Author: Paul Markovich

Hit The Target with Facebook Custom Audiences

AI & Web Development

By using a Facebook Custom Audience, you can reach the right audience, the first time. This tool that has proven to be incredibly effective for targeted advertising. Facebook Custom Audience is a powerful feature that allows businesses to hone in on a specific group of people, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

What is a Facebook Custom Audience?

A Facebook Custom Audience is a customized group of people that you can target your ads towards, based on existing customer data you provide. The data can include email addresses, phone numbers, app user IDs, or other information collected from people who have interacted with your business. Facebook helps you build audiences using this first-party data, so you can reach people you already know are interested in your products or services.

Benefits of Using Facebook Custom Audiences

There are many benefits to using Facebook Custom Audiences as part of your digital marketing strategy:

  • Highly Targeted Ads: You can zero in on specific segments who are more likely to convert and engage with your brand.
  • Improved Campaign Efficiency: Targeting removes waste and lowers cost per result compared to more general audiences.
  • Higher Engagement Rates: People are more receptive to ads from brands they already know and trust.
  • Enhanced Brand Loyalty: Custom Audiences allow you to build relationships with existing customers.
  • Better Measurement: You can directly see the return from targeting your customer base.

How to Create a Facebook Custom Audience

Setting up a Custom Audience on Facebook is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Access your Facebook Ads Manager account and navigate to the “Audiences” tab.
  2. Click the “+ Create Audience” button and select “Custom Audience” from the menu.
  3. Choose the type of audience you want to create based on your customer data sources. Options include customer file, website traffic, app activity, and more.
  4. Upload your customer data like email addresses or Facebook Pixel ID’s. Facebook will match and create an audience.
  5. Give your audience a name and save it. Adjust the audience as desired.
  6. Use the audience to target your ad campaigns.

Facebook Custom Audience Data Sources

There are a variety of data sources you can use to create targeted Facebook Custom Audiences, including:

Customer Email Lists: Upload your own email lists to target these contacts with ads.

Website Visitors: Use the Facebook Pixel to create audiences of people who visited your site.

Mobile App Users: Target users of your mobile app who enable sharing.

Engagement Data: Build audiences based on those who engaged with your Facebook Page or Instagram profile.

Offline Conversions: Match customer activity from offline purchases/signups to target with ads.

Custom Audience Targeting Strategies

To get the most out of Facebook Custom Audiences, keep these targeting strategies in mind:

  • Recent Converters: Target people who recently made a purchase or conversion for follow up messaging.
  • High-Value Customers: Create VIP segments of big spenders/influencers to provide exclusive offers and nurture relationships.
  • Lapsed Customers: Re-engage inactive contacts who haven’t purchased in a while with reminder messaging.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Expand your reach to new potential customers who share qualities with your existing audience.
  • Interest Targeting: Layer in interest or behavior targeting along with Custom Audience data for more dimensions.

Avoiding Common Facebook Custom Audience Mistakes

While powerful, it’s important to avoid these common Facebook Custom Audience mistakes:

  • Using outdated or incomplete customer data resulting in poor match rates.
  • Failing to segment and test different portions of your audience.
  • Not optimizing Custom Audience ads separately from other campaigns.
  • Forgetting to refresh your audiences regularly to keep targeting relevant.
  • Violating Facebook’s Custom Audience policies or user data practices.

Real World Use Cases and Results

Facebook Custom Audiences are used across industries to achieve marketing goals like these use case examples:

  • An ecommerce site targeted customers who abandoned carts to increase in sales.
  • A software company engaged inactive users to generate more logins.
  • A nonprofit targeted donors to get a jump in recurring donations.
  • A fashion brand targeted their email list with a coupon and improved their ROI.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

As with any marketing tactic, there are both pros and cons to consider with Facebook Custom Audiences:


  • Extremely targeted advertising.
  • Higher engagement and conversion rates.
  • taps first-party data you already own.
  • Effective for loyal customer retention.


  • Requires CRM data, pixel, or app activity to build audiences.
  • Data matching rates vary.
  • Still competes against other ads.
  • Frequency capping can limit campaign scale.

For most advertisers however, the targeting precision of Facebook Custom Audiences far outweighs any potential downsides.

Best Practices for Success

To maximize your Facebook Custom Audience campaigns, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Only upload customer data in compliance with Facebook’s policies. Get consent where needed.
  • Use the Facebook Pixel and collect website data for optimal audience insights.
  • Test different segments and creative to identify what resonates most.
  • Refresh your audiences regularly as new customer data comes in.
  • Combine Custom Audiences with lookalike targeting for expanded reach.


Facebook Custom Audiences enable advertisers to tap into the power of their first-party data for more relevant and effective messaging. By following Facebook’s guidelines and implementing best practices, virtually any brand can benefit from using Custom Audiences to get in front of their ideal buyers. As consumer data continues to become more accessible, Custom Audiences will only increase in capabilities and precision.

To your success,

Paul Markovich

Lead Developer