If you’re reading this blog, you should be familiar with Custom Audiences by now. If you’re new to the world of Facebook Advertising, or you’re just looking for some strong new ideas, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the best way to use Custom Audiences?” Luckily, we asked the experts for you.

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First and foremost, you’ll want to take advantage of Custom Audiences because they are a fantastic way to accomplish re-targeting:

Custom Audiences are an invaluable re-targeting strategy to gauge intent and model potential audiences off a “recorded” action. Lead generation and e-commerce sites focused on direct response are able to re-engage potential buyers by serving a more detailed ad based on specifics pages and products – often increasing conversion rates by 5-8% and decreasing the overall cost of conversion.

If you make sure to tailor messaging (i.e. “It’s been a while since you’ve visited our site; here’s 10% off”), you can get incredibly effective results.

A furniture site can target fans by the brand and sofa style viewed and even offer a discounted price based on an add to cart. – Dayna Moon, Sr. Director of Social Advertising, 3Q Digital

Using a custom list made from your email subscribers is a great way to make sure your message is being seen by people who are already comfortable with what you’re selling.

Employing Facebook Custom Audiences is a great way to retarget a brand’s existing customers. In the case of one e-commerce retailer, we created a custom audience list of monthly e-newsletter subscribers. We found that advertising to this custom audience during special offers and promotions encouraged rebuying and acted as an effective tool in increasing lifetime value (LTV) of their customers.

Something that is often overlooked is how Custom Audiences can also be used as exclusion criteria. In the case of limited audience pools, it is crucial to maintaining an up-to-date custom audience exclusion list. This way you can make sure not to waste impressions targeting customers who have already converted. For one client who was acquiring registrations, we added exclusion targeting, and this was enough to go from missing KPIs to hitting our targets.

We have found that using Custom Audiences as either inclusion or exclusion can have immediate and measurable impact on the performance of a campaign. -Ryan Pitylak, CEO, Unique Influence

One way to use Custom Audiences that is perhaps underutilized is reaching out to members of email lists you might have. Many people don’t respond to email marketing, so take that info and try to reach them on their News Feeds, where they’re more engaged. -Bill Cleere, Ad Operations, Optilly

Up-selling or cross-selling are some other strategic goals you can accomplish with Custom Audiences:

Custom Audiences are great for getting repeat business out of past customers. Just upload the full list of customers, or divide them into whatever segments make sense. Once you have them in a custom audience, you can cross-sell or up-sell them. You could even get more likes on your business’s Facebook page by running a Page Like campaign targeted at those past customers that haven’t yet liked your page. They’ll be much more likely to respond to your campaign than a new audience since they already have a relationship with and affinity to your business. -Sam Mazaheri, Director of Marketing and Product, AdStage

Not only can you use Custom Audiences for remarking or reengagement, but it’s a fantastic tool for one-time offers.

Custom Audiences are one of the most powerful tools Facebook gives us to reach the people who matter to our business. They can be used to remarket to past purchasers, or to reengage users who failed to complete a purchase, but still submitted their email address. If you’re advertising a one-time offer, Custom Audiences can be used to exclude people who have already participated from your campaigns. Custom Audience files of your top-performing users are invaluable in creating Lookalike Audiences to reach new people who are likely to purchase. –Zach Greenberger, Founder, adMixt

If you’re having trouble defining your ideal customer, Lookalike audiences are the perfect tool.

I’m a big fan of lookalike audiences and remarketing on Facebook. Lookalike audiences are great for my clients who are looking for brand-new customers, but have a hard time defining their perfect customer. Remarketing works great on its own, but remarketing audiences on Facebook gives all me that extra reach that I won’t get using Google AdWords alone. -Kristina McLane, Account Manager, Hanapin

Hopefully you’ve taken away some great Custom Audience strategies (or at least a reminder to use one you’d forgotten about)!

Do you have a favorite use case we didn’t touch on? Let us know in the comments!

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Jonathan Svilar
joined 3Q Digital in August of 2013 with a background of sales and marketing in the dynamic live concert industry. Jonathan graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Literature and Philosophy and a passion for technology. In his spare time, Jonathan is an avid motorcyclist, San Francisco Giants fan, and the proud parent of a fuzzy bunny and a dog.