The is the most comprehensive guide to creating custom audiences on the Facebook ads platform.
In this new and updated guide, you’ll learn all the tips and techniques we use when we create our own audiences.
Furthermore, you’ll gain an understanding of why the Facebook ads platform is so powerful and unique.
Let’s dive right in:
What are Custom Audiences?
Facebook creates these audiences based on interactions that were shared via the Facebook Pixel.
Installing the Facebook Pixel onto your website and understanding it is an essential part of running Facebook ads and creating custom audiences.
Please check out our Facebook Pixel guide if you are unfamiliar with it.
As far as Pixel interactions go, some examples include Facebook users who have interacted with your advertisement, page, or website.
For example, you could create a custom audience of all the people who have purchased something on your ecommerce store in the past 90 days.
Another example is you could create a custom audience of all the users who have visited your website in the past 180 days.
You get the picture.
Using custom audiences is an extremely powerful way to generate more sales and find new customers.
Now that you understand what custom audiences are, let’s talk about what they are used for.
What are Custom Audiences used for?
There are 2 main ways to utilize custom audiences on the Facebook ads platform. The first way is an essential method of advertising called retargeting. The second way is creating lookalike audiences, a unique and innovate way to target new customers.
Let’s discuss both.
Facebook Ads – Retargeting
We have already wrote an in-depth guide to retargeting ads on Facebook, but we’ll give you a brief summary here.
Retargeting is when you specifically advertise to people who have already seen your advertisement, product, or website.
This method of advertising is extremely effective because most online shoppers won’t purchase something the first time they visit your store.
For various reasons, whether they don’t trust your brand or hesitated to pull the trigger on a purchase, it may take some familiarization before they actually complete the conversion.
By advertising to people who have already seen your business, you remind them of your brand and give them a chance to come back.
Here’s an example of one of our successful retargeting campaigns.
How does retargeting work?
Let’s walk through an example of the steps on how retargeting advertisements work.
- You run normal Facebook advertisements to your dropshipping store targeting cold audiences.
- There’s some success, but you realize that a lot of users are adding products to their cart and not completing the checkout.
- Next, you remembered what retargeting ads are from Verum Ecom and decide to try them yourself.
- You create a custom audience of users who have added to cart (ATC), but didn’t checkout.
- After that, you create a brand new advertisement offering an additional 10% off coupon code.
- Then, you use this new advertisement and only target the custom audience you just made.
- After running the retargeting ads for a week, you notice that the ads are generating a lot of sales and were effective.
As you can see, this is a glimpse of how retargeting ads work. You are able to pinpoint everybody that’s interacted with your brand and create a fresh advertisement to bring them back to your store. Furthermore, you can see how powerful Facebook’s custom audiences tool is.
Let’s move on to lookalike audiences.
Facebook Ads – Lookalike Audiences
The second way you can utilize your custom audiences is by creating lookalike audiences.
Lookalike audiences are unique to the Facebook ads platform and is one of the reasons why advertisers say Facebook is the most advanced advertising platform.
Simply explained, lookalike audiences take the information of users inside your custom audience and finds other users on Facebook that share the same characteristics.
Lookalike audiences are used as a way to find new high potential customers.
Rather than targeting cold audiences, you can use lookalike audiences to find users who share common traits with your current customers.
Facebook takes everything into account when finding these new users.
Their age, gender, location, pages they like, posts they’ve shared, etc.
Let’s walk through an example.
Lookalike Audiences – Example
For example, let’s say you had an online dropshipping store selling fitness apparel and have been running the store for 3 months.
Based on your ad performance, you realize that your sales have been consistent and you want to scale your revenue higher.
A great strategy to do this is by using lookalike audiences.
You head to your Facebook ads manager and create a custom audience of everyone who’s purchased an item in the past 90 days.
Next, you use that custom audience to create a lookalike audience of 2 million users.
This lookalike audience will be made up of unique Facebook users who share the most similar characteristics of your current customers.
Now, you create a new ad campaign targeting the lookalike audience you just created.
Rather than testing random interests related to fitness, you can use lookalike audiences on your store to find new users who “look like” your current customers.
How to Create Custom Audiences
Now that you fully understand what custom audiences are and why they are so important in the big picture of online advertising, let’s discuss how to create them.
The first step is to head over to your Facebook Business Manager.
If you don’t have one already, you will need to create a business manager along with an ad account.
Furthermore, you will need run advertisements for a few weeks before being able to create effective custom audiences. The custom audiences rely on data from the users who have already interacted with your advertisements and website.
Next, you’ll want to select your ad account and then click ‘Audiences’ on the left-hand side.
Afterwards, select ‘Create Audience’.
Once you’re in the audience creation stage, you’ll see a variety of different sources you can pull data from.
Depending on the type of business you’re running, you can test a slew of different sources to find the most optimal one.
For dropshipping ecommerce stores, we recommend choosing ‘Website’ for your first custom audiences.
‘Website’ allows you to find users who have visited your website already.
You can then filter the different customers based on: all website visitors, page view, added to cart, checkout initiated, purchased, etc.
In this example, we have selected to build a custom audience of all website visitors in the past 180 days. Facebook allows you to use up to the past 180 days of user data.
So based on our advertising goals, we’ll make different custom audiences with 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and 180 days of user data.
Once you have selected your filters, click ‘Create Audience’.
It may take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes for your audience to be fully populated and ready for use.
With your custom audience(s) created, the next step is to put them into action.
Either for retargeting or creating lookalike audiences, these custom audiences will be key for taking your business to the next level.
Custom Audience Examples
Now, we’ll walk you through our most effect custom audiences and what we use them for.
For retargeting we exclusively use ‘Website’ as the source of your custom audience.
Then, we use either the past 7 days or 30 days.
Afterwards, we include everyone who’s ‘Added to Cart’. Then, we ‘Exclude’ people who have ‘Purchased’.
There’s an option when creating custom audience that allows you to ‘Exclude People’.
Excluding the users who have already purchased something is important because you don’t want to spend marketing dollars on retargeting past consumers. Your goal is to convince shoppers who haven’t purchased anything to come back.
Finding the most optimal lookalike audience will require a bit more testing on your end.
However, once you do find your best lookalike audience, the payoff will be well worth it.
These are our best performers:
- Website Purchasers – 180 days – 1 to 3%
- Video Views > 90% – 180 days – 1 to 3%
- Add to Cart – 180 days – 1 to 3%
- Ad Engagement – 90 days – 1 to 3%
Now It’s Your Turn
This concludes our guide to creating custom audiences on the Facebook ads platform. At this point, you should have all the knowledge needed to create your own audiences.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.
Learning the Facebook ads platform takes patience and endurance. By constantly testing all the offered features and experimenting with different audiences, your decision making will become more intuitive and optimal.
Focus on your goals and learning as much as possible.