How to Use Custom Audiences


Modified Transcript

Hi guys. Welcome to another episode of Weekly Wisdom brought to you by SEMrush. I am Hannah, and I am the Head of Paid Media at Blue Light Media. We are a digital marketing agency based in southern California.

Today we are going to review how to use custom audiences to better target your potential customers and current customers on Facebook ads.

There are multiple ways that you can use custom audiences. The most common are website traffic and customer files, but we are also going to review a couple of different ways to retarget those who have engaged with your page, as well as viewed videos or submitted lead forms. So let’s get started.

How to Set Up a Facebook Custom Audiences From a Customer File

The first type of audience that we are going to create is one from a customer file. Facebook offers a couple of different options. If you do know the customer lifetime value, you can include that, and that offers some additional testing options. For right now, though, we are using a file that doesn’t include that LTV. So we are going to click that option.

Okay, so we are going to add the file. And because of recent changes in data protection, you have to select the origin of this upload. This is basically a way to prove that you can, kind of on an honor system, prove that you do have access to legally use this information.

We are going to select directly from customers, and we are going to upload the file and then we are going to name our audience. So we are going to say “current subscribers.” 

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I tend to include a date on this as well just so that we can know exactly when this was uploaded because this isn’t a constantly updating data source.

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And then we are going to hit next. And you can see that there are email addresses already picked by Facebook. And then you can also choose either first name or last name if that is available. And there are some other data that we are not going to upload.

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So we are going to do upload and create. We are going to select upload anyways, and then we are going to wait until this is done. It says that all rows were uploaded. And then we are going to hit done. And then we can, again, pull up this audience to show you some basic details about when it was created.

How to Set Up a Custom Audience Based Off of Website Traffic

Next, we are going to create a custom audience based off of website traffic. Now, this does require that you have a Facebook pixel added to your website, which can be done either through integration or by manually adding that code. Once that is available, you can see a little green dot next to our pixel. That means it is receiving data, and then we are able to retarget to anyone who has visited our website.

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There also are a couple of different options. You can choose “any” or “all” people who match the following criteria. For this example, we are going to use “all” website visitors. Because we have made some changes to the website in the last couple of days, we are going to choose anyone who has visited in the last 15 days. They are the people who have seen the most recent version of, for example, a blog post, or a new version of the website. So this gives us more control over who has seen the website. You can also include or exclude people.

Then you also want to name it. We are going to name it Blue Light website 15 days.

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And the reason why I don’t put a date on this is because this is rolling data. So it is not necessarily anyone who has visited between now and 15 days ago; it is the current day and 15 days ago. We are going to create that audience, and you see that the custom audience was created. It is going to take a little bit for Facebook to fully match anyone who has visited the website to people on Facebook. That typically takes anywhere from a couple of hours to 24 hours to fully work out.

Using Facebook Data for Retargeting

Now that we have reviewed website traffic and customer files, we are going to go into how you can use Facebook data in order to retarget to people who have interacted with any of your events or posts or ads.

So we are going to first use an Instagram business profile. You can see that with our Instagram account, we can include anyone who has engaged with our business or a post or an ad, or people that have DM’d us or people who have saved a post or an ad.

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For this example, we are going to choose people who have engaged with any poster ad in the last 30 days. This option gives us the opportunity to resell to people who have seen one of our products or services but haven’t fully converted. We are going to name this Blue Light IG Engagement, and we are going to say 30 days, which offers a quick way for us to reference the exact timeframe. Then we are going to create the audience, wait for Facebook to process a little bit, and we are good to go.

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Custom Audiences – Video

The next type of custom audience that we are going to create is video. You can create an audience out of people who have viewed a specific video or group of specific videos over a certain time period. There are multiple types of engagement you can choose from, depending on your campaign goals.

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For example, people who have watched 75% to 95% of your video are people who are really interested in your brand. They wanted to watch the entire thing, and that is one way to retarget people who are more likely to purchase. There are also people who have viewed three seconds of your video or 10 seconds of your video, which matches some of the metrics that Facebook uses ads. So it is also a little bit of a way to combine multiple types of content and metrics.

For this example, we are going to use three seconds of our video; we are going to choose our videos. You can see that our Facebook page is up here, and I am going to target anyone who has engaged with our KeVita product social media review video.

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Going to select to confirm (6:35), and we are going to choose anyone in the last 15 days. Then we are going to name it and select create audience. As you can see, it will take a little bit of time for us to be able to use that audience. So remember that if you do want to launch a campaign, you need to build in a little bit of time in order for Facebook to fully start populating these audiences.

Custom Audiences Lead Forms

The next type of custom audience we are going to create is from lead forms. This is a really valuable way to retarget to people who have, for example, download an ebook or submitted their information for an offer. We are going to do seven days, which keeps it pretty fresh in their mind. You do need to select a specific form. So we are going to use this top “learn more” form.

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This means that we can target people who have only submitted information through this form. We are going to name it, and again, put that length in there just so that we can easily reference that while we are building up a campaign. Then we are going to create it. Again, I recommend always creating a custom audience at least a couple hours before you want to launch the campaign, just so it can launch strong.

How to Create Facebook Lookalike Audiences (8:13)

Now that we have created all of these custom audiences, which you can always reference in your asset library in Business Manager, we are going to create a lookalike based off of people who have engaged with our Instagram, any posts or ads. Now, when you build out a lookalike, you are targeting people who are similar to that custom audience. We are going to go over to these three little dots by my cursor, select create lookalike, and here we go.

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You can see that our Instagram engagement is the source. We are going to select the United States as an option. Remember, once you are in the campaign, you can drill that down even further if you would like — but for creating this audience, we are going to keep it in the US.

Now you select the audience size. If you have a smaller percentage, 1% to 2%, that means that you are optimizing for similarities. So these users are going to be those that are most similar to your custom audience. If you want to reach as many people as possible without necessarily dealing with interests when you are building out the campaign, you are going to go to the 8% to 9% range.

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We typically stick between one to three, and we are currently testing out some other options as well. But for the purpose of this, we are going to use two different audiences. We are going to test out a 1% and a 2%. So you are going to actually see that the size or estimated reach is very similar. It is actually exactly the same, but they’re also different people. So this is worthwhile testing.

And so we are going to create that audience:

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 And you can now see that there are two audiences of 1% and then 1% to 2% of the Blue Light Instagram engagement in the last 30 days. You can also utilize this lookalike tool for any of your custom audiences, whether it’s people who have visited your website, current purchasers, video engagement. Any custom audience option, you can build a lookalike off of that.

Thanks again for watching this episode of Weekly Wisdom by SEMrush. Again, Iam Hannah, part of Blue Light Media. Remember, whatever you do, always put your heart into it.



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