Thanks Tips! How To Create An Engaging Facebook Custom Audience

Icons for likes and hearts exploding into abundance from using a Facebook custom audience.

Not sure why your social advertising budget isn't working as well as you'd heard it would? You probably need to use a Facebook custom audience to target your prospects more accurately.

We'll show you exactly why you should build one and how to do it.

What is a Facebook Custom Audience?

A Facebook custom audience is made up of an existing customer list or users that have interacted with your page or posts on Facebook.

You can use a custom audience to create highly targeted ads to users that have already interacted with your brand, which is valuable because they've already shown interest.

Tip: When creating custom audiences with a customer file, you will have to keep updating that file with your new customers. You can avoid this via an integration set up with MailChimp or ActiveCampaign so that they can manage your custom audiences automatically.

Why Should You Use a Facebook Custom Audience?

The Facebook custom audience is a very underutilized tool. Most people do not know how they can  grow their business—which is, to say, a lot. Let me show you two ways a custom audience can be beneficial to your company.

Remarketing Lists

You’ve probably heard this term being thrown around in your marketing newsletters. A remarketing list is a group of customers that have either performed an action on your site or visited a certain section of it. For example, a user visits Jim’s Outdoor Sports Shop’s blog post, "Top 10 Hiking Boots." When that user looks at that particular blog, Facebook's remarketing pixel—installed on your site already—will add that customer to your "hiking custom audience."

Once they are added to the Facebook custom audience you can target that user with ads for your best hiking boots. Remarketing is a great way to spend your advertising budget since it targets people directly that showed interest in your company. It is a good way to increase your conversion rates with smaller budgets.

Shopping cart abandoned in a parking garage representing a core remarketing strategy using a Facebook custom audience.

Cart Abandonment

The other great way to use custom audiences is with a campaign for abandoned shopping carts. This brings qualified visitors to your Facebook page based on your audience instead of random, unqualified leads.

It works by remarketing to existing qualified customers who came to the point of purchase (but didn't quite make it over the finish line). These are the "almost" customers who have shown not just interest, but partial commitment to buying from you.

You can make a Facebook custom audience out of this specific segment that almost purchased something. That lets you target them with a specific message about resuming the purchase.

The quality of your leads from abandoned carts are higher than newly acquired ones.

How to Create Your Facebook Custom Audience

Most people don't even know how to reach the audience screen, but it's easier than you think:

  1. Log into the Business Manager screen.
  2. Click on "Pages" in the top-left corner with the hamburger icon.
  3. Find "Audiences" under the Assets column.

Menu navigation to Facebook's audiences screen.

Now that we are in the Facebook audience tab we can start creating our first custom audience. Don’t be scared—I'll walk you through creating each type of custom audience. Each one will serve your business in different ways. There is no audience type that is better than the other, as it all depends on your business, goals, and segments.

Create a New Audience by clicking on the big blue button beside the big blue button.

"Create New Audience" button pictured in the Facebook Ad Manager screen.

You'll be presented with some options:

  • Uploading a customer file to match potential profiles on Facebook
  • Uploading website traffic (based on people who visited your website)
  • Creating a list based on app activity
  • Uploading offline customers who have shopped with you before
  • Creating a list based on people who have engaged with your content

Options to create a Facebook custom audience, six in total.

From there, it's a straightforward process to set up the kind of audience you want:

  • Customer file uploads will call for a CSV with relevant data.
  • Website data means your next step will be setting up a facebook pixel in your site (much like Google Analytics).
  • App activity means putting tracking pixels into your mobile and/or browser app.
  • Offline customers require data from non-digital channels, like a retail store.
  • Engagement audiences let you get look-alike audiences from Facebook directly based on behaviour.

Take a next step based on where your customers live and how they interact with you.

What Can You Do Next with a Facebook Custom Audience?

Targeting possibilies with Facebook custom audiences projected from a smartphone being held.

Since Facebook advertising can be more cost-effective than the Google Display Network in certain verticals, you can use custom audiences to run highly cost-effective advertising campaigns right where people live—on social networks, segmented by their interests.

You could pursue any of these strategies:

  • Target potential content (or press release) distribution partners
  • Target employees at a specific company for B2B marketing
  • Create a Facebook group from existing customers (letting you speak directly to them for free)

There are a lot of options once you start using custom audiences regularly. Give it a shot to see what's possible, or check out our Top 8 Advertising Tips Straight From Facebook.

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