$.17 Conversions with Facebook Custom Audiences

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$.17 Conversions with Facebook Custom Audiences

Ah, Facebook. The advertising platform that either wastes your money or makes you money. If  you're like most first-time Facebook ad users, then you've probably setup some Facebook ads and gained some fans for a cheap cost, but experienced no increase in revenue or leads. A few years back, I was in the same boat. Spending hundreds of dollars to gain thousands of 'fans' without seeing a dime of it back in revenue. However, once I began mastering the art of the Facebook 'Custom Audience,’ I was able to begin averaging $.17-$.45 per conversion for clients and myself. (These are eBook downloads below) proofofcustomaudienceconversions

What the heck is a Facebook Custom Audience?

A Facebook Custom Audience " an ad targeting option that lets advertisers find their existing audiences among people who are on Facebook.” (FAQ on Facebook) This basically means that you can target your current subscribers, website visitors, website members, etc. with your Facebook ads—rather than just anybody.

Why your audience is everything.

Facebook has some pretty amazing ad-targeting capabilities, but utilizing their regular 'interest' and 'behavior' demographics is not enough anymore. Facebook is saturated with thousands of irrelevant ads that just clutter the newsfeed and aren't effective.  In fact, I jumped over to Facebook and below is a great example of irrelevant ads. (I don't have kids & don't plan on it anytime soon..) Bad Facebook Ad Example

A custom audience study

I recently finished an ad campaign setup for a client and before I began setting it up, they were telling me how ineffective they thought Facebook ads were because all the ones in their newsfeed weren't relevant and quite frustrating to them. To demonstrate the power of building a custom audience, opposed to targeting with Facebook's general demographic settings (like they were used to seeing,) I created 2 ads. The 1st ad targeted 11,600,000 people with Facebook's general interest & behavior targeting. The 2nd ad targeted 10,600 people who I was able to pull (with Digital Marketer's 'Audience Maker') Facebook user ID's from specifically relevant groups. Side-note: Unfortunately, Audience Maker is no longer available for sale.. Within two days, ad #1 was averaging $.82 per click (not bad, seeing as I've paid up to $5 per click) and ad #2 was averaging $.12 per click. (An 85.36% reduction in cost)

$.12 Clicks

The ads were the exact same, but the audience made all the difference. It's not about the quantity of people you're targeting, but rather who you're targeting.

So... How do I build a good custom audience?

Building a custom audience is easy and can be done in 2 steps:

1. Define Your Audience. Knowing exactly who you're targeting is essential. Every Facebook ad can serve a different purpose, so it's important to define who you're going to target with each ad. The more pin-pointed they are, the better.

Example: If you sell road-bike gear, then you'll probably want to target people age 30-50, who are members of Facebook biking enthusiast groups and who have above average spending habits.

2. Create your audience. Once you’ve defined your audience, in your Facebook Ad Manager --> Audiences --> Create Audience. Once you reach this page, you'll be able to create a custom audience in 4 ways: [checklist]

  • Upload a custom file
  • Import from Mailchimp
  • Import from mobile app
  • Track website visitors

[/checklist] I’ve found that tracking your website visitors, as well as uploading a custom file is the most effective method if you don't have a large audience, Mailchimp or a mobile app, so I'm going to focus on that. (Assuming that you're just getting started)

Tracking Website Visitors

This is the first step because the code Facebook gives you to install on your site will begin tracking visitors and retargeting them when they log into Facebook. The sooner this is installed, the quicker it will start growing your custom audience with super-targeted people who have already visited your site. I track every visitor that comes to my blog and segment them (I'll touch on that in a bit) into different categories, so my audience is even more pinpoint for any product release or free offer I have. Here's how you begin tracking people:

1. Create a 'Custom Audience from your Website' & grab the tracking code.

Facebook Web Remarketing Pixel

2. Install in header of website (Wordpress example below)

Adding Facebook Pixel to Wordpress Site

3. Complete name, description & tracking length. Seeing as the code is in the header, it will track ALL website visits, so it's important to label it generally. The maximum time for saving your visitor info is 180 days. Max it out.

Configure Facebook Pixel Settings

4. Create segmented traffic (part 1). Tracking all the general visitors to your site is great, but what if you blog about content marketing, email marketing and Adwords, and you're releasing an Adwords Training product? Would it would be more effective to keep track of all the visitors who land on only articles & pages that have to do with Adwords? Of course. And luckily, that's possible.

Create segmented traffic (part 2). Create a spreadsheet hat contains the links to all your previous articles and categorize them by keywords for future articles. (Will touch on this in a second) [wpdm_file id=20]  

Visitor Segmenting on Facebook

Once that's done, you'll need to create a new audience, except this time, you'll be targeting 'specific pages.' Go to Create Audience -> Custom Audience from your Website .

Name the audience one of your core categories.

Then, create a description and make sure it's set for 180 days.

For example, if I wanted to build an audience of all the people who visited my social media articles from now on out, I would make a 'website audience' with the title 'Social Media' and the description 'All visitors to social media articles.' After that's done, change the 'website traffic' to 'People visiting specific pages.' [checklist]

  • Add your website's URL to the 'visited' section.
  • Then click the + button and add all the permalinks of the old blog posts about that core category.
  • Finally, add the keyword by itself (in my case, it was 'social media')

[/checklist] Tracking Individual Article for Facebook Custom Audience

This will begin tracking ALL the visitors to the old articles and will continue to segment visitors for all NEW articles you write that have the keyword in it! Pretty cool! :-) Site-note: Unfortunately, the keyword will only work for future articles, so it's important to include the permalinks of all the old articles to segment their traffic.

Uploading Your List

This is pretty self explanatory. Whether you have a list of emails/phone numbers you collected from a trade show or you have a list of email subscribers from your website, you can import them and Facebook will automatically match the email or phone number with a Facebook user.

Hi-Jacking Groups & Fanpages (user IDs)

This is hands-down my favorite method.  It is the quickest way to create a custom audience without having a list to import or traffic to pull from.

In other words, it rocks.

To do this, you’re going to need a software such as RankBook’s Fanpage Scraper or Group Scraper. (I used Digital Marketer's old 'Audience Maker') These softwares will allow you to extract the Facebook user ID’s of people who 'like' a particular fan page or are part of a particular group. Once you’ve extracted a .csv file of the user ID’s to the groups you pick, you’ll need to upload them to your custom audience! [divider]


Using these techniques, I have been able to average clicks for $.10-$.30, generate leads for as little as $.17 and make thousands of dollars in sales.

What are you doing to enhance your advertising?

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Josh Coffy

Josh has an exhaustive understanding of technology and a creative marketing approach that drives client results. In his free time, Josh does CrossFit and travels with his wife.