Before placing Facebook ads, you must understand these 3 concepts!

Understand 3 concepts before placing Facebook ads

For many friends, Facebook ads can be a love-hate relationship. We all know that Facebook’s policies are constantly changing, coupled with various account bans, making it difficult to understand.

But as the saying goes, regardless of whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice, it is a good cat. Facebook is still a very important channel for our independent website sales. To make Facebook ads effective, we need to do many things well, not just the product itself, but also the website landing page, ad creative, audience, and ad strategy, which will all affect the effectiveness of the ads.

Today, we want to focus on Facebook audiences, including how to understand the concept of Facebook audiences and how to expand the audience for independent websites. Because we all know that audience selection is crucial before any ad campaign starts.

Friends in the sales industry may have a deep understanding that companies usually categorize potential customers, such as A-level customers who are loyal customers, and F-level customers who are cold market customers and require more follow-up.

Facebook’s audience principle is similar to this, except that the form it takes is different, but essentially it is the same. Facebook audiences can be roughly divided into three types: core audiences, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences.

Core Audiences

First, let’s talk about core audiences.

Based on interest selection, parameters that can be selected include country/region, age, gender, occupation, interest range, behavior, education level, marital status, language, and so on. This audience is entirely up to you to choose, and they are cold audiences for your independent website because most of these audiences have only interacted with your website for the first time and have little knowledge of your brand.

The expansion of cold audiences can be achieved by trying vertical industry keywords, such as interest words for laser engraving machines. In addition to testing related keywords such as “laser engraver,” you can also consider keywords such as “3D print” and “CNC,” because these people are all part of the maker community.

You can also use advertising monitoring tools to view your competitors’ audience positioning, such as using ADSPY to monitor your competitors’ advertising materials, country, age, and more.

In short, cold audiences are mostly about testing, and there are not many shortcuts, especially if your website is in the early stages, cold audiences are the main source of visitors.

Custom Audience

A Custom Audience is different from a core audience because the information comes from you, not from Facebook’s public information.

Custom audiences are the basis for building similar audiences (Lookalike Audiences). Usually, custom audiences are people who have completed specific events on your independent site, such as adding to cart, registering for email, purchasing, browsing web pages, and so on. These audiences have already had some interaction with your brand, which means they are warm audiences.

How do you create a custom audience? It can be a list of visitors to your independent site or a subscription email list for your independent site. These users are very accurate, and those who use independent site SaaS systems can export them directly in the background and then import them into Facebook. But be aware that the more data you have, the better.

In addition to information from independent websites, it can also be users who have interacted with you through video, Facebook pages, or Instagram pages. You can select “video” in the custom audience and choose a specific audience who has watched a certain video and meets the viewing length requirement. For example, you can create an audience who has viewed 25% of the video in an advertisement, or an audience who has viewed 75% of a video posted on your fan page.

Similar Audiences

Finally, we want to talk about similar audiences. Similar audiences are users who have similar behavioral characteristics to your custom audience. They may not have been exposed to your brand yet, but their behavior, habits, and preferences are similar to your existing customers, making them potential new customers.

For example, if you operate an independent website, the audience who has completed purchases or added items to their cart is your core audience. Now, if you want to find more similar users, you can search for those who have similar purchasing behavior and preferences based on the behavior and characteristics of these core users, and these people are your similar audience.

So, how do you expand your similar audience?

One way is to use email lists. Suppose you have collected some users’ email addresses through activities. These people have some knowledge and interest in your brand, and you can use these email addresses to create a similar audience. However, if the number of email addresses is too small, the effect may not be significant.

Another way is to target website visitors. Although your website traffic may be small at first, you can create a similar audience of website visitors. This gives you a new testing channel to further optimize your marketing strategy.

Video is also a great tool. If you have published some video content, users who have watched these videos are a good similar audience. This method is especially suitable for businesses that provide services or high-priced products because their conversion path is usually longer.

Finally, consider social media. Users who interact with your social media content or ad posts are also an excellent source of similar audiences because they demonstrate recognition and interest in your content through their actions.


Finally, let’s summarize the differences and usage scenarios of the three types of audiences through this chart.

The core audience, whose data is mainly sourced from Facebook users filtered by five dimensions, is suitable for us to start the new user acquisition phase. The second is the custom audience, whose data comes from our own database, and is suitable for re-marketing to users after accumulating a certain amount of user data in the previous phase. The third is the similar audience, mainly based on existing user data, to further expand the audience and is suitable for the audience expansion phase.

As the audience funnel goes down, the audience becomes smaller and the conversion rate becomes higher, but this requires some time and data accumulation. Overall, creating and expanding similar audiences is a dynamic process that needs to be continuously adjusted and optimized based on your business and market situation.

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