Let the CAT out of the bag!

I consider this the biggest secret in Facebook ads, but almost nobody is talking about it.  By the end of this post, you’ll be nodding your head vigorously. Take notes:

Custom Audience Targeting.  

There, I said it.

custom audience targeting

You can upload lists of userids, emails, and phone numbers directly as targets. There are some restrictions here on who you can upload, but you can read the fine print when you accept this feature. It’s only in Power Editor, by the way.

custom audiences facebook

You can use a custom audience as a negative target, too. Meaning that if you have an email acquisition campaign, you can exclude your existing list from seeing the message. Why waste impressions?

If you’re really a pro, you can place all your competitors in a CAT, then exclude them from your ad campaigns, making it harder to spy on you.

block competitor research

Combine CAT with other forms of targeting. For example, run search ads (called sponsored results) on the top 50 most popular terms, but also include CAT. Who cares if they’re looking for SpongeBob if they’re someone you want to reach? Learn the tactics here. This is secret retargeting, folks!

 

Start using CAT in sequence so you can hit people at different points in the funnel. Maybe you use Marketo for your marketing automation. Have you considered tying people to stages in the funnel so your messages reach them there?

How about segmenting CAT by customer value – different lists for different tiers? If you’re an airline, you’d have lists by status, then further segment by home city.

What about your most frequent purchasers if you’re a direct marketer? If they bought during Valentine’s Day last year, assign that CAT to your V-Day posts and see if you can increase the lifetime value of your existing customers.

Some companies are setting up dynamic lists – triggers for when people are checking in, complaining, buying stuff, whatever. Let’s say you just bought something at a retailer. Wouldn’t it be nice (or creepy) to cross-sell them within minutes of when they bought? Or at least get them to promote your brand while it’s still hot in their minds.

custom audience filtering

Okay, do you agree with me now?  Have we let the CAT out of the bag?

If you’re thinking this is cool, but that it takes some technical integration, you’re right. You’re going to have to make a long-term investment to get all your data in once place so you can apply rules to your marketing activities no matter where they come from.  That will require some magic in your Salesforce.com, Marketo, Zoho, or whatever systems you use.

In the meantime, you can manually upload lists to play for now, then automate. Dear readers, what do you think?

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu

About Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is the Chief Architect / CTO of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also an author at InsideFacebook and AllFacebook. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com, his blog, or on Facebook. "Dont miss this one - Dennis knows his stuff, and he has data to prove it! He's one of the REAL experts out there on Facebook advertising. I always look forward to chatting with Dennis and learning from him" -Jesse Stay, Author of 'I'm On Facebook - Now What??' "Totally worth checking out. Dennis knows more about Facebook marketing than the majority of people working at Facebook itself!" -Dave Taylor, CEO of Intuitive Systems, LLC
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4 Responses to Let the CAT out of the bag!

  1. Dan Auito says:

    Dennis is the Facebook marketing secret weapon! Staying tuned brother!

  2. Dennis Yu says:

    Dan– thank you! Looking forward to doing more content together with you, buddy!

  3. Trevor says:

    Really nice post. Someone told me that you had posted this here.

    I can see that you posted enough to tantalize but the truth is you really haven’t let the cat out of the bag yet.

    There is far more to this than mentioned and even the simple basic stuff like building the list at absolute hyper speed, you haven’t mentioned here either, lol.

    Nice.

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