How to Effectively Use Facebook for Your Retargeting Campaign

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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Retargeting campaigns are an ideal tool for eCommerce retailers to leverage. Not only do these advertising pushes often cost less than a standard PPC campaign might, they also tend to drive more conversions as consumers are more likely to engage with brands they already know and possibly love.

Facebook retargeting ads can be a powerful modality for merchants to drive previous site visitors to convert, be it a subscription, download or product sale.

Generally speaking, Facebook retargeting is incredibly useful as it targets consumers who have already shown interest in a store’s offerings, thereby heightening the odds of earning a click and conversion. The more times a consumer sees an ad (up to a certain point), the more likely they will be to take the desired action.

Want to know more about how to utilize these Facebook ad campaigns to their fullest? Let’s dive in to the details surrounding Facebook retargeting and how retailers can boost their profits with this ad strategy.

But first…

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting campaigns are a consumer re-engagement tactic wherein advertisers target shoppers who have previously visited or interacted with a brand’s website in a specific way. When a visitor meets a particular criterion, the website drops a retargeting pixel on the visitor’s browser, thereby enabling the merchant to serve up explicitly crafted, personalized advertisements in a variety of places. These ads can be shown across the Google Display Network or on various social media websites such as Facebook.

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Using Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, users can obtain the necessary bit of code (the tracking pixel) to install on their websites. With this pixel integrated, the code sends information back to the social network which will enable merchants to set up Facebook campaigns that target consumers based on a variety of actions.

The use of retargeting ads can help an eCommerce store to increase its visibility in the SERPs, boost traffic and increase sales substantially. In fact, Facebook case studies have shown that by using retargeting, brands have been capable of achieving a 97 percent increase in eCommerce conversion rates and generate a six-fold return on their ad spend.

That’s pretty powerful stuff.

With that said, let’s get started setting up a Facebook retargeting campaign.

How to Create Facebook Retargeting Ads

To help maximize Facebook advertising conversions, retailers should understand how to set up and deploy retargeting adverts through the platform.

facebook ads manager closeup

To get started, sign into Facebook Ads Manager and click on “Audiences” in the drop-down menu in the top left corner of the interface. Next, select the blue “Create a Custom Audience” button beneath the “Reach the People Who Matter to You” headline.

From here, a popup will appear that provides retailers with a variety of options for their custom audience. Click “Website Traffic” as this is the option that will enable merchants to generate a list of users to target based on previous site visits and actions.

From here, if you do not already have a retargeting pixel installed on your site, Facebook will walk you through the process. After installing the pixel, go back to Create a Custom Audience > Website Traffic. Now a retailer will be capable of creating a custom audience based on the following options:

  • All website visitors
  • People who visited a specific page
  • Visitors by time spent
  • A custom combination of factors

Additionally, merchants will be asked to enter a specific timeframe for the selected action to have occurred within as well as specific URLs or percentages, depending on the options chosen.

With the Facebook campaign’s foundation set, let’s explore some strategies to make the most out of Facebook retargeting ads.

Facebook Retargeting Strategies

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While there have been some changes to Facebook’s Customer Audiences, there are a still a variety of useful tactics that advertisers can employ to get the most out of their Facebook campaign.

number float 1Retarget Specific Page Visitors

eCommerce websites often feature a substantial number of pages, some far more important than others. Given that a site’s product pages are among its most valuable, it is rather pointless for merchants to serve up generic adverts.

Therefore, by segmenting a retargeting audience by specific pages (particularly product pages they have recently visited), retailers can then deliver personalized adverts for items consumers have shown a definitive interest in, thereby drastically increasing the chances of a click-through and conversion.

To achieve this, simply create a custom audience of “People who visited specific web pages.”

Additionally, merchants should aim to serve up several variations of the ad shown to this specific audience to understand what copy, images and offers will drive the best results.

number float 2Retarget Near Purchasers

The fact is that only two percent of shoppers will convert on their first visit to a site. The other 98 percent will require a little more enticing. Naturally, Facebook retargeting ads are perfect for re-engaging these folks.

To get cart abandoners to revisit a site and complete their purchase, retailers can establish parameters to zero in on this audience. To set this retargeting framework and reach consumers who added an item to their cart but failed to convert, simply target “People who visited specific web pages” and include the store’s checkout page URL. Additionally, be sure to exclude the site’s confirmation or “thank you” page URL. Setting up the audience in this manner shows that a visitor nearly bought something (visited checkout page) but didn’t finish the transaction (did not visit confirmation page).

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When crafting adverts for this audience subset, sellers should be sure to display the exact product that the consumer was considering buying and employ emotional triggers such as time-sensitive offers or discounts to inspire a sense of urgency to convert.

Moreover, retailers will want to start showing these ads to the audience immediately after they abandon their carts as their desire for the item and willingness to buy is still fresh.

number float 3Retarget Previous Buyers

Isn’t the point of retargeting ads to recapture those who failed to make a purchase?

Well, yes and no.

While it may seem strange to target customers who have already made a purchase, it is these individuals who make up the bulk of an organization’s revenue. This dynamic is played out in the 80/20 rule. The fact is that generating a second purchase is essential as over half of second-time buyers will make a third purchase. Of those who make three purchases, 63 percent will make a fourth transaction. The eventual conclusion of this pattern is that a stunning 83 percent of nine-time buyers will ultimately place 10 orders.

retargeting current customers graphic

Therefore, retargeting to current customers is a highly-profitable strategy. At this point, retailers should start brainstorming to put together a wide variety of items to upsell and cross-sell based on previous purchases.

To set up this retargeting campaign type, simply target consumers who have visited the confirmation or “thank you” page of a store and generate adverts for products that perfectly tie-in with the purchased item.

As always, be sure to A/B test various ad types and provide consumers with compelling, limited-time offers to entice them accordingly.

However, in contrast to those who failed to convert, retailers will want to begin targeting this audience a couple of weeks after their purchase as this will give them time to receive their item.

How to Optimize

Naturally, the best way to optimize a campaign is to test out different options.

Fortunately, Facebook makes it easy for retailers to test different copy, ad placement, CTAs (Calls to Action) and other vital elements for enticing consumers. Therefore, merchants should aim to create several different versions of various ad types (based on ad delivery options, audience type, campaign objectives, etc.), altering where the text appears and the image that appears in each version.

person working on laptop

However, do be sure to only test out variations on a single element at a time as altering more than one component could dilute the results and create confusion. This tip is just one of the many of Facebook’s split testing best practices to follow.

By creating a robust combination of ads that feature differing elements, brand owners can determine which features serve the campaigns best and optimize their ads accordingly.

Many marketers and merchants spend thousands of dollars each year to drive traffic to eCommerce websites; however, only a minuscule amount of these visitors convert.

Using Facebook retargeting ads, retailers can re-engage and recapture a significant number of would-be customers. Through proper eCommerce PPC management via social channels like Facebook, digital storefronts can increase their traffic, SERP visibility and bottom line.

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