Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences

What Are They and How to Use Them…

If you’re already playing in the Facebook Ads arena, there’s a good chance you’re using or have used the Custom Audience capabilities offered through the Facebook Ads Manager. However, if you’ve been running Facebook ads without the use of the highly-targeted and effective audience options, it’s about time you step up your game and jump on the Custom Audience bandwagon.

With Facebook Custom Audiences you’re able to target a number of interest groups based on their interactions and engagements with your brand across the internet. You can upload email contacts and phone numbers, generate audiences based on Facebook user data and track user information from your website through use of the Facebook pixel. Crazy, right!?

Honestly, some types of Facebook Custom Audiences can get kind of creepy. If you’ve ever been on a website looking at a new kayak or new pair shoes and then go to your Facebook newsfeed and see an ad about the shoe or kayak you were just looking at, that’s a sure sign your data and actions were being gathered throughout that site visit. Your data will now be used by that brand for further interaction possibilities.

It’s almost guaranteed in today’s world, that every website you visit is gathering and using your online behavior data for something else. It’s also a guarantee that marketing professionals like us are using this data to retarget and remarket select content back at you.

Since Custom Audiences were introduced by Facebook back in 2013, it’s made huge leaps forward in making it a super powerful tool for marketers and savvy business owners. And with several audience types available, the opportunities for targeting past, present and future customers based on hard data while increasing your market reach, are basically endless.

Which Audience is Right for You?

Facebook provides a rich selection of Custom Audience options to choose from using either Facebook user info or external sources from your personal stash (ie. website visitor data, emails, phone numbers). User data is only used once and not stored in Facebook per the Custom Audience Terms. For the vacation rental industry, you’ll find a use for almost every type of Custom Audience Facebook allows you to create. Here’s a rundown of the audience types available and brief overview of how to use them.

  • Standard Custom Audience:

    One of the first audience options available from Facebook, the ‘Standard’ Custom Audience is created by uploading gathered email addresses, phone numbers, area codes, etc. MailChimp is offered as an import option making it super easy to import past guests and email subscriber data directly into Facebook. Once user data is uploaded, Facebook sends its bots out, finds data and matches whatever uploaded user information it can to an active Facebook profile and adds them to your Standard Custom Audience.

    This audience includes past guests and users that have already shown interest in your brand and those that continue to support you. There’s no guessing game with this audience, they like you already, maintain their interest with the right information and keep your brand fresh in their mind.

  • Website Custom Audience:

    There’s no doubt that any vacation rental websites goal is focused on getting people to the site to purchase their goods or services. Whether it be organically through search or via Paid Advertising, having the ability to track each landing page visit is an instrumental piece in creating your Website Custom Audience.

    In order to gather user data from your page visits, you’ll need to create and install a Facebook Pixel. It’s just one script sent to your website developer and placed on all pages of your website.

    Once installed, the pixel will start tracking user data from those who interact with any page of your website up to 180 days. Set your filters and a time frame and you’re all set. Once enough user data is gathered through the pixel, your audience will start building itself into an ultra-targeted and highly reachable quality audience

  • Engagement Custom Audience:

    Get even more targeted with one of Facebook’s Engagement Audiences. This custom audience type is generated by gathering user data from the past page and ad interactions, not only on Facebook but also on Instagram. While Facebook and Instagram live under the same umbrella, the audiences and how they behave are very different. Facebook provides several options for targeting specific engagement types on both platforms.

    Examples of Engagement Audience Types:

    • Facebook Page Engagement
    • Instagram Business Profile Engagement
    • Video Engagement
    • Event Engagement
    • Lead Form & Instant Experience Ad Engagement

    Engagement Custom Audiences are exactly what is needed for retargeting interactions happening on your page or profile. Users in these audience types are made up of those who have shown an interest by taking one or more actions on your page. This audience type will help boost reach and increase awareness along with keeping your brand fresh in the users’ minds. With this audience type, you get the power to create exactly the right content for your most active community members and influencers.

  • Lookalike Audience:

    Once you’ve created your different types of Custom Audiences, create Lookalike Audiences. Great for reaching new markets and those with the same demographics and interests as other custom audiences but on a much bigger broader scale. Facebook looks for behavior patterns and characteristics to generate a much bigger audience of similar users.

    Lookalike Audiences can be generated from any of the above audience types and used for gaining interest in new markets and expanding reach beyond your normal target market. This audience can be very powerful, tending to be much larger than any other type of custom audience. Of all the audience types, this is the audience to use for gathering new users and those who are most likely to become a guest. By targeting characteristics similar to those of your current audiences and page engagement, you have more opportunities for nurturing and creating a brand new customer base with high lifetime value.

As you play around with Facebook Custom Audience features, you’ll find an endless amount of interest and category options for drilling down and targeting certain groups of users. Over time you’ll see trends and be able to learn more about the behaviors of your page followers. This insight will help to develop a social content strategy that supports your goals and provides valuable insight into what your fans and followers find interesting and are more likely to engage with.

Facebook Custom Audiences are an essential piece of your Facebook Ads arsenal. This powerful tool can help boost your campaigns and could be the difference between wasting your advertising dollars and building a strong campaign strategy that will work for years to come.

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