Many of our prospects say that their industry doesn’t use social media because their customers don’t use social media. The truth is, customers are active on some form of social media in every industry.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find your target audience on every social network. LinkedIn has the benefit of LinkedIn Groups and Twitter has hashtags (#) which are being used more frequently. Facebook, however, is a little different and can cause a headache for marketers, especially when they’re trying to grow a Facebook page and prove to upper management that this particular platform isn’t a waste of time and money.
Facebook’s Custom Audience feature should make things much simpler. This new feature is now available to all U.S. marketers and a global release will follow soon. If you have a very targeted customer base that you’ve had trouble finding on Facebook, this feature will help you pinpoint them. The Custom Audience feature combined with an inbound marketing strategy provides a targeted way for your brand to attract prospects to your Facebook page and increase engagement.
Custom Audiences Explained
Facebook ads aren’t anything new – they’re all over your sidebar, in fact. I’m a young guy and advertisers know that because of the information I’ve provided and is featured on my profile. Because of that, I get ads targeted towards my demographic; for me and other young males it seems to be beer and pizza. I’m looking at my profile right now and see a Domino’s ad and a Busch Light ad. And while the demographic may be “right,” I really don’t care about either right now and I don’t feel a connection to either brand.
Custom Audiences changes the way brands can target customers. Instead of using information users submit on their profile, this feature allows a marketer to upload a database of phone numbers or email address to Facebook and find and connect with users that way. This means that marketers can take less of a “shotgun” approach to advertising on Facebook. Prior to this you could only target general properties of users with your ads.
Facebook also has a feature that allows you to target users who’ve visited your website, and this is lumped into Custom Audiences. That feature, which has been used for some time, allows a marketer to track website visitors, then target those visitors with Facebook ads.
It’s important to remember, though, that these features apply to paid ads only. It costs money to advertise on Facebook and you’ll get charged per click on your ads. The benefit of Custom Audiences is that you’re better able to target more specific users, so your Facebook ad budget should see a better ROI.
How To Use Custom Audiences With Inbound Marketing
The beauty of the Custom Audiences feature is that it works with inbound marketing extremely well. Content is king for inbound marketing, but you shouldn’t be giving that content away completely free. There should be a form that users fill out in order to download the content piece you’re providing. When visitors fill out the form, that information is entered into a database of other users who value what your brand has to say. Now you can use that database to target ads with Custom Audiences.
The forms visitors fill out should ask for email addresses and/or phone numbers. Then you import that data into Facebook under your company’s profile. Facebook will automatically sync users to the email addresses or phone numbers you provided and allow you to send ads to just those targeted users. The caveat is that if prospects submit a different email address on your form than the one they use on Facebook, the social network won’t find them.
Why You Should Get Started
You may have figured this out by now: the reason to take advantage of this new Facebook feature is to increase the visibility and engagement of your brand on Facebook. Use this feature and you’re going to be targeting users who have actually interacted with your brand and show an interest; they’ll be much more likely to click on your ad and “like” your page. Plus, all that work you’re doing on Facebook will then be seen by a larger audience and have a better chance at going “viral” among users. The larger reach your message has the better, and especially a larger reach to relevant prospects.
Custom Audiences also allows you to better segment your audience. You can set up lists of existing customers and show them different ads with different messages than those you show to prospects. This can come in handy for brands that have multiple product lines that serve separate customers bases, allowing you to tailor content specific to each.
I absolutely love how Custom Audiences enables you to utilize your contact databases and get really get creative with your Facebook marketing efforts. It should also allow you to spend less and get better results. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Custom Audience feature combined with an inbound marketing strategy provides a targeted way for your brand to attract prospects to your Facebook page and increase engagement.