Looking for creative new ways to grow your success with Facebook Ads?
Today I want to share some new ideas for how you can use Facebook’s Customer Audience feature to refine your ad targeting and get more bang for your marketing buck.
For those of you who still haven’t tried it, Custom Audiences is a powerful new tool which allows you to create lists of people you want to target Facebook ads at based on a list of email addresses, unique Facebook IDs or phone numbers.
Important Disclaimer: This article is intended to help you get your creative juices flowing and start thinking about what is now possible using Facebook ads audiences. Some of these ideas might be against the terms of service for using Custom Audiences.
I’m not recommending that you try all these techniques (but if you did, you’d probably get an awesome ROI. Just sayin.)
Custom Audiences are one of the most effective targeting techniques that I use for my consulting clients.
Here’s some creative ideas for you to consider…
1) Target Journalists and Bloggers
Start of by creating a list of all the influential journalists and bloggers that you want to target. Then locate each of these people’s individual Facebook profiles (you can pay somebody at Fiverr.com to do this work for you). Once you have a list of all their profile URLs, you can get their Facebook ID numbers by going to www.findmyfacebookid.com.
Or you can also find anybody’s ID by adding the word “graph” to their profile URL, like this http://graph.facebook.com/aaronzakowski
Add all these IDs to a list and you can now target all the influencers in your marketing.
(Update Oct. 2, 2014: This idea is clearly against Facebooks’s updated terms of service so use this strategy at your own risk)
2) Target Employees of a Specific Company or Organization.
Trying to grow your B2B leads?
Gather a list of emails, phone numbers or Facebook IDs of people that you want to do business with (yes, I know this is against Facebook’s rules. But this is just theoretical). You can often find emails or phone numbers on a company’s website. Throw this data into a new custom audience and hit them up with ads sending them to a targeted landing page.
For a larger company with the right resources, you can find customers who visited specific pages on your site (assuming they were signed in to your site and you have their emails) and hit them up with ads about the products they viewed. You can also use this technique to target people who abandon your shopping cart.
You can also use Facebook Exchange for retargeting.
As far as I can see, this technique is kosher.
4) Target Existing Customers To Get Them To Be Facebook Fans
Generally, I don’t recommend this technique for smaller business because you should probably be using Facebook to grow your email list (not the other way around). However, if you think this is a good strategy for you, you can easily upload your email subscriber list into a custom audience and target your subscriber with Facebook ads.
5) Exclude Your Current Customer and/or Subscribers
You can also use custom audience to exclude people from seeing your ads. So, for example, if you are doing an email lead generation campaign, you can upload your current email list and use it as a negative list so that you don’t waste money advertising to people who are already subscribed to your list. (This technique is one of the first things that I implement for every lead gen campaign that I run for my clients)
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6) Target Prospects Who Never Open Your Emails
Do you have people on your list who don’t open your emails? Try uploading the unopened segment of your list as a custom audience to make sure that they are not missing your message.
7) Target Audiences With The Same First Name
I haven’t tried this one yet, but it’s really slick and you can probably get it to conform with Facebook’s rules if you have a large enough email list.
Here’s how it works…
First, segment your email list in small sub-lists of people who all have the same first name (you probably only want to do this with people who have popular first names). Then, you can create small Facebook audiences of targets who all have the same name. Now, you can hit these people up with ads that call your audience by name. Can you imagine the CTR you would get on an ad like that?
Bonus: Send the traffic to a custom landing page that also welcomes them by their first name.
(Update: It is now against Facebook’s rules to target users based on their first names.)
8) Target Your LinkedIn Connections
Most people don’t know this, but you can download a list of all your LinkedIn connections as well as their email addresses. You can use this list to create a custom audience for your Facebook ads. This is a great, non-intrusive way to send your LinkedIn connections to your website or to grow your email list.
9) Target Your Top Customers
Every company or organization has a small number of brand evangelists or brand ambassadors (hopefully it’s not just your mother) and you should pay close attention to these people and treat them well. These are the people who share your content with their friends the most and really help spread the word about your company.
Once you identify who your ambassadors are, it could be a great idea to create target ad campaigns to make sure that these people are seeing all your best content. You can even use ads to target special offers just for them.
10) Buy An Email List
OK, yes, this is definitely against Facebook’s rules. But I still wanted to throw this idea out there and let you decide for yourself if you want to risk it.
Normally, I would never suggest buying a list and sending them unsolicited emails. However, in the case of Facebook ads, your targets won’t know how they are being targeted. So, as long as your ads are relevant to them, there’s no reason that anybody should complain. This is a great way to build a very targeted audience.
One Extra Idea For Non-Profits…
Here’s one last idea for my non-profit readers out there…
You can target all your past donors with ads to encourage them to come back and donate again. You can also compile a list of top donors to other similar organizations, find their Facebook profile IDs and target them for these big donors for donations.
If you’ve got a large email list, try using RapLeaf.com to segment your list to use in small custom audiences for more targeted Facebook ad campaigns. RapLeaf can give you all types of data about your subscribers such as home owner status, baby product buyers, high-end brand buyers, travelers, and much more. This data can really be helpful when trying to micro target your Facebook ads at niche audiences.
Here’s What To Do Next…
Hopefully, this list has stimulated your imagination about the limitless possibilities of Custom Audiences.
Do you know somebody who is running a Facebook campaign who might be able to benefit from some of these ideas? Send them this article and help them start making more money from their Facebook marketing.
Have you tried using custom audiences yet? Tell us what methods are working best for you in the comments below.