Facebook Ads Custom Audiences

Table of Contents

If you are using Facebook ads to reach leads and current customers, then you probably already know how valuable custom audiences are for retargeting your ideal buyers. While you may already be familiar with custom audiences created from website visitors or your email subscriber list, there are many other audiences that you can target on Facebook to reach even more prospects.


Below, we’ll talk about six creative ways to use Facebook ad custom audiences to target consumers who are most likely to be interested in your brand:

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences – 1. Target people who have interacted with your lead form

Lead generation ads have been available in the Facebook ad platform for a couple of years now, and many brands are finding that they are an effective way to gain new lead contact information. When users click on these ads on their desktop or mobile device, the ad shows a lead form that has already been filled out with information based on Facebook’s database. Users who see this lead ad have interacted in some way with your brand’s original ad. Facebook then allows you to reach back out to these consumers with the lead ad based on their initial interaction with the original ad.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences - Target people with lead form

Using this ad targeting feature, you can retarget those who have interacted with your lead ad on Facebook or Instagram. Companies can create audiences based on those who have opened the form by clicking on the ad, including both those who opened the form but didn’t submit and those who opened the form and submitted it.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences - ad targeting feature

For maximum impact, make sure that you are creating your ad campaign content based on the action that the user took. For instance, for those who opened the form and didn’t submit it, you might develop retargeting ads that bring them back to you site to get more information.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences – 2. Reach out to those who have watched your videos on Facebook

If you are publishing video content on Facebook, then you also have the option of retargeting those users who have interacted with your Facebook videos. This hidden custom audience option allows you to target viewers who have watched certain percentages of your video or have watched your brand video for a specific amount of time.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences - Retargeting

You can choose the video that you’d like to base your campaign on as well as the amount of viewing time you want to target. If you want to target multiple groups, you can also select different videos with multiple criteria.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences - target multiple groups

When retargeting video viewers, you will want to consider the content of the video when developing your ad campaign. For instance, if the video that you are basing your campaign on is a product video then you will want to deliver ad content around this product. If it is a more general video about your brand, you may want to deliver ad content that brings users back to your site or provides additional information about your company.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences – 3. Retarget your blog readers

When you think about retargeting people with Facebook ad custom audiences, you may have skipped over this important audience. However, retargeting blog readers can help you re-engage an audience that has already proven to be invested in your brand’s content. Brands often bring qualified buyers to their blogs through the search engines, but if these consumers are never nurtured, they may never return again after that initial blog visit.

This is where Facebook ads come into play. Your company can use targeted Facebook ads to help you reach back out to those who have visited your blog with new content and relevant offers.

You may be wondering why you would pay Facebook to distribute new blog content to your readers when you can just post it to your own Facebook page. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that Facebook organic reach for businesses has significantly decreased over time.  Facebook announced in July 2016  that they would be making the News Feed more friend and family-centric, which is code for decreasing organic reach for businesses. In fact, one study found that businesses may only  reach between 2 to 4% of their followers  through organic content. This means that if you want to reach back out to blog readers and deliver new articles and content on Facebook, you will need to use paid promotion.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences - Retarget your blog readers

To get started retargeting your blog readers, you can create a custom audience of all the people who have visited your blog’s domain. If you have several subtopics on your blog, you may want to create separate Facebook custom audiences for the people who are interested in each of the blog topics. This can help you deliver more targeted content to users, which can provide higher click-through rates as you already know that the users are interested in the topics discussed. 

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences – 4. Target users who have engaged with one of your events

This is another new targeting option that can help you re-engage with those who have already shown interest in your brand through events. Whether you have hosted a free online webinar or just held your grand opening event, your business can take advantage of this targeting option to reach back out to users who have interacted with your Facebook event page. For this custom audience feature, you will choose the specific event that you want to create your audience around and then target users who have marked themselves “attending” or “interested.”

When using this targeting feature, you will want to consider who you are targeting and what type of ad content or offer will best appeal to them. For those who have said they are “interested” in the event, you might deliver ad content that aims to encourage their attendance. For those who have marked themselves “attending,” you can deliver ad content that aims to show the value of your company’s offering and even upsell your products or services.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences – 5. Reach out to those who have interacted with your Instagram

Targeting users who have interacted with your brand’s Instagram is a fairly new Facebook targeting option.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences - Instagram Targeting

Facebook provides the following Instagram targeting options:

  • Those who have engaged with your business on Instagram
  • Users who have interacted with any of your posts or ads
  • Those who have saved one of your posts or ads on Instagram
  • Users who have sent messages to your Instagram business profile

To get started, you need to first make sure that your company has a business Instagram profile. You have several options for retargeting users, so make sure that your ad content reflects the specific users you are reaching back out to. For instance, if you are retargeting users who have saved your content on Instagram, you may want to deliver similar content or encourage them to convert through exclusive offers since they have already shown an interest in your company.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences – 6. Create a Facebook Lookalike Audience to target new prospects

If you have ever wished that you could clone your best customers, this is about as close as it gets when it comes to Facebook ad custom audiences. Facebook Lookalike Audiences consist of people who have similar interests or behaviors as your existing customers. The idea behind targeting these audiences is that it allows you to reach out to those who are very similar to your current customers and therefore, more likely to convert.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences - Create a Facebook Lookalike Audience

Keep in mind that while using this targeting tactic, you are not retargeting. Many of the people who are a part of your Lookalike Audience may have never heard of your brand. With this in mind, you will need to develop and test ad content and offers that would appeal to those who have not previously interacted with your brand. Rather than directly asking this group to try your product, you should instead engage them through valuable and compelling content.

Final Takeaways

If you want to reach more prospects on Facebook, you need to go beyond just retargeting website visitors and email subscribers. The Facebook ad custom audiences we’ve discussed above help you reach out to potential customers who have taken very specific actions that suggest they are a good fit for your brand. Whether they are interacting with your Facebook content or exhibit other buying behaviors that resemble your best customers, these audiences have already shown that they are interested in what your company has to offer.


Author Bio

Andy Beohar

Andy Beohar

Andy Beohar is VP of SevenAtoms , a Google and HubSpot certified agency in San Francisco. Andy develops and manages ROI-positive inbound and paid marketing campaigns for B2B & Tech companies. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn or Twitter .

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