Facebook’s Custom Audience feature is an essential targeting method for political campaigns, especially since the platform has eliminated political topics as an ad targeting attribute. Campaigns of all sizes have access to and should make use of the feature.
With free data from your state party, your campaign can create essential custom audiences to reach the right voters with the right message. In this article we cover the essentials of Facebook custom audiences.
What Data Do You Need For Custom Audiences
Your campaign should make use of three types of custom audiences – Website, Engagement, and Customer List. Website audiences use a tracking code you place on your website and WinRed pages to reach supporters on Facebook and Instagram. Engagement audiences are based on supporters that watch, click, or otherwise interact with your Page on Facebook or Instagram.
A Customer List audience uses email addresses, phone numbers, first and last names, ZIP codes, cities, states, and dates of birth to match your targeted audience with what Facebook knows about its users. The match rate varies, but Facebook does not share this information with advertisers.
How Do You Get Data For Custom Audiences?
Your campaign already has its own data collected from supporters that you can use, but with GOP Data Center via your state party, you’ll have access to a voter file with party registration, vote history, issue modeling, and more.
This can help you segment your custom audiences and target them with the right messages.
Where Do You Create Your Custom Audience?
You’ll need an ad account connected to Meta Business Manager to create custom audiences. If you don’t have one already, click here to learn how to get one setup.
In your Ads Manager, look for the Audiences tab and follow the instructions for formatting and uploading your list. More details here.
What Custom Audiences Should You Have?
In addition to audiences based on website visitors and Page engagement, your campaign should create custom audiences based on the actions you want them to take. An old email list makes for a good donor prospecting list, for example. You should also have separate audiences for persuasion and turnout
Combine Other Targeting With Custom Audiences
You can use additional targeting options from Facebook, like geography, age, or gender, on top of your custom audience to better segment messages or creative assets. Be careful not to over-target and understand that smaller audiences are more expensive to reach.
Don’t Rely Exclusively On Custom Audiences
Remember that custom audiences are based on what Facebook can match from the file you upload to what it knows about users. If you are only using custom audiences to target your ads, you’ll be excluding a significant portion of the voters you want to reach. Make use of interest-based targeting and lookalike audiences to maximize your reach.
Custom audiences are essential for any campaign that pays to promote posts or otherwise advertise on Facebook. While the platform previously offered its own political targeting options, they are no longer available and campaigns need to make use of the GOP Data Center to build out custom lists.