Early in November, Facebook announced objective-based ad buying — an easier way for businesses to buy Facebook ads based on the objectives that matter to them. Soon after that, the social network decided to further enhance ad buying by giving every advertiser, including small businesses, access to Custom Audiences targeting. The online marketing tool was rolled out in all ad interfaces for a limited number of US advertisers in early November, while the global rollout, including in the MENA region, took place at the end of November.
With Custom Audiences, marketers can use their contact lists to reach customers with targeted ads on Facebook. Small businesses, in particular, will now be able to use their current customer lists to reach the social network’s users.
Getting started is simple – brands upload customer email lists – or a MailChimp list – and once contacts are uploaded, advertisers can target matched users with ads for their sites, Facebook pages or mobile apps.
“Custom Audiences is a targeting feature that allows marketers to match their customer email lists to Facebook users in a private and safe way,” says Jonathan Labin, head of Facebook, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan.
“By uploading a list of user emails, advertisers create a ‘custom audience’, consisting of the exact people they want to target with ads. The result of the match process is a unique audience that lives exclusively in the marketer’s ad account and can be used for highly relevant, objective-driven ad targeting,” he adds.
According to a Facebook’s statement, Custom Audiences features data protection designed to ensure that the social platform doesn’t share the private information that people post on the website without their consent. Advertisers also have the option to message existing customers with promotions or offers on the social network.
Labin explains that the reason why Facebook decided to offer this feature to small businesses is due to the demand they had from its SMB clients. “[They wanted us] to offer this form of targeting to connect with their existing customers and we are happy to reach that demand as it’s relevant to them as well.”
So far, the feedback for the product has been reassuring, says Labin, but there still hasn’t been much response from the region. “Advertisers across the board have had success using this product,” he explains. “On the e-commerce front, Fab, in Europe, saw a likelihood to purchase increase 10 times among those targeted with Custom Audiences, compared with standard targeting, while Jack Threads saw six times the return on ad spend (ROAS). Trendyol from Turkey saw that Custom Audiences drives a 70 percent to 80 percent better conversion rate.”
“On the telco side, Prixtel, from France, saw a 60 percent higher conversion rate using Custom Audiences, compared to display. In the [consumer packaged goods] space, Morning Glory saw a decrease of 50 percent in its [cost-per-acquisition] and an increase of 30 percent in its conversion rate by using Custom Audiences, in addition to other optimization done throughout the campaign.
In the travel space, MGM Resorts International saw more than five times the ROAS using Custom Audiences. In the gaming space, Kixeye saw a 5.5 times higher lifetime value and 14 times the ROI using the tool.”