How to make your facebook marketing successful with custom audiences

18 November 2016

Facebook advertising has continued to evolve over the past few years, with new tactics to make the most out of the platform for your business. Now, with its custom audience feature, it is now even easier to reach out to your existing audience on Facebook.

What is a Facebook custom audience?

A custom audience on Facebook is an audience made up of your existing data. It can be a list of email addresses, phone numbers, website traffic and other personal data.

This data list can be uploaded to Facebook, where the platform is able to match real-life profiles with the data within your upload. You can then target your ads to this particular audience, rather than targeting broadly through interests and demographics.

"The benefits of using custom audiences are three-fold. One, you’re reaching out to an audience who have already opted in to your brand, by giving you their email address, or by visiting your website. This means you are reaching the people that matter, who are perhaps warmer leads."

Secondly, you can target specific content dependent on what you know about your custom audience. If you know your database is interested in a certain product, or have visited one of your landing pages, you can target relevant content to them. This may increase conversion rate and potential for social engagement.

Thirdly, custom audiences are made of real people, not just data. You can use your custom audience data to learn more about your audience’s behaviours online, such as their interests in particular web pages, or how engaged certain demographics in your database are.

What’s the problem with Facebook Exchange targeting?

There isn’t a problem with using Facebook Exchange targeting, but custom audiences certainly have some huge advantages to reaching the right people. With Facebook Exchange targeting, you can’t guarantee accuracy in the large groups you’re reaching out to.

Many of the users hit by your ads will see your brand for the first time in their Facebook feed and simply take note of your advert, as an advert without engaging.

There’s also the risk that your targeting isn’t quite right and your methods aren’t effective. With custom audiences, you can display adverts to people who have already shown interest, and therefore more likely to show an interest in converting and providing a ROI.

How do I create a lookalike audience on Facebook?

The next stage when using custom audiences is to create a Lookalike audience. Facebook takes your customer data, and matches it with a broader percentage of Facebook profiles. This means that you can reach new audiences that are similar to your current customers.

If you’re targeting a music festival to those aged 16-35 with interests in pop music, you can create a lookalike custom audience to those who already have tickets to your festival.

"Facebook can take your audience, and find a large number of profiles of people who are highly similar to your ticket holders."

Use Lookalike audiences to increase reach and brand awareness, and you could find a larger number of engagements on posts targeted to this audience too.

Measuring success

You might find that custom audiences have a smaller reach than Facebook Exchange targeting. If this is the case, remember that you’re reaching warmer prospects, and so engagement metrics could increase.

If you’re using Lookalike audiences, expect the reach to increase from custom audience or Exchange targeting. On the other hand, you are reaching new audiences that may not have the same interests as your custom audiences, so engagement metrics may not be as high.

However you choose to target your audience, make sure you trial custom audiences including email or data upload, and website data, as well as Lookalike audiences.

Ensure you test your results, and optimise your campaigns going forward for the best outcomes.

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