Long Live the Pixel: The Power of Facebook Custom Audiences

Think about how you decide who would most benefit from receiving your Facebook ads. Chances are, you would prefer to show them to people who have already interacted with your brand and showed some level of interest in making a purchase. 

By placing a Facebook pixel on your website, you can track the people who visit your website and how they interact with your content. Facebook collects the data, and the data can then be used to create a custom audience for targeting a relevant message to particular buyers. This type of code stores a log of the actions people take on your site, and these analytics are accessible  within your Facebook for Business page. 

As Jon Truitt, Senior Director of Digital Operations at Emmis Communications, puts it: “Facebook Custom Audience Pixel is one of the most excellent tools in marketers' arsenal. With Facebook custom audience, marketers can target an audience based on interaction, interest, and demographics to deliver relevant ads to its users. 

What Are the Four Types of Custom Audiences? 

Custom audiences allow companies to target specific people based on past activity on both Facebook and other websites and apps. There are four main types of custom audiences: custom audiences from a customer list, engagement custom audiences, website custom audiences, and mobile app custom audiences. 

Custom Audiences From a Customer List

The most basic type of custom audience uses a list of people from your existing customer database. When you add a file that contains email addresses or phone numbers of previous customers, Facebook automatically makes your ads visible to anyone who used the same email address or phone number to create their account.

Engagement Custom Audiences

Engagement custom audiences target your ads at people who regularly engage with your content. People who have watched your videos, interacted with lead generation ads, or otherwise engaged with your website, social media profiles, and other content create an excellent target audience for engagement-based ads.   

Website Custom Audiences

Website custom audiences use Facebook pixels to target your ads toward people who have recently visited your business's website. Most people browse a variety of websites before purchasing to compare brands, styles, and prices from several different stores. Depending on where you place the pixel, you can track people who have viewed your products, added items to their cart, or abandoned the check-out process before paying.

Mobile App Custom Audiences

Similarly, mobile app custom audiences keep track of people who have browsed your company's app. 

The Power of Retargeting 

Many of the people who view your website are only there to browse, not to make a purchase right away. Online shopping has made it easier than ever to compare products from a wide variety of stores before making a decision. Putting items in a shopping cart does not mean that a customer will ever finish the checkout process.

Retargeting is a powerful strategy that uses pixels to show your ads to people who have already viewed your website. This focuses a portion of your advertising dollars on people who have already shown interest in your brand, such as people who have placed items in their shopping cart but never completed the purchase. It increases the return on investment you get from those ads.

Retargeting keeps items potential that customers are interested in fresh in their minds instead of permanently forgetting about them. That boosts sales and increases your customer base. 

The Power of Lookalikes

Facebook's analytical capabilities go more in-depth than you might think.

Lookalikes help you find people who have similar interests, personalities, and styles to your repeat customers. By importing a custom audience that you already have, Facebook finds people whose profiles include similar interests and demographic groups to your custom audience.

For example, if the majority of your custom audience consists of women in their 20s who enjoy sports and have liked athletic clothing brands that your company sells, lookalikes can find more people who fit this description. Although these potential customers have not interacted with your brand before, their similarities to your previous customers mean that they match your target audience and are likely to be interested in your company as well.

However, a potential landmine exists. Jon Truitt notes that you should not use just “one custom audience and creative for multiple different objectives. Personalize ads for each audience group to a specific purpose within the customer's buying journey. “​

Custom audiences are powerful tools that lead to much higher conversion rates than targeting based on demographics or psychographics alone. By taking advantage of Facebook's vast analytical capabilities, you can focus a larger percentage of your advertising budget on targeting your ads toward those most likely to make a purchase.

That is the power of the pixel.

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