Facebook Custom Audience – The Basic Guide

By 23rd June 2016 No Comments

Tired of running Facebook campaigns to millions of people when the majority of them aren’t even local let alone the right demographic? We hear you. It can be quite annoying when you see your ad budget maxed out with hardly any quality conversions.

But fear not, there is a way of tackling this common issue and targeting to your right audience – by creating a custom audience.

Target The Right People

It’s quite harsh to hear but, your Facebook ads can have the perfect imagery and content, however, if they aren’t showcased in front of the right audience, they’re pointless.

Facebook has well over 1.6 billion users. Meaning, you can reach a wide range of people. But that doesn’t mean you should showcase your ads in front of everybody.

To be brutally honest, not everybody wants your service – the key here is to target the people that do!

In this article, we will show you how.

What are Custom Audiences?

Simply put, Custom Audiences are lists of people who are already part of your audience (your current customers/users, customers from the past, high value customers, newsletter subscribers, etc).

Using Custom Audiences, you can find them on Facebook and communicate/engage with them through your advertising campaigns. With people checking their Facebook many times a day, this is crucial for generating new clients online!

Creating a Custom Audience for your ads

To create your first Custom Audience, go to your Business Facebook page ( and then select ‘Audiences’ under the Assets tab.



You will then see the screen below. As you can see, we have already created a number of custom audiences. On the left-hand side is a tab titled Create Audience. Once clicked you will be given three options…


We will explain these options as simple as possible to ensure you choose the right one when creating your audience…

Custom Audience

The Custom Audience tab allows you to reach people who have a relationship with your business, whether they are existing customers or people who have interacted with your business on Facebook or other platforms.

Lookalike Audience

This option allows you to find new people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable audiences, i.e. a similar audience to your website visitors.

Saved Audience

This section is for creating a more general targeted demographic, giving you the option to define your audience by country, gender, age and interests. Perfect for when you’re boosting your Facebook page posts.



Creating an audience from your email database

Ok, once you click the Custom Audience tab you will be greeted with this pop-up…


Let’s select the “Customer List” options. This is where you can put your leads – or potential customers. You will be given two options – to sync your list manually or via your CRM.

You’ll have two options to sync your customer lists:

  1. Manually upload your audience in a .txt or .csv le.
  2. Synchronization with your Email CRM to your Facebook Ads Account

1 – Manual Upload

When manually uploading your list you can use a CSV/Excel file or just simply copy and paste your entries. Be sure to give your audience a name that describes this list, for instance “Newsletter signups”.

2 – Sync with CRM

With a Custom Audience Sync tool, you can make sure the leads that you acquire in your email list are automatically synced to your custom audiences (or vice versa, with Facebook’s extremely powerful Lead Ads).


Create a list from your website traffic

If your email list just simply isn’t big enough yet, then don’t worry. You can use custom audience to retarget your website visitors, with the website traffic option.

This feature doesn’t require you to have any data about the users you want to target. All you have to do is wait for a user to visit your website. Thanks to a special tracking code – the Facebook Pixel – Facebook will recognise users and automatically add them to an Audience, making them ready to be re-targeted with advertising.


To create your Facebook pixel:

Go to your Facebook Pixel Tab in Ads Manager

  1. Click Create a Pixel (if you already have a Pixel, you won’t see the “Create a Pixel” button)
  2. Enter a name for your pixel. Since there’s only one pixel per ad account, choose a name that represents your business.
  3. Make sure you’ve checked the box to accept the terms
  4. Your Facebook Pixel tracks multiple events depending on the page.

You’ll want to add the Pixel to all pages you want to track, so ask a developer to help, or use a plugin that automatically does this for you. The Pixel will also slightly change if you want to track things outside of just “website visitors” (like leads, purchases, etc.).


Using your Custom Audience for your ads

Now you have created your custom audience, the hard work is done! All you need to do now is add your custom audience to your ads. This is simple…

Start with opening the Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor and create a new ad.

After you’ve created your ad’s creative, you’ll get to the “Audience” section. Choose the first option, “Custom Audiences”.


Type the name of the Custom Audience you want to target and select it from the autocomplete list. If you want, you can select more than one Custom Audience to increase your reach.


Final Thought

Creating custom audiences for your Facebook ads will truly transform your conversions. You will now be able to retarget the highest quality of users – your website visitors and email subscribers, rather than advertising your business to random people who live thousands of miles away!

We have tried to keep this article basic, rather than giving you a mountain of information and sending your brain into complete overdrive! However, if you do have any further questions about Custom Audiences and Facebook ads then simply comment below and we will be more than happy to help you!