One highly-targeted digital marketing approach that is producing tangible results for casinos, although few are taking advantage of it, combines player data with Facebook’s vast user list.

Facebook knows it is easier for businesses to sell to current customers than to look for new ones. In response, they created Facebook Custom Audience targeting. Advertisers choose an entire database or just a segment, upload it to Facebook, then Facebook matches it with their own list of users. If a match is found, then it is added to a Custom Audience. The Custom Audience can then serve as an advertising pool in any Facebook advertising campaign.

There are a few facts about Facebook’s Custom Audience feature that need to be understood before beginning a campaign. Any page administrator can upload a custom list through Facebook’s Advertising Manager dashboard. Once uploaded and processed, which can take up to an hour, the list is encrypted for security. Facebook does not share Custom Audiences with other advertisers. Match rates between Facebook users and custom lists range between 60 percent and 80 percent. Once a Custom Audience is uploaded, it cannot be edited but can be deleted at will. The minimum size of a Custom Audience is 20 people.

Creative Facebook campaigns begin with identifying three things: a relevant business goal, a predefined Facebook ad objective and a database segment. Facebook optimizes ad campaigns around nine objectives that range from reach to traffic to conversions. It’s likely that your business goal lines up with a Facebook objective; for example, create awareness for an event, generate traffic to a landing page or to generate more room reservations. But the real key to using Custom Audiences powerfully is to match a business objective and messaging with the optimal database segment. Below are a few Facebook Custom Audience campaigns that might make sense for a gaming property:

  • Add another channel: Build frequency and reach in conjunction with direct mail and e-mail marketing efforts by targeting the same segments with messages to sign up for that slot tournament or to participate in this month’s gaming promotion.
  • Create membership perks: Increase loyalty by giving certain parts of your database the ability to take advantage of offers and events exclusive to them. Links to private landing pages and custom promotional codes would allow these audiences to do things like reserve special room rates during peak times or to take advantage of pre-sales for upcoming concerts.
  • Re-engage the unengaged: Creating a Custom Audience list of inactive players creates an opportunity to welcome them back to the property with special offers and promotions.
  • Go viral: Generate more likes, shares and comments on your Facebook and Instagram posts by promoting them to a Custom Audience with an ad objective of engagement. Because a separate Custom Audience can be created with people who have engaged with your posts, reward these social media fans with a special opportunity or promotion.
  • Motivate the team: Custom Audiences do not have to be customers. Targeting an employee list with positive, congratulatory and motivational messages can be an effective way to increase morale, remind employees of employment benefits and raise retention.
  • Find people nearby: Facebook’s geotargeting would allow your property to target a list of moderately active players who are in the vicinity of the property. An offer of match play redeemable right now might be enough to sway them to step inside.
  • Ladies night: Facebook’s standard demographic and behavior filters apply to Custom Audiences too. Gender, age and behavioral affinities are a few of the filters that could be applied to Custom Audience. How about inviting singles to the casino bar for drink specials?•
  • Clone your list: If you have a database segment that really performs well, Facebook’s audience cloning feature allows advertisers to find more users with similar characteristics. Create a custom audience of the players who are most profitable, clone them and then offer them to join your e-mail list, give match play or show the perks of your loyalty club.
  • Exclusion capabilities: Facebook’s Advertising dashboard gives users the ability to exclude lists too. Excluding means that ads will not be shown to those individuals who meet certain criteria. A fan acquisition campaign could target the entire database but exclude people who are already fans of your page.
  • Think smaller: Since Facebook Custom Audiences can be as small as 20 people, why not get very granular. Invite last month’s 20 biggest winners back with an offer they can’t refuse.

Facebook’s Custom Audiences are a very versatile and precise method of reaching people already in your database. Since these audiences tend to be more responsive since they already have a relationship with your brand, take advantage of it.