Audiences are a group of people who either interacted with your brand or are similar to audiences that have interacted with your brand. There are two main audiences types. The first is Custom Audiences and the second is Look-a-Like Audiences.
Custom Audiences are a set of people who have interacted with your website, Facebook page or app. From there you can drill down and define criteria about how they interacted with your brand to build more specific audiences, which then can have tailor ad campaigns run for them. For example, if you want to reengage with someone you’d run an ad campaign for everyone that hasn’t interacted with your website in the last 90 days – and maybe hit them with a promotional offer, which would be known as a “win-back” campaign. Or you could target someone who has watched at least 50% of a video you posted to Facebook. Or you could use the lead scoring from Unit 4 to funnel people into a score-based custom audience based on what score they’ve reached etc. The possibilities are literally endless, but creating well-thought-out custom audiences is essential to any successful ad campaign.
The other major audiences are Look-a-Like Audiences or LAL’s. LAL’s take your custom audiences and then, using data that only Facebook has access to, tries to find people who they believe are similar to your original audience. With LAL’s you can set a sliding scale between 1-10% – 1% is the closest match to the original audience traits, while 10% is a much broader match of what Facebook would consider similar. There are pro’s and cons to both – the main one being that 1% will be a much smaller audience while 10% would be much larger, 1% will likely yield higher RoaS while 10% could lead to more conversions, albeit at a higher cost.
Many “Gurus” and “Experts” will claim to have ways to hack the algorithms or “beat” Facebook at its own game, don’t listen to this, the only way to truly understand what works is to test different audiences and campaigns against one another through A/B testing, to follow and read what others have done in similar businesses or goals/objectives etc.
Finally, the last thing to discuss is Exclusion Audiences. Exclusion Audiences can be a great way to keep costs down and ensure people aren’t seeing your ad who don’t want to. For example, anyone who unsubscribed from your newsletter should be automatically added to your Exclusion Audiences for any main campaigns, as you would want to structure a special ad campaign for those individuals.