social media how toHave you considered using Facebook to reach your existing customers or those who visit your website?

Have you tried Facebook’s custom audience options?

Retargeting to the right audience is a must if you want to see more conversions from your Facebook ads.

In this article you’ll discover four Facebook custom audiences you can create to retarget your content to the most relevant Facebook audience.

retarget your content

Retarget content to a your audience with Facebook Custom Audiences.

Why Retargeted Content?

The goal of retargeted content (also known as remarketing) is to place your brand top of mind. Common strategies remarket to people who have already visited your website.

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People rarely buy from you the first time they visit your site or see an offer. They would rather take their time, compare your pricing with competitors’ and visit your site a few more times before completing that valuable sale.

Here are four custom audiences you can use to retarget Facebook users with your content.

#1: Website Visitors

The most common remarketing tactic is targeting relevant ads at people who have already visited your website (usually a specific landing page).

To create a targeted audience based on website visitors, you must have a Facebook website custom audience in place.

Overall, retargeting website visitors is a simple concept: When someone visits a page with your custom audience code (i.e., an offsite pixel), they’re added to your custom audience list in your Facebook Ads Manager.

You can include those visitors (and the custom audience they’re part of) as a target audience in a Facebook ad retargeting campaign.

choosing an audience for ad targeting

Custom audiences are important to Facebook retargeting campaigns.

There may be a case where you want to retarget only a portion of the traffic that has visited a landing page on your website. No problem. You can do that by creating a personalized custom audience:

1. Go to your Facebook Ads Manager and choose Audience.

2. Click on Create a Custom Audience.

3. Under Website Traffic, select People Visiting Specific Pages.

3. Next to the Visited field, customize the URL elements to match the pages you want to retarget.

4. Click on Create.

website visitor custom audience set up

You don’t have to retarget everyone who visits your website.

After you create your personalized custom audience, it’s ready to use. However, keep in mind that it may take a few hours for the new audience to have the final user count.

#2: Facebook Fans

Retargeting to existing Facebook fans is incredibly easy: When you set up your Facebook ad, choose to target people who are already fans of your page.

facebook fan targeting

Narrow your retargeting audience to include only people who are fans of your page.

Does it seem odd to advertise to existing Facebook fans? Consider that acquiring sales from existing customers is cheaper than acquiring new leads (and many of your fans are probably customers). You can also upsell those existing customers with new or better products and services.

Additionally, your fans may not be seeing all of your Facebook updates. If you retarget your most important content to them via a Facebook ad, they’re more likely to see it.

#3: Email Subscribers

You can actually strengthen the power of your newsletter by serving Facebook ads to existing email subscribers.

To set up this custom audience, you need an Excel file with a column that includes all of your subscriber email addresses. Once you have that, go to Audiences in your Facebook Ads Manager, click Create Audience and choose Custom Audience.

Click on Data File Custom Audience and follow the instructions for the setup. Make sure to indicate that you’re updating email addresses.

facebook fan targeting

Create a custom audience based on your email subscriber list.

Retargeting to email subscribers can increase the chance of conversion exponentially. It’s worth the extra effort to set it all up.

#4: Similar Audiences

Many of your users—whether website visitors, Facebook fans or list subscribers—have overlapping demographics, interests and behaviors. Wouldn’t it be great to find more people like them? Well, you can.

You can create a custom audience targeting people who share similar characteristics to your existing connections—people who are very likely to be interested in your products, services and content.

The custom audiences you create to retarget to by similarity are called lookalike audiences and they expose your ads to a more vast and relevant audience.

To create a custom audience based on similarities to website visitors, go to the Audience section of your Ads Manager and choose the custom audience installed on your website (see #1). Click Create Lookalike Audience at the bottom of the page and choose the desired audience reach.

To create a custom audience based similarities to your current Facebook fans’ personal data (e.g., behavior, interests, etc.), go to the Audience section of your Ads Manager, click Create Audience and choose Lookalike Audience from the menu.

create audience dropdown menu

Create a lookalike target audience to find potential Facebook fans and customers.

Click Source and type your page name. Select the country you want to target and how similar your audience should to be to your current fans. Click Create Audience.

creating a lookalike audience

Choose the characteristics of your fan page lookalike target audience.

To create a custom audience based on similarity to your current email subscribers, go to your Audience menu, click on the name of the email list you loaded in #3 and click on Create Lookalike Audience at the bottom of the page.

Once you have your custom lookalike audiences in place, you can select each as needed depending on the goal of your Facebook ads.

Wrapping Up

Retargeting via Facebook ads helps you stay top of mind while they’re considering their decision.

The trick is to retarget content to a precise audience rather than a generalized audience that may or may not be interested in learning more about your business, product or service.

Take advantage of Facebook’s extensive custom audience options to capture more conversions and meet your advertising goals.

What do you think? Have you retargeted content using Facebook custom audiences? Did you see more conversions? Leave your comments and questions below.

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  • Well done, Rocco!! Excellent tutorial! 🙂

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Thank you very much Mari! I am glad you enjoyed it!

  • Hey Rocco,

    This is a clever idea. I never thought about this and I can see that your share numbers are pretty high in itself! Now I need to add this strategy since I’ve been digging deep with my target audience! Thanks for sharing!

  • Bala

    hi Rocco, in terms of targeting website visitors, these visitors have to be Fans on your Facebook page too right ?

  • jeff

    Thanks for the insight.

  • Janice M.

    Hey Rocco,

    Great article. I have a question. How does Facebook create a “look a like” audience based upon an Excel document of your current email subscribers? What information are they pulling?

  • Sharon

    Hi Rocco,

    Thanks for the great article. I’ve previously installed the tracking pixel on our website but when I want to use the custom audience, Facebook tells me my audience is too narrow. I generally have about 1000 unique visitors per month. Am I doing something incorrectly or is this tool only applicable for bigger businesses?

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Sherman,

    Thank you for the note. Retargeting definitively is the way to boost sales and become top of mind 🙂


  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Bala,

    No, it is not necessary to have them as fans.


  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    You are welcome Jeff!

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Janice,

    There is no official procedure, but i believe they analyze factors such as sex, gender, interests, likes and other parts of their profiles. It works very well!


  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Sharon,

    There must be something wrong with the pixel. You only need 100 visitors to activate it. Did you install it site-wide and in the header?


  • HI there, I am rather new to this so please bare with me. Under the Audience section, there is no option to create a custom audience? Any suggestions?

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Volpes,

    Once you click on Audience there should be a button called create audience. It is created from there. Here is a link that might be helpful


  • Good share, we notice many advertiser actually didn’t maximize Facebook ads feature.

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    I am glad you enjoyed it Eugene!

  • Maria

    Thank you Rocco. What a great article do ou have to have a fan page to do the targeting. I am new at this. I just whys that I have more knowledge. But you are so clear on what you want us to learn. Thanks again.

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  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Maria,

    There is no need for a Facebook page but it is advisable to have one in order to be able to use newsfeed ads.

    I am glad you enjoyed it!


  • gutterboy

    Hi Rocco,

    Is there a way to advertise to a custom audience but NOT to current fans of your page?

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Yes, this is a possibility. You can find it in the audience settings of your ads.

  • gutterboy

    thank you!

  • Thank you so much for teaching about wca.. I knew about custom audience but never came across WCA… Its really effective.. Thanks a lot for sharing… Would try this…

  • Dilan

    Great article! Thanks Rocco!

  • Elirija

    Hi Rocco, I have tried to set up retargeting with website visitors, (I installed the pixel about 2 weeks ago), but facebook tells me the Custom audience is too small ( even though i know that more tan 20 people have visited since I installed the pixel)? Could it just be that the people visiting might not have facebook? Thanks.

  • Rocco Alberto Baldassarre

    Hi Elirija,

    that could be it but it could also mean that the code is not in the right place of the page.


  • Have you tried using retargeting based on dynamic behavior to drive traffic further into your funnel?
    We have been seeing crazy responses from this (7000-9000% roi) etc. Tracking the path to the sale

    So under utilised, and so effective when done correctly!


  • Great article. Lots of useful information. Nicely done Rocco.

  • Candy Kwan

    inspiring article with practical advise to adapt to boost business. Thank you!
    I just wonder in this case, i should also be able to retarget people who likes my competitor’s page using the Custom Audience tool with the URL setting. True?

  • Candy Kwan

    Hi Rocco, IS there a way to retarget audience visiting competitors’ page?

  • Do you need to have a specific amount of emails? Or can you do it with a small list?

    (I have under 100 currently…)

  • Guido Zecckine III

    Some of the best info on retargeting I have had the pleasure to read. Very good advice, and concise too. Thanks for another great post Social Media Examiner. I can always count on getting the inside scoop from you. EXCELLENT!

  • veeray

    hi. I wasn;t clear on building an audience of visitors to a url, do you have to place a facebook pixel there? or could you enter any url.?

  • rishiasthana

    It’s a complete article if read and practiced thoroughly. I wish I would have read it earlier.