Facebook Custom Audiences: Ad Targeting Changes to Know

Customer Lifecycle Marketing|5 Minute Read

Facebook Custom Audiences: Ad Targeting Changes to Know

A big change has come to Facebook Custom Audiences that affects anyone using ad targeting.

As of mid-2018, when you upload a target list to Facebook Custom Audiences, you’ll need to identify whether the individuals on that list came from first- and/or third-party data sources. What’s more, you have to state you have consent from those individuals to target them with Facebook ads.

Facebook’s policy clearly takes a page out of the GDPR playbook. So, if you thought you could escape the consent requirements of GDPR (and other privacy measures) by limiting your Facebook ad targeting to solely non-EU countries, think again.

What the Facebook Custom Audiences change means

Like it or not, Facebook is still among the top properties with the greatest reach. And it offers audience targeting that makes advertisers swoon while other publishers groan with envy (unless those publishers are creating audience-based ad products using a CDP, but that’s a story for another day).

Ever since Facebook eliminated third-party data for ad targeting, it’s become even more critical for advertisers to maximize the first-party data opportunity that Facebook Custom Audiences offers. Because let’s face it: Your first-party data is your most valuable marketing asset anyway.

Balancing Facebook Ad Targeting with customers’ consent

If you want to target more sophisticated audiences using Facebook Custom Audiences while also complying with the new consent requirements, you must first unify all of your first-party data at the person-level in a centralized location.

First-party data unification means collecting unique identifiers like email address or phone number, descriptive attributes, interests, preferences, and real-time behaviors across all your channels, devices, and data sources, and then storing all of this data into person-level profiles.

Most importantly, you must capture individual consent status in every profile with the ability synchronize consent across your entire martech stack – including Facebook Custom Audiences.

BlueConic’s customer data platform (CDP) has the four key components to make all of this possible:

  1. Persistent, person-level profiles with the capacity to store an unlimited number of attributes
  2. Real-time segmentation based on any combination of profile attributes
  3. Direct connection with Facebook Advertising
  4. Consent management that synchronizes individual consent across your entire martech stack

By building rich segments in BlueConic, then passing the data to Facebook via our Facebook ads connection, you can:

  • Target audiences on Facebook with even greater precision to drive better response rates
  • Automatically remove individuals from Custom Audience lists that deny consent for ad targeting
  • Send data directly to Facebook instead of manually uploading customer files with latent data

Benefits of our Facebook Advertising connection

In just a few clicks, you can start passing data to Facebook from BlueConic’s CDP using an out-of-the-box connection.

Here are a few ways advertisers are enhancing their Custom Audiences with BlueConic.

facebook custom audiences

1. Suppress targeting to customers who deny consent

Because BlueConic offers consent management as a standard feature of the platform, you can rest assured that you won’t accidentally target someone on Facebook who has explicitly denied consent to be targeted.

Given the new-ish Custom Audiences requirements that Facebook put in place, having the ability to update Custom Audience lists as individuals provide or deny consent will be critical to your Facebook advertising programs.

2. Reduce waste and improve ad spend efficiency

Since no one has ever said, “We’re absolutely okay with wasting our ad budget,” eliminating wasted impressions has become an even bigger focus for many advertisers.

With real-time segments powered by BlueConic, you can ensure that you are only targeting people that fit your desired segment — even as individuals move in and out the segment.

No matter how you define your segments in BlueConic, as soon as a person no longer fits into the criteria, she is removed and immediately pulled out of the corresponding segment.

You can even create new look-alike audiences based on the descriptive and behavioral attributes of your most valuable customers. Or you can suppress recently-engaged individuals from being exposed to your acquisition campaign ads.

No more ad dollars going down the drain: the advertising professional’s dream.

3. Reengage shopping cart abandoners and inactive customers

A leading rental company improved their conversion rates using BlueConic’s Facebook Advertising connection to target “shopping cart abandoners” using Custom Audiences.

In BlueConic, they built a segment of individuals that started down the path to purchase, but failed to complete the purchase. By pushing that segment to Facebook, it allowed the brand to specifically target those abandoners with compelling offers to come back and complete the purchase.

Furthermore, the shopping cart abandoners were also segmented by product to ensure the offer each individual received was related to his or her specific shopping interests.

Because BlueConic segments update in real time, as soon as an individual came back and completed the purchase, she was immediately removed from the abandoner segment so no additional impressions would be targeted to her.

BlueConic offers real-time behavioral segments as a standard feature. This means all BlueConic customers have the ability to target customers that have exhibited no recent activity, or customers that have recently demonstrated a drop in momentum, indicating they may be at risk to churn.

No configuration required.

4. No more wasted time uploading customer lists to Facebook

Facebook Custom Audiences allow you to upload static lists for targeting, such as a customer list from your CRM or a newsletter subscriber list from your email marketing platform.

This is a good step in the right direction, but it’s less than efficient.

Instead of repeated manual uploads, BlueConic’s Facebook Advertising Connection allows you to start automatically passing data. It only takes a few clicks to set up, and boom: You’re good to go.

facebook ad targeting

See what BlueConic can do for you

Whether you’re looking for operational efficiencies or improved marketing effectiveness through data activation, our customer data platform can help.