Creating custom Facebook audiences when setting up ads is a powerful business tool to maximize ROI in your ad campaigns. What most business owners don’t know is how they can add geofencing to their targeting to get a step up on their competitors while also saving money.
Keep reading to learn more about custom Facebook audiences and how you can implement geofencing to increase your return on advertising spend.
Standard Ad Targeting Vs. Facebook Custom Audiences
You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with Facebook’s standard ad targeting. Facebook has an extraordinary amount of information about its users, their interests, demographics, browsing habits, etc. You may not know that Facebook gets data from countless partners like Experian to estimate household income and shopping habits.
This huge trove of information is what makes Facebook advertising so powerful. Savvy advertisers can create extremely narrow, granular targeting for their ads. The tradeoff, though, is that the more narrowly you target (by using more of Facebook’s data), the more you pay to reach people.
How Are Facebook Custom Audiences Different?
Rather than rely solely on Facebook’s consumer data, you’ve also got the option to import your own custom audiences. Facebook allows you to create an audience from a number of sources including:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Website visitors (using Facebook’s tracking pixels)
- Mobile Advertising IDs (MAID)
This means if you have a customer list, a list of people who signed a petition, phone numbers of people who’ve called your business, etc., you can feed that information into a custom audience for future advertising.
This information is powerful for business owners because you’re advertising to an audience that you know has had some kind of interaction with your brand.
These sources may be a step in the right direction, but if you want to truly optimize your ROI, you may want to consider adding geofencing to your Facebook custom audiences.
Facebook Custom Audiences From Geofence Data
Geofencing refers to creating a virtual perimeter around a physical location to gather data. You can create a radius around a specific point or you can set up a predetermined set of boundaries for the geofence.
Geofencing is a powerful complement to your custom audiences because it allows you to target people based on real-world behaviors that Facebook (probably) isn’t aware of. For example:
- A health-focused restaurant popular with vegetarians might geofence the nearest Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and farmers markets
- A veterinary clinic or dog groomer might target particularly popular nearby dog parks
- Just about any brick-and-mortar business can benefit from geofencing their largest nearby competitors.
Rather than targeting online behaviors, you are using real-world interactions to create specific groups of people to advertise to.
Why Use Geofencing With Facebook Custom Audiences?
If you’re looking for ways to improve your ROAS (return on ad spend), you should be especially keen on adding geofencing to your ad mix. On average, campaigns that use custom audiences without relying on Facebook’s consumer data see 25-80% lower CPMs than native Facebook targeting.
Adding geofencing to your Facebook ads isn’t possible directly within Facebook. You’ll need to use a service like GeoDirect to start creating that custom audience.
With GeoDirect, you can target ads to people that:
- Have already been to your business
- Have been to a competitor’s business
- Attend events, concerts, or other locations your target customer enjoys
To really dial in this custom audience, you can layer in demographic and psychographic segmentation as well. For instance, we can create a filter to only include people who live within 5 miles of the geofence so we’re not advertising to out-of-towners.
We put audience building on autopilot. Once you define your geofence and any segmentation you’d like to apply, GeoDirect will feed new visitors into your Facebook audience as they are detected. You can even automatically remove people from an audience if they aren’t detected within your geofence within a certain time period. If they haven’t been back in six months, they’re probably not hot prospects.
BEWARE OF THIS ISSUE: Sometimes when you create a custom audience, Facebook adds additional detailed targeting:
Be sure to delete this. If you include their interest-based targeting, you lose the cost savings you’d otherwise gain from your custom audience. You also drastically reduce the size of your advertising pool.