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Article Contributed by Gerardo Hyde

Online marketing in today’s world can take some serious time, effort, and money too. Engaging in online marketing is often a multifaceted approach, with the aim to target as many people as possible with advertisements for goods and services. However, such broad approaches to online marketing do often have their drawbacks, with a huge costs and low click rates being some of the biggest ones. Broad marketing campaigns usually do not do a great job at targeting specific custom audiences with the highest chance of being interested in what is being advertised. However, if you really want to create brand awareness, sell a service, or move a product, targeting custom audiences is exactly what you need to do. This is especially true when it comes to being efficient with your marketing dollars. Today we are here to talk about marketing with Facebook Ads and Google Adwords in relation to custom audiences.

Facebook Ads Custom Audiences

Facebook “target audiences” is a pretty neat tool to use when it comes to advertising your goods and services on Facebook. To be clear, Facebook custom audiences do not consist of new customers which you do not have yet. This is not like marketing to a whole group of people which you have never seen or met. These custom audiences are audiences which you can create from a list of already existing customers or followers of your Facebook page, your website, contacts, and your products being sold on Facebook. The real aim of these custom audiences is for you to be able to market specific goods or services to specific groups of people which already follow your page, brand, or who have already bought things from you previously.

Using Facebook Ads in combination with custom audiences is definitely a great way to engage in online social media marketing. Heck, there are over 1.5 billion regular users of Facebook, so it only makes sense to market your products on this huge social media platform. However, like we said before, a broad marketing campaign is not that ideal because your advertisements might inadvertently target people who have zero interest in you or your products. It ends up being a monumental waste of money, paying for ads which most of the broad audience won’t even look at. This is where custom audiences come into play. All you need to do is use the Facebook Ads manager to create a custom audience list from your pre-existing contacts.

There are actually different kinds of custom audiences that you can target with your advertisements. These custom audiences include the following.

  • You can create a customer list or standard custom audiences where you upload customer emails, phone numbers, and Facebook user IDs.
  • You can create website custom audiences where you target Facebook users who visited a specific page on your website.
  • You can create custom audiences based on people who have used a specific app or service of yours.

What is really neat is that you can then create lookalike audiences, which is a type of audience that Facebook will create for you. This type of audience will include people with similar ages, styles, gender, interests, and so on as the people who are already in specific custom audiences of yours. In other words, these broader custom audiences are people who are not yet your customers, but have similar characteristics to already existing ones, thus increasing the chances of them buying your goods or services. Facebook will find these people based on your already existing custom audiences and their similarities to those people.

This is a really effective and efficient way to market your products and services to people. What is also pretty neat is that you can then use an automated marketing and customer retention tools to send emails, newsletters, and other such things to people in your Facebook custom audience. It’s a really good customer retention tool to use in combination with Facebook custom audiences.

Google Adwords Customer Match

Now, to be perfectly clear, this so called Google Adwords “customer match” is more or less the same feature as Facebook custom audiences, but with a different name and location. Customer match is designed to help you reach and target your highest valued customers on platforms like Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, and other online entities that are a part of or related to Google. It is very similar to custom audiences in the sense that you upload a list of customer data, whether from a website, YouTube channel, and eCommerce site, or other such things, which will then be your customer match list, AKA your custom audience.

In fact, Google’s customer match was a response to Facebook’s custom audiences. Google saw how good this going for Facebook and decided to create a so called custom audience feature of its own, and simply renamed in customer match. You create your custom audience or customer match audience, as Google calls it, which will then be the targets for your advertisements. Once again, online advertising, whether on YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, and other such things, is very expensive, so being able to target pre-existing customers is a big deal. Customers who bought something from you the first time around are way more likely to buy goods or services from you the second time, much more so than people who have never bought a good or service from you.

Whether people are searching, looking at displayed search results, on YouTube, or in their email, when people look up or are known to have an interest in a certain product of yours, your advertisements will be displayed or sent to them thanks to this customer match application.

Google Customer Match vs Facebook Custom Audience

Google does have an advantage over Facebook here because the combined services of Search, Display, YouTube, and Gmail together have a far higher amount of users than Facebook. Therefore, using Google customer match allows you to reach a far higher amount of people than Facebook allows for. This is even truer when you consider that Google also has something called “similar audiences”, which is just like Facebook’s lookalike audiences.

Google’s similar audiences feature has the ability to larger lists of people than Facebook, but there is also a drawback. Facebook is much more in tune with the age, gender, likes, dislikes, and other characteristics of the people on your list, as well as potential people for the lookalike lists. In other words, Facebook does a much better job here at creating lookalike custom audience lists where the people have a lot in common with each other, thus increasing the chances of people being interested in your advertisement.

Google’s similar audiences may be able to put together huge lists, but they lack a large and concise pool of customer data in terms of their defining characteristics and likes. Therefore, Google’s “similar lists” may not actually be all that similar to the Google customer match lists which you have created.

Below is a great illustration which captures the intricacies and everything you must consider when choosing between Facebook’s custom audiences and Google’s customer match.


The bottom line is that both Google and Facebook have developed great ways for you to target specific audiences based on pre-existing customer lists and contact details you have. Both customer match and custom audiences are great tools you can use to narrow the scope of a specific marketing campaign or even for a single advertisement. These tools can help you target already existing customers or visitors with the highest chances of being interested in what you are offering. The big takeaway here is that both are good ways to engage in online marketing with existing platforms while allowing you to save a whole lot of money.

Author’s Bio: Gerardo Hyde is a marketer and writer with 8 more years of experience in analytics customer marketing and SEO. His passion for powerful technologies is what always keeps his writing up-to-date. He currently works for StackTome, an advanced customer retention tool.



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