Creating an Ad Campaign using Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences

Creating an Ad Campaign using Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences

Stitchcraft Marketing guide to look-alike and custom audiences on facebookSetting up a Custom Audience on Facebook allows you to reach customers that are already familiar with your brand or products. Ads can be targeted to your own pre-defined audiences, who are more likely to respond to your Facebook ad campaigns. If you’re selling fabric, yarn or thread, you want to reach quilters, knitters and sewists. If they have already shown an interest in your business by following your Facebook page, signing up for your newsletter, or visiting your website, reaching them through a Custom Audience campaign can convert them from fans to customers. Facebook offers the tools you need to reach the audience you want.

The easiest way to create a Custom Audience is to save a list of your email or phone contacts as a CSV or TXT file and upload it to Facebook following their step-by-step instructions in Ads Manager. Where do you get that list of contacts? They’re waiting to be collected from all your social media and online marketing efforts:

  • Fan acquisition
  • Visitors of your website
  • Purchases made from your website
  • Website registrations
  • Email subscriptions
  • Coupon claims
  • Brand awareness
  • Mobile app downloads

Once you’ve created a Custom Audience, Facebook provides a large number of targeting options which makes custom audiences extremely powerful.You can target your ads to local customers, directing them to your bricks-and-mortar store or tailor the demographics, interests or connections of your audience so that they are more likely to respond to your ad.   

Facebook ads can also help you grow your customer base by using the Lookalike audience feature. You can build a Lookalike Audience based on people who Like your Facebook page or Custom Audiences you have already created. Facebook will look for people who share the traits of your existing customer base.You choose the country in which your ad will be seen and optimize its reach on a sliding scale of 1% – 10%. The smaller the percentage, the more closely the target will match your established audience. The larger the percentage, the more people will see your ad, but they might not be as likely to be interested in your brand. You can further tailor your Lookalike Audience by interests and demographics just like a Custom Audience.

Facebook also provides other features, such as creating a Custom Audience that you wish to exclude from targeting. Exclusion audiences can be useful for websites that need new customers, or in building your email list with new names as previous customers will not see the ad. The process is simple:

  1. Create your ad.
  2. Look for “Who do you want your ads to reach?” and select “Custom Audiences.”
  3. Now select “Include” or “Exclude” based on your targeting needs.
  4. Now select the Custom Audience or Lookalike Audience that you would like to use.
  5. Finish creating your ad and select “Place Order.”

You can also fine-tune your ad campaign by working with marketing partners that can be used to target customers based off other metrics that Facebook does not support internally.

What are the benefits of using Custom and Lookalike Audiences?

Driving a specific action
If you are running an ad campaign with a specific purpose and action, a Custom Audience can be your friend.  Let’s say you want to increase the subscriptions to your email newsletter. Targeting users that have already subscribed to your email list wouldn’t make any sense, so creating a Custom Audience and excluding them from the campaign reduces your costs and keeps you from annoying people who don’t need to see that message. The same can be said for other ads such as ads promoting your mobile app or social media profiles. You can exclude users that have previously downloaded your app or visited your social media page.

The true benefit of Custom and Lookalike Audiences is a potentially higher conversion rate. Custom audiences can be used to target the users on Facebook that are most likely to convert well,

making your ad campaigns less expensive. Rather than targeting anyone and everyone, you can be selective about your campaigns and more careful with how you spend your money online. Use your advertising budget thoughtfully and by saving money on Facebook ads, you can use that capital for other marketing channels.

Creating an ad campaign using Facebook Custom and Lookalike  Audiences is a simple process that’s built straight into the Facebook ad creation process. Now that you are familiar with custom audiences and the benefits of using them, you can improve your targeting efforts and invest in more successful ad campaigns.

If you’d like to learn more about Facebook advertising,  please contact Leanne Pressly at or call 719-539-3110.

Leanne Pressly
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