Rescue Your Facebook Ads with Custom Audiences


Facebook ads 101: Facebook’s ads help you reach customers you already know through targeting current and potential customers based on age, gender, geography, interests, and other information provided to Facebook. But when you’re spending money on any campaign, you want to make sure your message is getting through to your target audience. Enter Facebook Custom Audiences.

This tool allows marketers to upload a list of email addresses or phone numbers and target your Facebook ads directly to this list. This targeting tool allows for a lot of creativity in how your brand can focus in on current, on-the-edge, past and future customers.

If you’ve seen poor ROI, or your results have plateaued while using general and broad Facebook ads, allow me to show you four new ways you can use Facebook Custom Audiences to pump life back into your Facebook ads strategy.


Target existing customers to become Facebook fans

Facebook lets you target your ad’s audience based on your existing customer relationship management system. This means you can target current customers, lapsed or inactive customers, recent contest participants, etc. Basically you can home in on any existing contact you have that you want to reach with highly targeted content.

Note: This may not be a winning technique for smaller businesses as you should probably be using Facebook to grow your email list, not the other way around.  However, if your business offers an abundance of content that has allowed you to collect contact information, this may be a good strategy for you.

You can easily upload your email subscriber list into a Custom Audience and target your subscribers with new Facebook ads focusing on driving consumers to become fans of your page.


Target prospects who never open your e-mails

Do you have people on your list who don’t open your emails? You and every marketer out there! Try uploading the unopened segment of your email list as a

Custom Audience and create messaging directly targeting them such as a special offer or discount coupon.  Next time, they may think twice about hitting ‘delete’ without giving your email a chance.


Target your LinkedIn connections

Most people don’t know this, but you can download a list of all your LinkedIn connections as well as their e-mail addresses.  Your whole world just exploded, right?

Better yet is the fact that you can use this list to create a Custom Audience for your Facebook ads. Your LinkedIn connections can often be some of your hottest leads, so targeting this group on Facebook is a non-intrusive way to grab their attention on another network.

Remember to make the ad’s copy and photo personal. Try to insert your brand’s name in it. Don’t consider it as advertising but rather a quick update to your network on what you’re up to (and trust me, people want to know — that’s why there’s LinkedIn/Facebook creeping).


Mix everything up to create a long-term growth machine

What many marketers don’t realize or have yet to capitalize on is you can use Facebook ads to create a multi-step, long-term funnel for qualified leads. This is especially effective for B2B businesses or B2C companies with expensive or niche products to sell, but the strategy can work for any brand.

Your mantra: Visitor, lead, hot lead, customer, evangelist.

Visitor: You’ll want a broad campaign based on precise interests targeted to attract visitors to your blog or website. “Are you an avid golfer? Come check out our blog which breaks down common problems with your swing by a professional each week!” Let them get to know about you and your product.

Lead: You’ll need a campaign targeted to users that have already visited your blog (which you tracked with ‘Audiences’ from your website or blog) and are familiar with your brand. A common goal here is to drive them to subscribe to your newsletter to stay updated on your awesome future content. You will then want to segment this group from the Custom Audience of people who have already subscribed to your newsletter

Hot lead: Up the ante for hot leads. Design a campaign offering a free eBook (or other freebies/gated content) to position yourself as a thought leader in your market. Make sure that your download form at this stage asks more detailed questions to complete your profile of each consumer. This campaign will be targeted to a Custom Audience of all newsletter subscribers and will exclude a Custom Audience with everyone who already has a complete profile.

Consumer: Now that your audience knows and respects you as an expert in your field it’s time to “show me the money!” Target a Custom Audience with your hot leads using a campaign pointing to a landing page where users will be able to subscribe to your service or get in touch with a representative of your brand. You’ll want to exclude existing customers from this Custom Audience.

Evangelist: Last but certainly not least … Don’t forget about the people who already loved you from the start. Target your existing customers to promote new features, special deals, and loyalty and referral programs. They’ll show you some love back.


Once you have enough customers in your ads funnel, create a ‘Lookalike Audience’ based on them and begin to target the sh*t out of them beginning at the ‘visitor’ phase.

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