How to reach your customers using Facebook Audiences (and why your conversion funnel needs turning upside down!)

While it’s a Pinterest truism to declare that your vibe attracts your tribe, there is a secret weapon that can make finding the right tribe for your brand even simpler: Facebook and Instagram advertising. With practically endless amounts of data about its users at Facebook’s disposal, using that knowledge to find exactly the right audience for your ads can do incredible things for your business.


In fact, it’s such an effective way of targeting customers – both old and new – that we’ve written a whole ebook about it (you can download it here). But if you’d like a taste of the possibilities before you make that bandwidth commitment, read on…

First things first: who are these audiences? As well as being a more general reference to any group of people you believe to be the kind that would buy from your business, Facebook uses the term to refer to four distinct types, each of which you can target with your ads.


Core audiences –  Based on Facebook’s data about its users, including their demographics and interests.

Lookalike audiences – A group of Facebook users who share similarities with another group, such as your existing customers.

Custom audiences – A group of users defined by you, such as those signed up to your mailing list, which you can either target separately or use as a seed for your lookalike audience.

Website Custom Audiences – A custom audience of users who visited or took specific actions on your website using Facebook Pixel. This pixel is installed on each page of your website, and is used to understand the actions people take there, as well as how effective your campaigns are.


So where should you employ these audiences? Let’s start at the beginning: the bottom of your conversion funnel.


“The bottom??” you’re no doubt crying out. Yes, the bottom. While most books and articles will tell you to start by attracting new customers at the top of your funnel, here at Nosto we’d argue that when it comes to Facebook and Instagram advertising, that’s unwise. With old customers being statistically far more likely to convert, doesn’t it make sense to spend the first part of your marketing budget re-engaging them?

Adobe’s stats suggest that you need, on average, 5-7 new customers to equal the revenue of 1 repeat purchaser, and that conversion rates are up to 9x higher than new customers (and that’s even higher during the holiday season).

In fact, remarketing to existing clients is not just advisable; it’s crucial to the success of your business. To employ an ecommerce cliché: in not doing so, you’re most definitely leaving money on the table.


Step One: Remarket to existing data

By remarketing via data you already have, you can mine a very direct link between those people that have visited your site, and those same people on Facebook. By using existing CRM data to find those people and show them you’re ads, you’re taking advantage of the fact that they already know and trust you.

Upload, say, your customer emails and phone numbers to Facebook, and it will then check them against its own database, and create an audience of people to show your ads to.  If you can also segment them based on things you know about them – their affinity to certain categories, preferred brands, lifetime value etc – you can even personalize your ads to them.


An example? Right this way…

Imagine you’re selling a brand new pair of sneakers – how do you reach sneakerheads? By segmenting last year’s customer list and finding the people that bought that brand last year, you’ve got the perfect remarketing segment at your disposal. And for extra advertising points, you can also use this group as a seed audience for a lookalike audience – Facebook and Instagram users who haven’t bought from you before, but have been identified as being similar to those people that have.

There’s a lot of potential to be found in remarketing via segmentation of previous purchases. Start by looking around key dates – any gift buyer that bought from you last holiday period, or Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day (you get the idea), is worth targeting this year.

And there’s more good news about remarketing to existing customers: not only are they more likely to convert, they’re likely to spend more per purchase as well. In fact, at Nosto we’ve seen revenue per returning visitor of over 7€ higher than a first time customer.

So, step one is all about using your existing customer data. Step two? Installing the Facebook Pixel and then retargeting based on the actions people take on your site. Only then can we move on to customer acquisition, which can be done through data, and then through Facebook’s Core Audiences, based on demographics and interests.

Sounds like a solid plan, right? Well, here’s the thing: to find out all about those three final steps, you need to download our Ecommerce Guide to Facebook and Instagram Audiences. Luckily, we’ve made that a piece of cake – just scroll down and it’ll be yours in a flash!

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