Can My Customer Data Be Used To Create Audiences On Facebook?
The short answer is, “Yes!”. This is what is referred to as a Custom Audience. The term “Custom Audience” gets uttered frequently in the world of digital marketing, but many do not entirely grasp its advantages when implementing a Paid Social strategy. Imagine the ability to reach customers that you know purchased a specific product from you, on a specific date, and that it was purchased in-store? How about targeting old sales prospects that have not been contacted for over 6 months with a customized message about how you would like to reconnect? Or the ability to deliver your ad to an entirely untapped audience that mirrors the same characteristics as your most profitable customers? These are all possibilities when utilizing Custom Audiences within Paid Social.
Simply put: a Custom Audience is the result of an ad targeting method that enables an advertiser to create specific, uniquely tailored audiences by utilizing previously collected user information. Most major ad platforms allow audience creation derived from basic user data such as Name, Address, Email, and Phone. Some even track and store user behavior information specific to your marketing efforts within their platform!
Utilizing Custom Audiences has several advantages over traditional audience targeting, namely in its accuracy and flexibility. Rather than selecting pre-determined targeting pools that are supplied by Facebook or utilizing off-the-shelf 3rd party audiences that are offered by large data companies, Custom Audiences are built upon the cleanest, authentic data available: first-hand information directly from your customers! In an increasingly crowded and competitive marketing space, utilizing Custom Audiences can represent significant advantage over your competitors.
Quick Tips for using customer data to create an effective Custom Audience:
1) Collect, store, and logically organize your customer data.
Neatly organizing each unique customer’s information for every interaction sounds like it would be a pain, but chances are that usable customer data is automatically being captured and stored within your customer management system. If you are unfamiliar with your system, take the time to understand how and where your data is stored, what information is being collected, and what events trigger data collection.
2) Understand the nature and integrity of your data.
You have mountains of customer data, that is great! Keep in mind that Custom Audiences are all about context. If there is no clear understanding of what action users took to be on this list, or where the data came from, creating an effective Custom Audience may present a challenge. When evaluating a data set for potential use for a Custom Audience, ask yourself three simple questions: 1) What does this data represent? 2) Where is this data from? 3) How is this data used internally?
3) Old data isn’t necessarily bad data. Use it if it makes sense.
Have customer data from a few years ago lying around? If the data is not time-sensitive, use it. Or at the very least, test it. In many cases old data can still create high performing Custom Audiences if it is clean and validated.
Be up to date on local and national restrictions on how data may be collected, shared and used, and also provide users several options on how to obtain this information. There have been several occasions where organizations were fined, sued, or had their customer information rendered useless because of Privacy law violations.