Facebook Remarketing: Everything You Need to Know

Facebook offers many ways to advertise your brand, but with so many options comes much uncertainty. One of the best ways to combat this uncertainty is through trial and error. Luckily, we have done that part for you! Using this guide, you should feel confident jumping into your first Facebook Remarketing campaign or even updating your current campaigns.

What Is Facebook Remarketing, and Should I Use It?

Remarketing sounds simple, and in some ways, it is. Facebook Remarketing is the process of segmenting and targeting users who have already interacted with your brand and convincing them to head back to your website and purchase. Remarketing allows you to create more detailed and precise messaging towards those segmented users.

If you are still confused, use the following example.

Let’s say your friend contacts you and asks to meet for dinner at a restaurant just outside of your usual territory. The first thing you may do is go online and check if something on the menu sounds like your style. When you finally arrive at the restaurant, you’ll know exactly what your options are, and it is much easier to purchase without feeling rushed or pressured. The same goes for advertising. If someone has already visited your site, downloaded your app, or clicked on a previous ad, the chances of a user engaging and converting on your brand are higher.

(For those who do not want to admit that you check the menu before you go somewhere, we all know you do).

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If you are still asking yourself, “but should I use it”? The answer is yes! Retargeting ads are 76% more likely to get clicks than prospecting ads. Although you do not always want to rely on clicks when analyzing your campaigns, these conversions do not happen unless people view your landing pages to begin with.

Now that you understand why you should be using Facebook Remarketing, let’s jump into how you can start building a Facebook remarketing campaign.

How to Get Started with Facebook Remarketing

The magical thing about remarketing on Facebook is you can intuitively target users based on specific behaviors.

Do you want to target users who visited a particular page on your website? Check.

Do you want to target users who added an item to their cart but did not purchase? Check.

Before you can jump in and start creating a campaign you need to do a few simple steps.

1. Install your Facebook Pixel

The first step for remarketing is to make sure that you install your Facebook Pixel. A pixel is a piece of code for your website that collects data that helps you track conversions, optimize ads, and builds targeted audiences for future ads.

Once your Facebook account is ready and the tracking code is installed, you can start retargeting your customers.

2. Create a Custom Audience

Once your pixel is properly installed, you can begin creating custom audiences to target. Facebook offers multiple options for creating your custom audience:

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Website

When selecting the website targeting option, Facebook will match people who visit your website with users on Facebook. When you choose website visits as your audience options, Facebook will offer their conventional settings. These conventional settings will target all website visitors within the last 30 days. Depending on your product and goals, this may not be the right fit for you. Facebook offers a plethora of other options.

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By choosing “people who visited a specific page,” you can insert particular URLs on your website to include. Facebook also gives you the option to exclude users based on a specific URL. While the retention window is the amount of time, people will remain in this audience. Again, depending on your goals, the retention window may need to be adjusted. Businesses with longer sales funnels may need to extend their retention time to bring in sufficient conversion volume. Facebook allows you to refine further by segmenting users who visited this URL two or more times, which is called frequency.

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App Activity

App activity allows you to target users who interacted with your app or its touchpoints. App activity can be more complex. You need to make sure that you register your app with Facebook. Once your app is selected, you can choose an audience based on in-app events.

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Customer List

When selecting a customer list, you will need to upload a predefined list of your customer emails for Facebook to match to their users. You can upload a customer list by using Mailchimp or importing a CSV or TXT file. If you choose to import a list manually, you will want to be sure to format it to the Facebook standards, which you can find on their website. Facebook matches users with the data you have given, like names, email addresses, or phone numbers. The more information you include, the higher the match rate your list will receive.

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Offline Activity

By selecting offline activity, you are remarketing based on phone calls or in-person store visits. Offline activity is a way to match events, webinar signups, website fill forms, store visits, and more. Offsite tracking can be an efficient way to target warm users in your sales funnel but requires more manual labor and upkeep to see a high Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Choose Facebook Sources

This option gives you the ability to remarket based on Facebook-specific sources. Options like video, shopping, and lead form are all Facebook integrated, making the setup simple. With so many options, let’s take a quick look at each one.

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Video

Facebook gives you a choice to select more than one option in this pull-down menu. Each of these variables specifies a different action a user has taken with your video.

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Lead Form

Custom audiences built from lead forms give you the option to target using data from previous or current form fills. You will be required to provide the page and the lead ad you want to pull the data from.

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Instant Experience

A Facebook Instant Experience is a full-screen event that opens after someone clicks on your ad. If you currently run any Instant Experience ads, you have two options in the pull-down menu to segment for a remarketing audience: people who opened the Instant Experience, and people who clicked any links in this Instant Experience.

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Shopping

By utilizing a user’s shopping experience on Facebook, you can target based on their action or inaction in your shop on Facebook or Instagram.

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Instagram Account

If your business currently operates an Instagram account, you can select your Instagram account and pick an event based on your audience goals.

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Facebook Page

Facebook page targeting is comparable to the Instagram custom audience you can build based on your page’s specific events and attributions.

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Events

If your business currently promotes events, you can segment audiences based on actions from your events. For this option, you will need to pick a particular event and then choose what group of people you want to segment from the pull-down menu.

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On-Facebook Listings

Lastly, Facebook listings allow you to choose people interested in your on-page listings. By choosing between people who viewed your products or messaged about products in your catalog, you can target users who interacted with your products or brand.

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No matter your goals, it is crucial that you target users who are or have been genuinely interested in your products/brand. These are the users who show more intent to purchase, so when deciding what pages you want to target on your website, be sure to research where quality leads typically come from.

We want the person who picked up the shirt, looked at it, and neatly put it back rather than the person who stops in the store for five seconds to grab socks. By targeting that customer who picked up the shirt, we focus our efforts on people who are more likely to buy because they have already shown interest in your products or brand.

How to Create a Facebook Remarketing Campaign

After you have indicated what custom audience is right for your goals and KPIs, it is time to build your campaign.

1. Identify the Campaign Objective

To build a high-converting remarketing campaign, you need to select an objective that will benefit your budget and audience. Facebook analyzes its user data and serves your ads to those in your target audience who are most likely to take the action you want. For example, if you were to select “conversions,” Facebook would show your ad to people who were more likely to convert on your website. A conversion defined by Facebook is when someone completes transactions on your website.

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2. Solidify Your Campaign Budget

Although serving these ads to your users is not free, you can get a high return on investment when done right. Keep in mind when selecting a budget, you are only allocating budget to this particular remarketing campaign.

Facebook’s budget is not fixed. You can optimize your budget allocation throughout the campaign cycle. Facebook offers two types of budget options.

  • Daily Budget: Facebook will only spend the amount per day you allocated.
  • Lifetime Budget: Lifetime budgets can be a bit more complicated. You set a total budget allocation that you would like to spend through the campaign cycle. If you keep this campaign running with no end date, Facebook will run the campaign until the money is depleted.

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Unfortunately, allocating budget is not always straightforward, and there are many pros and cons to each budget optimization type. Learning about budget can be challenging, but understanding budget optimization best practices can help remove the heavy lifting off of advertisers.

3. Design the Ad Copy & Creative

When it comes to ad copy and creative, this is the part where you can let your artistic side fly.

Ad creative is your chance to stand out against all of the other ads that are served to your users. Images are one of the most powerful ways to influence people. Facebook offers many different creative formats to appeal directly to your target audience.

Now that you understand how to set up remarketing campaigns, I will cover three best practices for running a remarketing campaign.

Facebook Remarketing Best Practices

Just like all things social media, remarketing can be complex and lead to lots of head-scratching moments. I have compiled three easy-to-implement best practices that have helped lead to fewer head scratches and more lightbulb moments!

1. Offer Special Promotions to Retargeted Audiences

We are all suckers for an excellent promotional offer. Offering free shipping or 20% off may be the cherry on top to seal the deal and reignite users’ interest in your products.

2. Watch Your Ad Frequency

Facebook defines ad frequency as the average amount of times a user is served your ad. A high ad frequency is not a reason to panic and turn off your campaign; there are a few things you can do when you start to see that frequency rate increase.

By adjusting your ad placement, revamping your ad creative, or expanding your custom audience, you can begin to see a decrease in your overall frequency rate.

3. Exclude Current Audiences from Future Campaigns

A Facebook feature that is often forgotten about is exclusions. Audience exclusions is the process of removing certain groups in your audience to create smaller subsets to target. When you begin to run multiple remarketing campaigns, it is vital that you exclude audiences that are currently running in other ad sets. To put it simply: audience overlap means you are serving the same audience with different ad sets, which can cause you to spend more on less.

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Final Thoughts

By following these steps to creating a remarketing campaign, you will see a serious boost to the number and quality of your leads. By refining your targeting, you ensure only relevant users are seeing your ads, which will lead to less ad fatigue and better results.

Facebook targeting capabilities can be molded to fit your business goals. The flexibility of custom audiences is an excellent tool for growing business and driving conversions at a low cost. Getting your ads in front of the right audience is the most prominent solution to a dwindling campaign, and Facebook’s remarketing structure can be that ultimate resolution.

Isabelle Severns

Social Media Specialist
Social Media Specialist

Isabelle is a social media specialist at Portent with a background in public relations and digital marketing. Combining creative storytelling and data-driven analysis, Isabelle is dedicated to working with clients to maximize the results of their paid media campaigns across social platforms. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Communication and Leadership and enjoys spending her free time working on photography.

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