How to Create a Custom Audience on Facebook Ads Manager

Jul 18, 2019 | Social Media

Do you want to reach new audiences and generate new leads while saving time and money? You're not alone.

Do you want to reach new audiences and generate new leads while saving time and money? You're not alone. Fortunately, we live in the world of social media - where anyone can become a marketer. In fact, over 7 million advertisers regularly use Facebook to market their business (Statista).

In 2004, Facebook introduced their groundbreaking – albeit limited – advertising platform. While slow to catch on at first, marketers began flocking to the platform after Facebook reduced organic reach to 2% (Hubspot). If you’re new to Facebook Advertising, you are probably wondering, “What’s in it for me?” In a nutshell, advertising on Facebook has the following key benefits:

  • Adjustable, cost-effective bidding – It’s a budget saver!
  • Flexible scheduling – Run the ad on your terms!
  • User-friendly interface – Anyone can do it!
  • Customizable audiences – Reach your exact demographic!

There are infinite combinations you can configure when creating the audiences for your Facebook advertisements. From specifying the zip code of your target demographic to selecting their marital status, the possibilities are endless! Top audience types include lookalike audiences (algorithmically-generated segments made up of people who “look like” your current customers) and custom audiences (audiences you develop based on your customer list or website visitors). Beyond targeting your customers and those that look like your customers, Facebook Advertising has an array of additional targeting options. These include targeting by location, interests, demographics, behaviors, age and gender, language, and connection type.

Custom Audience Types

Custom audiences allow you to target your current customers, current website visitors, and others who have engaged with your business in some way in the past.

Customer File

Use a customer file, such as a list of email subscribers or phone numbers, to match your current customers with people on Facebook.

Website Traffic

Create an audience of people who have visited your website (and specific pages within your website) or taken specific actions, such as completing a contact form. This method of audience development requires the Facebook Pixel to be installed on your site.

App Activity

Generate an audience made up of people who launched your app or took a specific action within your app.

Offline Activity

Create an audience of people who have interacted with your business either in-store, by phone, or through other offline channels. This requires the creation and management of offline event sets.


Set up an audience based on people who have engaged with your content on Facebook or Instagram. Engagements include video views, lead form completions, Facebook page interactions, Instagram page interactions, Facebook event interactions, and canvas ad or collection ad opens.

Store Visits

Create a list of people who have previously visited your store. This requires the collection of store visitor information.

How to Create a Custom Audience

To create a custom audience, you must first have a Facebook Business Manager Account with an Ad Account set up. You must also have a Facebook pixel, or tracking code, created and placed on your website if you want to generate a website traffic audience. Once these initial pieces are set up and in working order, you can follow a few simple steps to create a custom audience. If you need assistance with creating your account, placing your pixel, or developing a custom audience, the Digital Marketing Team at Informatics is happy to help.

Comparing Audience Overlap

The Audience Overlap feature in Ads Manager allows you to select a custom audience and compare the reach and overlap against the values of up to four additional custom audiences. This process reveals how many people overlap for each audience and what percentage of overlap is occurring. This feature generates a Venn diagram to help you visualize this overlap.

While it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, overlapping audiences can lead to poor ad delivery. If you are faced with a large overlap percentage between two audiences, you won’t want to deliver the same ad to both audiences. If you do, you run the risk of your ads competing against one another or paying to show the same ad to the same people.

If you are experiencing high rates of audience overlap, consider the following:

  1. Consolidate your overlapping audiences into one audience.
  2. Hone your audiences with more specific targeting.

Are you ready to take Facebook Advertising up a notch? Informatics, Inc. is a full-service web and marketing agency with over 20 years of experience. Our mission is to help you reach your business goals by implementing a cohesive, multi-channel strategy. Let’s get started!

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