Learn how to easily automate Facebook Custom Audiences

Email has proven to be an invaluable tool in reaching your customers and communicating with them in targeted and personalised ways. When compared to social media it offers a higher reach, engagement rates, and ROI.

But there’s no denying the power and popularity of Social Media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, as a tool for reaching current and new customers.

So, what if you could bring the power of email marketing to Facebook, and serve targeted, relevant ads and content to your current database contacts to further boost engagement and ROI?

Enter Facebook Custom Audiences:

Facebook Custom Audiences is a powerful targeting tool that allows you to create and match the contacts you hold in your CRM or database with users on Facebook. Then you can serve them with targeted, relevant ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook’s Audience Network. You can also create Custom Audiences using tracking cookies on your website, app, or Facebook engagement.

How do I create this ‘Custom Audience’?

Creating the list itself is simple: decide who you want to target ads to, segment your database, and make sure the data you’re sending through to Facebook has at least one of these three: their email address, phone number or Facebook ID.

Traditionally you would have downloaded this data into a CSV or text file and re-uploaded it to Facebook to let it do its thing. However, if you’re using a marketing automation platform like UbiQuity, there’s the option to do this direct from the platform. This has the added bonus that when new contacts match your criteria, they'll automatically be added to the list, and synced through to Facebook.

Once uploaded to the platform, Facebook will go through and try to match the data you’ve provided with that of its users to create an audience you can target with ads.

And, you can create as many different audiences as you want, based on whatever segmentation criteria you want. This enables you to be hyper targeted with the ads you serve, and ensure they’re relevant and more likely to get engagement.

Then what do I do?

Once you’ve got your audience synced you can start targeting them with relevant ads and content, and use it as a channel to augment your other marketing activities.

For example: You’re promoting a new product to your marketing database. Rather than just sending them an email, you can now use Facebook to target them with an ad about that product as well. This has both the benefit of reinforcing your message to those who’ve read your email, but also the opportunity to reach those who haven't. Meanwhile your email will still reach those contacts who aren’t on Facebook.

You can also configure your Custom Audience so that it will exclude anyone who has converted and purchased the advertised product so they are no longer shown the ad. Similarly, you can create a Custom Audience to only target those who were sent the email, clicked through to the product page, but did not purchase.

Ultimately, however you can segment your database – you can use this to create your Facebook Custom Audience to target the right people with the right content.

Still not convinced?

By using Facebook Custom Audiences rather than a segment of the Facebook population you’re targeting people who have already shown an interest in your brand. They’re a lower hanging fruit, and more likely to engage and convert than those who have never heard of you before.

It also provides an opportunity to increase the reach of your message. People are much more likely to share content on Facebook with their friends than they are to forward an email.

And you can create Lookalike audiences based on your Custom Audience to reach people who share the same interests or demographics as those on your contact list.

Some things to consider

Of course, there are a few caveats to using Facebook Custom Audiences. Facebook has put these in place to protect user privacy, and keep the user experience at the forefront.

One of these is that your Facebook Custom Audience can’t have less than 20 matched contacts. Facebook also won’t show you who’s matched, or who has clicked on your ad – only matched % and engagement rates of your list.

And if you’re thinking that Facebook Custom Audiences would be a great way to target contacts who have unsubscribed from your marketing database with ads, think again. It’s against Facebook’s policy to serve ads to those who have opted out of receiving ‘targeted advertising’ (or marketing material). This includes ensuring that those who opt out, or unsubscribe, from your marketing database after you’ve added them to a Custom Audience list are removed in a timely manner. If you’re syncing your audiences from a marketing automation platform like UbiQuity, this is easily automated. 

Why use Qrious?

Using the UbiQuity marketing automation platform from Qrious allows you to build and manage your Facebook Custom Audiences from within the Social module. Using data held within your database you can segment and filter your contacts however you like and sync this through to Facebook – all without downloading the data or leaving the platform. Any new contacts that match the filtering criteria will automatically be added to your custom audience list and synced through to Facebook daily.

So, as an example, imagine you’re an insurance company. You offer lots of different policy types, but one hasn’t had as much uptake as others.  You decide to do a cross-sell campaign where you target your house insurance customers with a car insurance ad on Facebook. You want to ensure that those who already have car insurance with you don’t see the ad, and that anyone who subsequently purchases a car insurance policy also no longer gets targeted.

Instead of this being a time intensive manual process, you set up your Custom Audience list in UbiQuity, filtered to include customers with house insurance, and exclude those who also have car insurance.

As your house insurance customers sign up for a car insurance policy, they’re automatically removed from your Custom Audience list, and any new customers that purchase house insurance are added to the list. This is all then automatically synced through to Facebook, and ensures the right people are targeted with the right ad – leaving you with more time for other things.

Final point

Facebook Custom Audiences are a great way to target your current contacts who have already engaged with your brand. But, to cut through the clutter and encourage those conversions, they still need to be engaging and relevant.

This tool allows you to create an audience based on almost any criteria you can think of – so test different options to see what works best and provides the highest ROI.

If you're ready to get started with Facebook Custom Audiences in UbiQuity - Get in touch.

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