Facebook Advertising Audience: Complete Guide + 12 Strategies to Increase CTR and Conversions

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We hear so much, and rightly so, about the Public of Facebook Advertisingbut what is it? And how is it practically implemented? And what are some ways to use it? We talk about it in this guide, starting right from some statistics of success in the use of this feature.

Facebook Advertising Audience: Statistics and 5 case histories

public facebook ampush

According to a study by Ampush, retargeting with Facebook, carried out (as we'll see in a moment) with the feature Facebook Custom Audience, was able to triple the conversion rates and reduce the cost per share (CPA) by 65% of campaigns that use other targeting tools on Facebook.

It's not just Ampush that benefits from Facebook's personalized audience: according to a AdEspresso report, the Facebook Custom Audiences have allowed numerous companies to increase their CTRs, conversion rates and decrease the cost of customer acquisition:

  • KingNet had a +75% in CTR, a +46.6% in conversion rate and a 43.37% lower CPA;
  • OpenSky has increased +30% its conversion rate;
  • JackThreads has Reduced by 30% the CPA of member enrolments;
  • Kixeye has doubled conversions, and increased LifeTime Value by 5.5X.;

How are these results possible? By applying the various features of the Facebook Audience.

In this post we will look at:

  • what the Facebook Advertising Audience is and the 3 types of Audiences you can create (Custom, Similar and Saved);
  • 12 creative, sometimes unusual, yet effective Facebook Ads Audience application strategies;
  • How to create a Custom, Similar and Saved Audience step by step.

Let's start with a definition: what is the Facebook Advertising Audience? We could define it as a powerful way of targeting Facebook's advertising tool, which allows you to reach various types of targets and implement numerous strategies: let's start right here and see which ones.

12 Strategies for Using Facebook Advertising Audiences

#1: (Re)find customers and prospects on Facebook

Let's say you have a business that wants to start out a web marketing activity on Facebookwith great probability you will possess a email address listof people subscribed to your newsletter.

Through Facebook Advertising's custom audience feature you can start with them.by directing Facebook ads at them with a clear advantage: cthose who have subscribed to your newsletter have chosen to do so, they know you, so you will have less difficulty in addressing a business proposal to those who know you, rather than those who have yet to figure out if you and your product and service are reliable and right for them.

You know that: it's easier and cheaper to convert a user you've already bought or who knows you.

#2: (Re)Connecting with Remarketing

How many of the people who walk into a store every day buy the first time? Few, very few, or not most anyway.

This phenomenon, physiological in the sales funnel, also happens online, where statistics confirm that a very small part of those who access the site for the first time converts, i.e. buys a product from your website ecommerce or he leaves you his contact information.

That's why it is essential to connect to the user once they have entered the site.

Acquiring a contact of the potential customer who has not yet decided if you and your product or service are right for them has a obvious economic advantage: it allows you not to lose forever a potential customer who entered your site through an advertising campaign for which you paid.

There are three ways to connect to a user accessing our site:

  1. asking him for the address email, of course I offer him something in return (a lead magnet);
  2. by making him click "like" us on our Facebook page;
  3. reconnecting to him with the remarketing.

Facebook's personalized audience allows us, thanks to the tracking pixel, to activate remarketing, going to re-propose an advertisement to those who have visited our site without converting, reminding them of their visit and encouraging them to return to the site.

Here's an image illustrating the process of remarketing (or retargeting) with Facebook Advertising's Custom Audience:


Ways to remarket with Facebook's Custom Audience include showing the ad to:

  • anyone who visits the website;
  • people visiting specific web pages;
  • people who visit specific web pages but not others;
  • people who haven't visited your site for a while: this last feature gives you the option to include people who have visited your website in the last 180 days but haven't returned in the last 30 (or other number) days.
  • a customised combination of the above criteria.

#3: (Re)Finding our LinkedIn contacts on Facebook

Find our Facebook contacts from LinkedIn.? It's a little known function of the Public, but if you think about it, it's possible: you can download the list of all your LinkedIn connections and how to their email addressesexporting it in CSV format or to outlook or other mail providers.

This way, with the email addresses obtained, you can use Facebook Advertising's Custom Audience to show your connections of LinkedIn. your advertisement, in a non-invasive way.

Despite the fact that this strategy often doesn't allow to reach a large number of people (since the email with which people register on Linkedin may not be the same as the one used for Facebook), the results, at least according to a research carried out by AdEspresso, are comforting: creating a Personalized Audience with Linkedin emails has led to AdEspresso a CTR 6 times higher and a much lower cost per conversion ($0.686 Vs. $3.689) than another targeting done with a wider audience:

ADESPRESS linkedin facebook public

#4: Find similar people on Facebook

You have your client's email list, right?

Do you know them well? Maybe so, but an algorithm may know them better than you do.

Facebook Advertising's Similar Audience allows you, for example, starting from an email list with which you have created a Custom Audience, to Algorithmically extrapolate common characteristics and find similar people on Facebookso probably just as likely to buy.

#5: Recover who abandons your ecommerce cart

If you have a ecommerce surely you're aware of that: one of the main reasons for non-purchase is thecart abandonment.

The person adds the product to the cart...and exits without completing the transaction.

How do you remind these people to complete their purchase? In 3 steps:

  1. create a Custom Audience by inserting the tracking pixel on the cart page;
  2. creates a Custom Audience by inserting the tracking pixel on the page where the visitor who bought lands;
  3. at this point you just need to create a direct ad to the Public with a custom combination: who has visited the shopping cart but excluding who has visited the page where the buyer lands (the Thank You Page).

Here's how:

abandonment cart public facebook advertising

#6: Optimizing Time with the Saved Audience

As you know, Facebook Advertising has many targeting options: you can choose age, gender, location, interests of your target audience.

But doing so is time-consuming: with Saved Audience, as you'll see below, you can save sets of characteristics of your target audience, then easily choose them from the drop-down menu when creating an ad:

audience groups saved facebook ads

#7 Recover an inactive contact

When you send a newsletter, for example with a professional tool such as SendinBlue,  Get Response o Aweber, you can see if there are any subscribers who haven't opened your email in a long time.

Thanks to Facebook Ads Custom Audiences you can re-engage with your inactive members.

#8: Segmenting

In Web Marketing Academy I have different categories of articles: there are Facebook Advertising themed articles, like this one, themed Email Marketingthemed SEO and so on.

On the other hand, in your ecommerce or site you might have a similar situation.

Let's assume that you want to target an ad to a user who visits a certain category of articles or products, for example to sell a related product or service: thanks to remarketing with Facebook Advertising's Custom Audience you can show your ad to those who visit only a certain part of your site and therefore may be interested in that topic or product.

In short, you can segment your visitor, thus increasing the chances of showing them a consistent product.

#9: Cross Selling

Let's assume you have numerous products for sale. A visitor to your site buys one and, after completing the transaction, lands on the thank you page.

At this point you could track him via the tracking pixel and show him an ad with a product similar to the one he bought.

In a word, you can use Custom Audiences and remarketing with Facebook Ads to cross sell.

#10 Remarketing on Mail Chimp lists

When you import emails into Custom Audience, you can also do so from Mail Chimp lists: the email addresses on your list MailChimp will be matched with people on Facebook to create an audience, and as Facebook confirms, "your contacts will not be notified that they have been added to an audience."

#11: Prohibited from sending personalized newsletters?

This is fresh: the Privacy Guarantor has sanctioned as you can no longer send personalised newsletters to ecommerce customers without their consent.

No Problem: You can still reach them thanks to Facebook's Custom Audience.

#12: Finding people similar to your likes

In addition to finding people similar to a previously created Custom Audience or people who have visited a page on your site, you can find people similar to those who have liked your Facebook Page through Similar Audiences.

Creating an Audience in Facebook Advertising: a step-by-step guide

At this point let's go over how to create an Audience.

Starting with Advertisement Management select from the drop-down menu "Tools" you will find two items:

  • Audience;
  • Audience Insights, which are statistics on the various types of Audiences you have created.
public facebook ads

Entering the first section "Audience" we find 3 possible types of Audience that can be created:

  • the Custom Audience
  • the LookaLike Audience (in English "LookaLike")
  • the Saved Audience.
custom similar audience saved facebook ads

Let's analyze together features and potential of these 3 modes of Facebook Advertising Audiences.

The Custom Audience

The most well-known and used Facebook Ads Audience type is undoubtedly the Custom Audience:

custom audience facebook ads

On the screen for this Audience type you will notice that you can create a custom audience from different sources: let's see them together.

List of customers

The first option of creating a Custom Audience allows you to use some data you already have, which can be:

  • email addresses you have;
  • phone numbers that you have;
  • Facebook user IDs of people who have used one of your apps.

Let's get into the details of the first 2 features, as it is possible for emails and phone numbers to be held by any company.

Email and Phone Contacts

Let's assume that you have a list of e-mails or phone numbersclassic business contacts you may have acquired from list building initiatives and lead generation online or offlineThanks to "Personalized Audience", you can direct your Facebook Advertising ad to these contacts, provided that the email address you have is the same as the one they registered with on Facebook.

If you don't have any email addresses or would like to get new ones to take advantage of this feature, I recommend reading 2 of my articles:

Then you can import your contacts into Facebook, in 3 possible modes:

  1. upload a file containing email addresses, phone numbers: you can upload files in .csv or .txt format, and text files (.txt and .csv) can contain items on separate lines or a comma-separated list of items;
  1. copy and paste email addresses and phone numbers, Facebook user IDs from a spreadsheet or text file. You can copy columns from a spreadsheet containing one item per row or from a list of items separated by a comma;
  1. import email addresses from Mail Chimp: With this feature, email addresses from your MailChimp list will be matched to people on Facebook to create an audience;

Once email addresses and phone numbers or Facebook user IDs are uploaded, Facebook Advertising will search for social network subscribers who are registered with the email, or phone number entered or whose ID matches the one entered.

Saved Audience

What is Facebook Ads Saved Audience and how does it differ from Custom Audience? It's simple.

When you create an ad in Facebook Advertising, the first section, after choosing the target for your campaign, is dedicated to choosing the characteristics that the users you will target with your ad will have.

Now, let's assume that you have a target audience that you often use for your ads, for example you often create Facebook ads aimed at:

  • women;
  • between the ages of 20 and 40;
  • who live in Milan within a 20km radius;
  • who are interested in fashion, fashion... etc.

Without having to set these characteristics every time, Facebook gives you the possibility to save them in a Public, creating a Saved Public:

 create a saved audience facebook advertising

For example, you could call it "Women 20 40 Milan Fashion". Once saved, you can easily recall it in the initial part of the screen for defining the audience, where there is precisely the drop-down menu "Audience".

The LookaLike Public

Brace yourself, because it's not over yet: a Facebook Advertising feature allows you to create a Similar Audience (called LookaLike) to the one you created, as of:

  • a personalized audience that you created earlier;
  • a Facebook Page of which you are the administrator;
  • a monitoring pixels.
create a similar audience facebook advertising

Let's try to understand these 3 options together.

Creating a Similar Audience means searching Facebook for people who are similar to a Custom Audience, likes on a Facebook Page, or people who have accessed a web page where I have placed my tracking pixel.

As you can see from the screenshot above, I can create a Similar Audience in 3 steps:

  1. I have to select the originwhich is what source I want to look for similar people from;
  2. where select the country of destination of my advertisement;
  3. I have to select audience sizeranging from 1% to 10% of the total population of the country: 1% represents the people most closely matching your audience of origin.

How does Facebook create a similar audience to the source audience? It takes into account the characteristics that people in your source audience have in common (e.g. demographics, interests) and finds the most "similar" people to your source audience in the country you specify.

Screenshot and ad creation

Once a match is found between the criteria entered, whether it's email addresses, phone numbers (in Custom Audiences), or specific targeting options (in Saved Audiences) Facebook will create an Audience in the following manner:

public customized dashboard

As you can see, on the screen that presents you with the various Audience types you have several columns:


It's the name you assign to the audience you've created. For example, I use "Website Visitors" to designate people who have visited a certain site (and on which I will be able to do Remarketing, as we will see below) or "LookaLike Website" to designate a LookaLike Audience to another created (as we will see shortly);


It's the Audience type: as you can see from the screenshot the types are the 3 we talked about before: Custom Audience, Similar Audience and Saved Audience.


It's the size of your audience. That is: if you entered, say, 1000 emails, how many of those did Facebook match among subscribers? Or how many people match the targeting options you entered in the Saved Audience? You can see the answer in the "dimension" section;


In this case you have 3 possibilities. It is possible that your audience is:

  • ready: means that Facebook has found a sufficient match between the data you entered and the people registered;
  • Audience too small: your audience must include at least 20 people if you want to use it for listings;
  • Low match rate: appears in case the data you entered does not find enough matches among Facebook members.
Creation date

The date your Audience was created.

Once you have created an Audience, whether Custom, Similar or Saved, you can direct your ad to this target group.

Audience Insights

That's not all: in the "Insights" section, once you have selected an Audience of at least 1000 people, you will be able to see some characteristics of your Audience, such as:

  • age;
  • sex;
  • lifestyles;
  • romantic situation;
  • level of education;
  • professional title.

All information that could be useful to better define your target audience or build Personas, or Buyer Personas:

public insights facebook ads

Now it's your turn!

If you think about how many people are registered on Facebook, you understand that Facebook ads are an extremely powerful form of advertising, of which you have seen one particular aspect in this guide.

Now it's your turn: have you used Facebook Audience? Do you have any ways you'd recommend using it?

Let's talk about it in the comments!

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