6 Cool Things You Can Do With Facebook Custom Audiences

by Gabi Barbosa

In the world of Facebook advertising, the powerful Facebook Custom Audiences are easily our favourite product. We’ve recently had quite a few people ask us what they are, how to use them and make the most of them, so we’ve put together this very quick guide on Facebook Custom Audiences.

Simply put, Custom Audiences are lists of people who are already part of your audience (your current customers/users, past purchasers, high value customers, loyalty programme members, etc). These should only be people who explicitly consent to being contacted by you, and if and when they opt out, they should no longer be included in these lists.

Using Custom Audiences, you can find them on Facebook and communicate/engage with them using this channel. People check Facebook upto 15x a day using multiple devices (especially mobile!!) so it is most definitely a channel that shouldn’t be ignored.



So here are a few things you can do with Custom Audiences:

1. Lead customers down the sales funnel Custom Audiences are great to reach people at the right time in their customer journey and lifecycle. Did someone create an account, add items to cart and not buy anything? Maybe show them an ad with a 10% discount on their first purchase. Have they bought a winter coat?Perhaps you have some cool winter accessories that go well with that coat. Are they loyal customers? Maybe they won't mind referring you to a friend and getting a discount from their favourite store!

There are countless things you can do with this - map out your funnel, segment your users and see how Facebook ads can complement your messaging at each stage.



2. Retarget visitors to your website

Using Website Custom Audiences, you can easily retarget visitors to your website - whether they have just visited a certain page or product and left, or they have added items to the cart or a wishlist and not purchased them - or many other actions. In order to use Website Custom Audiences you will need to install the Custom Audience Pixel (a snippet of code) on your website and customise the code to track what you want - page load, video watched, button clicked, just be creative!



3. Reach users/customers who don’t open your emails

So some of your customers can’t be bothered to read what you have to say? Then show it to them. Choose a nice image, pick the key message you want them to remember (has to be something good) and go for it. Use a Custom Audience with those email addresses to target some specific ads to these customers.



4. Recover lost users

Your breakup with your customers doesn't have to be permanent: sometimes things don’t work out, but people change! If you have some great news about your product, and think it might bring some people back, then share it with them!



5. Find more customers like your best ones

Use a Custom Audience of your high-converting, high LTV, loyal customers to create Lookalike Audiences and find Facebook users who are similar to them. This will allow you to reach a whole new pool of people who are likely to be interested in your product/service. Lookalike Audiences are very powerful for eCommerce businesses.



6. Find out more about your customers

You can use Facebook Audience Insights (still being rolled out across some countries) to find out more about your customers, subscribers, people in your Custom Audiences - demographic information, lifestyle and interests, online purchase behaviour etc.


How do you create Custom Audiences?

To create a Custom Audience you will need to have:
1. The Power Editor installed for Chrome (it’s optimised for Chrome, so might not work with other browsers).

  1. A .csv or .txt file (or multiple) containing a list of emails, phone numbers or Facebook UIDs OR a Mailchimp login ID (for email subscriber lists) OR a Mobile App ID.

Go your Facebook ads dashboard or Power Editor and look for the Audiences tab.

Custom Audiences on Ads Manager or Power Editor

Then click on the blue 'Create a Custom Audience' button or the green 'Create an Audience' button and select Custom Audience from the dropdown. This will open a modal:

Create a Custom Audience modal screenshot

If you have a CSV to upload select the 1st option. If you want to import a list of emails from Mailchimp select the 2nd option. If you have an app and want to create a Custom Audience from there, select the 3rd option.

The 4th option is for Website Custom Audiences, which we will talk about in another post.

If you click on the first option (Data File Custom Audience), you will see the following screen:

Alt text

Just add a name and a description of the Audience, so you know who is in there, and upload the data file. When you go back to the Audiences tab, you will see your new Custom Audience on the list!

Note: We cannot stress enough the importance that all the data you upload be obtained legally and with consent.

To use Custom Audiences in your ads, just go to Power Editor and add them to your Audience targeting (or exclude them from your targeting):
Audience targeting

Keep in mind that:

  • You will have to manually upload/update the data every time there's a change, to make sure your ads are relevant to the audience (*read below for an alternative)

  • It might take a few hours for Facebook to find everyone in your list

  • Not every email address/phone number in your list might be associated to a Facebook profile

  • The approximate audience size that Facebook shows you is not 100% accurate

  • Facebook doesn't show ads to audiences smaller than 20 people, so you need to have more than that in your Custom Audience for it to work



For Lookalike Audiences

Curious about Lookalikes? Read our [Lookalike Audiences guide] (https://www.driftrock.com/blog/facebook-advertising-guide-lookalike-audiences) to find out how you can create them.


Automated Custom Audiences

*Not that keen on having to manually export your data and upload it to Custom Audiences each time? Then try Flow!

You can automatically sync your customer data segments and email lists with Facebook Custom Audiences - so they are always up to date for your Facebook ads. Straight from your CRM/ESP to Facebook!

Get a demo of Driftrock Flow

12 ideas to supercharge our Marketing with Facebook Custom Audiences