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Facebook Custom Audience Segments Are Your Friends

Published: August 11, 2016

Author: Bill Cleere

More and more marketers are dedicating increasing amounts of their ad budgets into Facebook retargeting and custom audiences, and rightfully so. This sometimes leads to lazy marketing; however, many businesses using onsite automation and other forms of lead and visitor info capturing are seeing increasing amounts of data in their CRMs.
This is a good problem to have, but make no mistake, it is a problem, if that data isn’t segmented and utilized correctly in multifaceted retargeting and custom audience campaigns.
Let’s go over three common kinds of data marketers can capture, and how it can best be divided up for precise audience creation, yielding higher conversions and return rates:

  1. Pre-existing leads who have never been to your site
  2. Onsite lead captures from site visitors
  3. Cookie data from site visitors

Let’s say you have a set of existing email addresses before you begin a marketing campaign. Additionally, your site has onsite capture using forms, exit windows, and so on. Third, you’ve got retargeting set up on your site using cookie and browser data. You’re definitely in great shape, but here’s where marketers lose an edge when dealing with all this data. A common mistake is collecting that information into one single dataset and then creating a Custom Audience. You create a campaign for this audience on Facebook, and then start rolling out your ads onto the timeline of these leads. The issue here is, these leads are not the same and should not be seeing the same ads, or even the same types of ads.
Let’s look at the first set: your existing data. Depending on where this comes from, this audience needs its own campaign, and therefore its own custom audience. These ads need to be constructed to reflect who these potential clients and customers are. If you got this data from a third party, then these leads have probably never visited your site. So you don’t want them lumped in with people who visited your site and left, or those who came to your site and volunteered their info through lead capture technology. Pre-existing folks need an ad campaign crafted to reflect that they may be interested in your product, but don’t know who you are; hit them up with the kind of copy that will entice them to check you out for the first time. On a side note – some companies will purchase third-party lead data, create a custom audience, and then immediately generate a lookalike from that. In my opinion, this isn’t a great practice. Third-party data might be tailored to suit the kinds of people you’re looking for, but it’s still untested data. My advice is to only create lookalikes from data you gathered yourself. That way, you know you’re going to be getting lookalikes that are closer to the model leads that you want.
The second set is leads captured from submissions on your site. Leads that have submitted info on your site are the hottest of hot. They also need their own custom audience that can be targeted in more of a “closing” ad campaign. They’ve shown they’re interested, they’ve given you the info, and you’re probably already reaching out to them directly. But, keeping yourself top of mind above your competition is paramount, so I highly recommend you run Facebook ads directly to them – again, in an individual campaign specifically tailored to the hot lead. By the way, THIS is the audience that you definitely want to create lookalikes from.
The third set involves cookie capturing. Here are the leads from the standard retargeting practice of cookie data, browser data, and so on; we’re talking about the good old-fashioned visitor who came and left. As you’re well aware, these leads are of high value. Be it cart abandonment, or just clicking around, their behavior shows some interest in your product. Once again – they need their own custom audience, and since they have shown to have some interest, this is a good time to create a lookalike as well. Campaigns to these visitors need to be crafted and designed to address their specific behavior. They came, they saw, they left. This is a great time to offer a small discount, or perhaps a free eBook download. Anything you can offer that has some true value to them, now’s the time. Get them back and convert them, or at least turn them into a hot lead, slide them into that custom audience, and start closing the deal.
These guidelines will help increase your conversions by treating your audiences with individual messaging that speaks to them. They also help you to drill down into precise segments on your end. Nobody wants to be flashed a random billboard on Facebook. They see hundreds of half-measured ad campaigns that only slightly apply to them. Make yours relevant, show them to the right people at the right time, start collecting better leads, create lookalikes, rinse and repeat. When someone feels that you’re speaking directly to them, they become much more likely to speak back.

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