Retargeting allows advertisers to reach warm leads by showing ads to those who have already shown an interest in your product or service. Facebook advertisers do this by embedding the Facebook Pixel into their site’s code. This code tracks the user behavior of their site’s visitors, which then helps advertisers create targeted ads on Facebook.
Creating retargeting ad campaigns on Facebook can be done without a high degree of Facebook Ads expertise, but there is a learning curve which can be time-consuming. Those looking to use Facebook retargeting strategically with little time available should use a professional Facebook management service such as Hibu. Leaving your Facebook ad management to the pros gives you more time and helps you get the most out of your ad spend.
How Facebook Retargeting Campaigns Work
Facebook retargeting ads display solely to an audience that has previously visited (and taken certain actions on) your website. To do this, advertisers install the Facebook Pixel, a free, short piece of code advertisers install on their side to track these visitors. It links your site visitors to your Facebook Ads Manager account, allowing you to create Facebook marketing campaigns that target your recent site visitors with Facebook ads.
Advertisers use the information from the Facebook Pixel to better understand their audience. They can then create ads tailored to their audience using this information. By understanding site visitors, advertisers not only have a warm audience that is more likely to convert, but they can also design ads specifically to them. This gives advertisers the ability to create ad messaging that makes more of an impact, leading to more sales and a higher return on ad spend.
The first step in Facebook retargeting is to get your Facebook Pixel installed and confirm it’s firing correctly using the Facebook Pixel Helper. A correctly embedded Pixel will automatically begin tracking all of your site visitors, no matter how the users landed on your site. The data collected by the Pixel automatically imports into the Facebook Ads Manager, where advertisers can then use the data to create strategic ads using custom audiences.
To create a retargeting campaign, you will follow the standard new campaign creation process in Facebook Ads Manager, which walks you through the entire process. The difference with retargeting campaigns lies within the audience selection step, where you will choose the option to create a custom audience using your Facebook Pixel data.
Examples of Facebook Retargeting Campaigns
There are a number of different ways to use Facebook retargeting, from showing ads of products a user has shown interest in on your website to promoting a special offer to recent site visitors to incite sales. Every business will use Facebook retargeting differently, depending on their business and advertising goals. For example, a local yoga studio could use Facebook ads as a reminder to those who last registered for a class two weeks ago to encourage return customers.
Another business might create a retargeting campaign that displays a specific product ad after a user has been to that product’s webpage. For example, let’s say a user is shopping for a new car and searches for Jeep Grand Cherokees for sale in their area on AutoTrader. Later, when they go on Facebook, they see an ad from AutoTrader for a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale near them that fits their search criteria, rather than one of AutoTrader’s generic ads.
To start creating your retargeting campaign like this, read our section below, How to Create a Retargeting Campaign on Facebook. We’ll walk you through step-by-step how to create your first retargeting campaign using the Facebook Pixel.
“A Facebook Pixel can be used a number of ways, but put simply, it’s this: a tracking device. For instance, if someone visits your website, you can show them an ad on Facebook or Instagram later on when they use those apps.”
– Michael Mignogna, CEO, Minyona
Who Facebook Retargeting Campaigns Are Right For
Facebook retargeting campaigns can be used by nearly every Facebook advertiser with a Java-enabled website with steady traffic, but are best suited for online-based businesses, such as ecommerce. This is because online businesses typically have a high volume of site visitors, giving the advertiser a lot of insightful information from the Facebook Pixel.
However, businesses that aren’t online-based, but have multi-page or content-rich websites that would find user data insightful, should also use retargeting. For example, a winery has two main types of consumers: those interested in tours and tasting and those interesting in hiring their venue for private events. The winery could use retargeting to segment site visitors by their interest, and then display ads specific to each of those user’s interests.
Facebook retargeting campaigns are best for advertisers who:
- Have Steady Web Traffic – To retarget website visitors, advertisers will first need web traffic.
- Have a Java-Enabled Site – Businesses looking to retarget on Facebook must use the Facebook Pixel, which can only be used on Java-enabled sites.
- Wish to Market to Warm Leads – Retargeting gives businesses a way to market more strategically by reaching users who already know of them.
- Are Online-Based – Retargeting best serves online-based businesses, such as ecommerce industries, as they have many web pages and an online checkout system.
Facebook Retargeting Campaign Costs
Facebook Retargeting Ads cost the same as other Facebook advertising campaigns. Facebook requires a minimum daily budget of $1, or the cost of two clicks. This means if your cost per click is $2.50, then your minimum daily budget will be $5. However, the average cost per click on Facebook is $1.50. For a more detailed explanation about the costs of Facebook Ads, visit our article on Facebook Advertising Costs.
How to Create Retargeting Campaigns in 8 Steps
Facebook retargeting lets advertisers discover and reach warm leads. Using the Facebook Pixel, advertisers track their site visitors and their actions to build audiences and better understand visitors. Campaigns are then designed to speak to the audience and display ads on those visitor’s Facebook pages, proving highly effective in that statistically warm leads convert best.
Start using retargeting ads by learning how to retarget on Facebook in eight steps:
1. Define Your Audience
The key to Facebook Ad targeting is first, understanding your ideal target audience. Many advertisers understand what retargeting is, but many still fail to take the time to understand their target audience enough to create strategic (and effective) ads. Without understanding your audience, you can’t begin to design effective ads.
Define Your Ideal Customer
Every business has a number of different customers, but there is still an ideal customer. Your ideal customers are those who fit your product or service best and, in return, are the most likely to convert and become a customer of yours. They are the ones who require the least sales because they’re the ones the most likely to buy. Take the time to consider and precisely define who these people are by learning How to Create Customer Profiles.
Get Insights From Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an extremely powerful analytics tool for Facebook advertising. Advertisers can gain a lot more information from Google Analytics than just a user’s location, gender, interests, and device types. Google Analytics is a reliable way to track conversions, which show you the entire path a user took to convert. This level of information can then be used to create custom audiences with targeted ads, increasing your ROI and conversions.
For example, through Google Analytics, a restaurant discovered that a large percent of users who clicked on their lunch ad ended up using their online reservation system to make dinner reservations. They had not expected to get dinner reservations from those searching for lunch spots, but, given this, they designed better website flows between web pages, leading to more reservations, and they also started offering lunch reservations.
2. Create & Install the Facebook Pixel
In order to retarget on Facebook, you will need to create and install the Facebook pixel. This is a short code provided by Facebook that is placed into the header of your website. It tracks your website visitors, allowing you to then create groups of people, or audiences, to display your ads to on Facebook.
Install the Facebook Pixel
If you’re not already using the Facebook Pixel, you will need to start by installing it. Installing the Facebook Pixel is easier than it sounds, and requires very little technical know-how. Facebook makes it simple to create your pixel and begin using the tool.
Install the Facebook Pixel in three steps:
- Confirm Your Eligibility – You will need a Facebook Business page and access to your website’s code.
- Create Your Facebook Pixel – Go to Facebook Ad Manager → Pixels → Create Pixel
- Add the Pixel Code to Your Website’s Header – Copy and paste your Pixel code into the head of your site’s code.
In case you’re still not convinced that installing the Facebook Pixel is easy, we’ll show you that it is. Get more detailed information on how to create and install the Facebook Pixel, including a comprehensive step-by-step guide with easy-to-follow screenshots, in our article on the Facebook Pixel.
3. Get the Facebook Pixel Helper
Every business using Facebook retargeting ads should use the Facebook Pixel Helper to create more effective ads and increase their return on ad spend. The Facebook Pixel Helper is a troubleshooting tool used to monitor and maintain the Facebook Pixel functionality. It is a free and easy-to-use Google Chrome extension that takes the guesswork out of whether or not pixels are input and running correctly.
Install the Facebook Pixel Helper in three steps:
- Go to the Chrome Store
- Click to Install the Facebook Pixel Helper
- Check That the Facebook Pixel Helper was installed correctly
Confirm Your Pixel Is Working with the Facebook Pixel Helper
If you already have created and installed the Facebook Pixel, double-check that your pixel is functioning properly. You can easily do this with the Facebook Pixel Helper, which is a Chrome plugin used to monitor and troubleshoot Facebook Pixels. Learn how easy it is to use the Facebook Pixel helper in our article on how to Install & use the Facebook Pixel Helper.
4. Go to Audiences from Facebook Ads Manager
From your Facebook Ads Manager home screen, click “Business Manager” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen to open the drop-down menu. In the fourth column under Assets, click “Audiences.”
5. Create & Select Custom Audience
Click “Create Audience” from the upper left-hand toolbar. From the drop-down menu, select “Custom Audiences” from the options, allowing you to access audiences from your Facebook Pixel.
6. Select “Website Traffic” Option
Facebook will give you four options to create your custom audience with. Because we are creating an audience for a retargeting ad campaign, choose “Website Site” so that the audience is made up of those who have visited your site.
7. Choose Your Target Audience
Click the website traffic option to open the drop-down menu. This is where you have the option to choose from the five types of audiences. The audience type you choose depends on your advertising goals. Remember, the more specific the audience, the better you can reach them by creating ads tailored to match their needs and interests.
The five custom audience traffic options for Facebook Retargeting Ads are:
- Anyone who visits your website
- People who visit specific pages
- People visiting specific web pages but not others
- People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time
- Custom combination
8. Build Ad Campaigns to Match Your Audience
To use Facebook retargeting ad campaigns effectively, you will need to create great campaigns with ads that speak to your custom audience with a focus on driving traffic to your site, which then increases the audience you can retarget ads to. Therefore, be sure to create ads that match your custom audience’s interests. Remember: even the best audience won’t convert without great ads, so take the time to create ads that will attract your precise users.
For example, a ski and bike company should group users by the main product types the business offers, such as skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, and road cyclists. A customer who previously purchased a road bike would be a good candidate for a promotion on new clipless road bike pedals, whereas the customer who rented a mountain bike won’t likely be interested in road biking gear.
Ways to Use Facebook Retargeting
Facebook retargeting can be used in a number of ways and is based on your advertising goals, or objectives. There are four main goals in retargeting ads: build awareness, reminder advertising, close a sale, and invite repeat business. When retargeting is used in conjunction with your advertising goals, ads become very effective and drive your return on investment up.
Advertising Goal: Build Awareness
Facebook retargeting may be geared towards capturing those who have already visited your site, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still use the retargeting information to build brand awareness by reaching those who haven’t yet heard of you. Advertisers can create “lookalike” audiences based on the data from the Facebook Pixel to create ads geared towards new customers who match the profile of present customers.
For example, a local art gallery owner had been struggling to target audiences on Facebook, as they didn’t have a clear ideal customer. Previously, the best way was to target users who had liked a similar gallery’s Facebook page. However, using the data from the Facebook Pixel, they were able to create lookalike audiences. Now they target Facebook users who match their average site visitor, helping to expand their reach and gain the awareness of new customers.
Advertising Goal: Reminder Advertising
Facebook retargeting lets advertisers position ads to warm audiences. This is highly valuable because warm audiences are closer to buying, as they have already shown an interest in your products or services. When a site visitor peruses your website but takes no actions on it, you can surmise that the user was likely early in the decision-making process and not ready to take action. This indicates that additional sales fostering is required.
For example, an auto dealership gets a large number of visitors who search for specific makes and models, but they do not click the call to action “schedule a test drive.” The dealership uses this information to create ads that provide additional sales information on the cars the visitors were looking at, which further helps develop the user’s interest in the vehicle, leading them closer to converting users to take action, such as schedule a test drive or value trade-in.
Advertising Goal: Close a Sale
Facebook retargeting not only shows you your warm leads, but also your hot leads. These are people who have started the purchasing process but did not finish it. Things such as wish list items or abandoned carts indict that the user had intent to purchase. Advertisers can use this information to display ads to those users of the exact products they were interested in, leading them to remember their initial interest and go forth with completing their purchase.
For example, an online vacation package retailer creates promotional ads to users who started but abandoned the order process. They show the exact package a user was interested in with a limited-time special offer to give users more reason (and urgency) to book their vacation.
Advertising Goal: Incite Repeat Sales
Advertisers can be savvy about using retargeting ads to generate repeat sales by advertising products similar to those that a customer has already purchased. Retargeting serves as a great way to cost-effectively use reminder advertising. Typically, previous customers are more likely to buy from you than someone who has never heard of you, so creating audiences of previous customers is a great way to generate ongoing sales.
For example, an online children’s clothing retailer uses Facebook to retarget ads to previous customers. They break out customers by the age, gender, and product-type previously purchased, so those who purchase a girl’s winter jacket in the size 0-3 months last year will now see ads for girl’s winter jackets available in sizes 12-18 months.
How to Segment an Audience for Retargeting
Facebook ads are great because unlike traditional advertising, such as billboards and television commercials, advertisers can determine which ads show to which groups of people. These groups of people are referred to as “audiences” on Facebook, and every audience should see ads tailored to them, which closes the gap between potential customer and customer. Audiences can be segmented in a number of ways from their location to their interests.
The traditional type of audience segmentation is by demographics. This includes a user’s basic information such as age, gender, location, language, device type, and browser type. Use demographics to create groups of audiences as the foundation, or first step, of segmentation.
Example – Ad Segmentation by User Demographics
A bar hosts a weekly Ladies Night and they are looking to increase attendance for tomorrow night. They segment ads by location, age, and gender. First, they hyper-focus location to show ads only to those within a 10-mile radius of their bar. Second, the majority of their best customers are 24 to 35, so they target ads to users in that age range. Lastly, they know men and women look for different things in a night out, so they create two ads geared towards each.
By Products and/or Services
The Facebook Pixel provides a depth of information on user behavior, including website page views. These can tell a business a lot about which products or services a user is interested in. With this information, advertisers can then create ads specifically for certain audiences interested in certain products or services.
Example – Ad Segmentation by Products or Service
A local bakery is using the Facebook Pixel to track user behavior on their website. They find that the majority of users go to one of three pages from their homepage: their menu, catering services, or wedding cakes. Their goal is to increase their sale of custom wedding cakes, so they create Facebook ads focused on their custom cakes targeted to users who spent at least two minutes on their wedding cakes webpage, rather than showing a generic bakery ad.
By Buyer’s Intent
Every prospective buyer visits your stage with varying levels of intent. Some users may just be researching whether your product or service fits their needs while others have decided they want a product or service you offer and are shopping around for the best quality or price. Understanding where a user is in the buyer sales funnel gives advertisers the opportunity to design ads that speak to their potential customers.
Example – Ad Segmentation by Buyer’s Intent
A real estate brokerage finds a large number of site visitors are passively browsing high-end homes for fun, which they determined by finding that these visitors never contact the brokerage for more information, nor clicked links for mortgage pre-approval. They want to target ads to users who are ready to purchase a home to avoid wasting ad spend, so they build campaigns targeting those who searched for homes in certain price ranges and who visited the mortgage rates page.
The most subjective, and therefore difficult way to segment is by users wants and/or needs. This requires a degree of intuition and understanding of buyers. By understanding what potential users are looking for (or in need of), advertisers can create proactive ads that are effective in providing users what they want, when they need it.
Example – Ad Segmentation by Buyer’s Wants/Needs
A computer sales and repair store is running a promotion on external hard drives and they want to use Facebook to advertise this sale. To avoid wasting ad spend, they target ads by user’s needs. Using the info from the Facebook Pixel, they create a custom audience of those who have recently visited the blog post on how to back up a computer. They then create an ad specific to those users, explaining the benefits of external hard drives and the current promotion.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is the Difference Between Retargeting & Remarketing?
Retargeting and remarketing effectively share the same goal of closing sales using warm leads. The major difference is the delivery of ad delivery. Remarketing usually uses email to contact warm leads, whereas retargeting uses ads such as Facebook to reach warm leads. Retargeting tends to outperform remarketing, as users are more receptive to Facebook ads than undesired emails.
What Are the Different Ways to Target Facebook Ads?
There are seemingly endless ways to retarget Facebook ads from basic demographics to those who have a certain upcoming or recent life event, such as a birthday or an anniversary. To help you understand the top Facebook ad targeting options, we’ve got some advice in our guide to the Top 7 Facebook Ad Targeting Options.
Where Can I Find a Facebook Management Service?
Using a Facebook ad management service can be a smart move, and while there are many to choose from, finding a good one can be a challenge. We’ve done the research to find you the best Facebook ad management services.
What Are Facebook’s Ad Specs?
Facebook ad specs vary based on the type of Facebook ad. For example, the image size for a single image ad is 1,200 x 628 pixels with an image ratio of 1.91:1, whereas slideshow image size is 1,280 x 720 pixels with an image ratio of 16:9, 1:1 or 2:3. Get detailed Facebook ad spec information covering specs for every ad type in our article Complete List of Facebook Ad Specs.
Retargeting ads are a powerful way of acquiring new customers through strategically focusing ads on the needs or intent of warm leads. They are a great opportunity for businesses to create more successful Facebook advertisements and get a higher return on investment. Getting the most out of your Facebook advertising does require learning not only how Facebook Ads Manager works, but also pairing that with a good understanding of digital marketing.
Most business owners lack the time to take on another responsibility, never mind the time to endure the learning curve, so many choose to call in the pros with professional Facebook ad management services, such as Hibu. Hibu is a full-service marketing agency that offers Facebook ad management services with no management fee, making them extremely affordable. Visit Hibu today to start driving more business with your Facebook ads.