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How we Build Epic Facebook Audiences For Our Ad Campaigns

Are you struggling to get real value from your Facebook Ad campaigns - or simply don’t know if they’re even working? This article will share the recipes and ideas we use to build killer Facebook audience combinations and campaigns.
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This is the same audience strategy we used to help one e-commerce client generate a 43 times return on their ad spend during one of their recent sales.

Here’s a snapshot version of our Facebook Ad campaign process:

We take clear campaign goals and add innovative Facebook audience selections and targeting, combined with an exciting offer and a dash of delicious creativity (which speaks directly to your intended audience) – and you’ll soon reap the rewards.

Let’s dive in a bit more…

There are three main types of Facebook audiences that advertisers work with – 

Facebook Interest-Based audiences (which use Facebook’s targeting algorithms to accurately find new customers who may be interested in your product). 

Facebook Custom Audiences – which are your warm audiences, the ones that have been on your website, viewed your videos, on your mailing list etc. 

Facebook Look-a-like audiences combine your warm custom audiences with Facebook’s data and learning of people with similar interests and demographics.

But hold up, before you dive straight into creating these audiences, you need to take a step back and look at the complete picture. 

If you’ve been to our website before, you’ll know that we love to drink coffee, so naturally, I’m going to use coffee as an example here.

You start with cold, good-quality filtered water when making coffee, which is your ‘Cold Audience’ in this example. You warm the water up and start sending it through your coffee grinds (your warm-hot Facebook Audience) before it hits your cup – the conversion or purchase.

Building Facebook Ad ‘Cold’ Audiences

This group of people don’t know anything about your brand; they’ve never come across your solution or heard your ideas. They’re fresh and just at the start of their journey with your business.

Your best cold audience can be found with a mixture of Facebook Interest-Based audiences and look-a-like audiences.

What is Facebook Interest targeting?

These audiences build up around Facebook’s data of their scrolling habits.

What pages have they looked at? What kinds of posts made them stop scrolling? What ads have they clicked?

You can target cold audiences based on their interests, alongside setting a specific set of criteria, including their age, gender, location, and language.

Why target Facebook Ads based on interests?

When we look at your return on ad spend, it most likely will be lower with your ‘Cold Audience’ campaigns built on Interest targeting and look-a-likes. 

These campaigns can also appear to suck up a lot of your overall marketing spending.‍

But they’re still bloody important. Why? For the simple reason that you need a prospect in the first place to retarget (which is when the big dollars come in – more on that soon).

If you’re filling your cold audience with smart interest-based targetting alongside creative ads that appeal to that audience, you’ll start to build solid potential with those leads.

The Secret Ingredient to a Facebook Audience

The real power of building an interest-based audience is utilising the ‘Exclude’ and ‘Define’ statements.

We take broad interest-based audiences and make them more powerful – simply by excluding specific interests to drill down to your perfect audience. 

Or, we define the audience, which allows us to narrow it further. So not only does your audience need to match your main targeting selections, but they also have to match the second set of targeting.

We define these audiences as much as we need, but always keep an eye on ensuring you’re not making the audiences too small – as this can impact your overall campaign results.

Building Facebook Ad ‘Warm’ Custom Audiences

We’ve taken the cold, high quality filtered water (your targeted cold audience), and the water is heating up and making its way through the coffee grinds, aiming for the cup. 

A warm, custom audience is how we take the data and results you’ve collected from your cold audiences and look for specific ways that the audience has ‘raised their hand’ for more information from your brand or product/service.

These sources range from ‘Facebook’ sources such as event attendees, video viewers, page fans, post engagement. Or your source data, like visits to your website or being on your mailing list

In a nutshell, they’ve clicked a post, visited your website, asked to be on your mailing list, or watched a certain amount of your video content.

These powerful pieces of data allow us as advertisers to get back in front of these users with a new offer, some customers’ testimonials, or some content they could download.

Warm Facebook Traffic = Higher Intent

Targetting your warm audiences works twofold. It’s an opportunity to continue sharing unique selling points about your product or users’ stories to drive conversions (after all, a warm-hot audience is where you’ll typically see conversions).

Secondly, it’s an excellent chance to get in front of an audience that otherwise might have dropped off if you didn’t get back in front of them as a reminder – especially critical when users are still in the decision phase and comparing your brand with others.

The Facebook Ad Perfect Brew

It’s tempting to see the returns on a warm-hot audience and immediately focus on the campaigns attached – but remember that we’re looking for that perfectly balanced cup of coffee.‍

We need the excellent filtered cold water right at the start of the process before there are any results in the cup at the end of the day. 

As clients allocate their daily budgets for us to spend on their Facebook Ads, the majority of this budget will start with a well balanced, well researched, cold audience – typically even upwards of 70%.

Without cold prospects, you have no audience.

So don’t forget about the prospects, plan your campaigns and combine your best audience interests, test those audiences and then remarket to them once they’ve made a signal to you that they are interested to hear more.

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