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How to Get More Customers From Facebook Ads Without Increasing Your Budget

Is your Facebook advertising strategy a mess?
Does it leave you frazzled while balancing goals and budget?

It gets worse when there are too many Facebook marketing hacks and tricks out there, and you can barely keep up.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

So should you ditch Facebook altogether and resort to other platforms?

Not so fast!

Besides the 1.13 billion daily active users as of June this year, we all know that Facebook has huge potential as users check Facebook at least 14 times a day. CEOs even have Facebook accounts (we’re looking at you B2B folks).

While there’s been a lot of talk lately about Facebook’s reachpocalypse as organic reach within the social network declines, you can't really call it a day unless you’ve tried what top brands are adopting to maximize ad spend on Facebook.

In this blog post, you’ll learn about the strategy of top brands who are spending less but are reaching more people on Facebook with their ads.

Facebook Custom Audiences: The Marketer’s Promised Land

Sure, your ad’s copy and design will influence your Facebook Ad conversion rates.

But nothing's more impactful to your campaigns than targeting the right audience, whether your goal is to increase installs of your app, or build your Facebook fan base.

The good news is that your targeting options are getting better than ever, making Facebook ads a marketer's promised land, through Custom Audiences.

Imagine being able to target users not only based on age, gender, location, language, interests, and website behavior; but also remarketing based on the number of times a user came to your website within a timeframe.

In fact, The New York Times has been using this tactic to boost subscriptions by using reader behaviors in building their own custom audience list. As a result, they managed to reduce their cost per subscription from Facebook advertising by 25 percent while doubling the number of their monthly subscribers.

With all of these new custom audience segmentation options at your fingertips, you are more likely to increase leads and ultimately boost customer acquisition.

What is a Custom Audience?

A custom audience is a collective of folks that your brand has a previous relationship with — from people who have visited your website, to users who have taken a specific action within your app.

The ability to exclude certain people, say your existing email list subscribers, makes custom audience targeting a powerful tool for small and large businesses alike. For instance, someone visits your site and an embedded pixel helps you track them online. The next time they’re scrolling through their Facebook feed, your wonderful ad pops up in their feed as a subtle reminder. Neat huh?

But wait, there’s more (minus the overly excited infomercial voice).

Facebook is making every marketer's heart sing by continuously developing and introducing more advanced targeting options. Just last May, they rolled out a new set of targeting options in building Custom Audiences via your website visitors.

4 Types of Custom Audiences You Can Choose From

Currently, there are four types of Custom Audiences. Each type empowers you to be more specific in your remarketing efforts and save on ad spend at the same time.

Customer List Audience

Use your existing customer data as your baseline audience, including phone numbers, email addresses, and Facebook user IDs. You can either use a portion of your data, or upload everything from your CRM in one go.

This is a good way to target people with ads that are relevant based on where they are in the buyer's journey. Keep in mind, you can't mix different data sets with this custom audience type.

Website Traffic Audience

With Website Traffic, you can build a custom audience list based on the pixel tracking code you’ve embedded to your website. This feature doesn’t require you to have any existing user data. All you have to do is wait for prospects to visit your site.

This guide to Facebook advertising pixels by Digital Marketer is worth checking out if you'd like to learn more about pixel tracking in terms of ramping up conversion.

For this type, you can choose the timeframe ( up to 180 days) and segment audiences through the following:

  • Anyone who visits your site
  • Anyone who has seen a specific page
  • Anyone who has seen particular pages but not other pages
  • Anyone who has not visited for awhile

Facebook's update on Custom Audiences last May added the following segmentation options:

  • Frequency of visits to your site or a specific page
  • Time spent exploring your website or on a specific page
  • Range of dates that they’ve visited your site
  • The total amount a person has spent on your website
  • Devices used

App Activity Audience

Build your custom audience based on what actions people take when they use your mobile or desktop app for the past 90 days. Learn more here.

Lookalike Audience

Not enough folks in your existing email list or website visitors?

Lookalike Audience helps you find more people that your brand is not currently in a relationship with, but are more likely to become your customers as they share the same interests and demographics as your customers.

Take note that you can only build and target this specific custom audience one country at a time. You have to build a separate lookalike audience list for each country if you’re an international brand.

How to Get Your Money’s Worth With Custom Audiences

You can choose from hundreds of options and test a combination of rules with Custom Audiences.

However, adopting the following strategies will further help you get more customers without increasing your ad spend.

  1. There’s something about thousands or millions of likes that inspires people’s confidence and trust (social proof anyone?) in your brand. For this reason, grow your Facebook page by shifting your focus to audiences who are already familiar with your brand but haven’t liked your page yet. Existing customers who haven’t visited your Facebook page, or visitors who left your site too quickly, are good examples.

    If you're currently after brand awareness, there is no point remarketing to your existing fans and spending ads on them. However, existing fans should be part of your list if your objective is ramping up conversion, increasing app installs, or more users converting on a new offer.
  2. Prioritize building a custom audience of people who dutifully placed items in their cart, or filled out a newsletter subscription form, but changed their minds the last minute. Website shoppers usually leave carts or cease filling out forms for various reasons, including a website that’s too slow or coming across unexpected additional costs.
  3. Spend more time and money on audiences who are active email subscribers (opened or clicked one of your emails). These people have shown interest by paying attention to your emails. You can create an ad with a special offer to disengaged email subscribers as well.
  4. Create a custom audience list of your most active users if you want to increase upsells or upgrades. This is also a good way to get your existing customers to share your Facebook page with their network.
  5. Instead of spending $5 to build various custom audiences, with broader demographics or interests, target your list to folks who are ready to buy (e.g. the cart abandoners) and spend your entire $50 budget on this audience.

These strategies are just icing on the cake. If you’d like to learn more about in-depth Custom Audience strategies, we recommend the following:

  • Mailchimp's Facebook Custom Audience Guide With Your Email List
  • AdEspresso's Facebook Ad Custom Audiences: Everything You Need To Know – 2016 UPDATE
  • Buffer's The Complete, Always-Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising
  • Digital Marketer's 7-Step Facebook Advertising Game Plan

It Boils Down to Relevance

Using Custom Audiences to acquire more customers, while spending less, boils down to delivering relevant content offers to engaged audiences. The good news? Facebook has recognized how relevance is beneficial to both marketers and users.

Which targeting options are you most likely to start adopting soon? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by Kyjean Tomboc / March 14, 2017

Kyjean Tomboc finished nursing school but found joy in plucking and stringing words to ​create value-driven content for brands in the health, life sciences, and lean startup niches. She loves everything strategic in creating content -- from CRO to SEO to SMM to UX (the Internet sure loves acronyms!). Her current obsessions include the human gut microbiome, A/B testing, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Kyjean is also a seasoned trekker.

Articles by Kyjean Tomboc