Facebook boasts a huge and diverse audience with 2.82 billion active users daily. Facebook Custom Audiences are a great way to reach customers who don’t fit your customer persona.

It’s really sad when a great ad is not seen by the right audience.

Never again. Instead, create laser-targeted ads that reach the Facebook users most likely to be interested. This will reduce your ad spend and maximize ROI .

Continue reading to learn how to find the right audience for your product or services.

Bonus: Get a free guide to help you save time and money when running Facebook ads.

What is Facebook Custom Audience?

Facebook Custom Audiences can be defined as a group of people who have already established a relationship with your company. These people could include past customers or people who have used your app.

Even better, Customer Audiences allow you to create lookalike audiencess. These are potential customers, fans, and followers who share key characteristics with your existing audience.

It offers some of the most effective ad targeting.

Data sharing is not for everyone. Some people argue that it is an invasion of privacy.

Apple has changed its policy to disable the Identifier for Advertisers in iOS 14.5, which was released today.

The IDFA tracked user behavior within apps, making it easier to create highly-targeted ads.

Users are now prompted to choose whether they want data sharing for each app that is updated by Apple.

Only 25% of users have consented to data sharing so far. Advertisers and app developers have very limited options for tracking user activity without the default IDFA setting.

What does this mean for Facebook Custom Audiences

You might notice results dropping, and you might want to look at other strategies if this is the case.

Facebook recommends targeting expansion or a wide audience to achieve your campaign goals. More information can be found here.

Facebook Custom Audiences can still be a great way to reach your ideal customers. There are many ways to connect with them.

Types Of Custom Audiences

There are many ways to create a Custom Audience. Let’s look at the sources and types of Custom Audiences that Facebook offers.

Custom Audiences – Customer List

Customers lists are a group of people who have shown interest in your product or business. But, the source is not Facebook engagement or Metapixel.

Instead, you tell Facebook “identifiers”, which you have collected from your audience. You can use past customers or subscribers to your newsletter to get their email addresses.

These are people who have interacted with your business in some manner, but Facebook doesn’t allow you to identify them until a customer list is uploaded.

Remember that customer lists are subject to a variety of privacy rules. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Only customers who have given their consent to their data being used for marketing purposes can upload data.
  • You can’t use data or customer lists you have purchased from other websites.
  • You must also remove someone from your Custom Audience if they opt out of your email list
  • To ensure compliance, check Facebook’s Terms of Services

Custom Audiences from Your Website

The Meta Pixel can be installed on your website to match your website visitors with their Facebook profiles.

This information can be used to create Custom Audiences which target:

  • All website visitors
  • People who have visited a particular product page or product category.
  • You can view the most recent website visitors by selecting a timeframe that will allow you to go back in time

If you haven’t yet installed the Meta Pixel, you are missing out on a rich source of data. See ourfull tutorial to using the Meta Pixel .

Custom Audiences using your mobile app

Do you want to get to know your app’s users? You can create a custom audience for this purpose.

Register your app, set up the Meta SDK, log app events on Meta for developers.

(If this sounds too technical for you, speak to your app developer to get help with the preliminary steps.

This type of Custom Audience is a great base for app engagement campaigns. These are some of the targets:

  • People who downloaded your app, but have not yet used it
  • People who have made in app purchases
  • People who have reached a certain level in their game

Engagement Custom Audiences

An Engagement Custom Audience is a group of people who have interacted and shared your content via Meta technologies such as Instagram or Facebook.

These people have taken specific actions such as:

  • Viewed a video
  • Followed a Facebook Page
  • Clicked on an advertisement
  • Responded to an event by indicating “Interest”

Facebook tracks these actions but you can also set a setting that refreshes the audience every 30 days.

This means only those who have engaged with your content within the last 30 days will be included in your Engagement Custom Audience. This helps to ensure that you are still relevant to people viewing your ads.

How to create custom Facebook audiences

To create Custom Audiences for all types of audiences, you will need to open your Facebook audience page in Ads Manager and click “Create Custom Audience”.

(If you have created an ad before, a dropdown menu will appear instead of a button.

The next step is to decide what type of Custom Audience you want.

How to create an audience on Facebook from a customer’s list

1. Prepare a customer list before you go.

Facebook has access to the information you have about your customers. To help Facebook match your information with theirs, you will need to create a CSV file or TXT file of “identifiers” (such an email address).

Facebook offers a guideline on how to format your customer lists to get the best matches.

2. Select a Custom Audience Source

There are many options available to you regarding where your information is coming from.

Select “Customer List” to move on to the next stage.

3. Import customer list.

You can upload a CSV file or TXT file that you have prepared.

At this point, you’ll also need to name your Custom Audience. MailChimp allows you to import your data directly from MailChimp.

4. Review your customer list.

Facebook will notify you if your list contains errors. This is a second chance for you to make sure your list is properly mapped.

Once you’ve reviewed your list, you can tap “Upload & Create”.

Facebook will notify you when your Custom Audience is available for ad campaigns and to create lookalike audiences.

How to create an audience on Facebook from website visitors

1. Make sure Meta Pixel is active before installing it.

Only if Meta Pixel is installed on your site, can website visitors turn into Custom Audiences.

You can find help with Meta Pixel on your site by consulting our guide.

2. Select a Custom Audience Source

There are many options available to you regarding where your information is coming from.

Click “Website” to move on to the next stage.

3. Set rules.

This is the fun part. This is where the fun begins.

You can create or choose some rules:

  • All website visitors should be targeted
  • People who have visited certain pages or websites should be targeted
  • Your website’s time spent determining your target visitors
  • Timeframe for how long people will stay with the custom audience after their last visit to the website
  • You can include a different group of visitors
  • Exclude a particular group of visitors

4. Name and describe the Custom Audience

Clear names will make it easier for you to track all Custom Audiences that you create.

If you need further clarification, you can write a brief description.

5. Select “Create audience”.

Ta-Da! Facebook will create your Custom Audience based upon your website traffic and the rules you have set.

How to create an app for mobile devices Custom Audience

1. Register your app and create the SDK.

Before you can start, you must set the scene. These steps will help you register your Facebook app.

The SDK can then be set up to track “App Events” or specific actions that your users take in your mobile app. This step may require the assistance of a developer.

2. Select a Custom Audience Source

There are many options available to you regarding where your information is coming from.

Select “App Activity” to move on to the next stage.

3. Select App from the Source dropdown.

4. Select app events to create a Custom Audience

Select from the dropdown menu which actions or “app events”, will qualify someone to this Custom Audience.

Some examples include:

  • Open your app
  • Attained a certain level
  • Add their payment information
  • You made an in-app purchase

You can also choose whether to include or exempt people based upon their app events.

5. Specific details can be refined.

This step can be very specific. You might not want to target all users who have made an in-app purchase.

You might choose to concentrate on people who have spent a certain amount. These rules can be set up here.

6. Name and describe the Custom Audience

Clear names will make it easier for you to track all Custom Audiences that you create.

If you need further clarification, you can write a brief description.

7. Select “Create audience”.

You’re finished! Facebook will create your Custom Audience according to your specifications.

It can take up an hour to gather all users who have met your criteria.

Bonus: Get a free guide to help you save time and money when running Facebook ads.

Get the free guide now!

How to create a custom audience

1. Select a Custom Audience Source

You will be presented with many options from Meta Sources.

In this example, we will select “Facebook Page”. Next, choose the Meta Source you’re using.

2. Set rules.

Depending on your Meta Source you can choose events, define retention periods and create inclusion/exclusion guidelines.

You can choose events for your Facebook page such as:

  • Follow your page by liking or following it
  • Engaging with your page
  • View your page
  • Commenting on or liking an advertisement
  • Clicking on a call to action button in an ad
  • Send a message to your page
  • Save a post

You can also choose how long people will stay in the Custom Audience after the event triggers. Additionally, you can decide whether any people should be included or not in this Custom Audience.

3. Name and describe the Custom Audience

Clear names will make it easier for you to track all Custom Audiences that you create.

As before, you can write a brief description to provide further clarification if necessary.

4. Select “Create audience”.

Once you are ready, Facebook will create your custom audience based on your requirements. You can then use it in your next ad campaign.

How to use Facebook Custom Audiences

It takes a lot of technical details to build the right ad campaign. You also need to think strategically about how Facebook Custom Audiences can be used to maximize your ad spending.

Here are some suggestions:

Retargeting campaigns

Retargeting can be used to remind visitors about businesses they are interested in and encourage them to take action such as making a purchase.

McBride Sisters Collection is a Black-owned wine business that used retargeting in order to rekindle interest from lapsed customers.

The company’s customer database (CRM) was used to pull the customers and then dynamic ads were sent to them about its wine collection.

Overall, the campaign saw a 58% increase in purchases.

Recommend customers

Your existing customers are already familiar with your brand and can be trusted to make a purchase. This is a much better way to market to them than to people who have never bought from you before.

It is cost-effective to convert casual customers into repeat customers in order to increase your sales.

Clinique US used Custom Audiences in order to show its dynamic ads only to people who have previously engaged with the beauty brand.

The company also created a lookalike audience with characteristics similar to past customers and repeat customers.

With the combination of product- and people-focused ads, the overall ad campaign saw an increase in action intent by 5.2 points

Increase app engagement

If your goal is to increase app engagement, you shouldn’t show the ad only to people who have not downloaded your app yet.

A Custom Audience is a group of people who have already downloaded your app. This allows you to target your ads effectively and maximize your budget.

Increase your Facebook following

Your marketing funnel will be built upon brand awareness. Targeted ads are a key part of making people aware of your product or company.

To promote your Facebook Page to this highly targeted audience, use a Facebook Ad with a Custom Audience that is based on website visits or customer lists.

You don’t have to reach people who already like your Page.

Use lookalike audiences

You can create custom audiences to make lookalike audiences. This is a group of people with similar characteristics to your Custom Audience.

The theory is that a similar audience is more likely than a wider audience to be interested in your products and services.

Liquid I.V. is an electrolyte drink mixture. Custom Audiences are people who have purchased in the past, added an article to their shopping cart, and engaged on social media.

Liquid I.V. Liquid I.V. also used its customer list to create lookalike audiences, based on the characteristics of online product purchasers.

The overall campaign resulted in a 19-point increase in ad recall.

How to Grow Your Custom Audience

Expanding your Custom Audiences is a great way to reach more potential customers, followers, and fans.

Here are some ideas to increase your list.

Effectively use Facebook Ad Types

To grow your Custom Audience, it is important to get people to interact with your ads, social media profiles, and website.

Facebook ads require that you have a Custom Audience ready to track who is engaging with your ads.

This allows you to automate the process of making sure that every potential follower is noticed and can even create retargeting ads.

Focusing on the Awareness objective is another way to grow your Custom Audience. This allows you to reach a wider audience.

Test your ads and make adjustments to maximize conversion

Sometimes, you have to play around with your ads to find the one that resonates with people. Your Custom Audience will grow faster if your ads are more effective.

We have a whole blog post about how to test and improve your social media ads. But here are some key elements to test.

  • Headline
  • Text Ad
  • Preview text link
  • Call to Action
  • Image or video
  • Ad format

Use Facebook Audience Intelsights

Analytics are great, but you need to have actionable insights about your audience. Facebook Audience Insights provides valuable information about your Custom Audiences. These insights can be used to target new audiences. The ideal scenario is that the new audience will engage in your content or ads and then become part your Engagement Custom Audience.

You need some Facebook advertising inspiration? We have you covered. These 22 Facebook ads are sure to inspire your creativity.

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The post How to Use Facebook Custom Audiences – A Step-by-Step Guide appeared originally on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.