Do you want to know the secret to great Facebook ad campaigns?
Well, there’s no actual secret – it all lies in how you set up your campaigns from the very beginning and how you send your message across Facebook as a channel of communication.
This is incredibly important, and here are a few reasons to convince you that you should put some serious thought into the creation of your ads’ future audience(s):
• The major advantage of Facebook and advertising on Facebook lies precisely in the way they collect data and use it to help advertisers and marketer reach their target audience.
• The more granular you are with your target audience selection, the more likely it is that your investment will yield the expected ROI.
• It’s fun. It really is. Once you learn how to work with audiences on Facebook, you will uncover a whole new world of opportunities in terms of the kinds of ads you can use and how to make them really work for your business.
It doesn’t even matter what kind of business you run or want to help. It can be Amazon itself or it can be a local pastry shop looking to reach more pastry aficionados in the area and the surrounding areas. Facebook audiences will help you reach precisely to those people who are actually likely to buy your products.
Let’s compare this with traditional advertising for a second. In traditional advertising, you do have some sort of targeting options available.
• In TV advertising, you can show ads for men’s products during sports games because men are more likely to watch these shows, but that doesn’t mean that men are the only ones watching these shows. In fact, even if that is actually true, studies show that men pay little to no attention to the ads displayed during a game – they are more interested in the play itself than the ads placed around the football field, and they are more likely to leave the TV during the ad sessions (or just switch the channel around).
• In newspaper advertising, you can somewhat target your ads, especially in terms of local businesses (for instance, you wouldn’t set up an ad for your local bakery in the national newspaper). Likewise, ads are more likely to be displayed on those pages which your target audience shows more interest in.
• In billboard advertising, targeting can be achieved as well – but it is not always pursued. Think of what people think of when they are on the highway and of the last three ads you saw on a highway billboard – chances are the two aren’t connected. One example of good targeting in billboard advertising is when restaurants advertise their business on highways – people are likely to be hungry when driving for long distances, so they are also likely to stop by and grab a burger.
However, digital marketing has pushed this farther than ever before by allowing people to granularly target the audiences that will actually love your products.
You wouldn’t advertise a meat burger to vegans, right?
So why would your hard paid Facebook ads reach people who have zero interest in what you have to offer?
Creating Facebook audiences is truly one of the very best things you can do for your advertising campaigns – and Facebook Business Manager makes it actually easy for you to set up an audience you can use again and again for different campaigns.
How to Create an Audience List for Facebook Ads
Creating an audience list for your Facebook ads is quite easy once you get the gist. The possibilities in terms of targeting are, as you will definitely notice, limitless.
You can make it really specific and you can target people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer (yes, I know I’ve said this before, but this is the key ingredient to why Facebook ads are so successful and why people keep investing in this).
The basics of how to create an audience list for your Facebook ads are really simple:
1. Go to your Facebook Business Manager dashboard
2. Click on the three horizontal lines/menu on the top left side of the screen
3. Go to the “Assets” tab
4. Click on “Audiences”
5. Scroll down
6. Click on “Create a Custom Audience”
7. At this point, you will have multiple options available to create a custom audience:
• Use external sources
• Upload a customer file
You can upload a customer file with your database of customers. This works particularly well for eCommerce businesses because, by their nature, they already have (or are in the process of creating) a list of clients. Every time you buy something online, you will be prompted to sign in to that specific site – and, with your agreement (because GDPR requires it), you will be added to a list of customers.
This type of custom audience list is extremely helpful during special events – such as Black Friday, for example. Not only will you be able to reach out to potential new clients, but, by displaying ads to those who are already your customers, you can loyalize them.
Even more, you can even create ads that offer special discounts for those who are already customers – these ads would only be displayed to your customer file contacts, which means that they are 100% already your clients.
There’s a truly large spectrum of ideas you can incorporate with customer files – all it takes is having the right mindset and keeping in mind why you are doing this in the end.
DO keep in mind the fact that Facebook will not allow you to upload a customer list until you have already run a few campaigns on their ad platform and proved that you can actually adhere to their policies.
• Use your website’s traffic
You can create an audience list based on your website traffic.
This is a priceless option, really.
You can use it in a variety of ways:
• to target people who have visited your site and left
• to target people who have left products in the basket
• to target people who looked around your site on specific products
• to remind people of special discounts after visiting your site
• to answer questions you might intuitively think your recent site visitors had (e.g. how your services work, for example)
The sky’s the limit here – and I mean it!
Website-traffic based audiences are based on the Facebook pixel you will install on your site.
Going back to how you can use site traffic to leverage Facebook ads to your advantage, there’s one rule you must follow: your ads will always have to be somewhat connected to your visitors’ experience on your site. Therefore, both the image and the copy you use for this kind of ads should be coordinated into the way your visitors interacted with your site.
And yes, Facebook will actually allow you to narrow your audience that much.
• Use app activity
This is a less commonly used method to create an audience list, but it can work in a variety of contexts.
For instance, let’s say you have an online bookstore and you offer people an app that allows them to add quotes, book reading ideas, and reviews. If someone interacts with your app by adding a new book to their to-read list, you can display ads that will remind them of that book.
The reason app activity-based audiences aren’t as common is because having an actual app or game is not that common with smaller businesses – and small businesses (as well as local businesses) are a huge player on the Facebook ad market.
• Use offline data
This feature is relatively unknown in the audience creation section of Facebook Ad Manager, but it can be really useful in certain situations.
What exactly is “offline data” considered to be?
Well, for instance, if your business determines actual steps to be made, this could be an offline event Facebook uses for displaying ads. Furthermore, if someone visited your brick and mortar store, you can use that in this category as well.
Likewise, if someone attended an actual offline event you held, you can include them in this category.
To be able to create this kind of Facebook audience, you will first have to create an Offline Events set. You can do this from the “Offline Events Set” option available in the Facebook Business Manager menu. You will have to name your events set and you will also have to give it a description, and then you will have to update offline data (in CSV format).
This type of audience can be really useful for businesses who run events or operations offline and want to further their efforts in the online world as well.
• Use Facebook’s sources
Want to target people who have liked your Facebook page, or maybe just laughed at a meme you posted on your business page?
You can do that! Given that the information upon which such a list is created is very “local” (in the sense that it already exists in Facebook’s database), it would only make sense that they would offer this option.
In general, these kind of audience lists are best when you want to target middle of the funnel and recurrent customers. Because they have already interacted with your page on Facebook, it is likely that the people falling in this category are already considering buying from you (or considering buying from you again, for that matter). Giving them a nudge with a Facebook ad might be the missing piece of the buyers’ process puzzle.
Ads Manager will provide you with six options in this section:
• Video (audience created based on people who interacted with your videos)
• Lead form (audience created based on people who interacted with a lead form you created on Facebook)
• Instant Experience (audience created based on people who interacted with your Instant Experience on Facebook or Instagram)
• Instagram business profile (audience created based on people who interacted with your Instagram)
• Events (audience created based on people who interacted with your Facebook Events)
• Facebook Page (audience created based on people who interacted with your Facebook Page).
As you can see, you have a really large number of options when it comes to creating audiences on Facebook. There’s no “right” or “wrong” type of custom audience, though – it is all based on what your business needs are and what you plan to achieve with your marketing and advertising campaigns on Facebook. Or, in other words, it is all based on your precise objective.