How To Use Facebook’s Custom Audiences To Launch Killer Ad Campaigns

How To Use Facebook’s Custom Audiences To Launch Killer Ad Campaigns

Facebook advertising is all the rage these days, but there’s so much information—and so much fine tuning you can do—that it can easily seem overwhelming. Toss in the “Custom Audience” capability and you might be ready to throw in the towel, even though you KNOW that the right audience being served the right campaign can mean a major boost to your business.

Don’t give up on Facebook advertising. Give it one more try, and use this step-by-step guide to start seeing results from day one.

  1. Creating Your Custom Audience Using Your Web Traffic

One of the most powerful ways to use Facebook’s Custom Audience feature in your ad campaigns is to target and retarget people who have already visited your website. If someone visits your website after clicking on a Facebook Ad, they may not always make a purchase or give you their contact information. Get them back using your Facebook pixel, formerly known as the Custom Audience pixel. To do this, you’ll need to create a Facebook pixel (if you already have a pixel installed, you can skip the next paragraphs).

After entering your Facebook ad manager and choosing your campaign’s objective, you’ll see a box on the right to create a pixel. In a couple of months Facebook will be removing the current way to creating a tracking pixel  called Custom Audience Pixel so be sure to select Facebook Pixel. Enter your website’s URL, give the pixel an identifiable name, and create it. Keep in mind there’s only one Facebook pixel per ad account so choose a name that represents your brand. Then either view the source code yourself by copying it and pasting it between the <head> and </head> in your website code or email it to whoever does your web design/development to implement into the backend of your website.

You can also add events to track specific actions. Copy the code for the event you want to track, and paste it after the pixel code on the web pages where you want to track the action.

Below are all the “codes” — so with the Facebook Pixel code you need only add whichever code or codes below for the desired result. Personally I use Track Key Views, Track Add to Cart, Purchases, and Lead or Registrations. Tracking those who add to cart is a must for any marketer.

ViewContent         Track key page views fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);

Search                    Track searches on your website fbq(‘track’, ‘Search’);

Add To Cart     Track when items are added to a shopping cart fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToCart’);

Add To Wishlist     Track when items are added to a wishlist fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToWishlist’);

Initiate Checkout Track when people enter the checkout flow fbq(‘track’, ‘InitiateCheckout’);

Add Payment Info Track when payment information is added in the checkout flow fbq(‘track’, ‘AddPaymentInfo’);

Purchase         Track purchases or checkout flow completions fbq(‘track’, ‘Purchase’, {value: ‘0.00’, currency:’USD’});

Lead                    Track when a user expresses interest in your offering     fbq(‘track’, ‘Lead’);

Complete Registration Track when a registration form is completed fbq(‘track’, ‘CompleteRegistration’);

Once this pixel is embedded, anyone who’s logged into their Facebook account when they visit your site will be recorded—Facebook will link their visit to their Facebook account, and you can then serve them ads. You can target (or retarget) anyone who visits your site, and you can use the same pixel to track people who have visited specific pages.

Forrester Research reports that on average only 3% of shoppers make a purchase during the first visit. Of the remaining 97%, 71% add to cart but end up abandoning. So with the add to cart code and the Facebook Pixel you can now remarket to these people right away.

Now, back to the Facebook ad manager. At the top of the audience selection you’ll see a small message reading, “Target Ads to people Who Know Your Business.” There’s a quick explanation, then a link that says “Create a Custom Audience.”

Click that, then select “Website Traffic,” and set up your campaign to target anyone who visits your URL (note: exclude all of the “http” and “www” elements—instead of ““, just put “” as your URL; this will ensure that everyone who visits is captured).

Once you’ve gotten the hang of using Facebook pixels, you can start creating custom audiences from people who have visited specific pages. Say they reach a thank you page after an opt-in; now you can create a Facebook campaign that specifically targets everyone who opted into a specific offer. If you’re just starting out, though, make a site-wide audience so you can learn the ropes before you dig into the details.

You’ll also need to choose a range of days (up to 180) for Facebook to track your website visitors and add them to your audience. For example, if you choose 180 days (which we recommend), your custom audience will contain everyone who has visited your site in the past 180 days, assuming you had your pixel in place that whole time. If you just added your pixel, your custom audience will start growing as soon as you set up the pixel and the audience, and after 180 days Facebook will start dropping people who haven’t been back to your site during that time period. This keeps your audience fresh and keeps your ad spend lower and more cost-effective.

This keeps your audience fresh and keeps your ad spend lower and more cost-effective.Once this pixel has been verified for a length of time you will now have a decent sized audience from which to create a lookalike audience.

Let’s say your website had 60,000 visitors the last 30 days; you can now create a lookalike audience from 1% to 10% of the total population in the country you choose –; 1% being most relevant. Facebook will create an audience based on the 60,000 visitors and find similar people that have similar interests. The more visitors you have the better your lookalike audience will be.

Now you can use the new lookalike audience along with some interests to target an entirely new but very relevant audience for your products!

  1. Create a Custom Audience Using Contact Information

You can also create a Custom Audience based on contact information you’ve already obtained. Simply upload the information using a .csv file (a “comma-separated-value” file, which you can create using any basic spreadsheet editor; in Excel or similar programs, simply click “Save As” and then select “.csv” as the file type) and Facebook will look for matching emails and phone numbers among its users.

Most people have multiple email addresses, and if the email they gave you is different from the email they use for Facebook they won’t be added to your custom audience. Phone numbers tend to be a match more frequently, so even if you don’t plan on using phone numbers in any of your direct marketing they can be useful information to collect. I typically find that after uploading a list, Facebook usually comes back with 50% to 60% match rate.

Once your file is uploaded and Facebook has found all of the matches, you have a custom audience built from people on your contact list. People who, like your website visitors, already have some knowledge of who you are and have expressed an interest in what you do. Lookalike audiences can also be created here. Once again, use this new audience that resembles your customers to ensure you are bringing new leads in the door.

If your contact and customer list is segmented by products purchased, opt-ins, referral sites, and other information—as it should be—than you can create different Custom Audiences for each of your contact segments. This enables you to create an ad campaign specifically for people who have opted in but haven’t purchased, for example, or for people who have made one purchase but haven’t committed to an upsell, and so on.

Again, you might want to start simple and just create one custom audience for your entire contact list, but once you start getting the hang of things, start dialing down with a high level of detail. Experiment a little and perhaps combine a web traffic lookalike and a data list lookalike audience with a few key interests! This will really get your ads seen by the people you want to reach! The more your ad campaigns speak to each specific subset of contacts, the more action you’ll see on your ads.

  1. Actually Make Ads that Target Your Custom Audiences

One of the biggest mistakes many business owners and marketers make is burning out before the actual ads start to roll. They go through all the trouble of creating custom audiences, then they roll out the same generic ads to these specially identified groups of people.

That means a lot of time and hard work is being wasted.

Instead of feeding custom audiences your typical ads, create custom ads that speak to each audience and their place in the purchase cycle. Make ads that thank people for an opt-in and remind them of what you have on offer, then send those ads to a custom audience made up only of people who have opted in but haven’t made a purchase (you can tell Facebook to exclude certain people via pixel tracking, such as anyone who reaches an order confirmation page).

You can make an ad campaign that only targets visitors from the past week, in order to hit them while they’re fresh with a special offer they can’t refuse. Target people on your contact list who haven’t yet made a purchase with an ad campaign asking for feedback…and conveniently offer a few products for sale at the same time.

Once you’ve put in the work to get your custom audiences going, finish the job with some carefully targeted custom advertising. Once your Facebook pixel tracks 100 purchases from your ads you can create one of my favorites — a lookalike audience of all the people that actually purchased from you. The more this grows the better the audience is.

Let’s say you had 7,000 people purchase from your website. You can now create a lookalike audience of those 7,000 people. Facebook will now serve your ad only to those that are similar in interests and more likely to actually BUY not just click on an ad!

Have some fun creating combinations of lookalike website visitors, lookalike data list along with lookalike purchase audiences! Adding all 3 will create a larger audience but be sure to enter some interests or even narrow or exclude others until you have the size you want.

Take full advantage of what Facebook has to offer, and let us know how you do!

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