Facebook, with its huge user base, has become one of the most important marketing platforms for many businesses. The large user pool represents a great opportunity for advertisers to select potential audiences and target their ads to people who are really interested in their offerings. Brands and businesses can do this by using Facebook Custom Audiences, the most productive targeting functionality offered by the platform.

Custom Audiences is an essential tool for effective Facebook advertising campaigns. It will help advertisers minimize ad costs and maximize ROI. That’s because it is always easier to sell your products or services to current customers than look for new ones.

If you are new to Facebook advertising, in this article you will find everything you need to know about Facebook Custom Audiences. You will learn how to set them up to how they work and ways to use them.

What are Facebook Custom Audiences?

Facebook Custom Audiences are basically lists of people who are already familiar with your offerings, are part of your audience, and you’re already interacting with them. These lists usually include your current customers/users, people who purchased your products/services in the past, loyalty program members, people who visited your website, and so on.

Facebook has this amazing targeted advertising service that allows advertisers to import user data. They are represented by the email addresses, phone numbers, user IDs, to the social media platform. It finds their profile so that you can create and use Custom Audiences to reach them with ads and for retargeting purposes.

Types of Custom Audiences

There are several types of Custom Audiences and here are the most common ones:

Custom Audiences from your Customer List

This is a list of emails, phone numbers, user IDs that Facebook will use in an attempt to find the customers who have accounts on the social network so that they can be targeted. Usually, Facebook matches between 60-80% of the contacts on customer lists.

Website Custom Audiences

Businesses can insert a Facebook Pixel tracking code on their website. This will allow Facebook to track users and match them to their Facebook accounts. Advertisers can then create one or more Facebook Custom Audiences based on different criteria. For instance, they can target all users who have visited a specific page on the website in the past X days.

Mobile App Custom Audiences

Similarly, advertisers can create Custom Audiences based on the actions people take when they use the marketer’s native mobile app.

Engagement Custom Audiences

This type of audience allows businesses to target users based on how they interact with them on Facebook. Basically, they can create audiences of users who engage with certain ads or with their Facebook page.

Lookalike Audiences

Facebook can use your Custom Audiences to create “Lookalike Audiences” to target your ads to. These include users who have similar traits to your Custom Audiences, such as age, gender, interests, etc.

How to create Facebook Custom Audiences?

For all types of Facebook Custom Audience, the process starts with the same action: by looking for your Facebook audiences tab in Ads Manager and clicking “Create a Custom Audience.”  Then you will be asked what type of custom audience you want to create. The process depends on what you choose.

facebook custom audiencesTo create a customer list Custom Audience, you need to select Customer File. You have two options: either add customer information manually or import a list from MailChimp. After that, you just follow the indicated steps, agree with the Terms and Conditions and wait for Facebook to prepare your Custom Audience.

Those who want to create Custom Audiences from website traffic need to know that they have to install the Facebook Pixel. After clicking Website Traffic on the list, choose the pixel you want to use. Choose whom you want to target by defining the rules. You can choose all website visitors, those who visited just specific pages, or people who spent a set amount of time on your website. Select a timeframe, pick a name for your audience and click Create Audience.

To create Custom Audiences from App Activity, businesses need to choose the events they want to target from the drop-down menu. Then, they have to decide on a timeframe they want to target. They also need to define audience rules and click Create Audience after naming the new audience.

Finally, for engagement Custom Audiences, you will have to choose based on what you want to create your engaged audience. You can choose from options like interactions with your Facebook page, videos, lead forms, an event, or people who have opened a certain type of ad.

How to use Facebook Custom Audiences?

Facebook Custom Audiences are a very useful tool in your advertising strategy. The benefits of using Custom Audiences are countless as relevance is paramount when selling to a specific audience.

You can use the targeting options to target contextual ads directly at consumers who are really interested in their offers.

Considering that very few people make a purchase on their first visit to a website, it’s good that brands can use Facebook Custom Audiences for remarketing. Basically, they can remind people about products they showed an interest in or have previously put in their shopping cart and entice them to finalize the purchase.

Moreover, by using Custom Audiences, advertisers can micro-target people who visited specific pages on their websites. As such, they can send those users targeted messages or ads about a specific product they checked out.

Similarly, a Custom Audience created from a customer list can be used to invite past customers to return. You can let them know if you have a new product coming out, or send special offers to repeat clients.

Finally, marketers can also use Facebook Custom Audiences to block some users from a specific offer. This is useful when certain customers have already purchased the advertised product. Thus. the company wants to avoid targeting those customers.

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