How often do you see an ad for the first time, click on it, and convert immediately? Our best guess…probably not too often. Today we are going to chat about how warm audiences (low funnel) can help you connect to high value individuals and close conversions that you may have missed otherwise.

If you are not too familiar with advertising on Facebook, there is a whole world of strategy beyond hitting that enticing “Boost” button on the front end. In Facebook’s Ads Manager there are up ten different ad objectives, six configurable ad formats, and endless ways to build audiences. While we could write an entire novel about the various objectives and format strategies, today I want to clear the air on audiences. Specifically, we are going to walk you through our thoughts on warm audiences and how they can make a significant impact on your Facebook Advertising efforts.

To start, we have put together a small table that displays our opinions on audience types as it relates to the cold/warm analogy:


Cold Audiences Mild Audiences Warm Audiences
  • Interests
  • Demographics
  • Lookalike
  • Customer Files
  • Behaviors
  • Connections
  • Engagement
  • Website Traffic
  • App Activity

Cold Audiences

We want to start by saying that colder audiences are generally necessary in order to build warm audiences. If your page, app, or website already has high traffic volumes organically, you won’t have to spend as much time and money in this bucket.

What are cold audiences? Put simply, cold audiences are generally built of individuals that you believe may be interested in your offering. They might have heard about your company before, but likely haven’t purchased from you and are defined by the demographics and/or interests that you set. For example, if you are a local fishing tour company, you might want to start by targeting individuals based on geography, age, and interest around fishing or other related topics/pages.

Cold audiences are typically large, unrefined, and should be used for your top-funnel advertising campaigns. While there are hundreds of different interest categories to choose from, a high majority of them are inaccurate, unfortunately. For example, in Facebook Ad preferences, Facebook believes that I have a strong interest in Coca-Cola, Scrolls, Departments of Argentina, and my personal favorite… “noodle”. I actually stopped drinking soda about 2 years ago, have never considered visiting South America, and don’t have a particular interest in old texts or scrolls. I will say that noodle is pretty accurate though, I love noodles. Convinced yet? Take a look at your own Facebook Ad Preferences.

Facebook Ad Preferences 2 Facebook Ad Preferences 1

Mild Audiences

As you could probably guess, we throw audiences that are somewhere in between cold and warm in the mild bucket. This bucket is made up of custom data files, lookalike audiences, behaviors, and connections. Here is a quick summary of each audience type:

Custom Data Files: Facebook can find and build audiences based on customer data you provide (emails, phone numbers, names, etc.) by matching the data with an existing Facebook profile. While this may seem like a very “warm” segment of customers to market to, leave it in the mild bucket because it’s difficult to get a high and accurate match rate. So, before you upload your customer data, review Facebook’s best practices!

Lookalike: Unlike cold interests or demographic restrictions, Facebook will do the work of finding other users that “look-like” the custom audience you’re looking to emulate. For example, Facebook can dig around your custom data file and search for other individuals that share similar characteristics. These audiences are generally extremely vast.

Behavior: While behaviors are offered as a standard filtering tool by Facebook, they mostly use third party data partners to put these audiences together. For example, if a user has been browsing for a new car (not within Facebook may already know who they are through a combination of third party and in-app behavior data. Pretty cool, huh?

Connections: Connections let you include and exclude users or friends of users who have liked your page, used your app, or have responded to your event on Facebook.

Warm Audiences

While cold and mild audiences are great for kicking off campaigns or expanding into new segments, there is simply no audience more valuable than those who have already taken action with your brand. Warm custom audiences like “Engagement on Facebook” and “Website Traffic” allow you to build highly detailed audiences based on actual behavior, rather than assumptions.

For example, let’s say you wanted to follow up your video campaign to get more users who watched your advertisement to complete a form on your landing page. You could use a combination of engagement on Facebook and website traffic to build an audience like this:

For the users who have watched ____% of my video and have not visited “”, show them this follow-up advertisement.

Sounds awesome right? These audiences can be yours by installing Facebook Pixel and a little time spent with Ads Manager. In addition to web traffic and post/video engagement, those who have mobile applications can create similar audiences based on app behavior as well.

Looking to bring old fans back to your website? Try creating an audience of users who have not visited your website in the past 90 days. Trying to close an e-commerce sale? Show users who have not converted yet an ad with the exact product they were browsing on your website with dynamic ads. Warm audiences like these can be super effective for guiding customers through a pathway to conversion. How could your brand make use of these Facebook audiences?


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