Supercharge Your Advertising With Facebook Custom Audiences

By on March 4, 2013

Facebook recently released a new feature for it’s advertising platform called “custom audiences.” With custom audiences, you now have the ability to use Facebook ads in a whole new and more targeted way. The facebook advertising platform gives you the ability to get extremely granular with your Facebook prospects — giving you the ability to include and exclude the exact demographic you want to market to and include even interests of your prospects is fantastic. Facebook’s Custom Audiences represents a whole new level of targeting (and de-targeting) for your prospects and buyers.

With a billion users on Facebook, waste and inefficiency is a constant worry for advertisers. The social network was built to allow users to find relevant pages, but not so much the other way around. Sure, Facebook does have an ad targeting functionality, but the broad demographic information available is next to useless for some marketers.

You see, the problem for many businesses is that their targeted demographic is very wide and includes people from all walks of life. Sound familiar? Perhaps you have reached the limits of what simple ad “targeting” can do for you. Well, here comes Custom Audiences.

With Custom Audiences, marketers can actually upload a list of their own leads, prospects, buyers, etc., into Facebook, in order to market to them in a special way.

You can liken this feature to retargeting. In the same way you can segment (or cookie) visitors that that landed on different pages or by how far they got in your buying process. You can also upload different segments of your lists to show different Facebook ads.

Create a new audience and upload your entire list and name it accordingly. Next, create another new audience and upload all of the buyers of a given product. Through the power of the Custom Audiences, you will now have the ability to market exclusively to your prospects that have not purchased. You might want to try offering a discount on your product or add additional bonuses.

Since you have your prospects and your buyer audiences set up you are able to constantly run ads to your entire list, yet by creating an audience for all of your different groups of buyers you can be confident that you aren’t wasting marketing dollars on people who aren’t interested in a product they have already purchased. This is because when you are creating your ad you have the ability to suppress any of your other audiences.

Think about this for a moment; you can actually segment out your Facebook fans that have already purchased your products — eliminating wasteful ads to those who have already bought. Likewise, you can target a campaign of upsell ads to your buyers.

Facebook allows you to create a custom audience based on matching (emails, phone numbers, or Facebook user IDs). Most of the time your prospects and buyers will have used the same email to sign up with you that they have registered with Facebook. You can upload your list via a .TXT file or .CSV file.

In a sense, “Custom Audiences” is a Facebook-ism for what most marketers call “list segmentation.”

How to set up custom audiences

In your “Facebook ads manager”, you will want to navigate to the Facebook power editor, this is the only place you are able to access your custom audiences in the future.

Once you are in the power editor, click the menu item on the left side called “Custom Audiences”.

how to

Then in the top left hand corner you will click “Create Audience. This will bring up the dialogue where you can name your audience, give a description and upload the file. Once your file is uploaded Facebook takes it’s time (about an hour depending on size) before you are able to effectively use it in a campaign.

how to 2

When your audience is ready, create a new campaign and a new ad. Under the audience section on the left side, click “Advanced options”, here you will have the ability to include or exclude the difference custom audiences you have created. Configure the rest of your ad settings you will be all set to start super charging your Facebook advertising.

Finally, you can rotate through entirely different CTAs, targeted at completely different audiences simultaneously. By not advertising your product to your buyers, your click through rate will go up, decreasing your ad spend and increasing your campaign’s performance.

About Kevin Clanton

Kevin Clanton is part of the new generation of Internet marketers, originally starting his career as a programmer obsessed with all things information / technology. Online Marketing has quickly become his primary focus; where he is able to leverage his background in development to implement his dreams & ideas in order to quickly produce data on their effectiveness. Google Kevin has an intense drive to be as well rounded as possible in his business pursuits. He isn’t satisfied until he has a firm understanding of all aspects of a given business strategy.


  1. Pingback: Hitting the Target with Facebook Ads: The Mark Zuckerberg Effect | FaceBookTwitterBlog

  2. Jones sabo that is only part one of a two

    April 13, 2013 at 2:24 am

    I’ll immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can’t to find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  3. E-Rock Christopher

    March 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Yeah, I’d heard this was coming. Smart move on Facebook’s part. Can you imagine trying to do the same thing on Google? Only challenge is to ensure that any emails you collect are the same for their FB accounts. How much would you like to bet a bunch of FB connection apps are coming soon? Thanks for the post Kevin!

    • Kevin Clanton

      March 5, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Those will continue to grow very quickly in popularity.
      That is very insightful.
      Thanks for commenting

  4. Fiona

    March 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for the article, Kevin.

    This sounds like a great new advertising service from facebook … designed exclusively for chrome users! Facebook should really get a grip and redesign so that users of the most popular browser (firefox) can access this service.

    • varun

      April 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      U r right miss. Fiona.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>