning.

So you should experience less cost for your CPM that you can use to put more into scaling your ads.

Reason 3: Preparing For The Future

The third reason open targeting might be right for you is that as time goes on targeting is getting narrowed down anyway.

It’s good to start learning more about how you can use open targeting and get better at creating good copy and learn to get better at strategizing your creatives.

As I believe this is the most integral part of advertising now and definitely more in the future as we go into the following years.

Reason 4: Scalability

The fourth reason is you have more room for scale because open targeting reaches out to as many people as possible you’re rarely gonna burn out open targeting fast and it will take a lot longer to reach ad fatigue.

Screenshots showing audience definition and different in estimated audience size for open vs interest facebook ad targeting

So you can keep scaling your ad as you could be reaching people up to 100 million plus.

Reason 5: Broad Product Appeal

The fifth reason is if your product or service has a very large audience and appeals to a broader target.
So if you’re a niche such as:

  • Clothing.
  • Fitness related.
  • Retailers.
  • Food and drink.
  • Money opportunities and so on.

These audiences are very big and you may want Facebook to reach as many of them as you can and that’s exactly what open targeting is good for.

Reason 6: Increasing Data

Then finally sixth reason you should consider is because of how much data do you have within your ad account.

The less data you have the less Facebook will know about you, your product, or your service.

And we now know that’s exactly how machine learning works by knowing all the different data points about your perfect customer.

So I first recommend you already have a mix of different conversions within your ad account.

I recommend having at least 1000 conversions or more which doesn’t have to be only purchases it could be leads or even video views.

So saying this…

I hope you’ve got a good grasp of what open targeting is and if it’s right for you but I'm sure there’s an important question that might come up for you...

What About Interest Targeting

So many gurus are claiming that they barely use interests anymore and that interests are pretty much dead.
Is this true?

Well maybe for them.

But I’m personally still using interests and it's still giving me good results and has outperformed some open targeting campaigns by a large margin.

And here’s something else to consider.

Reasons To Avoid Using Open Targeting

Open targeting can take longer than usual and that means spending more to keep machine learning going.

Which will also keep it in the learning phase for a lot longer depending on the campaign.

And for some reason, Facebook open targeting doesn’t always seem to work out well with certain campaigns which get you lower results.

Final Thoughts

So with all of that said…

A couple of things I wanna leave off, which is I feel are very important.

I recommend that you at least try open targeting it won’t cost you much and might be worth a lot for you in the end.

And If you run with other ad sets that have specific stacked interests and broad interests.

I always like to make sure I still have at least one ad set with open targeting as I keep that as the control to test against other ad sets.

And ad sets with interests I like to use certain types of interests that are proven to work.