Facebook Custom Audiences are among the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal. They can be used for retargeting, for exclusions and to find new potential customers (with the help of Lookalike audiences).
Facebook Audiences have a new and improved look. This article is based on the latest Facebook updates
When it comes to creating Custom Audiences, the sky is the limit (and your imagination). You can start with something really simple, like all your site visitors in the last 180 days (that’s an audience you should always have) and go deep into more sophisticated configurations, like audiences field with visitors of at least 3 articles from a key category in the last 30 days (that’s just an example, of course), or clients who bought products of at least $200 in the last week (again, an example).
If you use PixelYourSite you can granulate your Custom Audiences in amazing ways, like the traffic source of your visitors, URL tags, categories, tags, content title or ID, your client address (town, state, country), order value, coupon names and so on.
How to create a Custom Audience based on your website traffic (updated)
Open the Audiences page and click on “Create Audiences” and select “Custom Audience”. A popup window with various options will show:
As you can see there are several Custom Audience sources you can use: Customer File (you can upload a file with your customer data), Website Traffic (everything that happens on your site), App Activity, Engagement on Facebook. They are all valuable, but this article will concentrate on the Website Traffic source.
Select “Website Traffic” to continue. If you have multiple pixels connected to your account, select the one you want to use for this audience (with the Super-Pack you can use multiple pixels on your site):
Now is the time to define your conditions for this Custom Audience. You can target people that visited your site or specific pages of your site, or you can use Pixel Events (really powerful). Here are your main options:
- All website visitors
- People who visited specific web pages: this option lets you create URL rules. For example, if you create a rule to include “pixel”, only people that visited URLs that contain “pixel” will be part of the audience.
- Visitors by time spend (all site, or specific pages): you can select to include only top 25%, 10%, or 5%. You can’t specify an exact time, unfortunately.
- Events – really powerful, you can do almost anything by using it
1. Time Frame: you can specify to include visitors in the past 180 days.
2. Multiple conditions: If your custom audience is based on “People who visited specific web pages”, you can add multiple conditions. They will follow an “AND” logic, meaning that all of them must occur for the user to be added to the list.
3. If you use “People who visited specific web pages”, you can further refine by Frequency and Device (All, All mobile devices, Android, IOS, Desktop)
4. Include More: you can have additional conditions. An “OR” logic will be used here, meaning that people that met at least one condition will be included in the audience. The new rule can be based on a different pixel, if you want.
5. Exclude: you can set up rules to exclude some visitors from the custom audience. Again, you can use a different pixel if you want to.
Here’s a screenshot with a sample Custom Audience with a complex condition (people who visited pages that contain “https://www.pixelyoursite.com/facebook-pixel-pluginFacebook” for at least two times in the last 30 days) and an exclusion (people who visited pages that contain “https://www.pixelyoursite.com/super-pack” in the last 30 days):
Custom Audiences Based on Pixel Events (on site actions)
This is where things are getting really interesting because you can configure some incredibly targeted audiences.
What Are Pixel Events
Standard or custom Facebook Pixel Events are pieces of code inside Facebook Pixel that are telling Facebook that a visitor of your site has performed an action, like visiting a page, clicking a link, scrolling down, or moving the mouse over an element. Every event can have parameters, an additional set of data that you can furtherer use.
Know your events
PixelYourSite adds a number of events by default and you can also define your own events when you need them.
Default Important Events by PixelYourSite:
- GeneralEvent: is fired on every page and is design for Custom Audiences. It pulls parameters like domain, post_id, content_name, post_type, content_category, tags, traffic_source, UTM.
- E-commerce related events (WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads): ViewContent (on every product), AddToCart (on add to cart button click or on cart page), InitiateCheckout (on the checkout page) and the Purchase event (on the thank you page).
Add your own events
You can add events with PixelYourSite Pro that will fire:
- when a page is visited
- when a link is clicked
- when a form button is clicked
- when users scrolls to a predefined percent
- when users moves the mouse over an element
This way you can capture important actions, like newsletter signups or affiliate link clicks for example.
TIP: check your events with Pixel Helper Chrome Extension
Browse your site and check your events. Open the ones you are interested in, so you can see their parameters.
Custom Audiences Based on Events, 3 Examples
You can really be very creative when it comes to your custom audiences, so I think the best way to show you how to do it is by giving you a few examples. They are all based on actual events fired on pixelyoursite.com, but you can definitely adapt them to your own site.
Example 1: Custom Audience based on the GeneralEvent
I’ll create a Custom Audience of people who visited at least 3 articles from a particular category in the last 30 days.
Click on “Create Audience” and select “Custom Audience”, “Website Traffic”. Select the GeneralEvent and “domain” parameters contains pixelyoursite.com, plus content_category contains “Facebook Pixel Marketing” (this is just an example using our own website). Click “Refine by” and select “Aggregated value”. Select “Frequency is greater or equal to” 3. Name your audience and add a description (optional). Click “Create Audience”.
Example 2: Custom Audience based on the Purchase Event
The Purchase Event fires every time a transaction is completed. If you use WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads, the event is added by PixelYourSite and has a number of useful parameters.
I will show you how to create an audience of clients who made a transaction of at least $100 in the last 30 days and didn’t use a coupon code. These are valuable customers that you can target with an add and offer them a discount coupon.
Example 3: Custom Audience based on a scroll event (custom event)
On PixelYourSite we fire a custom event everytime someone scrolls down a page to at least 20% named “scroll general 20”. It’s a way of measuring user engagement that we found to work pretty well. This event uses our Super-Pack to pull out parameters like content type, page ID, and title.
Using this event, I will create an audience of people who visited PixelYourSite Pro page coming from Google (our plugin adds the traffic source as a parameter) and scrolled to at least 20%.
How to Use Your Custom Audiences
The main reason you want to create Custom Audiences is to retarget important segments of your visitors with specific ads. You will better know their interest and you can create a funnel approach.
You can also exclude an audience when you create your campaign. You will want to exclude people who already subscribed to your newsletter when you run an email signup campaign. The same is true for ads promoting a particular product. It’s best to exclude your clients who already bought it by using the Purchase event and the id or product name.
Find new clients
You can find new potential clients using Lookalike Audiences. It’s particularly important to use a Lookalike based on your existing clients (the Purchase Event). Facebook will try to fill this audience with users that have a similar profile, increasing the chances for your ads to convert.
TIP: when you target a Lookalike Audience, consider using interest-based filters.