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The Ultimate Guide to


2016 Update!
Table of contents
1. What are Custom Audiences?
2. How to Create a Customer List Custom Audience
3. How to Create a Website Custom Audience
4. How to Create an App Activity Audience
5. How to Create a Lookalike Audience
6. How to Target Your Facebook Ads to a Custom
by Massimo Chieruzzi Audience

CEO, AdEspresso 7. 7 Ideas To Boost Your Campaigns with Custom


8. Doing More With Custom Audiences and


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Theres a reason why all of the top marketers If youre in a niche where Facebook Ads tend to
are using Custom Audiences in their Facebook be a less-effective channel, such as B2B, Custom
Ads - they actually work! If youre not using them Audiences can make your ads work much better
already, chances are youre losing money, which and reach hundreds of thousands of more
clearly shouldnt be in your marketing plan! customers in the process.

If youre not up on Custom Audiences, here are Want proof? We experienced the power of Custom
some case studies that quickly prove their worth: Audiences ourselves. As a B2B startup, Facebook
wasn't our most effective acquisition channel.
AA KingNet: +75% CTR, +46.6% Conversion Rate, Now, thanks to Custom Audiences, it generates
43.37% lower CPA more signups than Google AdWords at just one-third
of the cost!
AA OpenSky: +30% Conversion Rate

AA JackThreads: 30% Lower CPA for member In this ebook, youll discover what Custom
signups Audiences are, how to start using them, and some
AA KIXEYE: 2x Higher conversion rate, 5.5X higher of the best ideas to grow your business with them!
LifeTime Value Lets get started.

If Facebook Ads are already working for you,

Custom Audiences can make your ROI skyrocket to
new heights.

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1 Chapter One

Custom Audiences are an extremely effective list of 10,000 customers whove bought your
way for marketers to target their Facebook product. You want to promote the launch of an
Ads. Through Custom Audiences, you can updated product version to these customers. By
target your Facebook Ads with a list of email simply uploading your email list to Facebook,
addresses, phone numbers, website visitors, fan you'll create a new Custom Audience. Facebook
page members, Facebook user IDs, and even will then try to match those email addresses with
engagement! its users.

The opportunities for precisely targeting potential For the sake of our example, lets say Facebook
customers are basically endless. Youre no longer was able to match 70% of your list. You can now
limited to hard-guessing your advertising targets target advertising for the new, improved version
by gender or vague interests. Instead, you can of your product to 7,000 customers who already
target a very precise niche of highly-targeted loved the previous one - I bet the conversion rate
users. will be pretty high!

Lets look at an example: Say you have an email This example is just the beginning. Since Custom

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Audiences launched in October 2013, Facebook all users that have visited a specific page on your
has continually made significant updates, making website during a set time period of up to 180 days.
it much more powerful and flexible than ever
before. If this marketing technique sounds familiar, its
because it's basically Retargeting on Facebook
Here are your options for custom audiences: without the hassle and the costs of the FBX
Standard Custom Audience
Upload a list of emails, phone numbers, or App Activity Custom Audiences
Facebook User IDs you want to target and You can create audiences based on what actions
Facebook will match them with its users. people take when they use your app - either on
Facebook will usually match between 60-80% of Desktop or Mobile. You can create audiences of
the contacts on your list. people who recently opened your app, recently
completed a purchase, completed large purchases,
Website Custom Audiences or achieved a certain level in your game or platform.
Website Custom Audiences means you dont need For example, you can create an audience of those
to have target users' email addresses or phone who have used your app previously, but not used it
numbers. Instead, simply insert the Facebook in the last 30 days.
Pixel tracking code on your website and youll
be able to target your Facebook Advertising for

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Lookalike Audiences

Once youve created a Custom Audience, you can ask Facebook to create a broader Lookalike Audience to target
your ads towards similar users. Facebook will look for patterns and characteristics your users have in common -
such as age, gender, or interests - and create a much bigger list of very similar users.

With the ability to immediately expand your list and target users who are likely to convert, you can see why
Lookalike Audiences are so powerful.

Since launching, Facebook has expanded Lookalike Audiences, allowing you to create them based on your
Facebook Page fans, website visitors, and customer lists.

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Getting Started with Custom Audiences

To create your first Custom Audience, go to the Audience" section of the Facebook Power Editor or Ads

In the Ads Manager, its under the Tools section. Select Audiences.

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In Power Editor, it has its own section, right under the the toolbar
right beneath your ad account number:

Since this is your first Custom Audience, you'll need to create

a new one by clicking the green Create Audience button. A
popup window will open and ask you to pick which type of
audience youd like to create.

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2 Chapter Two

Lets select the Customer List option. These are also where
you can put your leads - or potential customers. Youll have
two options to sync customer lists:

A. Manually upload your audience in a .txt or .csv file.

B. Sync your Email CRM to your Facebook Ads

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A. Manual Upload

To get started, youll need to prepare a file containing the

contacts you want to add to your Custom Audience. Use a
CSV/Excel file or open a simple text editor and insert one
value per line like this:





Remember, your file can contain either email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook User IDs, or mobile advertiser
IDs. Note that you cannot mix different data types. This means your file should contain only emails, only phone
numbers, and so on.

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Give your Custom Audience a short, easy-to-remember name
that describes this specific audience. Some ideas include
"Former customers," "Email signups," or something similar.

Add a description. You'll eventually want to use this field to

insert notes every time you add a new audience. However,
you don't have to worry about it at this point.

AA Select whats inside the file you created, such as emails,

phone numbers, etc.
AA Select the .txt or .csv file you previously created from
your computer.
AA Agree to Facebook's Terms and Conditions (more on this later)

AA Click "Create Audience". According to how big your file is, it may take some time for Facebook to match your
list content with Facebook users.
AA Once your audience has been created and its ready to go, youll receive a notification. You can go back on
the Audience page and see how many users have been matched.

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Creating a Customer List Custom Audience on AdEspresso is simple and in-line with what youve already learned
for Facebooks Ads Manager and Power Editor

1. Login into AdEspresso.

2. Go to "Tools Custom Audiences"
3. Click Create Audience.
4. Select the first option, Data File - Custom
5. Now create your audience exactly as youd do
it on Facebook: Pick a title, a description, select
the content type of your file, and the data file to

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B. Syncing with Your Email CRM

Facebook currently only supports MailChimp integration to sync custom audiences. For every other CRM, youll
have to use third party tools to add new leads that you acquire to your email lists, or add your email lists to
custom audiences. Lucky for you, we have this feature in AdEspresso!

With AdEspressos Data Sync feature, its easier than ever for businesses and marketers to sync up all the
necessary contacts and leads! New leads will be added to your email list, which can be used to create new
custom audiences, both of which are tools that can and should be used to increase conversion rates and build
rapport with your new leads!

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You can do this with AdEspresso in 5 easy steps.

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Step 1: Choose your CRM or email marketing tool as your source.

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Step 2: You select which email list youll pull the contact information from.

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Step 3: You choose your target choice, which will be Facebook (for now).

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Step 4: You choose your associated ad account and which existing (or new) Custom Audience to add these
contacts too.

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Step 5: Youll set up your mapping fields to make sure all the information is transferred correctly.
And then just review, and youre done!

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3 Chapter Three

Custom Audiences created from customers - or leads -

allow you to target your advertising at the right people
and achieve awesome ROIs for your ad spend. However,
what do you do if you dont have a big enough database
of emails, Facebook User IDs, or phone numbers to create
your own Custom Audiences?

This is where the power of Website Custom Audiences
comes in. This feature doesnt require you to have any
data about the users you want to target. All you have
to do is wait for a user to visit your website. Thanks to
a special tracking code - the Facebook Pixel - Facebook
will recognize users and automatically add them to an
Audience, making them ready to be re-targeted with

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Go to your Facebook Pixel Tab in Ads Manager

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1. Click Create a Pixel
2. Enter a name for your pixel. There's only one pixel per
ad account, so choose a name that represents your
3. Make sure you've checked the box to accept the terms
4. Click Create Pixel. If already have one, you won't see the
Create Pixel button.
5. Your Facebook Pixel tracks multiple events depending
on the page.

Youll want to add the Pixel to all pages you want to

track, so ask a developer to help, or use a plugin that
automatically does this for you. For WordPress, we know
many people use PixelYourSite.

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If you want to check to make sure your Facebook
Pixel is working, download the free Google
Chrome Extension, Pixel Helper.

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With the Facebook Pixel installed, you can now

create your first website custom audience.

In Facebook Ads Manager, click on the Audience

button in the menu, and then click the Create
Audience button at the top-right of the page. A
popup will ask you what kind of audience you
want to create.

1. Select Custom Audience From Your Website

2. Facebook will ask you to agree to the Terms &
Conditions for Website Custom Audiences and
provide a link to get your tracking pixel.
3. You can choose to add every user to your Custom Audience who has visited any page of your website or
those who qualify according to specific rules. Rules are powerful and pretty easy to create. You can include
or exclude people who visited a given url. Clicking the + icon will add another rule.

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For example, you could target everyone who
visited your checkout page, expressing an
intention to buy, but didnt see the "Thank
You" page (meaning they did not complete the
purchase). This gives you a "second chance" to get
them to complete their purchase.

Finally, you can select how many days to track
website visitors. This means that your audience
will only include people who match the specified
rules during the last X days. While Facebooks
suggested value is 30, the maximum value is 180

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Building an effective Website Custom Audience really depends on how much traffic youre getting and how strict
your chosen rules are. If your website receives a lot of traffic, you can stick with 30 days or even less.

On the other hand, if your website doesnt have a lot of traffic, or youve set very strict rules, it may be wise to
set this value to 180 days so you don't end up with an audience that's too small.

In either case, the sooner you reach out to potential customers through ads, the more likely they are to be

Targeting Website Custom Audiences works exactly like any other audience youve created so far: start typing
the name and select it when the autocomplete shows up. It's as simple as that.

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How to do it in AdEspresso
Creating Website Custom Audiences in AdEspresso is extremely simple:

 Go to "Tools Custom Audiences".

 Click on "Create Audience", and then select Custom Audience from your Website.

 Youll then need to give your new audience a name and select the rules for inclusion. The options are the
same as Facebooks: Just hit the "+" icon to add a new rule.

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For those that really want to dive into their website

visitors, Facebook released upgrades in May 2016 that
allow highly detailed targeting based on the intensity of
interest visitors display on your website.

Simply put: some visitors are more valuable than

others. And Facebook will now help you figure out
which ones are most likely to convert to leads or

Under Website Traffic, choose the Custom

Combination parameter to get started. Youll need to
switch over to Advanced Mode to see these features,
and Facebook may or may not have rolled out all of
them to your particular ad account.

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AA Frequency: how many times a website visitor performs an action, i.e. visit a page. This is currently the most
robust, and has been rolled out to the most ad accounts.
AA Dynamic date: This allows you to target those visitors who have visited over a range of dates rather than a
set number of previous days.
AA Aggregated values: total amount of time a person has spent on a page or combination of pages

AA Devices: including Android, iOS devices, desktop and other mobile devices. You an exclude or include each
as their own separate value.

You can also target based on Standard Events website

visitors take on your site:

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And to get even more complex?
Combine these metrics with each
other! Theres an include function
and exclude function depending on
events or URLs. You can also keep it
simple though. For example, you can
target users who accessed your site on
mobile or desktop.

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4 Chapter Four

With mobile being the dominant platform for Facebook

ads, it only makes sense that creating audiences based
on app activity is quickly becoming one of the leading
forms of custom audiences. For example, you can target
people who previously used your app, but have not
come back to your app within the last month. Or you
can target people who have added an item to their cart
on your app, but never actually purchased it. Target
them with a discount coupon and voila!

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You can create audiences based on actions a user
did or didnt take within your app!

The actions (or non-actions) you can currently

target are:

AA Recently Opened your App

AA Recently Completed a Purchase

AA Completed Large Purchases

AA Achieved a Certain Level in your Game

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How to do it in Adespresso (App Audience)
 Go to "Tools Custom Audiences".

 Click on "Create Audience", and then

select Custom Audience from Mobile

Youll then need to give your new audience

a name and select the rules for inclusion.

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5 Chapter Five

Lookalike Audiences are a great addition to the

Facebook Advertising toolbox. They allow
you to create a broader Audience of people very
similar to those already inside one of your Custom

It's not hard to guess how powerful this feature
can be. For example, you could create a Custom
Audience with 10,000 of your customers and get a
Lookalike Audience with 200,000 people who are
very similar to your customers and ready to be
targeted with advertising!

This example is just the tip of the iceberg!

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Since you have to use the complex Power Editor to AA Insert a name for your new Lookalike
make them, creating a Lookalike Audience is a bit Audience, then select the country you'd
trickier than creating a Custom Audience. Here's like your Lookalike Audience users to be in.
how to do it: Unfortunately, you can only create a Lookalike
Audience that targets users of a single country.
AA Assuming youve already created your first However, if you're using AdEspresso, you can
Custom Audience, head to the Audience quickly and easily generate multiple Lookalike
tab in Power Editor. Simply click the green Audiences to target users in multiple
Audience button on the right. For Ads countries.
Manager, click on Tools -> Audience ->
Create Lookalike
The last parameter, Optimize for, is very
AA Click on the audience you want to use as a interesting. It allows you to specify a smaller reach
base for your new LookAlike Audience. with better similarities to your original Custom
Audience. It also allows you to reach more people,
AA Below the list, youll get a name and
though at the risk of lower similarities. We always
description of your audience and three action
suggest optimizing for similarity even if it means
buttons. The first two are to add and remove
having a lower overall reach. This ensures your
users from your audience. The last one is
campaigns will perform better overall.
the one were looking for: Create Lookalike
Audience. Click It.

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It takes Facebook longer to generate Lookalike Audiences than Custom Audiences. Once youve completed your
request for a new Lookalike Audience, it can take from several hours to a couple of days before your brand new
audience is ready to be used for ad targeting.

The smallest lookalike audience, by default, is 1.9 million.

You can create a lookalike audience of:

AA Page Fans

AA Email Lists

AA Current/Previous Customers

AA Website Custom Audiences

AA App Activity

AA Engagement (Video, App, Posts, and more very soon)

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How to do it in AdEspresso
 Go to "Tools Custom Audiences" and click the Create
Lookalike button next to the Custom Audience you
want to use as the base. You can also use AdEspresso
to create Lookalike Audiences for multiple countries at

 Just type the name of the countries youre interested


 AdEspresso will create one Lookalike for each country.

It'll also append the target country's name after the
base audience's name in your audience list, making it
easy to keep track of your audiences.

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6 Chapter Six

Targeting Audiences are extremely simple. Start with opening the Facebook Ads Manager and create a new ad.
After youve created your ads creative, youll get to the Audience section. Choose the first option, Custom

By placing them as the first option, Facebook is making a big effort to get you to use Custom Audiences when
setting your target demographic. Theres a reason for this: Custom Audiences work great! Just start typing the
name of the Custom Audience you want to target and select it from the autocomplete list.

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If you want, you can select more than one Custom Audience to increase your reach.
Simple, right? But wait, theres more!

Once youve selected an audience, youll notice that hovering your mouse cursor over it will cause two icons to
appear. The X deletes your audience and clicking the down arrow gives you the option to exclude the audience.
This can be extremely powerful as well see in Chapter 7.

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How to do it on AdEspresso
Targeting Custom Audiences in AdEspresso is very similar to how it's done in Facebook. When defining your
campaigns target at Step 3 (in the "Interests" section), open the "Advanced options" box.

Youll find two distinct fields: One

to select the Custom Audiences
you want to target, and one for
those you want to exclude.

To help you get the most out of your

advertising dollars, AdEspresso
also allows you to perform a split
test on your audiences. This way, a
set of ads will be created for each
Custom Audience youre targeting.
This will give you detailed statistics
on the effectiveness and CPA of
each one.

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7 Chapter Seven

Now that you know how to create and use Custom 1) Reach users who are not reading your
Audiences, its time to switch from theory to emails
practice. Custom Audiences are a powerful tool, Though it's frustrating, a lot of the people
and using them can make the difference between receiving your emails aren't even opening them.
wasting your advertising dollars and building a This doesn't necessarily mean they dont like your
money-making campaign that lasts. product or service. For some reason they've just
stopped noticing your messages.
To begin experimenting with Custom Audiences,
heres a list of the seven top strategies used If you have something really important to
directly by the AdEspresso team or our customers announce, export (or Data Sync) your list of
to get amazing results from Facebook Ads. email subscribers who didn't open your latest
emails and try to reach them through Facebook
Advertising instead. Most email services allow
you to segment and export lists based on who's
opened your recent emails.

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2) Regain lost customers and friendly message. Use your brand in the
How many times have you discovered a great site picture or in the title. These users will recognize
only to forget about it later? This clearly happens and trust your brand.
often, even if youve bought a great product. This Heres a nice example from a great marketer, Neil
may be the case for your old customers, as well. Patel. He knows I already visited his blog and
subscribed to his email list, so he boldly uses his
To solve this, create a Custom Audience with a name and picture in the ad to get my attention
list of all the people who have bought something and boost my trust.
from you in the past, but havent bought anything
recently, and target them with ads about your new 3) Target people very similar to your
products. They already customers
know and trust you since This tactic is perfect to get new customers without
they've purchased from going crazy figuring out how old are they, where
you in the past. Leverage they live or what interests they have. Let Facebook
this! Remind them that figure it out!
theyve done business Create a Custom Audience with the emails or
with you in the past, and maybe offer them a Facebook User IDs of your customers. Then create
sweet deal since they are long time customers. a Lookalike Audience from that list, optimizing
For these kinds of campaigns, craft a very direct for similarity. You dont need 10,000,000 users.
Anything between 100,000 and 500,000 will be

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more than enough. The important thing is that 4) Grow your Facebook page likes
they are as similar as possible to our customers. In your product is a long-term asset that every
Once the Lookalike Audience is ready, target these serious business should seek. Custom Audiences
new prospects with a presentation of your service can be a cheap way to have your contacts like your
or product. page. Simply create a Facebook Ads campaign
targeted to a Custom Audience containing all your
To avoid wasting money, exclude all of your
existing Page fans from your targeting options.
They've already liked your Page and typically
BONUS TIP #1 wont add value.

If youre advertising on Facebook to generate new 5) Get personal targeting by name

leads or grow your mailing list, always remember If you have a big contact list complete with
to create an updated Custom Audience with all the contacts first names, you could create an
the contacts you already have. Then, exclude this audience for each of the most popular names such
audience from your advertising. You dont want as John, James, Richard, etc.Once youve made
to waste money by targeting ads at people youre an audience for each of the most popular names,
already in contact with. create an ad containing their name.

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The ads should read something like this: Hey
James, a special offer just for you."

This tactic usually has a big impact and drives

high Click Through Rates. However, it may be a
bit too creepy for your more privacy-concerned
customers. If you try it out, be sure to monitor Looking for new sources to feed your Custom
comments on your News Feed Ads and pull the Audiences? Theres a place where you have lots of
plug if there are too many complaints. email addresses of people highly related to your
industry: LinkedIn!
6) Upsell products or upgrades
Its also super simple to export all your contacts'
As this guide has already mentioned, its easier to
emails in a .csv file. Just go into your contacts
sell to someone who has already bought from you
settings page and click on Export LinkedIn
than to a total stranger. Custom Audiences make
Connections in the right column -- or try accessing it
it extremely simple to get your customer to buy
directly here.
more. Create Custom Audiences of people who
have bought from you, segmented by product
category or kind.

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7) From Web to Mobile & vice-versa
Nowadays, many businesses rely both on a
website and a mobile app. Facebook Custom
Audiences can be a great way to move users from
one platform to the other, making sure you can
reach your customers everywhere. Many Facebook advertising guides about Custom
Audiences note ad-hoc software that crawls
Simply create two audiences -- one with just your Facebooks Pages and Groups, saving the Facebook
website users and one with the mobile User IDs of fans and group members for targeting
advertiser IDs of the mobile users. Then create purposes. This technique is extremely effective. So,
two campaigns: one mobile app install campaign why are we not discussing it here?
to have your website users install your mobile
Because it violates Facebooks Terms &
application, the other allowing your mobile users
Conditions. No matter how effective it is, it may get
to access your website where it may be easier to
you in trouble and your account may be banned. Use
close a sale.
it at your own risk!

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8 Chapter Eight

If youre an AdEspresso user -- click here to sign

up for a 14 day free trial -- youll have access to
some tasty additional features so you can play with
Custom Audiences and get the most out of them.

AdEspresso also has exclusive features to make
your advertising even smarter. When creating an
Audience from "Tools Custom Audiences", we have
additional options not available in Facebook Ads
Manager or Power Editor. Lets check it out!

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Video Engagement Custom Audiences

When you create an ad with a video, youll be

able to create custom audiences of everyone
who viewed the video or just a percentage of
the video!

You can do video advertising, just to engage

users to get them to know your brand. This
can now be its own custom audience, that
you can send to your sales page, an e-book, or
a more traditional ad! As of this writing (May
2016), this engagement targeting is exclusive to

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Lead Ads Engagement Custom Audiences

As a marketer, were sure you know of Facebooks

Lead Ads - we even introduced it in Chapter 2. But did
you know that AdEspresso has the ability to target
those people who opened your Lead Ad, but didnt

They almost gave you their phone or email...but

something stopped them. With our highly niche re-
targeting, you can target them again with another
Lead Ad, or even a more traditional ad that takes
them to a submission form on a landing page!

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Thank you for reading!
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most out of Custom Audiences

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