Creating Custom Audiences in Facebook

Have you ever noticed that sometimes after you visit a certain website that an ad from the company can somehow “follow” you around the web for a few days or even weeks? This is the power of retargeting and is used by both Google and Facebook. In simple terms retargeting works by following your leads around the web with offers related to their online behaviour.

Google ad words allows advertisers to remarket through the Google display network after visitors visit a website, an important page or complete some online action.

Facebook custom audiences are similar but instead your ads are shown only in Facebook.

Facebook currently has in excess of 1.79Billion active users. (3rd quarter 2016 An active user is someone who has logged into Facebook in the previous 30 days. This is bigger than the population of China and Facebook generates over 22 billion ads clicks per year. Telephone numbers! On average people spend approximately 50 minutes per day on Facebook network and each visit last around 20 minutes.

As marketers we need to go where our audience is and no other platform offers the targeting options that Facebook can provide at a cost that is affordable to all businesses regarding of size. The absolute power in Facebook custom audiences is the depth of its targeting capability. You can target based on age, location, hobbies, interests and much more.

There are number of different types of custom audiences that you can build and in this article we will focus on the most effectives for SME’s.

Customer Lists

This is a very powerful tool and gives us the ability to serve ads to an existing contact or database. If you have existing email address, contact names ,phone numbers  these can be uploaded to Facebook in a CSV file and Facebook will sync this list with own existing database.

To create a Facebook customer list you have to go to the audience section in the Facebook power editor or ads manager. In the ads manager it can be found under the tools section. Then Select audience.

If it’s the first time creating a custom audience the you will need to click on the green button at the top right which says create audience. When you complete this a pop up window will appear.

To import an existing database or contact list then we need to click on customer list at the top. This can be done manually but you can also use the custom syncing tools to connect to your existing CRM or marketing automation system. This can be done with a platform like Zapier which allows the user to connect different platforms without the need to use code.

Another very powerful targeting feature is the capability to create a custom audience based on website visitors. To do this will require putting a snippet of code called a Pixel on certain pages on your website. You then just have to wait for users to visit your site and when they visit designated pages then the cookie will fire and the Facebook retargeting will get to work.

There are a whole set of options that you can use when adding the Facebook pixel to your site and depending on what  pages or on site activities you have selected Facebook will add this visitor to a custom audience on your behalf and start the retargeting campaign. Just imagine if you are an Ecommerce retailer and you wanted to retargeting to people who for some reason did not complete checkout or fell down at the last hurdle. The same could apply to a B2B vendor who can retarget to a prospect who perhaps visited a contact page or a pricing page for your product or service. These are pages that demonstrate a high level of intent.

Once you have this done then you are ready to go and Facebook with sync your list with its own existing algorithm and database. This is no problem with privacy because all data is encrypted by Facebook.

To install the pixel you must again go to the ads manager section and click on the Facebook pixel tab.

It is important to add the Pixel to all the pages that you want to track. It is possible to get certain plug ins that will do this automatically. The other really impressive feature is that Facebook not only tracks page visits but also offers the ability to track events or visitor actions on your website.

There are a number of other custom audience’s options available such as App activity. Facebook can even create what is called a “lookalike” audience where they will create an audience for you which has the same characteristics as your existing custom audience.

The organic reach of a typical Facebook post is about 2% so the custom audience feature offers an incredible opportunity to target to a very precise level your desired customer base.

The next time these ads appear in your timeline you will know that they are there because of your browsing history or because you subscribed to a contact list.

Emarkable work with a range of organisation who need to create and implement result driven Digital strategies. We have a growing range of clients who outsource their marketing challenges to us on their behalf.

We will help you to scale up your Marketing activities by assisting in content creation which is the currency of the web. We will show you the best software and platforms to use to integrate your marketing and sales activities at every stage of the buyer journey.

Celia Deverell
Celia Deverell

A driven digital marketer who is passionate about education. Trained in Community Rural Development and skilled specifically in Project Management. A team player with a common-sense approach to coordinating team activities.