Facebook Custom Audiences: Are You Ready to Level Up Your Facebook Ads?

Facebook custom audiencesA couple years ago, I read about an entrepreneur who invests $1,200 per month in Facebook advertising. Just four years after launching her business, she was making $100,000 per year selling $15 gemstone necklaces online.


Facebook advertising continues to offer more and more unique opportunities for driving traffic to ecommerce websites or online shops.

One of the opportunities I’m most excited about these days is Facebook custom audiences. Facebook custom audiences allow you to target your email subscribers, website visitors, and more using Facebook ads.

This approach is broadly referred to as retargeting or remarketing. The person has already been successfully targeted once. That initial targeting resulted in a website visit or email opt-in.

Now, you’re targeting them again.

Facebook has great step-by-step instructions on how to set up each of its custom audiences, so I won’t dive into all that here. Instead, I want to introduce custom audience concepts so you can decide if they’re right for you. Let’s jump in!

Warning! This is an introduction to some advanced Facebook ad features. If you’re just getting started, check out these posts outlining the how and the why of Facebook ads.

1. Retargeting Your Email Subscribers

Why do it: Email retargeting ads drive newsletter subscribers to their first purchase and bring previous buyers back for a repeat purchase.

What you need: A list of emails addresses and phone numbers in a spreadsheet or in Mailchimp.

How it works: Facebook has email addresses and phone numbers for most of its users. Some of those emails and phone numbers will match the ones on the list you upload. When the matched user visits Facebook, Facebook will show the user your ad.

2. Retargeting Your Website Visitors

Why do it: Most website visitors leave before buying something or giving up their email address. Site retargeting ads bring them back.

What you need: Your own website – in addition to your Scott’s Marketplace store – and either a developer or a personal understanding of website plugins.

How it works: Your website will stash a cookie on your target’s computer via their web browser. When the target later visits Facebook, Facebook will detect the cookie and show them your ad.

Facebook documentation:

3. Targeting Folks Who Look Like Your Buyers.

Why do it: Lookalike ads broaden your customer base by targeting folks who share demographics and interests with your buyers. And these folks are more likely to buy, obvi.

What you need: Either of the two other Facebook custom audience types.

How it works: Facebook knows A LOT about its users. By analyzing the hundreds or thousands of users in your custom audiences, Facebook can identify certain similarities – for example, moms who love cooking shows and shop online. Facebook will then show your ad to other cooking show-watching, online-shopping moms who don’t know about your business yet.

Excited about retargeting? You might dig the six ecommerce trends that we introduced earlier this year. Yeah, retargeting made the cut.

Are you ready to try Facebook custom audiences?

About the Author

Matt Simpson

Matt is a freelance writer for The DRIVE blog with expertise in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. He's active in the #yesphx startup movement and has been recognized by AdWeek, Mashable, and more for digital innovation. Visit Matt's website or follow Matt on Twitter.

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