Facebook Custom Audiences

Paid social media advertising can be quite effective at creating tangible business results on a modest budget. One highly-targeted digital marketing approach is to combine customer data with Facebook’s vast user list.

Advertisers can choose their entire database or just a segment, upload it, and then have it matched with Facebook’s user list. The matches are added to a Custom Audience that can serve as a target audience in any Facebook advertising campaign.

A few facts about Facebook’s Custom Audience:

  • Your custom list can be uploaded through Facebook’s Advertising Manager dashboard.
  • Facebook encrypts every Custom Audience and does not share it.
  • List processing can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
  • Match rates for uploaded information vary, but a range of 60 percent to 80 percent is typical.
  • Custom Audiences can be deleted at will but cannot be modified after uploading.
  • The minimum size of a Custom Audience is 20 people.
  • Custom Audience campaigns are typically less expensive than a similar general audience campaign.
  • Ad placement choices are the same as a typical Facebook campaign which can include Instagram, Facebook’s Ad Network, mobile phones and desktops.
  • Creative ad types also stay the same. Images, videos, carousels and slideshows are all available for Custom Audience campaigns.

Designing a Custom Audience Campaign:

Creative Facebook campaigns begin with identifying three things: a relevant business goal, a predefined Facebook ad objective and a database segment. Facebook optimizes ad campaigns to nine pre-defined objectives that range from reach to traffic to conversions. It’s likely that your business goal lines up with a Facebook objective. For example, create awareness for an event, generate traffic to a landing page or create more room reservations.

The real key to using Custom Audiences powerfully is to match a business objective and the campaign messaging with the optimal database segment. Below are a few Facebook Custom Audience campaigns that might make sense for a business:

Add Another Channel: Build frequency and reach in conjunction with direct mail, email marketing and media placements by targeting the same segments with messages to take advantage of an offer.

Create Membership Perks: Increase customer loyalty by giving database segments the ability to take advantage of offers and events exclusive to them. Links to private landing pages and custom promotional codes will allow these audiences to do things like reserve special rates during peak times or to take advantage of pre-sales.

Re-Engage the Unengaged: Creating a Custom Audience of list inactives creates an opportunity to welcome them back to the business with special offers and promotions.

Go Viral: Generate more Likes, Shares and Comments on your Facebook and Instagram posts by promoting them to a Custom Audience with an ad objective of engagement. Because a separate Custom Audience can be created with people who have engaged with your posts, reward these social media fans with a unique opportunity or promotion.

Motivate the Team: Custom audiences do not have to be customers. A large organization can target an employee list with positive, congratulatory and motivational messages which can be an effective way to increase morale, remind employees of employment benefits and raise retention.

Find People Nearby: Facebook’s geotargeting will allow your business to target a list of customers that are in the vicinity of the business. A generous offer might be enough to sway them to step inside.

Ladies’ Night: Facebook’s standard demographic and behavior filters apply to Custom Audiences too. Gender, age and behavioral affinities are a few of the filters applicable to Custom Audience. How about inviting seniors or parents to your business for a special event?

Clone Your List: If you have a database segment that performs well, Facebook’s audience cloning feature allows advertisers to find more users with similar characteristics. Create a custom audience of these profitable customers, clone them and offer them to join your email list or provide a tailored promotion.

Facebook’s advertising dashboard gives users the ability to exclude lists too. Excluding means that ads will not be shown to those individuals who meet specific criteria. A fan acquisition campaign could target the entire database but exclude people who are already fans of your page.

Think Smaller: Since Facebook Custom Audiences can be as small as 20 people, why not get VERY granular like creating an offer for your 50 most valuable customers that they can’t refuse.

Facebook’s Custom Audiences are a very versatile and precise method of reaching people already in your database. These audiences tend to be more responsive because they already have a relationship with your brand. Take advantage of it.