Meta Needs an Impressions Shown Custom Audience

Previously, we talked about the glaring need for some sort of frequency control. The specific solution we focused on was frequency capping, like what is available when using Reach optimization. But, there’s actually another option that could be considered: An Impressions Shown Custom Audience.

It’s less sophisticated and it’s imperfect, but it could solve some of our problems while also providing some interesting options for campaign planning.

I think it could be great. Let’s discuss…

How the Audience Would Work

In its simplest form, it could work like this…

1. Create a custom audience of people who were shown an impression of a specific post or ad. This could work like Video View Custom Audiences, but the focus would be whether a user was shown a full impression of a specific post or ad.

2. Establish a retention window. This is the number of days that someone will remain in a custom audience after qualifying for it. We generally see anything from 90 to 365 days as a maximum, depending on the audience. For this purpose, let’s say the retention can be anywhere from 1 to 90 days.

How it Would Be Used

Once you’ve created the audience, how might you use it? Well, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

If you’re using this for frequency control, you could then automatically exclude anyone who was shown a specific ad during the past 7 days, for example. This is something I recommend for video ads right now. You can exclude those who watched at least three seconds, so that would pick up autoplay.

But, this could get a little more advanced…

Yes, you could exclude anyone who was shown a single impression during the past 7 days. Maybe Meta could add a frequency element. Then you could create a custom audience of anyone who was shown at least three impressions of an ad or post in 14 days. You could then, obviously, exclude them.

But, you could also use this for targeting purposes. Maybe once someone has seen a given post or ad — it could be once or maybe you’d want some additional frequency with it — you then target this group of people to show them another ad. So, you could create a series of ads to keep moving them through different ads, even if they don’t engage with them (but were shown them).

The hope would be that, eventually, you show them that magical ad that they click. Would it work? Maybe! Part of the fun of this is that it’s all hypothetical.

Maybe the feature wouldn’t work exactly like this. But these are some ideas, and I’d love to see something similar to experiment with.

Your Turn

What would you do with an Impressions Shown Custom Audience?

Let me know in the comments below!