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    Building custom audiences on Facebook and retargeting them using Facebook ads

    20 June 2016

    Graphic illustrating idea of building custom Facebook audiences

    Facebook offers some useful advertising options for tourism businesses that wish to target new customers or upsell to existing customers. One of the most powerful tools at your disposal when it comes to Facebook advertising is ‘custom audiences’ which you can use for remarketing.

    What is remarketing?

    Remarketing or ‘retargeting’ refers to the practice whereby you show repeated advertisements to a customer after they have visited your website, to encourage them to return and make a booking with you – if they did not initially complete the booking process.

    According to Rocco Alberto Baldassarre, writing on Social Media Examiner, there are four different types of audiences which you can remarket to using Facebook ads.

    Create a custom audience based on website visitors

    You'll need to set up website retargeting well in advance of when you need it, by going to the Audiences section in Facebook Ads Manager. The first step is to install the website retargeting pixel to your website. The next step is to set up a custom audience from your website via the ‘website traffic option’ in Facebook Ads Manager. 

    A custom audience is created when someone visits a page on your website which has your custom audience code (the retargeting pixel). When they click on the page they are added to your custom audience list in your Facebook Ads Manager. In this way, you can create your target audience for remarketing purposes. 

    You can exclude certain types of customer from this custom audience. You have the option to exclude them in Facebook Ads Manager, under ‘website traffic’ when you select ‘people visiting certain pages.’  You may wish to consider this option if you are only interested in remarketing to a certain segment of your website traffic for example.

    Remarket to your existing Facebook fans

    You don’t just have to remarket to new customers, however, you can also remarket to existing Facebook fans. You can do this by choosing to target people who are already fans of your page when setting up your Facebook ad. This can be useful if you wish to upsell to them. 

    Target your email subscriber list to upsell to them 

    You can also set up a custom audience to target your existing email subscribers so that you can upsell to them. It is possible to set up a custom audience for this purpose by uploading an Excel file of all of your email subscriber email addresses to Facebook Ads Manager.  

    You can do this going to ‘Audiences’ in your Facebook Ads Manager, clicking ‘Create Audience’ and choosing ‘Custom Audience.’

    Create a lookalike audience

    Finally you can create a ‘lookalike audience’ in Facebook Ads Manager, under the Audiences tab. A lookalike audience consists of people with similar characteristics to your existing customers. This expands the reach of your advertisements to new customers on Facebook who could have the potential to book with you because they share similar characteristics to customers who have booked with you in the past.