Advertising on Facebook can be an extremely profitable addition to your marketing strategy, but only if you know what you’re doing. You need to have a solid understanding of Facebook’s advertising platform if you want to make the most of your ad spend. One aspect of this advertising platform that many marketers gloss over is the importance of Facebook custom audiences.

If you’re not reaching your target audience on Facebook, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities and probably burning through your ad budget without seeing any results…

Its not about money Its about sending a message

Much of the success you harness when advertising on Facebook is dependent on setting your audiences and account structure correctly. Have you ever walked to your car and realized you don’t have your keys? You know what I’m talking about- you won’t get very far! Here are the tools you’ll want to have in place before following this guide to create Facebook Audiences:

  • Facebook Business Manager
  • Facebook Pixel – You won’t be able to create custom audiences without pixel installed on your website or application.
  • Persona research is recommended, but not necessary.

How Facebook Audiences Work

Audiences allow you to select who sees your ad on Facebook. Considering there are over 2 billion people on Facebook, you’ll want to make sure you show your ads to the right people. Creating and using the right audience will make a colossal impact on your advertising success.

Facebook provides you with different methods of creating an audience. You have three primary audience types to choose from:

Facebook Saved Audiences

What is a Facebook Saved Audience?

A Saved Audience is a group of Facebook users that match criteria that you specify. Facebook offers an extensive list of options for you to choose from.

In 2016, Facebook released a statement describing how they track over 98 personal data points for targeting users with ads.They get their data from third-party users and the information its users provide them. That’s right, what’s on your profile, newsfeeds, and messages are used to make ads more relevant to you.

This information provides you with several attractive ways to target prospective customers. As you can imagine, all these options can become overwhelming, so here are some of the options that Facebook offers.

Saved Audiences take advantage of the data we mention above allowing you to target users based on the following:

Location

You can target ads to users in locations around the world. This includes specific countries, states, or even within mile radiuses. In 2017, Facebook reported that 79& of all Americans use Facebook. This means that no matter where you’re from, you’ll have people to advertise to.

Age

You can target ads to users who are at a particular age or age range. If you aren’t sure who your target audience is, it may be helpful to start out broad. Then you can narrow down your age range from the results.

Gender

You can target ads to men, women, or both men and women. However, don’t be hasty in targeting only one gender. Wait until you have data to work with before exclusively targeting male or female.

Remember that electric razor your girlfriend bought you last year for Valentine’s day even though you forgot to get her anything? Seeing an ad for roses would’ve been useful last year. The lesson here is even if you sell gender-specific products or services, you’ll want to test gender targeting first.

Language

Facebook is available in over 100 languages, and you can target ads to users based on the language they speak. Just don’t forget to write your ads accordingly!

Detailed Targeting

This is where you will spend most of your time with Saved Audiences. You can target users based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.

You are given three categories of targeting criteria: Demographics, Interests, and Behaviors. Each category contains several secondary categories and a greater number of tertiary categories that follow.

Connections

You can target or exclude users that like your page, use your app, or respond to your events. This is especially useful when creating ads for the purpose of gaining more likes or attracting engagement from new users.

Creating a Saved Audience

Step 1

Open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. From the menu below, select Audiences to begin creating your Facebook Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button, and select Saved Audience from the drop-down options.

Facebook Create A Saved Audience

Step 3

Select who you want to include in this audience using the options provided. It’s a good idea to create several variations of the audience you have in mind. Typically, I create between three and five variations to test against each other later on.

Creating A Saved Audience

Step 4

Name your audience and save it using the create audience button in the bottom right corner. I recommend naming the audience last to make sure you use a name that directly corresponds to the targeting options you’ve selected.

Create a Saved Audience in Facebook

How to Use Your Facebook Saved Audiences

The primary purpose of a Saved Audience is to assist in the creation of Custom Audiences. It’s essential for you to understand how a customer journey takes place before you begin using your audience. We’ve covered buyer journeys and traffic temperatures extensively in a separate article.

Saved Audiences are made up of people who, for the most part, are unfamiliar with your brand. This means the traffic from ads using Saved Audiences are unlikely to be high-level converters. They’re not likely to buy your product, request a demo, etc.

Instead, it’s best to use Saved Audiences at the top of your marketing funnel. Start testing different configurations of targeting criteria right away. Try to narrow in on the best performing audiences as soon as possible.

Using Saved Audiences to Promote Content and Attract New Visitors

Promoting blog articles with Facebook ads is an excellent way to drive quality traffic to your website. When you create ads promoting blog articles, you attract readers who are interested in the topic of your article. Also, you filter out those users who are uninterested. As a result, you upgrade the quality and increase the size of your remarketing audience. (Don’t worry, we’ll explain remarketing in the Custom Audiences section).

If you see success with promoted articles, try gradually increasing the heat. Instead of creating an ad for a blog article, try promoting a free guide, checklist, or other downloadable content. The more you can squeeze out of your Saved Audiences, the better.

Testing and Improving Your Facebook Saved Audiences

Although it may seem like Saved Audiences are a means to an end, you shouldn’t cut any corners. Having a high-quality Saved Audience at the beginning of your advertising journey will affect the results you get later on.

If you want to get more traction from your Saved Audiences, you’ll need to put Facebook’s split testing feature to the test (pun intended). Split testing allows you to compare the performance of your audiences side by side.

You may want to run more than one split test with different ads and objectives before making a decision. Facebook will tell you which audience won automatically after the test is complete. You’ll also be able to review the breakdown of the winning ad set manually.

After the results are in, you can use the best performing audience in future ads. Basically, split testing will help you create a better Saved Audience. That means cheaper costs per click, more site visitors, and better Custom Audiences.

Split Testing Your Facebook Saved Audiences

Step 1

Open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner and navigate to the Ads Manager.

Facebook Audiences Ads Manager

Step 2

Navigate to the “Create Campaign” button and click on it to begin building your new campaign.

Facebook Audiences Create Campaign

Step 3

Select traffic as your objective, and be sure to check the box at the bottom labeled “Create Split Test”. Name your new campaign and click the blue “Continue” button.

Split Test a Saved Audience in Facebook

Step 4

In the Variable section use the dropdown to select “Audience.”

Facebook Split Test Audiences

Step 5

You will have a lot of options to choose from on the next page. The most important part is selecting the audiences you wish to compare using the dropdowns in each section. It defaults to two audiences but gives you the option to add more by clicking “Test Another Ad Set”. Each ad set is labeled from A – E allowing you to test up to five different audiences at once.

Facebook Split Testing Audiences

It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

I know what you’re saying, and you’re right.

The data Facebook uses isn’t always accurate, and that’s just one of the reasons you can’t rely solely on saved audiences. Custom and Lookalike Audiences will almost always get better results for less. But unless you’re already getting thousands of site visitors, you’ll need Saved Audiences to attract new prospects.

Facebook Custom Audiences

What is a Facebook Custom Audience?

A Custom Audience is a group of Facebook users who have already interacted with your brand. They’ll have visited your website, liked your page, subscribed to your blog, etc. This means the ads you show a Custom Audience are more likely to reach prospects who are already thinking about your product and services. Sometimes, all a consumer needs is a little refresher of what you offer.

Custom Audiences can also be used to retarget your ads with a personalized approach; this is referred to as remarketing. Considering that 30% of users have a positive reaction to remarketing, you’ll probably see the best results from these audiences. We’ve written a full article on Facebook Remarketing here.

Finally, Custom Audiences should be aimed at higher level conversions than Lookalike and Saved Audience types. Since Custom Audiences contain users with high intent levels, they can be used to promote high threat offers like purchases. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and each type of Custom Audience serves its own specific purpose.

You have several types of Custom Audiences to choose from:

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience from a Customer File

You can upload a list of emails from your customer list that has willing provided you with their contact information. Facebook then uses the information you provide for each contact to match your subscriber to the corresponding Facebook user.

For example, you could export all of the contacts in your CRM or email marketing software and upload them to Facebook. Then you can create a custom audience consisting of only those contacts.

If you have a large enough customer list, try separating your customer list into a few different categories. The more specific you are when doing this, the more luck you will have when creating specific retargeting campaigns.

Step 1

To begin creating a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, and click on the menu in the upper left corner. Navigate to the Assets column, and select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience. Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 7

Step 2

Click on the first option on the list titled “Customer File.”

Facebook Custom Audience Customer List

Step 3

Choose the method to you upload your customer data to Facebook. You can choose to import data from MailChimp or upload your file. For this example, we select “Add customers from your file or copy and paste data.”

Step 4

Now you have a few different options to choose from. You may copy and paste the information of each contact, or you can upload your customer file in .csv format. After you’ve pasted or uploaded your customer file, click the blue “Next” button to continue.

Facebook Custom Audience Upload Email List

Step 5

Before populating your audience using the data you’ve entered Facebook gives you the opportunity to double check the data mapping. This tells Facebook how to use the data you’ve provided. Use the drop-down menus to ensure that each field correctly describes the data in its corresponding column.

Step 6

Finally, you click the blue button titled “Upload & Create” in the bottom right-hand corner of the window. Facebook organizes your data and matches it with users. All of the matching users are placed into your custom audience.

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience from Website Traffic

You can market to website visitors who’ve visited your site or individual pages on the site within a given timeframe. For example, you could create an audience that includes everyone who has visited your website in the last 30 days. You can make use of the any or all conditions to set multiple requirements or exclude users from the audience who’ve performed specific actions.

For example, you could create an audience consisting of users who visited the blog page or downloaded the eBook. Then you can exclude visitors who purchased a product from the website.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience, open Facebook Business Manager, and click on the menu in the upper left corner. Navigate to the Assets column, and select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 1

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 9

Step 3

Click on the second option on the list titled “Website Traffic.”

Facebook Custom Audience Website Traffic

Step 4

Decide whether your audience must meet one or all of the conditions you set. For this example, we select “All” from the drop-down.

Facebook Website Visitors Custom Audience

Step 5

Select which visitors you want to be included in your audience using the drop-down. You can include anyone who has visited your website, visitors that only viewed individual pages or a combination of pages. Now enter a timeframe in the past 1 to 180 days.

For example, we select “All website visitors” from the drop-down and leave the default past number of days at 30.

All Website Visitors Facebook Custom Audience

Step 6

Now it’s time to name your audience. Remember to name the audience based on the specifications you’ve chosen. Otherwise you may forget when it’s time to use the audience. For this example, we name the audience “All Website Visitors – Past 30 Days”.

Step 7

Finally, you click the blue button titled “Create Audience.” That’s it; now Facebook automatically updates this audience with users that have visited your website in the past 30 days.

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience from App Activity

If you’ve registered an App, you can create an audience consisting of Facebook users that have completed specific app events. You can select from the premade events or create your custom events and specify a timeframe.

For example, you can include people who have opened your app, achieved a level, added payment information, made an in-app purchase, or completed a tutorial. Using the ‘any or all conditions’ option, you also can group these events and choose what needs to be completed. Similarly, you can exclude users from the audience who’ve performed any of these actions.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 5

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 1

Step 3

Click on the third option on the list titled “App Activity.”

Facebook App Activity Custom Audience

Step 4

Name your audience and choose which app you want Facebook to use when creating your audience. Only apps that you have registered with your account will be available for you to select using the dropdown.

Facebook Custom Audience App Activity

Step 5

Decide who is included in your audience based on actions taken or actions not taken. You can include or exclude based on custom actions you’ve specified.

Step 6

Finally, you click the blue button titled “Create Audience.” Now Facebook automatically updates this audience with users that have interacted with your app during the timeframes you specify.

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience from Offline Activity

Not too long ago, it was almost impossible to track who interacted with your business or purchase products and services if they did so offline. Offline Activity is a reasonably new feature allows you to sync in-store POS data or CRM data with Facebook and create a Custom Audience consisting of users that interacted with your brand offline within a given timeframe. For example, if the data allowed, you could create an audience that includes only patients who’ve been to your dental office for a root canal in the last thirty days.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 4

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 4

Step 3

Click on the fourth option on the list titled “Offline Activity.”

Facebook Offline Activity Custom Audience

Step 4

Select “People who interacted offline” from the drop-down. Next, enter a timeframe in the past 1 to 180 days. Remember that Facebook uses data you’ve uploaded and you are responsible for the accuracy of that data.

Facebook Custom Audience Offline Activity

Step 5

Next, it’s time to name your audience. Remember to name the audience based on the specifications you’ve chosen otherwise you may forget when it’s time to use the audience. For this example, we name the audience “New Patients – Past 30 Days”.

Custom Facebook Audience Offline Activity

Step 6

Finally, you click the blue button titled “Create Audience.” That’s it; now Facebook automatically updates this audience with users that have interacted with your app during the timeframes you specify.

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience Targeting Video Engagement

You can create an audience that consists of Facebook users that have interacted with your Facebook page, Instagram Page, or any of the posts on those pages within a given timeframe. Then you can narrow the audience further by specifying what action the user took, how long they viewed your video if they filled out a form, etc. For example, you could create an audience that only consists of users who viewed your video for at least 10 seconds. You can also make use of the any or all conditions to set multiple conditions that must be met and exclude users from the audience who’ve performed specific actions.

Videos get more engagement than any other type of post on Facebook despite only making up 3% of the content. This means putting video to use in your ads can make you stand out and contribute to better overall results. More importantly, you can target users who have viewed your videos and remarket to them.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 2

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 6

Step 3

Click on the fifth and final option on the list titled “Engagement.” This opens a new window with six types of engagement options to choose.

Custom Facebook Audience Engagement

Step 4

Select the first option on the list titled “Video.”

Custom Facebook Audience Video Engagement

Step 5

Click “Browse” and use the list to decide whom you want to include in your audience based on how long they viewed the video either by the number of seconds or the percentage watched.

Video Engagement Custom Facebook Audience

Step 6

Use the dropdown menu to select the page that contains the video or videos you want to use for this audience. After you select a page videos for each page will appear in the list below. You must have access to the facebook page containing the video for it to appear on the list.

Select Facebook Page Video Engagement Custom Audience

Step 7

Use the checkbox to the left of each video to select it for use in your audience. Videos that are selected will now appear in the “Selected Videos” column.

Video Engagement Custom Audience Select Video

Step 8

Specify a timeframe that these events must have occurred in the past 1 to 365 days. Finally, name your audience and click the blue “Create Audience” button.

Facebook Video Engagement Custom Audience

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience Targeting Lead Forms Engagement

If you are using Facebook lead forms you can retarget anyone who engages with your form. Since a lead form presents a high threat level in comparison to other forms of engagement it’s safe to assume that users who’ve toyed with the idea of contacting you via your form are highly interested.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 9

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 3

Step 3

Click on the fifth and final option on the list titled “Engagement.” This opens a new window with six types of engagement options to choose.

Custom Facebook Audience Engagement 5

Step 4

Select the second option on the list titled “Lead form.”

Custom Facebook Audience Lead Form Engagement

Step 5

Use the drop-down to select whom you want to include in your audience. You can choose from anyone who’s opened the form, people who’ve opened but didn’t submit the form, or only people who’ve opened and submitted the form. Next, specify a timeframe that these events must have occurred in the past 1 to 90 days.

Lead Form Custom Engagement Facebook Audience

Step 6

Use the dropdown menu to select the Facebook page that contains the form or forms you want to use for this audience. You must have access to the facebook page containing the forms for it to appear on the list.

Lead Form from Facebook Page Custom Facebook Audience

Step 7

Use the drop-down to select a specific form that users must interact with to be included in your audience. You must have already created an ad using lead forms on the Facebook page you’ve chosen for the form to appear in the list. Here is Facebook’s official guide to creating Lead Form ads.

Lead Form Engagement Custom Facebook Audience

Step 8

Name your audience and click the blue “Create Audience” button.

Facebook Page Form Submissions Custom Facebook Audience

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience Targeting Full-Screen Experience Engagement

If you’re using Fullscreen Experience ads you can target users by their interactions with your canvas. Since this is a fairly new feature you’re not given too many choices, but you can count on Facebook adding a lot more depth to the retargeting options in the near future.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 7

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 8

Step 3

Click on the fifth and final option on the list titled “Engagement.” This opens a new window with six types of engagement options to choose.

Custom Facebook Audience Engagement 4

Step 4

Select the third option on the list titled “Fullscreen Experience.”

Custom Facebook Audience Full Screen Experience Engagement

Step 5

Use the drop-down to select whom you want to include in your audience based on their interactions with your canvas. You can choose from all the people who opened your canvas or only those who clicked links in your canvas. Now specify a timeframe that these events must have occurred in the past 1 to 365 days.

Lead Form Custom Engagement Facebook Audience 2

Step 6

Select the page containing your canvas, then click “select specific canvas” to choose which canvas users have to interact with to be included in your audience.

Full Screen Custom Engagement Audience

Step 7

Finally, name your audience and click the blue “Create Audience” button.

Facebook Full Screen Engagement Audience

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience Targeting Facebook Page Engagement

Custom Facebook page audiences are targeting users based on what interactions they’ve had with your page. Although there are many uses for Facebook page audiences, this audience type can be especially helpful if you have a large following on Facebook. Then you can target people who’ve interacted with your organic posts to incentivize them to buy.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 6

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 5

Step 3

Click on the fifth and final option on the list titled “Engagement.” This opens a new window with six types of engagement options to choose.

Custom Facebook Audience Engagement 2

Step 4

Select the fourth option on the list titled “Facebook Page.”

Custom Audience Facebook Page Engagement

Step 5

Use the drop-down to include anyone who has interacted with your page, posts, or items. Check out all the options Facebook offers. Then specify a timeframe that these events must have occurred in the past 1 to 365 days.

Lead Form Custom Engagement Facebook Audience 1

Step 6

Finally, name your audience and click the blue “Create Audience” button.

Facebook Page Visitors Custom Audience

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience Targeting Instagram Business Profile Engagement

If you want to show your ads on Instagram, this audience type is a must. Facebook provides you with several different ways to target users that have interacted with your Instagram profile. This Custom Audience type is absolutely necessary if you want to improve your ad performance on Instagram.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 8

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook

Step 3

Click on the fifth and final option on the list titled “Engagement.” This opens a new window with six types of engagement options to choose.

Custom Facebook Audience Engagement 3

Step 4

Select the fifth option on the list titled “Instagram business profile.”

Instagram Custom Audience

Step 5

Use the drop-down tab to select the Instagram account you want to use for this audience. The Instagram account must be linked to your Facebook page. You also must manage the page in your business manager account as well. You can read Instagrams official guide to linking your Facebook and Instagram account here.

Instagram business profile Custom Audience

Step 6

Use the dropdown to decide who will be included in your audience. You can choose from everyone who visited your profile, to people who saved your post or ad and more.

Engagement Instagram business profile Custom Audience

Step 7

Set a timeframe that these events must have occurred in the past 1 to 365 days and name your audience Finally, click the blue “Create Audience” button.

Instagram Engagement Custom Audience

Creating a Facebook Custom Audience Targeting Event Engagement

The Event Engagement audience type allows you to target users that attended your event. Use this audience to show ads to the users that attended your last event. There’s probably a good chance they’ll come to the next one.

Step 1

To create a Facebook Custom Audience open Facebook Business Manager, click on the menu in the upper left corner, and navigate to the Assets column. Select Audiences from the menu below to begin creating your Facebook Custom Audience.

Facebook Audiences Business Manager 3

Step 2

Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Custom Audience in Facebook 2

Step 3

Click on the fifth and final option on the list titled “Engagement.” This opens a new window with six types of engagement options to choose.

Custom Facebook Audience Engagement 1

Step 4

Select the sixth and final option on the list titled “Event.”

Event Engagement Custom Audience

Step 5

Use the dropdown to select whom you want to include in your audience based on their interactions with your events. Then specify a timeframe that these events must have occurred in the past 1 to 365 days.

Facebook Event Engagement Custom Audience

Step 6

Select the page containing your events, then click “select specific events” to choose which events users have to interact with to be included in your audience.

Facebook Custom Audience Event Engagement

Step 7

Finally, name your audience and click the blue “Create Audience” button.

Event Engagement Custom Facebook Audience

Using Your Facebook Custom Audiences To Generate More Leads and Sales

Custom Audiences are more likely to convert than their Saved and Lookalike counterparts. That doesn’t mean all Custom Audiences are created equal. To get the best results you will need to create several different Custom Audiences with different intent levels and expectations. This will allow you to serve more relevant ads to users based on where they are in the marketing funnel.

You may want to test the same offer using two different variations of your Custom Audience. Start broad using a Facebook custom audience of all website visitors. Try the past 90 days and then run the same offer with all website visitors in the past 30 days. Now you can choose the best performing audience for continued use in your ads.

Identify High Priority Custom Audiences

Be mindful of which Custom Audiences are likely to be high-level converters. Users that visit your site once and leave after a few seconds are less likely to convert than a repeat site visitor. Especially if they’ve read several blog articles and downloaded one of your lead offers.

If you’ve used Lookalike and Saved Audiences to drive traffic to your blog, then you may want to create a Custom Audience of any user who’s visited your blog and show them ads for similar articles on your blog.

Then create ads for your lead offer using the third audience. Include only visitors who’ve read two or more articles of your choosing. Finally, you could use a Facebook Custom Audience containing only visitors who viewed your lead offer landing page to drive your highest priority conversions (i.e., buy your product, request a demo, contact you for a quote, etc.). Remember the more interactions a user has had with your brand, the more likely they are to convert when presented with a direct offer.

These examples may or may not work perfectly for everyone so as always test everything and find out what works for you. It helps if you create all your Custom Audiences first, so you have a good arsenal to work with when you dive into creating and testing your ads. This also speeds up the process so you aren’t waiting for audiences to populate or going back and forth between creating ads and audiences.

Advanced Options

As you can see, there are many ways to create Custom Audiences. Most have a lot potential right out of the box. If you want to take it a step further, here are a few expert tips and tricks to make your custom audiences even more effective.

Pay attention to the “Any” and “All” options. If you want to narrow your Custom Audience, then you want to use the “All” setting. If you’re trying to include anyone who meets your specified criteria, then make use of the “Any” setting. This is especially useful if your strategy includes a clear funnel or path that you want to walk prospects through.

Use the “Include More” and “Exclude” feature when creating Custom Audiences. These commonly overlooked settings can save you a lot of money. Exclude is especially helpful when creating audiences for remarketing purposes. You probably don’t want to continue showing the same ad to a user who’s already converted, right? It depends on the type of Custom Audience you’re creating, but most of the time you can eliminate this problem. Use the “Exclude” feature to remove users that have visited a specific page or performed a specific action.

Bonus Tip:

Similarly, you can use both of these features in tandem to create audiences that serve concrete goals. You could create an audience designed to show a different ad to users based their last visit. For example, you can use the “ALL” option, select website visitors in the past 90 days, then exclude visitors in the past thirty days.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

A Lookalike Audience is a group of Facebook users similar to the users in a Facebook Custom Audience. This means having a handful of Facebook Custom Audiences already made is required before you can begin creating Lookalike Audiences. Luckily, creating a Lookalike Audience is relatively simple compared to the other audience types we’ve discussed. You can create Lookalike Audiences in a few seconds. Keep in mind, Facebook may take up to 24 hours to populate the audience.

You can use Lookalike Audiences to reach new prospects who are similar to your very best customers. This is one of the best ways to reach your target audience before they’ve heard of your brand. Facebook gathers information about the users in your Custom Audience and uses it to find other users who are most like them. For this reason, Lookalike Audiences typically perform better than Saved Audiences.

Although users in this audience have higher intent than a Saved Audience, they are still a cold audience. That’s because it’s made up of people who are unlikely to make high-level conversions. You’ll want to start with non-threatening ads and gradually crank up the heat until you find the right temperature.

Setting Things Up For Success

Before you dive into creating Lookalike Audiences you’ll want to have all your Custom Audiences ready to go. This will save you a lot of time. After creating a Facebook custom audience you’ll have the option to create a Lookalike Audience with it. Finally, be sure you’ve created Custom Audiences of your most valuable customers they will most likely make the best performing Lookalike Audiences.

Creating a Facebook Lookalike Audience

Step 1

Open Facebook Business Manager and click on the menu in the upper left corner. Then navigate to the Assets column, and select Audiences from the menu below. Now you can begin creating your Facebook Audience. Click on the blue “Create Audience” button and select Lookalike Audience from the drop-down options.

Creating a Lookalike Audience in Facebook

Step 2

Choose a location for your audience and select the Page or Custom Audience you wish to base your Lookalike Audience on using the source field.

Facebook Lookalike Audience

Step 3

Use the slider at the bottom of the window to define a percentage. You can choose from 1% – 10% of the population. This will select people who closely match your source audience with 1% being the most similar. Remember the larger you make your audience the less they will resemble your Custom Audience.

Facebook Lookalike Audience Percentage

Step 4

Finally, click the blue “Create Audience” button. Your audience is named automatically according to the Audience it originates from. However, you’re given the option to customize the name later.

How to Use A Facebook Lookalike Audience

Much like a Saved Audience, you can use a Lookalike Audience to reach new prospects. You can also use Lookalike Audiences to test more intimidating offers. When presented with offers that pose a higher threat Lookalike Audiences are more likely to convert. It’s still a good idea to start with a free downloadable guide, eBook, etc. and gradually turn up the heat.

You can also use Lookalike Audiences in different stages of your funnel to lower your cost and improve your results. For example, you can create a Lookalike Audience similar to visitors who viewed your blog articles. Then use it to promote your next article.

The technique mentioned above applies across the entire marketing funnel and often lowers your cost per acquisition. This means you can make a Lookalike Audience similar to users who downloaded your eBook. Then use that audience to promote your next eBook. After that, create a remarketing audience with these users. Now you’ll have a better chance of selling your product or service.

Hybrid Facebook Audience Types

You can combine most of the audiences we’ve mentioned to create even more advanced targeting. You can blend Saved Audience specifications to narrow down your Custom or Lookalike Audiences before using them in an Adset. Keep in mind this won’t expand your Custom Audience. It acts as a second form of filtering to only include users in your Custom Audience. It also ensures they meet the specifications you set in your Saved Audience.

If your business only offers products or services locally, you could use the locations drop-down to eliminate users in your Custom Audience who don’t live near your business. You could only include users in your Custom Audience who meet your target income requirements or any of the other detailed targeting choices available.

You can also combine more than one Custom Audience. This can lead to better results and avoid bothering customers that have already converted. For example, if your goal is to get more users signed on to your SaaS platform, but you don’t want to waste ad spend showing your ads to current customers then you could upload your customer list and exclude them from your audience. This also works to remove users in Custom Audiences from your Lookalike Audiences.

Facebook Audiences In Conclusion

I know that your mind is completely blown, but give yourself a pat on the back. You’re ready to build some high-performing Facebook audiences! Combine these with a rock solid Facebook ad strategy and you’ll reach your goals in no time!

If you think there is anything we missed, let us know, and we’ll consider adding it to the guide.

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luke heinecke

Luke Heinecke

Founder/CEO

Luke is in love with all things digital marketing. He’s obsessed with PPC, landing page design, and conversion rate optimization. Luke claims he “doesn’t even lift,” but he looks more like a professional bodybuilder than a PPC nerd. He says all he needs is a pair of glasses to fix that. We’ll let you be the judge.

luke heinecke

Luke Heinecke

Founder/CEO

Luke is in love with all things digital marketing. He’s obsessed with PPC, landing page design, and conversion rate optimization. Luke claims he “doesn’t even lift,” but he looks more like a professional bodybuilder than a PPC nerd. He says all he needs is a pair of glasses to fix that. We’ll let you be the judge.