There’s no doubt that when used correctly, Facebook is an important front in a brand’s digital marketing attack…and it doesn’t look like the platform’s influence is slowing down anytime soon. In our last decade digital marketing experience, we’ve watched Facebook grow and develop features to accommodate targeted marketing. One of these features, in particular, the ability to use custom online audiences, has been a game-changer that continues to make waves in the digital marketing world.

If you or your brand aren’t already using custom online audiences on Facebook, you should be! Simply put, without the use of this feature, you’re most likely leaving a huge percent of your return growth potential untapped. Wondering how you might go about using custom online audiences? We’ve got you covered with our easy-to-follow run-down below.

What are custom audiences?

How to Use Custom Online Audiences for FacebookCustom audiences are basically lists of potential or current clients/customers that you create using existing website and audience data. Some of the data you might use to create a custom audience with include customer email addresses, phone numbers, and unique Facebook ID’s. Once you have your custom audience lists, you can use them to target your digital ads to the right people via Facebook Ads.

How do Custom Audiences help you achieve your full digital marketing potential?

Sending targeted ads to your custom audiences on Facebook can provide instant and long-term growth for a brand or company. Essentially, it’s a refining technique to increase the success and return rates of your digital marketing pushes. For many of our clients, custom audiences have been effective in ensuring productive interaction with relevant users across multiple channels. Aside from driving revenue and return rates, custom audiences are a good way to make sure your brand stays top-of-mind with interested customers.

Ways to create Custom Audiences on Facebook

Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature was rolled out in 2012 and has seen some major changes over the years. Ever since the feature was introduced, it has been a platform-defining feature for targeted Facebook ads. Custom Audiences on Facebook specifically allow a brand to target subsets of the Facebook-using population based on a user’s relationship with the brand. On Facebook’s platform, a brand can use Custom Audiences to target lists of email addresses, unique Facebook ID’s, and/or phone numbers.

Some successful techniques for targeting custom audiences on Facebook are:

  • Target journalists, bloggers, and industry influencers
      • To do this, create a list of journalists, bloggers, and industry influencers you want to target (make sure they are relevant to your business first). Then, search their names on Facebook to locate their profiles. You can figure out their Facebook ID for targeting by going to Once you have the ID’s, you can add them to a list for targeted marketing using Facebook Ads.
  • Exclude current customers and subscribers
      • One way to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to Facebook Ads is to exclude already-loyal customers and subscribers from your digital marketing offensive. Upload your current email list and use it as a negative list on Facebook Ads. That way, you don’t waste money advertising to people who have already subscribed.
  • Target prospects who leave your emails unread
      • If you’re running analytics on your email communications like click-rates (if you’re not, you should be!) you have probably noticed that there are people who receive your emails but do not click through on them. Make sure they get your message by creating a list of those people and targeting them via Facebook’s Custom Audiences.

If you’re looking to grow a brand and deliver targeted ads on Facebook that have high sales return rates, you should strongly consider using custom online audiences. If you’re convinced but have further questions or concerns, please give us a call at 312-569-9449 or visit our homepage. We have helped dozens of brands realize their full digital marketing potential via targeted ads and custom online audiences on Facebook.

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Elijah Litscher
Elijah Litscher is an author, educator, entrepreneur, and marketing innovator with over 18 years of experience in digital marketing. He has traveled extensively as a professional speaker while educating thousands of business owners across the country in online marketing best practices. Elijah is committed to empowering small and medium-sized businesses to reach their full potential online as founder and Chief Digital Strategist at The Loop Marketing Inc. in Chicago, Illinois.