Advanced Instagram Ads Funnel Targeting Setup – Completed Tutorial (1/2)

Are you looking to enhance the return on investment (ROI) of your advanced Instagram ads? Are you concerned about expensive targeting errors? In this article, we will explore strategies for creating impactful Instagram ad audiences and funnels that effectively engage, nurture, and convert individuals on the platform.


1. Think broadly in order to fill the top of the funnel with Instagram ads

With your Instagram advertising, you want to attract the broadest and most diverse audience segment at the top of the funnel. It is critical to think broadly. However, this can mean a variety of things, one of which can result in wasted advertising dollars.

Why Can Broad Targeting Be Expensive?

Meta frequently promotes the use of broad targeting, which is the quickest and easiest method to set up ad campaigns.

Automating audience targeting simplifies campaign setup by selecting basic parameters like location or age range. It relies on Meta to deliver ads to the most relevant audience.

However, if your offer appeals to a specific audience, broad targeting can waste ad spend. Automated targeting lacks detailed data, limiting audience understanding.

Broad targeting lacks detailed data, preventing you from truly understanding your audience.

How to Use Your Buyer Persona Instead

Instead of depending solely on automated targeting, you can effectively fill the upper section of your advanced Instagram ads funnel by leveraging your buyer persona. By utilizing your ideal customer’s interests, pain points, and goals, you can create precise targeting parameters for your audience.


Additionally, targeting the audiences of your competitors can be an effective strategy for reaching prospects at the top of your sales funnel. While Meta has removed various smaller businesses and less commonly used interests from their detailed targeting options, if your competitors have substantial audiences or are frequently utilized in advanced Instagram ads audiences, they can still serve as viable targeting options.

Targeting Top-of-Funnel Interactions

Utilize your brand’s Meta assets to target prospects at the top of your sales funnel (TOFU). If you have a large Instagram audience or substantial Facebook following, you can target those interested in your business.

Note that targeting followers on Instagram and Facebook reaches prospects at different funnel stages. Exclude existing customers from TOFU targeting by excluding your customer list from the ad set audience.

How to Locate Potential Lookalike Audiences

Targeting lookalike audiences can also be an effective approach for the top of your sales funnel. Lookalike audiences share similarities with your existing custom audiences, but they are likely not yet familiar with your brand.

When targeting the top of the funnel, it is crucial to create valuable lookalike audiences. If available, utilize a value-based data source such as your Meta pixel. If that’s not an option, consider using an audience that has performed well in previous campaigns, generating a high return on investment (ROI) or conversion rate.


Why Should You Make Interactive TOFU Ads?

When targeting TOFU prospects, it is advisable to select campaign objectives such as awareness or engagement. These objectives often offer cost-effective options for filling the upper section of your sales funnel. However, relying on the default settings in Ads Manager might cause you to miss out on additional value.

For instance, the brand awareness objective primarily optimizes reach. While it is important for your advanced Instagram ads to reach a wide audience, a passive impression alone doesn’t provide substantial value.

Instead, consider using a video asset and optimizing for goals such as 2-second continuous video views or ThruPlay. By optimizing for views, you can actively promote awareness of your brand and simultaneously build an audience for retargeting.


If you don’t intend to utilize a video creative for your TOFU ad, it’s important to provide prospects with alternative engagement options. For instance, you can use carousels that encourage prospects to swipe through multiple images. Additionally, crafting compelling copy that prompts them to click “See More” to read the full ad can also be effective.

When using the engagement objective, ensure that you select the most relevant engagement type at the ad set level. It’s worth noting that ad-based conversions, such as video views and post engagement, occur within Meta apps, which can lead to better retargeting options as prospects move further down the sales funnel.


Using TOFU objectives to drive traffic to your website, on the other hand, can jeopardize your retargeting capabilities. Because of Meta’s limitations on third-party tracking, website-based audiences frequently contribute to higher advertising costs and lower ROI.

#2: Instagram Ads Can Drive Engaged Prospects to the Middle of the Funnel

After successfully engaging with interested audience segments, the next step is to lead them toward the middle of the sales funnel. Instagram provides a range of valuable options to re-engage prospects by utilizing Meta’s data sources.

Why You Should Examine Instagram Ad Campaign Breakdowns?

Different audience segments may have responded differently to your top-of-funnel (TOFU) campaign targeting. To optimize your middle-of-funnel (MOFU) campaigns, use Ads Manager data.

Create a report in Ads Manager with demographic breakdowns and relevant metrics to assess segment value. Metrics like Post Engagement and Cost per Post Engagement help identify engaged and cost-effective segments.

This information will enable you to focus your efforts on the prospects with the highest potential for conversion.


If your top-of-funnel (TOFU) ads utilized video assets, take advantage of the video view metrics to analyze your audience further. By examining the number of videos plays at 25%, 50%, and other intervals, you can identify the segments that displayed the highest level of interest in your ad.

When creating custom audiences for your middle-of-funnel (MOFU) ads, consider these breakdowns. Apply demographic settings to your custom audiences to enhance return on investment (ROI) and ensure that you’re effectively reaching your ideal audience. Taking these factors into account will help you optimize your campaigns and maximize results.

How to Build a Video Engagement Audience?

If you incorporated video creatives in your TOFU ads, creating a custom audience based on video views is an effective way to re-engage with prospects who have shown interest. When setting up a new custom audience, select “Video” from the list of Meta sources.

Next, choose the level of engagement you wish to target. While it may be tempting to focus on segments that watched almost the entire video (e.g., 95% or ThruPlay), keep in mind that if those segments are relatively small, it can be challenging to reach them efficiently or cost-effectively. In other words, they are likely to be more expensive to target.


Instead, it is advisable to target segments that have watched a smaller portion of your video, such as 50% or 10 seconds. Utilizing Ads Manager reports, you can track the number of individuals in each segment, providing insights into which combinations are likely to be large enough for cost-effectiveness.

If you have utilized multiple video assets in related campaigns, you also have the option to merge the segments into a unified video engagement audience. After selecting the desired engagement level, you can choose as many videos as you like from the campaign or Instagram business profile content list. This allows you to consolidate your audience and optimize your re-engagement efforts.


It’s worth noting that you can combine paid and organic data sources to create a video engagement audience. However, doing so only makes sense if all of the segments are likely to be at the same stage of the funnel.


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