What is Facebook Retargeting and How to Do It

Richard Sutherland
April 19, 2019

For those looking to get a new site off the ground, there’s a sobering statistic – on average, only 4% of traffic that comes to your site is ready to buy.

The other 96% of visitors may be curious about what you have to offer, but they’ll rarely sign up for anything on the first visit. Unless you find a way to engage with them effectively later in the sales cycle you’ll never see them again.

Much of search engine optimization and online marketing is focused on increasing the amount of generic traffic you get. On-site optimization, on the other hand, turns likely buyers into sure things.

Retargeting sits somewhere in the middle, reminding customers of your brand name and value offer after they have left your site.

Retargeting campaigns through the use of Facebook are particularly powerful.

  • Target specific visitors with specific, directed ads
  • Remind people that they have a problem to solve, and that you can solve it for them
  • Convince hesitant visitors to take a closer look at what you have to offer
  • Look like a bigger brand by appearing in more ads for specific visitors
  • Offer existing customers the opportunity to avail new offers
  • Reduce the cost of advertising by only targeting users who have already expressed some interest in a specific product on your site

Retargeting vs. Remarketing

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, retargeting and remarketing are slightly different.

  • Retargeting is the use of third-party ad networks such as Facebook and the Google Display Network to reach potential customers by advertising on a wide range of websites.
  • Remarketing usually refers to reaching out to lost visitors directly through their email address – something that’s only possible if they’ve given this to you.

The Facebook Retargeting Pixel

Facebook has made engaging with previous visitors simpler and more powerful than ever through pixel-based retargeting.

A short piece of JavaScript code (aka a pixel) is placed on your website’s pages. It leaves an anonymous browser cookie in the visitor’s browser, letting Facebook track that the visitor has been to your site and even the pages that they were interested in.

After the visitor has left your site and started browsing other sites, Facebook knows they had previously shown interest in your products and to show them direct targeted ads compelling them to return.

This can happen immediately. Perhaps the visitor went away from your site to research the topic more. They instantly start seeing ads on other sites showing you’re a powerhouse in the market, and they’re drawn back to you.

Another advantage is your ads will only be seen by those who have looked through your website or landed on specific pages of interest on your site. Setting up your campaign goals correctly can tighten this even further for more efficient and inexpensive advertising.

Facebook Retargeting Campaign Goals

When considering the overall goal of our retargeting campaign, there are two main options:

  • Increase Awareness – Target visitors earlier in the sales process, building brand awareness, and informing of product features. This can be used as a precursor to a conversion campaign.
  • Encourage Conversion – Target visitors later in the sales process, those who are familiar with your brand, product, and services but who haven’t yet bought. The goal of retargeting for conversion is to get them to click on your ad that brings them to a landing page and sales funnel where they will ultimately convert.

Segmenting your Audience

Whether you’re looking to increase awareness or encourage conversion, the key to a successful remarketing campaign is accurately segmenting your audience.

The better segmented your audience is and the more you know about them and their interaction with your site, the better equipped you are to sell to them (or ignore them, if they appear to be a poor candidate for conversion).

As the knowledge you have on your visitors grows, DataCue can also use this information to show visitors a personalized version of your site, with different banners and products for each visitor.

There are myriad ways you can segment your audience, but at this early stage, we don’t know much about these visitors. We, therefore, segment them by things we do know – their behavior on your site, the time they spend, and whether they have been a customer in the past.

Behavior Segmentation

We can paint our visitors in broad strokes:

  • Not interested – visitors who spend only a few seconds on your site and exit
  • Interested – visitors who browse through a number of pages, perhaps clicking on pricing pages or product details

Obviously, visitors that we consider to be not interested should be filtered out of retargeting ads, as the return on investment is low. Likewise, a visitor who has telegraphed their interest through his or her behavior on-site should be served retargeting ads.

Consider further segmenting the interested visitors based on what they were interested in. This allows your retargeted ads to get razor focused.

Time Segmentation

Facebook gives you the option to space out retargeting ads over time. You should consider carefully:

  • How long should it be between the time the visitor leaves your site and they see the first ad?
  • How often should they see your ads?
  • When should they stop seeing your ads altogether?

The answers to these questions rely heavily on the nuances of your particular market and customers. Showing too many ads too soon can be a turn-off for some, whereas not striking when the iron is hot could lose you customers.

Existing Customers

Retargeting campaigns can also be used for existing customers. If you have a new feature or change in pricing plan, for example, retargeting ads can let your existing customers know. This is best used on sites where customers don’t visit often.

DataCue’s targeted notification system works well here, alerting users with a popup only when there’s an event relevant to them. For example, if a product the customer cares about goes on discount, they will be sent a subtle notification, nudging them to return to the website.

When the customer does return to your website, using DataCue, you can show them a personalized version of your website tailored to their previous behavior. Paired with retargeting, this makes for a personalized experience for your visitors on and off your website for the perfect targeted campaign.

How to Make a Retargeting Campaign in Facebook

  1. Get a Facebook Business Ads account
  2. Go to Audiences -> Custom Audiences -> Website Traffic
  3. Select the audience you want to target:
    a. Any visitor to your site
    b. Any visitor to a specific page
    c. People who visit some pages but not others
    d. People who have visited but haven’t visited for a certain amount of time
    e. A custom combination

With these seemingly basic options, a highly targeted, inexpensive, and powerful retargeting campaign can be built, turning customers you’ve lost into customers you’ve won.

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About the author

Richard Sutherland has worked in online marketing and search engine optimization for over 15 years. Excited about how we can offer the customer a streamlined, personalized online experience, Richard looks for every way to increase conversion percentages with a high return on investment.

Sobre el autor

Richard Sutherland tiene más de 15 años de experiencia en marketing online y optimización de motores de búsqueda. Apasionado por ofrecer una experiencia inteligente y personalizada a cada consumidor, Richard está constantemente buscando nuevas maneras de incrementar la conversión y, con ella, los retornos a la inversión.

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