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Facebook Custom Audiences: What Every Marketer Needs to Know

Published: July 25, 2014

Author: Hoon Ra

During the first half of the year, Facebook consolidated their ad options, and, suddenly, Website Custom Audiences (WCA) inadvertently became a buzzword that many marketers started to come across.  As the WCA Product Lead at Triggit, I am often faced with the following set of questions when we first start talking to our direct response advertiser clients about WCA. As our clients begin planning their media strategies for the rest of 2014, with a significant portion going towards WCA, I thought it would be helpful to capture – and answer – the three main questions that typically come my way from direct response advertisers.

1. What is WCA? What makes it different from Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Exchange (FBX)?

Along with Facebook Marketplace and FBX, WCA is another targeting tactic for buying ad inventory on Facebook’s News Feed and right-hand column. There are three distinct points that set WCA apart from Facebook’s other channels:

1. WCA lets you use several types of first-party data. Like FBX, WCA lets you leverage your users’ website visit history. WCA also lets you use your own email lists, internal CRM data, phone numbers, and almost any type of data you have (legally) obtained.

2. With WCA, you can layer on top any demographic information your customers have provided on Facebook (gender, location, age, likes). One application of this is running an ad for a “Father’s Day Special” to people identified as moms. In contrast, demographic information is the only dimension available for audience segmentation through Marketplace.

3. Inventory on WCA is cross-platform and allows you to reach the same users on desktop and mobile, whereas FBX is limited only to desktop.

2. Is WCA a direct response channel, and if so, should I be on it if I’m running FBX campaigns?

Yes! WCA is an incredibly powerful direct response (DR) advertising tool. While we can’t speak for every retargeting partner, at Triggit we believe WCA and FBX are two complementary tools to achieve the same DR marketing goals.
WCA and FBX both serve slightly different functions (outlined above), and both should be utilized to retarget different segments of your customer base in different ways. Our clients have seen significant volume increases with the addition of WCA retargeting. We encourage advertisers to look at WCA and FBX as complementary products to help them achieve their performance marketing goals, as both tools provide DR advertisers with a proven channel to gain a conversion through Facebook. A campaign that combines WCA and FBX creates a powerful method for reaching and converting customers.

3. Should I leverage my FBX retargeting partner for WCA?

Absolutely! Your FBX partner will be the most knowledgeable in terms of best practices for a direct response campaign on Facebook. In my experience, many of the best practices we’ve established about FBX translate directly to WCA. For example, your retargeting partner already has experience growing and optimizing your campaigns on Facebook and knows what works best for your particular website. We’ve had a little extra time to think about optimization best practices using WCA, like how to retarget with WCA dynamically. So, this is especially true for advertisers who can reap the significant benefit of dynamic retargeting.
Hopefully this has served as a quick primer on the volume and performance benefits marketers can gain from using WCA on Facebook. In my eyes, it is a no-brainer for direct response advertisers to incorporate WCA into their Facebook media plans for the rest of 2014 and beyond.

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