Target Your Ideal Customer With Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audience Targeting

If you’re using Facebook advertising or post boosting, to drive traffic to your web site, or just to engage prospects in your brand, then you really need to be clear exactly who you are targeting.

This is what Facebook excels at, and there’s a vast amount of demographic and behavioural data which can really help you get your brand in front of your ideal customer – if you know how!

But with so many different ways of creating and targeting an audience, it can be difficult to know where to start. So to help you get a grasp of all the various options I’ve put together the following summary.

However without doubt, if you’re fairly new to Facebook advertising or currently have a relatively small following there, then your best starting point in terms of targeting, is to create your own custom audience based on your customer avatar, or ideal customer profile.

I’ll show you how to do this later in the article. But first, a brief overview of your audience options and where and why you might use them.

Broadly speaking you can categorise your audiences into two types; your existing audience, and new Facebook custom audiences, that you can create from scratch. When I say your existing audiences, these can be from any of the following sources;

  1. Your existing page fans

  2. Visitors to your web site (tracked using the Facebook pixel)

  3. Your existing prospect or customer email list (uploaded to Facebook as a csv file)

So quite simply, you can create an Ad, and just put it in front of your existing fans, or people who have visited your site (or specific pages on your site), or you can uploaded your email database to Facebook and it will match email addresses and create an audience for you, which you can then target.

However if you are a small business and relatively new to Facebook and Facebook Advertising, then these options might not be right for you just yet. Although if you have 1,000 plus page fans, then this is a good sized audience to use.

The second category of audiences are new audiences, or ones that you can create using Facebook targeting tools. The options here are;

  1. Use your customer avatar to create Facebook custom audiences

  2. Use the “Lookalike” option within Facebook to expand out an existing audience (using any of the previous options as a starting point)

Again if you’re just looking for a good starting point, then the best option is to look at creating a custom audience using your customer avatar.

Targeting using a custom audience based on your customer avatar.

Now you may have a number of customer avatars for your business, but no problem, you can simply create multiple custom audiences. And that’s the great thing within Facebook, you can create as many different custom audiences as you wish. Then save them within Facebook and use and test your different messages with your different custom audiences.

So let’s walk through the process of creating your first custom audience based on your customer avatar, or ideal customer profile.

If you want to read more about how to create a customer avatar you can check out some of my other articles. Or if you’d like more details on how to use your avatar to build your targeting and messages, then you should look at my 4 dimensional customer avatar article.

Within Facebook your audience creation starts with your basic demographics, including age range, gender and geographic location. So get this data in first – and you can see your audience size change as you put more data in. To begin with your audience will probably be very large, with just this data alone.

facebook custom audiences

facebook custom audiences

So now it’s time to start to get into some more details using your avatar, like What are they interested in? Who are they interested in? What do they read? What brands and products to they like? Etc.

This is the core of your Facebook custom audience creation and this is where you can be creative and really leverage the power of Facebook to really help you target the right audience for your business and brand. So as you put more data into the “Interests” box, you’ll see your audience size change.

As a starting point you ideally want to be creating your first audience of around 5-15,000 people. Don’t worry if your audience is more or less – this is just a very rough guide for testing your first audience.

The mistake many people make when creating these custom audiences is that they don’t spend enough time really thinking through the detail of their customer avatar and somewhat lazily just put in the obvious things in ‘Interests’ They really underestimate the importance of getting targeting right. Ultimately your targeting will have a huge impact on your costs, reach and effectiveness, so you need to spend some time on this and really dig into the detail.

Here’s a couple of quick tips when thinking about your Facebook custom audiences;

  • Think about who are the personalities and key individuals that are specific to your industry and market. You know, not the obvious names that everyone knows, but those personalities (or brands) who are really only known to people in your specific industry and target market.
  • Who are your competitors? With Facebook you can create a custom audiences purely based on those people who like your competitors. You can be sure your audience will know who your competitors are!
  • Think about who else is targeting the same people as you, but not in your specific market. For example, if your business was looking to target small business owners, you could create and audience based on people who like Xero accounting software. Because the people who like Xero are very likely to be your ideal customer, as Xero spend a fortune marketing to small businesses. This way you can leverage someone else’s brand (and advertising budget) to help you reach your target audience.

There are so many ways in which you can create and test Facebook custom audiences. And as you test these audiences, you’ll also be learning more about your own customer avatar!

So once you’ve created your audiences, it’s time to start testing them. This is where you’ll want to use a post boosting strategy as this will allow you to test your messages and engagement at the lowest cost. You can read more about Facebook post-boosting and engaging your audience on my blog.

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