Are you targeting cold, warm, and hot audiences with Facebook ads? Wondering what types of ads work best with each audience?

In this article, you’ll discover how to use six types of Facebook ads to move people further along the customer journey.

How to Customize Facebook Ads for the Customer Journey by Charlie Lawrance on Social Media Examiner.

2 Facebook Ad Types That Work With Cold Audiences

Cold audiences contain new people who don’t know your business yet. They’re the foundation of sustainable Facebook advertising and the starting point for the majority of people who’ll become your customers from your ad campaigns.

Cold audiences are the largest of the three audience temperatures (cold, warm, and hot) and include saved audiences and lookalike audiences.


Saved audiences are the most basic audience type on Facebook. They allow you to group people based on location, age, gender, demographics, interests (such as page likes), and behaviors. The more niche your business, the better saved audiences work.

Lookalike audiences, on the other hand, are the most advanced targeting option on Facebook. They allow you to find new people who share the same characteristics as a source audience you control, such as your website traffic, specific event actions people have taken on your website, your customer database, or email list. This is the closest you can get to cloning your existing customer base. To learn how to create lookalike audiences, click here.

#1: Educational or Entertaining Content Ads Create a First Touch With Cold Audiences

Content is the starting point for your Facebook advertising. It’s the first impression you make on potential customers. The aim of content is to warm up cold audiences and build recognition in the news feed. It also helps establish credibility and build authority for your business.

Video is the most effective type of content on Facebook right now and it falls into two buckets: educational and entertaining. If you’re business to consumer (B2C), start with entertaining. If you’re business to business (B2B), educational content is more appropriate.

The benefit of running video content is that you can create custom audiences of people who watched a certain percentage of your videos. Then you can run product or service ads to these warm audiences to drive traffic to your website.

The ad example below shows educational content in a B2B setting. By directly teaching in the video itself, you deliver huge value to your cold audience with no need for them to take additional action. Their engagement remains on Facebook.


Another type of content that works extremely well for B2C and B2B companies is a video ad about a brand story, as in the example below. The brand story is a great way to entertain and educate potential customers about the “why” behind your business.

Building brand awareness through Facebook and Instagram advertising is massively overlooked and pays dividends in the medium- to long-term. The Facebook campaign objective you want to use here is Video Views because the goal is to drive consumption of your video content.


The next type of Facebook ad you can create for your business is one that drives traffic to your blog. Similar to using educational video content, you can send people to your blog to educate them on a relevant industry topic.

Using Facebook and Instagram ads to promote this type of content to cold audiences allows you to provide value, educate, or entertain and build that all-important recognition and awareness of your business.

The blog ad below perfectly demonstrates educational content. You want to use the Traffic objective, optimizing for landing page views.


The benefit of running ads driving traffic to your blog content is that you can create a website custom audience to group everyone who has visited a particular article. Then, as with video content, you have a warm audience you can run new product or service-based ads to, also known as “engagement remarketing.”

#2: Sale Ads Trigger Instant Purchases From Hyper-Responsive Cold Audience Segments

Another Facebook ad campaign you can run to cold audiences is known as a “purchase test.” This is the most common ad campaign that advertisers create. However, an overreliance on this campaign type can be detrimental to your Facebook ads’ success.

Sale ads to cold audiences work only for certain industries and lower price points. That’s because only a small percentage of the audience, typically less than 1%, is what’s referred to as “hyper-responsive.” These are people who see your ad at the perfect time, are both problem- and solution-aware, and don’t need a lot of consideration to buy your product or service.

The ad below positions an individual sale on a new product. Discount promotions are extremely effective at generating new customers. They’re proven to work time and time again.


Unlike the content-based campaign types for video or blog traffic, when creating a purchase test campaign, you want to use the Conversions objective and optimize for the event action furthest down your sales funnel. To visualize this, optimize for the Purchase event if you’re selling a product directly on your website or the Lead event if you convert customers offline via phone.

Note that if you only run this type of ad to cold audiences and none of the other types covered in this article, you’re massively underutilizing the Facebook Ads platform. You’ll quickly saturate your target audience and find your cost per acquisition (CPA) increases, leading to lower return on ad spend (ROAS).

2 Facebook Ad Types That Work With Warm Audiences

Next up are warm audiences. These audiences contain people who have previously engaged with your business on a Facebook-owned property, which includes Instagram and WhatsApp.

Because warm audiences only contain people who have engaged with your business, they’re smaller than cold audiences but larger than hot audiences. At this stage, all of the audiences you use are Facebook custom audiences and include video, engagement, lead forms, and events to name just a few.


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The most effective audiences to use are video (because they contain people who have watched your video content on Facebook), Facebook page, and Instagram business profile engagement custom audiences. Click here to learn how to create different types of custom audiences.

Now we move on to campaigns you can use to target warm audiences. Here’s where you directly position your products or services in your ads. How you position them will depend on your sales funnel.

#3: Webinar Ads Build on Brand Recognition With Warm Audiences of Video Viewers

This campaign type, positioning a webinar, is most commonly used by information businesses selling courses or in-person trainings, or software companies selling trials.

Similar to creating educational content, webinars are a more in-depth version. They differ in that to access them, the attendee must opt in, allowing you to capture their data.

The webinar ad example below uses a call-to-action (CTA) video to inform the target audience of what they’ll learn from the webinar. This is also repeated in the ad copy for maximum impact.


Pro Tip: If you want to succeed with webinars, you need to provide huge value, not just 20 minutes of basic information followed by a 30-minute pitch. It’s not 2012; target audiences are aware that webinars are glorified sales pitches.

#4: Flash Sale Ads Create a Sense of Urgency to Purchase in Warm Audiences

Next up are flash sale ads to warm audiences. If you’re an eCommerce store owner, these ads can feel like printing money when implemented correctly. I’ve seen flash sale campaigns deliver as high as 47.8x ROAS and cost per purchase as low as $1.

You’re reading that right… $1 purchases from Facebook ads in 2019. That’s rare but it shows the impact of flash sales.

A flash sale is a heavily discounted time-limited sale, normally a few days but up to a maximum of a week. Therefore, by definition, they have built-in scarcity, which massively increases the conversion rate. This sense of urgency, coupled with targeting warm audiences of people who have already engaged with your business, results in an influx of new sales.

The ad below promotes a site-wide flash sale with up to 60% off. Although promoting a high-discount sale reduces your profit per unit, the increase in the sales volume results in a net positive impact on your business.


Pro Tip: When implementing a flash sale on your website, you want to present the discount already applied on your product pages. You don’t want consumers to have to enter a coupon or promo code. To maximize ad landing page continuity, match the color scheme for the flash sale on your website with your creative assets in your flash sale ads.

2 Facebook Ad Types That Work With Hot Audiences

Finally, we have hot audiences, which contain people who have visited your website but haven’t converted into customers or clients. These audiences use the Facebook pixel and conversion tracking to tag people and feed that data back into your Ads Manager. They’re the smallest in size due to the condition that people must have visited your website, and they use the website traffic custom audience.

Because hot audiences are the most qualified (people who previously viewed your products or services), they consistently deliver the highest ROAS when compared to cold and warm audiences. Click here to learn how to accurately measure your ROAS.


Now let’s look at two types of ads that work well with hot audiences.

#5: Retargeting Ads Remind Hot Audiences to Complete a Purchase

Reminder ads are great for establishing urgency and getting your target audiences to take action and ultimately purchase. For this type of campaign, if you have at least 500 people visiting your site per day, you want to build a 3-day website custom audience and use the Reach objective.


This audience has super relevancy due to the short time duration. Because this audience is hot, you don’t want Facebook to further optimize and narrow it. The Reach objective allows you to reach more people in your audience.

If you have fewer than 500 people per day visiting your website, create a testimonial campaign instead, as explained next.

#6: Testimonial Ads Persuade Hot Audiences to Purchase

The final type of ad in this list is a testimonial ad targeting hot audiences. The aim here is to build trust by promoting social proof in the form of a customer review or testimonial.

By doing this, you’re providing an external source of validation for your business. It’s not just you saying how amazing your products are, but an actual customer who’s unbiased by comparison.


If you don’t have a video testimonial, text-based testimonials can be just as effective. Start your ad copy with the testimonial, follow it with your promotion (such as a discount), and finally add a CTA to drive the ad click.

Unlike the reminder campaign type, with testimonials you want to use a longer audience duration of 30, 60, 90, or 180 days, which creates a larger audience. Then instead of using the Reach objective, use the Conversions objective, optimizing for Purchases or Leads.


Facebook advertising is an absolute powerhouse, second only to Google ads. Unlike Google, the application of Facebook advertising is far wider and your marketing budget goes further thanks to the undervaluation of the platform. If you aren’t advertising your business on Facebook (and Instagram), you’re leaving revenue on the table.

This article covers six different campaign types you can run on Facebook based on the different temperatures of audiences (cold, warm, and hot). To see the fastest results with the smallest investment in ad spend, you want to implement them in reverse order, starting with hot audiences targeting website traffic, then warm audiences targeting engagers, and finally cold audiences targeting new people who don’t know your business.

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What do you think? Which of these ad types does your business run on Facebook? Will you try any new ones on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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