Facebook Custom Audiences for Remarketing – A Comprehensive Guide for Clueless Individuals

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Admit this, you have run ads on Facebook for something and nothing magical happened. You didn’t generate targeted traffic, you didn’t make sales, you basically just sulked in a corner wondering “why me?”. We have all been there (all the best ones at least), and believe it or not, there is a way out of it. All you have to do, (in most cases) is change your marketing strategy!

First things first, nothing in the world (no not even pizza), is more important than understanding the tool you are using to control your ads. Once you have a good handle on it, you will be able to discover more opportunities to promote your products and capture quality products (and then you can have your pizza).

Now then, we have already had a detailed chat about using Facebook pixel in a previous article, but just in case you missed it, OR haven’t yet installed Fb pixel on your site, it’s time you got serious about things, do stop by here (welcome aboard on FB pixel!)

Alright, moving on, in THIS article, we’ll talk about custom audiences and retargeting, which is primarily based on Facebook pixel (see why you need to check out the previous article first?).

What in God’s name are custom audiences?

Custom audiences on Facebook are a group of people who have previously interacted with your website, app or, business page. They are grouped based on a specific action they took on your website and can be converted to a happy customer.

Following are the three ways you can use custom audiences:

  1. Retarget with specific ads
  2. Exclude this audience from showing ads
  3. Create a new audience based on this

I will be discussing each of them in detail below.

Just on a side note, If you have a website or app, integrating Facebook Pixel will help you create more powerful audiences. By adding FB pixel, you will be able to track specific user actions on your website like view content, add to cart, lead, purchase..etc.

How to Create Website Custom Audiences (#LikeAPro)

All hail to the fifth generation of computing where creating a custom audience is, wait for it,  EASY!! And It should be set up according to your marketing strategy. To start off with, you need to decide what type of an audience you want to create and how it will help you.

Once you are done with that, just follow the steps below to create audiences for your website.

Open your business manager account

 open facebook business manager

Click on the business manager drop-down on the top left corner of the page and click audiences under assets.

 goto audiences

Click on the create audience drop-down and select custom audience.

 create audience button 

A pop-up window will appear displaying ways you can create an audience. Click on website traffic from the options.

 create audience for website traffic

Now, there are four types of custom audiences you can create.

1. Create an ‘all website visitors’ audience (yes ALL of them in ALL their glory)

This audience will include all the visitors that have visited your website in the last specific days. A visitor can be included in a certain audience for a maximum of 180 days. To create an audience for all website visitors:

Select All website visitors from the drop-down.

Set the number of days you want to include

Enter the name of the audience as ‘All Website Visitors’ or add your own name and click the create audience button.

 all website visitors audience

The audience will take time to become fully functional and in some cases, it may take around 36 hours to complete. If the audience is too small you can alternatively, just run an ad.

2. People who only visited specific pages

You can create an audience for people who have visited or not visited a specific page on your website. To create this audience:

select ‘who visited any specific web pages’ from the drop-down

Enter a specific word or the whole page path from the page URL (i.e www.example.com/contact-us is contact-us)

Enter the name of the audience and click the create audience button.

 audience for specific pages

You can also exclude those people who have submitted the contact us form from this audience.

To do this, click on the exclude link, and add a condition.

 exclude specific pages

In order to add the exclude condition, your website should have a unique thank you page for the contact us form. Otherwise, you will have to create an event type audience.

3. Visitors by time spent

You can select this option to create an audience for the most engaged visitors in terms of time spent. To create this:

Select ‘visitors by time spent’ option.

 visitors by time spent

You can also modify this to create an audience for visitors spending time on specific pages. Click on  ‘further narrow’ and exclude links to narrow down your audience.

4. Create an audience from your events

For this type of audience, it is required that you add one of the standard events defined by Facebook or add your own custom audiences. The standard events include view content, add to cart, add to wishlist, initiate checkout, add payment info, purchase, lead, and complete registration.

The event type audience can be created with a combination of multiple events. To serve as appropriate examples, I have created a few event type audiences in the following. These can be used for any e-commerce or lead generation site.

a. Visitors who clicked add to cart but didn’t purchase(add an uncalled for but a completely valid sigh)

If you have a lot of traffic coming to your website and are receiving few purchases you can create a separate audience for that. Clicking on the add to cart button shows a visitors interest in your product with a lack of motivation to actually make the purchase. Making the effort to create enough motivation to help him move forward with the purchase is your job. Pixies will not come and take care of it. (Pixies are cunning creatures, by the way, they won’t do it if they know you need it done.)

To create this audience:

Select add to cart event from the drop-down

Click on the exclude link and select purchase event.

With this audience, you can retarget visitors who dropped off after clicking the add to cart button.

 add to cart but no purchase

b. Visitors who made purchases worth more than $100 (yayyyy?)

Another thing you can do is actually remarket to visitors who are your regular customers based on their purchase behavior, the number of times they purchase a product or visitors whose purchase value is greater than a certain amount.

To create this audience:

Select the purchase event from the drop-down

Click on the refine by link and select aggregated value

From the frequency drop-down, select sum of and set the condition as sum of value if greater than $100.

 purchase greater than $100

c. Visitors who purchased more than 5 times

If you want to create a special discount for your special customers(which you probably should, it’s only good manners), you can create an audience based on their purchase count. To create this audience:

Select the purchase event from the drop-down

Click on refine by link and select aggregated values

Set the condition as frequency greater than 5

 purchased more than 5 times

These are the few helpful types of audiences you can create and retarget your engaged customers with.

Lookalike Audiences (doppelgangers! No I’m sorry, not really, but kind of. )

Lookalike audience is an opportunity to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they are similar to your existing best audience. You can use the above custom audiences as a base to create a lookalike audience.

generally, you can create a lookalike audience from an existing custom audience, page or an app. To remain in the context of this article, we will only use the custom audience as a base to create a lookalike audience.

To create a lookalike audience:

Navigate to the audience section in your ads manager account

Click the create audience drop-down and select lookalike audience

 lookalike audiences

clicking the source field will display the list of audiences you created earlier. If you didn’t create an audience, create one before you create a lookalike.

Select a source audience, location and audience size.

 lookalike audiences

Click on the create audience button to save this audience.


To wrap it up, audiences are your superheroes, saviors, and knights in shining armor. You get to filter the best audience from the entire website traffic and you get to know where to (effectively) spend money and where to not just throw it away to no avail.

Now it’s up to you to come up with how to define your best audience. If you are skeptical about the pixel tracking the right data, since the custom audiences for your website are all based on your pixel, do get in touch with us, we offer great accuracy when it comes to data collection. Moreover, If you have played around with audiences and discovered something interesting, we’re all ears, do let us know in the comments below.

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