Facebook ads are a must in any social media marketing campaign. Further, they’re important to anyone doing proper search engine marketing – for reasons we’re about to reveal. As it turns out, Facebook is a giant network with billions of users who spell out their preferences and likes. This means that you can use this network to do more effective targeting in your campaigns.
Are Facebook ads already a part of your online marketing strategy? Whether you’re still not on board and need additional reasons, or already a user, you might want to hear about the latest addition.
At the beginning of this year, Facebook officially introduced a new way of ad targeting, using Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences is a powerful new tool that helps advertisers find their offline audiences among Facebook users.
If you have an online marketing strategy it is crucial that you know how to leverage curiosity. If a visitor saw your site at least once, they’re quite likely to be interested enough to want to reconsider your brand, or become a fan. Further can even take certain offline contacts, feed them into your targeting system and target them back online. With Custom Audiences, you can easily match prospects or clients from your offline contact lists to people who already use Facebook.
And the best thing about using Custom Audiences? It is completely free.
How do you create a Custom Audience?
Custom Audiences on Facebook let you target different groups of customers in your ads. You can target old prospects, current customers, loyalty club members or any specific group that you would like to reach with your message.
Creating a Custom Audience is very easy. You just need to upload your list of email addresses, phone numbers or App User IDs and then let Facebook match these to users in its database. The match rate is usually at above 60%. A custom audience will then be built based on the matches made from your lists.
Custom Audiences are a good way to reach old prospects that haven’t converted into clients. All you need is list with email addresses or phone numbers of people whom you have tried doing business with.
Let’s say somebody was interested in buying a cleaning machine from your store, but you haven’t been able to get a follow up on your offer. Without bothering that old prospect, you add it to your Custom Audience and then you target a Facebook ad that promotes a special discount on that machine and tie it to a specific date of purchase.
You can have up to 500 Audiences per ad account. Ads perform better when they are targeted to larger audiences, so your Custom Audience should include at least 500 people.
What are Website Custom Audiences?
Website Custom Audiences (WCA) are basically a tool that lets you create Facebook ads that target users who have already visited your website. WCA’s are set by default to match the users that have visited your website within the past 30 days, but it can be set to go up to 180 days.
Website Custom Audiences will create an audience from all the visitors on your website, but gives you the option to tailor it in a more granular way. You can match users that have visited your domain, or users that have visited a particular URL. A cool benefit is that you can match users who have visited a page that contains a specific character in the URL, or keywords included within the URL.
The most common type of a Website Custom Audience will be users who have visited a specific web page. Let’s say you are selling shoes and you want to make a special campaign on summer sandals, so you want to target only people who have visited the landing page for sandals. You should create a Website Custom Audience which will match the users who have visited the specific URL for sandals.
If you are creating a Website Custom Audience for the first time, you will need to copy the ‘remarketing pixel’ that Facebook will generate, and paste it before the closing HEADER tag of all your web pages.
Facebook lets you create up to 200 Website Custom Audiences, so you have a number of possibilities to choose from. You can create WCAs from people who are interested in a particular product or service, WCAs from people who are interested in attending any of your events, WCAs from loyalty members who would you like to promote special offers to, and so much more.
Website Custom Audiences are efficient when targeting your old prospects. If your website has an online shopping option, you can easily track visitors who have abandoned the process at the checkout stage. Of course, they would need to be logged in using an email address matching their facebook address.
Visitors that leave at checkout are probably still going through different products, trying to make a buying decision, and along the way may have forgotten about the one you are offering. Matching this contact list with Facebook users through Website Custom Audiences lets you target an ad that will remind them of your product.
“Website Custom Audiences” is a very powerful tool that helps you drive traffic to your website, increase sales, and get a number of Facebook fans.
Narrowing down your Custom Audience
If you are using Custom Audiences to create well targeted ads, you can always use it together with Facebook’s standard targeting options in order to narrow down your audience. You can add targeting options such as demographic targeting, geographic targeting or interest targeting.
As you narrow down your audience, Facebook shows you the approximate number of users that your ad may reach. This number can never be an exact amount. You shouldn’t use too much additional targeting because too much restriction affects the size of the audience that your ad will reach. Too much targeting will make your ad ineffective.
Other effective ways you can use Custom Audiences
To Exclude existing customers
Custom Audiences lets you exclude your current customers from seeing your Facebook ad. If your ad’s intention is to promote a specific product, with Custom Audiences you get a chance to exclude the customers who have already bought it. You just upload a list with email addresses or phone numbers of current customers and create a Custom Audience. This technique saves you money in your advertising budget.
To Expand your post’s reach
Whenever you sponsor a post on Facebook you can choose to target your fans only. You have the option to traget friends of fans, but you should be very careful because people don’t usually like to see posts from pages they haven’t liked.
Custom Audiences lets you target non-fans whose email addresses you already have in your email list. These may be people who have already showed interest in your content, but haven’t liked your fan page so far.
Lookalike Audiences is an effective tool that lets you target users who are similar to your subscribers. You just need to open one of your previously generated Custom Audiences and create a Lookalike audience that will include all the users who are similar to your fans. You can then narrow down your targeting by adding additional geographic, demographic or interest targeting.