How to Create a Custom Audience in Facebook to Engage Your Existing Contacts


Acquiring new customers is difficult for any business. However, you don’t want to strictly focus on getting new leads. Instead, you want to consider how you can re-engage past customers to make another purchase.

It’s much easier to convince an existing contact to connect with you than it is to gain a new lead. One of the best ways to do that is through Custom Audiences on Facebook.

What Is A Facebook Custom Audience?

A Custom Audience uses your existing contact list or leads list to target your Facebook Ads to individuals you’ve already connected with in the past. Through uploading your own list of customers or clients, Facebook will then look to see if they can find matching profiles. You can then display specific ads to these individuals.

A Custom Audience differs from a Saved Audience or Lookalike Audience in that it is comprised of specific people you’ve already connected with off of Facebook. Saved Audiences and Lookalike Audiences, on the other hand, use demographics or interests to target ads.

Custom Audiences on Facebook allow you to retarget your customers to bring them back to your site and encourage them to make a second purchase. By using Custom Audiences, you can improve awareness about new promotions or products, or focus on conversion rather than lead generation.

Let’s take a look at the different ways you can create Custom Audiences to engage your existing customer base.

We can’t help you with Custom Audiences, but we can help you with many other online marketing activities.


What Types of Custom Audiences Can You Create?

There are a few different kinds of Custom Audiences you can create on Facebook, each allowing you to target your ads even more. Before you get started with your Custom Audience campaign, you’ll need to decide exactly who you’d like to target.

Here are the various Custom Audience groups you can choose from.

Customer File

Customer File is the most popular way to create a Custom Audience on Facebook. With this audience, you simply upload a file containing your customer’s data and allow Facebook to locate their profiles.

Website Traffic

To target individuals who have visited your website or engaged with your site in a specific way, you can select the Website Traffic audience. Using Facebook Pixel, Facebook will help you identify different individuals who have visited your site.

facebook custom audience options

App Activity

If you have an app or a game, you can use Custom Audiences to target your users. This Custom Audience list will include different people who have downloaded, launched, or used your app or game in a specific way.

Offline Activity

Offline Activity allows you to engage customers or clients that you’ve connected with in person, on the phone, or through another offline channel. Using a multi-channel approach can help bring your offline customers online to make additional purchases, learn more about you, or just convince them to come back into your store.


Engagement is the final choice for your Custom Audience on Facebook. When selecting the Engagement list, you will pull information about Facebook users who have connected with your company or content on Facebook or Instagram.

How to Create a Custom Audience on Facebook

If you’re already familiar with the Facebook Ads tool, creating a Custom Audience will be simple. However, even if you’re new to the Facebook Ads system, a Custom Audience is easy to set up. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to create your first Custom Audience.

  1. Collect Your Data. Depending on the list you’re going to create, you might need to collect some data prior to creating your Custom Audience. Get that information organized in a CSV or TXT document before you get started.
  2. Launch the Ads Manager. Log into your company Facebook profile and open the Ads Manager tool.
  3. Go to the Audiences Tab. Within the Ads Manager, select the “Audiences” tab and select “Create Audience.”
  4. Select Your Audience. At this point, you’ll want to designate which list you’d like to create. Choose to upload your own file or to pull information from Facebook.
  5. Create Your New Custom Audience. Your Custom Audience will be completed and ready to use in about 30 minutes.

Once your Custom Audience is completed, you’re ready to create specific ads, budgets, and targeting options to further narrow down and connect with your customers and clients.

How Automation Agency Can Help With Custom Facebook Audiences

While we don’t currently offer the ability to create custom audiences for you, we can assist with Custom Audiences that are auto-synced by your CRM (as long as it’s on our supported platforms list!) so you don’t have to manually upload CSV’s. We can also help you with getting the Facebook Pixel installed on your websites and landing pages for you to set up Website Traffic based custom audiences.

My recommendation, even if you don’t have a need for Custom Audiences right now, is to put the Facebook Pixel on all your landing pages and websites right away. This is a standard web task we do regularly – just send us the code provided by Facebook and what pages/sites you want it on, and consider it done.

More advanced marketers may want to make use of Automating the Adding and Removing of contacts from a Custom Audience using their CRM platform.

For example, both ActiveCampaign and Ontraport allows us to add or remove people from Custom Audiences from within an automation, and we can help set that up as part of your automation sequence.

If you use Infusionsoft, it’s not quite as easy however you can achieve the same result using separate 3rd party tools, as Infustionsoft doesn’t natively offer a Custom Audience sync – yet.

If you’re still not sure if we can help, or need help submitting a Custom Audiences-related task, contact our success team for help.

We can’t create your Custom Audiences, but we can help you with many other online marketing activities. Download our 35 Task Ideas to get a small sample of what we do for businesses all around the world.

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.