Custom Audiences are crucial for any business wanting to create profitable Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns.
It’s of paramount importance to every single client we work with. In most cases, the quality and size of their Custom Audiences dictate how soon we can shift gears through testing, validating, optimising and scaling profitable campaigns.
What a Custom Audience Is and Where You Can Find It
A Custom Audience is a targeting option you can find in the Facebook Ads Manager.
Essentially, Facebook uses data you create or provide to find ‘custom’ audiences within Facebook. You’re finding people who already know your business.
You can’t find these audiences based on their interests, demographics, or online behaviours, because you are using your existing sources like:
- Website traffic
- Email and mobile phone databases
- Facebook Page engagement
- Instagram engagement
- Video views
It’s super easy to find and create Custom Audiences. If you’re sitting at your desk and are on your computer right now with your Ads Manager open, just click the nine little dots at the top left of your screen, then click Audiences → Create Audience → Custom Audience.
Following this, you can select the Custom Audience you’d like to create and follow the simple steps.
Why You Must Reach People Who Already Know About You
Social psychology has proven the more touchpoints you have with a brand (or stimulus), the more likely you are to have an increased preference for it. This phenomenon is called the Mere Exposure Effect.
Isn’t that incredible?
Literally… the more you get your ads in front of your audience, the more likely they are to prefer your brand and solution. Fact.
Many businesses don’t respect this fundamental principle and get obsessed with reaching as many people as possible.
Which would you rather?
A. Reach 100,000 people 1 time each over 3 weeks
B. Reach 20,000 people 5 times each over 3 weeks
I hope, like me, you answered B.
The actual number of touchpoints required before a customer buys will vary greatly between one business and another.
For example, based on price, need and urgency, you might only need 2 touchpoints to buy a $5 burger if you’re hungry now, compared to 20+ touchpoints to buy a $50,000 boat in 6 months.
For B2B sales, quite a few studies suggest 8 touchpoints are required just to generate a qualified lead. Then, of course, you’ll need additional touchpoints to close that qualified lead into a sale.
If you’re an eCommerce product-based business, based on my research 5 touchpoints is a good benchmark to consider before someone will purchase from you.
Generally speaking, it will take anywhere from 5 to 20 touchpoints to make a sale.
Imagine if the content/experience provided at each of these touchpoints was contextually relevant to where they were in their buyer journey. Imagine if you nurtured prospective customers with value until they were ready to buy. This is where Custom Audiences shine.
How Custom Audiences Will Nurture Your Audience
Let’s say your total audience size is 15,000,000 and revisit the example of reaching 20,000 people 5 times each to sell… an indoor digital thermometer… because I actually need one right now… because I’m convinced our office’s air conditioning system is lying to me… which is why I’m actually freezing right now.
If you reached 20,000 people 5 times each, this is how the Facebook Ads Manager would report it:
- Impressions: 100,000
- Frequency: 5
- Reach: 20,000
You could waste a tonne of money trying to get the frequency up to 5 in an audience of 15,000,000, especially considering the majority of people you’re reaching may not even be interested in what you have to offer.
How do you get around this?
Create Custom Audiences.
Custom Audiences will let you nurture people who have demonstrated an interest in your solution, so you can ramp up the touchpoints as they move through your buyer journey.
Let’s look at a quick example of how you might use Custom Audiences to nurture your audience.
- Video Views campaign promoting your Brand Story video, targeting a cold audience with a potential reach of 15,000,000.
5,000,000 of them watch 15 seconds of your video.
- Website Traffic campaign sending people to a blog post that speaks to the problems your solution solves, targeting the audience of 5,000,000 who consumed 15 seconds of your video (Video Views Custom Audience).
500,000 of them click through to your website.
- Conversions campaign that’s retargeting people who have visited your website (Website Custom Audience) with a short customer testimonial video.
You get 250,000 back to your website.
- Catalogue Sales campaign dynamically serving people the products they viewed or added to cart. You reach 100,000 of these people.
- Conversions campaign promoting a weekend sale. You reach 20,000 people who visited your website (Website Custom Audience), engaged with your Instagram content (Instagram Account Custom Audience), subscribed (Customer List Custom Audience) or watched your videos (Video Views Custom Audience).
Take Your Targeting to the Next Level
The other key benefit of creating Custom Audiences is that you can now create new larger audiences just like them through another powerful tool called Lookalike Audiences.
A Lookalike Audience will find new people to reach, for example, people who have visited your website (Website Custom Audience). Facebook will “Identify the common qualities of the people in it (for example, demographic information or interests). Then, we deliver your ad to an audience of people who are similar to (or “look like”) them.”
It’s worth noting that Facebook prefers Custom Audiences audiences with between 1,000 and 50,000 people.
Make it Happen
It’s time now to create as many Custom Audiences as you’re able to, and take time to understand the type of content your ads need to use so you’re moving them through their customer journey until they are ready to buy.
P.S. Wondering where the opportunities are in your social media marketing and what it would look like for us to take care of it for you?
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