Warm and Cold Audiences
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Intermediate Facebook Advertising – How to Master Custom and Lookalike Audiences

In this lesson, we talk about the different types of audiences. This serves as an introduction for Facebook Custom Audiences.

If you’ve taken the Facebook Audience Research Course, this will be very similar.

By the end of this lesson, you’ll understand the different types of Facebook audiences, and when to use each one.

Let’s get started!

Types of Audiences

At Online Advertising School, we divide our audiences into three groups:

  1. Cold audiences
  2. Warm audiences
  3. Customers

Cold Audience

A cold audience is any audience that has not interacted with your company.

Why are they called cold? Because they aren’t “warm” to your product – they know nothing about you, and are unlikely to make a purchase right away.

Advertisers spend the majority of their money targeting cold audiences.

Warm Audience

A warm audience is a group that has some sort of interaction with you.

Some people measure this as seeing an ad. We don’t. We use two characteristics to define a warm audience:

  • Has taken an action related to your online or offline properties
  • That action is measurable and trackable online


Customers are obvious – this is anyone who has purchased your product.

Facebook Audience Types

Facebook collects thousands of data points on each person. That means you have endless targeting opportunities.

That means you have endless targeting opportunities.

But understanding each one can be difficult, especially if you’re just starting out.

Here each type of audience broken out into cold and warm audiences.

Cold Audience


Demographic targeting is about reaching people based on their personal characteristics.

facebook advertising demographics

Here are the different graphics that you can target:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Home
  • Life events
  • Parents
  • Politics (U.S)
  • Relationship
  • Work


Interest is information on people’s interests, hobbies, websites visited and Pages they like on Facebook.

Facebook uses this information to build targeting options for advertisers to use. So if you want to reach people interested in Facebook advertising, you could target people interested in Ads Manager (the Facebook ad tool).

You can see how powerful this can be. All interests are broken into different themes:

  • Business and industry
  • Entertainment
  • Family and relationships
  • Fitness and wellness
  • Food and drink
  • Hobbies and activities
  • Shopping and fashion
  • Sports and outdoors
  • Technology

audience interest targeting


Behaviours are activities that people do on or off Facebook. They are constructed from both of someone’s activity on Facebook, or offline activity provided by data from Facebook’s trusted third-party partners.

facebok behaviours

For example, you could target people who are frequency travellers, or business travellers.

More Categories

Some advertisers purchase data from third-party providers. You can find this data in the More Categories section.



Lookalikes are audiences that are similar to people who visited your website, given your their contact or personal information, visited your app or taken an event action.

facebook lookalike audiences

These can be an incredibly powerful way to reach similar customers.

You can create these by selecting a custom audience and turning it into a lookalike audience.

Warm Audiences

Customer Data

Facebook allows you to upload your customer data. Once you’ve uploaded the data, it matches that data back to each Facebook user.

facebook custom audience data mapping

To create this audience, go to audiences and select custom audiences. Then follow the steps and create a custom audience. You can learn more about custom audiences in our Intermediate Facebook Advertising Course

You can access your customer data in the custom audience section of your ad set.

Pixel Audience

If you’ve placed a Facebook pixel on your website, every person who visits your site is added to a website visitor audience.


This allows you to target only people who’ve done something on your website. You can include or exclude this audience from your ads, limit by the last time they visited your site, time spent on site and custom combinations

You can target pixel audiences by going to the custom audience section

Facebook Fans

This is very simple – you can reach anyone who has directly liked your Facebook page, or is friends of fans of your page.

facebook page retargeting

App Users 

If you’ve installed a Facebook pixel on your app, you’ll be able to reach anyone who has used your app.

app retargeting


You can target anyone who has attended one of your events.


Video Views

You can target anyone who has seen one who has viewed or completed your video.

facebook video views retargeting

Canvas Ads

Canvas ads are a new format by Facebook specifically designed for mobile.


You can retargeting to anyone who engages with your Canvas ad. Just go to Create Custom Audience, select Engagement on Facebook and choose Canvas Ad.

Lead Ads

Lead advertisements are designed to capture information of people within Facebook. You can retarget anyone who engages with your lead ads.


Customer Purchase Data

Limiting to customers is simple. Just upload emails and phone numbers of those who have purchased a product.

Website and Purchase Events

By setting up certain events on your website, you can target or exclude that audience from your ads.


Why Warm Audiences Are So Important

These are just a few examples of the types of audiences you can make.

Warm audiences are the most important part of your business. Businesses with large, loyal warm audiences will have more sales, more attachment to their brand and be able to sell must more scientifically and effectively than just selling to cold audiences.

They are important!

Custom Audiences

Custom audiences are a type of Facebook audience that allows your target users based on the actions, data and engagements they take with your website, CRM and ads.

Advertisers that master custom audiences will be able to sell more, lower advertising costs and truly master the Facebook ad platform.

In the next three lessons we dive deep into the three main types of custom audiences:

  1. Website visitors
  2. Customer data
  3. Engagement audiences

Let’s get started!

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