What’s a Website Custom Audience and How Does It Help You Connect with The Right Customers?

February 9, 2018 Natalie Russo

With over 21 million Canadian users on the platform, Facebook is a smart place to find your customers and biggest fans. The social media website offers small businesses lots of ways to reach potential customers either through organic (free) page posts or via their advertising tools.

It might seem daunting at first to use their advertising tools but Facebook makes it easy to promote your business. Some of the simple ways to get started with advertising on social media are Boosted Posts and Page Like ads. If you’ve already mastered these types of ads, you’ll want to try your hand at more advanced ways of reaching your audience. One of the most common ways to do that is with a Custom Audience.

What is a Custom Audience?

A Custom Audience is a way for you to target Facebook ads to specific users on Facebook. What’s really special is that it allows you to build a list of people from your customer contact list, website visitors or mobile app users. This means that you can send ads to people who already know about your business.

Why use a Custom Audience?

As marketers we know that it takes multiple exposures of your business before someone is comfortable and ready to purchase from you. When you use a Custom Audience you put your brand in front of someone again – helping to build trust. This is powerful in that you can improve your sales by bringing past website visitors or customers back to your website to make a purchase.

How it works

There are two ways to go about creating a Custom Audience, and they’re both easy to set up. Whichever method you use, both ways of building a Custom Audience require you to import a list to Facebook. You can import a list by either uploading a CSV file or by placing some JavaScript code on your website so that Facebook can build a list from people who have visited your website recently. In either case, Facebook will take a look at the imported list and match the values to its own user database. Any matches that are found will be added to your Custom Audience.

Create your first Custom Audience

Before you create an ad that uses a Custom Audience you first need to build your list. The setup is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Go to your Audience tab in Ads Manager.

2. Click Tools and then choose Audiences.

3. Click Create Audience in the top left.

4. Select Custom Audience.

5. Click Website Traffic.

6. Set your parameters, give your Custom Audience a name and click Create Audience.

If you’re more of a visual learner, Facebook has an easy to follow video on how to do this.

Ways to use a Custom Audience

Once you have your Custom Audience set up, there are a number of creative ways to use it to your advantage.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Target cart abandoners
  • Upsell current customers
  • Cross-sell current customers
  • Remind people about a renewal
  • Share related articles
  • Inform visitors of a sale
  • Create awareness of a new product feature

More advanced ways to target your audience

Custom Audiences are just one way to reach your customers. To take full advantage of Facebook and its massive reach, it’s wise to learn how best to target your audience. 

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