Skip to main content
Visit us at the eCommerce Day in Cologne on April 26. Grab a ticket & arrange a free Amazon Account Check!

Today we are talking about what is probably the most important targeting option when placing ads on Facebook, the custom audience. A custom audience is a group of people who have already been in contact with you or your company in various ways. In this article, we will discuss which contact options are currently taken into account by Facebook. If this group of people (custom audience) has been recorded, these people can be addressed again via Facebook ads. A custom audience is therefore the basic prerequisite for the placement of retargeting ads. This is actually self-explanatory: only people who already have a contact point can be addressed using retargeting.

Facebook currently offers the following options for creating Custom Audiences:

    • Website Custom Audience: Contains people who have visited your website and/or certain subpages of the website. The prerequisite for a Website Custom Audience is the use of the Facebook pixel.
    • App Custom Audience: Contains people who have used your app (in whole or in part). Prerequisite is the use of the Facebook SDK.
    • Engagement Custom Audience: Includes people who have interacted with your profiles on Facebook or Instagram.
    • Custom Audience from a customer list: Creation of a custom audience based on pre-generated customer lists. Prerequisite: You need the consent of the persons to upload the customer data to Facebook.

Create website custom audience

Let's now take a look at how we can create a website Custom Audience. As already mentioned, it is essential that you have implemented the Facebook pixel in compliance with data protection regulations. If this has been done, we select Facebook under ElementsTarget groups from.

Create Custom AudienceThe target group page gives you an overview of all saved target groups, as well as custom and lookalike audiences that have been created. Regardless of whether you want to create a Website Custom Audience or an Engagement Custom Audience, you must always do this via the target group page.

On the target group page, you will find the "Create target group" button at the top left, where we can now also create a custom audience.

Create Facebook custom audience

After we have selected the creation of a Custom Audience, the following screen appears.

Create Custom AudienceNow we have to select the desired custom audience type by selecting "Website traffic" under Sources. This opens a pop-up window in which we can create our website custom audience (WCA) according to certain rules. In the following, I would like to talk about the most common and useful website custom audience variants.

Website Custom Audience with all visitors to the website:

First, we create a custom audience that records all website visitors from the last 180 days. The maximum time frame for creating a website custom audience is 180 days; we cannot select a longer time frame. The prerequisite for this is, of course, that the Facebook pixel has also been active for 180 days.

WCA 180 daysTo do this, I enter the 180 days in the time window next to "All website visitors" and give my target group the name "WCA (All visitors) 180 days". When naming your custom audience, you should follow a clear structure so that the wrong custom audience is not selected later when creating the campaign.

Website custom audience that has visited certain subpages

Of course, we can also refine our custom audience so that we only include people who have visited certain subpages. To do this, we select the option "People who have visited specific websites" in the "All website visitors" drop-down menu.

We can then select which pages should have been visited based on URL rules.

We can either use "is equal to" to name the desired URL or use "contains" to select a URL section that must appear in the URL. Alternatively, we can also use "does not contain" to specify which pages must have been visited.

URL contains Custom Audience

Create website custom audiences based on events

If you work with Facebook events on your website, you can also create a custom audience based on these events. For example, an online store can create a custom audience that has bought something in the store. Alternatively, all other events can of course also be selected (lead, search, etc.). To create a website custom audience based on events, we click again on the drop-down menu "People who have visited certain websites" and scroll down to the event overview.

In my example, I select the Facebook event "Lead" to create a WCA.

Event WCAThe previous examples were still very straightforward, we can refine our WCA even further based on the end device usage and the aggregated value!

Refine website custom audience

We can create our WCA even more specifically using the blue "refine further by" link.

Website Custom Audience

There are several options available to us:

  1. Refine by end device
  2. Refine by frequency
  3. Refine by aggregated value

1.refine WCA by end device

This can be particularly relevant for websites whose main product is an app. The following options are currently available to us: All mobile devices, iOS, Android and desktop. Further refinement by model number is not yet available.

Terminal refinement

2. refine WCA by frequency

Another great way to refine the WCA is based on the frequency of visits in the specified period. In this way, visitors who have visited your website more frequently can be included in a separate WCA, as can be seen below.

An alternative to refinement based on frequency is the "Visitors in order of time spent" option. With this function, people who have spent the most time on the website can be grouped into a custom audience. Currently there is the option to group the top 25%, 10% and 5%.

WCA frequency

3. refine WCA by aggregated value

One WCA that I rarely see used is the custom audience based on an event in conjunction with the aggregated value of this event. This allows online stores that have integrated Facebook events to create a website custom audience of people who have spent a minimum amount in the online store.

To do this, the event purchase must be selected and the "Aggregated value" option selected under "Refine by". Next, we select the "Sum of" option. Then we just need to determine which parameter should be used to calculate the total. Next, we just need to determine from which sum the website custom audience should be created. In the following screenshot, you can see an example of the creation of a website custom audience of people whose purchase was over €100.

Aggregated value

Exclude people from website custom audiences

I have not yet addressed one central function, the function to exclude people. When applying an exclusion criterion, there is first of all a selection option to include people in the custom audience and then a second option to exclude very specific people again.

This allows an online store to create a website custom audience that includes people who have added products to the shopping cart and at the same time excludes people who have purchased products. Ultimately, this leaves only people who have added products to the shopping cart but not purchased them. A very important audience to target again with Facebook ads!

You should make sure that you select the "Include people who ALL of the following criteria"!

I will explain my thought process below.

Exclude people Custom Audience

App Custom Audience

Basically, the functions for creating a website custom audience and app custom audience are very similar. The only difference is the names of the events that can be selected. For this reason, only a few examples of app custom audiences follow.

Options for creating app custom audiences:

  • Everyone who has opened the app
  • Most active users (refers to how often a person has opened the app)
  • Users by purchase amount
  • Users by segment (in Facebook Analytics, segments can be created according to demographic characteristics, end device information, etc., which can be used to create custom audiences)
  • As well as all implemented events (installation, launch, registration)

Refine app

If events are used to create the app custom audience, the "Refine by" function can also be used here. The custom audience can be refined based on parameters, the aggregated value and by end device category.

Refine app

Engagement Custom Audience:

Now we come to the third option for creating a custom audience, the use of engagement custom audiences. When creating an engagement custom audience, we refer to interactions that have taken place on Facebook and / or Instagram. For this reason, it is not necessary to use the Facebook pixel or Facebook SDK.

Time and again, I see advertisers limiting the use of custom audiences to website interactions, even though Facebook sources are just as promising.

The following Facebook sources can be used to create a custom audience:

  • Videos
  • Lead form
  • Instant experience
  • Facebook page
  • Instagram business profile
  • events

Facebook sources Custom Audience

Facebook pages as a source of interaction

Now let's take a look at how we can create interactions with a Facebook page.

The following selection options are available to us:

  • Everyone who has interacted with your page
  • Everyone who has visited your site
  • People who have interacted with a post or advertisement
  • People who have clicked on a call to action button
  • People who have sent a message to your page
  • People who have saved your page or a post

FB interactions

What does "Everyone who has interacted with your page" mean?

This includes everyone who has visited your page or interacted with your page content or ads on Facebook or Messenger.

What does "everyone who has visited your site" mean?

This includes all persons who have visited your site, regardless of their actions.

What does "people who have interacted with a post or ad" mean?

This only includes people who have interacted with a post or ad on your site. Interactions include reactions (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry), sharing posts, comments, link clicks and clicking through carousels.

What does "people who have clicked on a call to action button" mean?

This only includes people who have clicked on an available call-to-action button on your site, such as "Contact us" or "Shop now".

What does "people who have sent a message to your page" mean?

This only includes people who have sent a message to your page.

What does "people who have saved your page or a post" mean?

This only includes the people who have saved your page or a post on your page.

Instagram page as a source of interaction

Now let's take a look at how we can create interactions with a Facebook page.

The following selection options are available to us:

  • Anyone who has interacted with your company
  • Anyone who has visited your business profile
  • People who have interacted with a post or advertisement
  • People who have sent a message to your business profile
  • People who have saved a post or an advertisement

Instagram Custom Audience

What does "anyone who has interacted with your company" mean?

This includes anyone who has visited your business on Instagram or interacted with your content or ads on your business profile or their own feed.

What does "Anyone who has visited your business profile" mean?

This includes people who have visited your Instagram business profile, regardless of what action they have taken.

What does "people who have interacted with a post or ad" mean?

Text update: This only includes people who have interacted with a post or ad either on your business profile or in their own feed. Interactions are "likes", saving content, clicking through carousels, tapping call-to-action buttons or sharing a post or ad as a direct message.

What does "people who have sent a message to your business profile" mean?

This only includes people who have sent a message to your business profile on Instagram.

What does "people who have saved a post or ad" mean?

This only includes people who have saved a post or ad from your company either in your business profile or in their own feed.

Create custom audiences through events

Now let's take a look at how we can create interactions with an event.

  • People who have accepted or are interested
  • Persons who have accepted
  • People who are interested
  • People who have accessed the event page
  • People who have interacted
  • People who have interacted with tickets
  • People who have purchased tickets
  • People who wanted to buy tickets

Custom Audience EventWhen creating a custom audience based on events, individual events can also be selected using the "Select specific event" option.

Create custom audiences through video interactions

Video custom audiences are one of my favorite methods of creating a custom audience. With a video custom audience, interactions with a video are used to create a custom audience. The interactions do not necessarily relate to all uploaded videos, but very specific videos can also be selected.

The following interactions can be selected:

  • People who have watched at least 3 seconds of a video
  • People who have watched at least 10 seconds of a video
  • People who have viewed at least 25% of a video
  • People who have viewed at least 50% of a video
  • People who have viewed at least 75% of a video
  • People who have viewed at least 95% of a video

The maximum custom audience period is 365 days.

Create custom audience via lead form

Another exciting way to create a custom audience is to use interactions with a lead ad. A lead ad is a type of campaign that is available specifically for lead generation within Facebook. Part of a lead ad is a contact form, which can be created as desired.

Which interactions with a lead form can be used to build custom audiences?

  • Everyone who has opened this form
  • People who have opened the form but not sent it
  • People who have opened and sent the form

Of course, interactions from very specific lead forms can be selected.

The maximum period of custom audience based on lead forms is 90 days.

Create custom audiences through Instant Experience

Interactions with an Instant Experience can also be used as the basis for creating a Custom Audience. Similar to the creation of a custom audience through interactions with a lead ad, individual instant experience ads can also be selected for an instant experience custom audience.

The following interactions can be selected for an Instant Experience:

  • People who have opened the Instant Experience
  • People who have clicked on a link in the Instant Experience

The maximum custom audience period for interactions with an Instant Experience is 365 days.

Conclusion - Facebook Custom Audience:

There are numerous options for creating a custom audience. The most common variant is certainly the creation of a website custom audience. Often, however, the full potential is not exploited and people are content with a custom audience of all website visitors. I hope that I have contributed some ideas for the creation of further custom audiences with this article.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

Your registration could not be saved. Please try again.
Your registration was successful.
Google Rating
5.0
Based on 59 reviews
js_loader
Google Rating
5.0
Based on 59 reviews
js_loader