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These 5 Custom Audiences Will Take the Guessing Out of Your Targeting

Growing your business through digital marketing relies, in large part, on targeting the correct people. You can create the best content, but if the right people aren't seeing it, it's not going to be effective. If you've ever created a Facebook ad, you've seen how detailed the targeting can be. Not only can you choose to target people based on their age, gender, and where they live, but you can also get as detailed as what they're interested in, behaviors they exhibit, and lifestyle characteristics.

Though detailed targeting is powerful for your business, it can get a bit overwhelming. With all the different combinations of targeting options, it can start feeling like you're creating audiences blindly, which can quickly become frustrating. Tack on lackluster results and, before you know it, you're in full-blown panic mode. 

It's time to take a deep breath and let data do the work for you. These five custom Facebook audiences take the guesswork out of targeting, so you can be confident that the beautiful content you're creating is being seen by the correct people.

1. Contact List

I recommend creating an audience from your contacts list first because you can use it to help you with a couple of the other audiences I'll talk about later in the blog. If you have one, a list of your customers will be even more beneficial. Once you have your list, you can upload it directly to the audience section of your asset library on Facebook.

How to use this audience: Use this audience anytime you're running a special or release a new product and as the source for a lookalike audience.

Why it works: If you create an audience from your customers, you already know they're interested in your business. So, if they saw an ad for a special or new product, they'd be more likely to be influenced by your ad.

2. Engagement Audiences

These custom audiences are created based on people who have engaged with your Facebook or Instagram pages. You can create engagement audiences from six different sources:


  • VideoCreate a list of people who have spent time watching your videos on Facebook or Instagram.


  • Lead FormCreate a list of people who have opened or completed a form in your lead ads on Facebook or Instagram.


  • Fullscreen ExperienceCreate a list of people who have opened your collection ad or Canvas on Facebook.


  • Facebook PageCreate a list of people who have interacted with your Page on Facebook.


  • Instagram Business ProfileCreate a list of people who have interacted with your Instagram business profile.


  • EventPeople who have interacted with your events on Facebook.


How to use this audience: If you post a new video and are wanting to increase video views, promote your video and target your video engagement custom audience. If you want more event responses, promote your event and target your event engagement custom audience. You see how it works. These audiences will probably be more beneficial to you as a source for lookalike audiences, though.

Why it works: Similar to your customer list, you know these people have shown interest in your business by engaging with your content.

3. Website Traffic / Retargeting Audiences

In order to create this audience, you will first need to install a Facebook pixel on your website. To learn how to do that, check out this blog. You can create audiences based on people who visited any page on your website, specific pages, or how much time they spent on your website. 

How to use this audience: Let's say you sell products online. You can create audiences based on people who visited specific product pages, but didn't make a purchase, and then periodically remind them about the product they looked at by targeting them with an ad featuring that product. This audience, again, will be useful when creating lookalike audience.

4. Lookalike Audiences

Alright, finally! I've mentioned lookalike audiences several times and probably confused you if you've never heard of them. Let me explain what they are. Lookalike audiences are exactly what they sound like. Facebook will look at the source you're using for your lookalike audience (customer list, engagement audience, website traffic audience, etc.) and find people who share interests, behaviors, and lifestyle characteristics with the specific source you're using. After Facebook finds matches, it will populate a new audience that looks like the source audience. Your objective will determine which type of lookalike audience you create. A few examples would include a lookalike audience from your customer list, engagement audiences, and website traffic / retargeting audience.

Watch a tutorial on how to create lookalike audiences here.

How to use this audience: Using a customer list or engagement custom audience is a great way to find new people who are likely to be interested in your business. Creating an audience of new people who are interested in your business and then targeting them is an easy way to find new business.

Why it works: This one is obvious. Not only is your audience likely to be interested in your business, but they're people who haven't previously interacted with your business. This is a great recipe for new business.

5. Demographic of Ideal Customer

If you don't have an idea who your ideal customer is, you can use your customer list to help you out with this one. Go to Facebook's Audience Insights and upload your customer list. One your customer list is uploaded, you'll see a detailed breakdown of common characteristics of your customers. Take note of these and then create an audience with similar demographics. This is a lot like creating a lookalike audience from your customer list, but you can control the variables.

Learn how to use Audience Insights here.

How to use this audience: Use this audience in the same manner you would use a lookalike audience based on your customer list. You know these people share characteristics with your customers, so keep your content consistent with what attracted your current customers. 

Why it works: You can infer these people will be interested in your business, and it gives you an opportunity to find new customers.




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