The Definitive Guide to Retargeting
on Facebook

What's New

Facebook retargeting.

By now you probably know that it’s the most powerful tool in the Facebook arsenal, but you may have shied away from it due to its apparent complexity.

If you have ventured into the realm of retargeting, there is a strong likelihood that you’re not using this mega-asset to its full potential.

Not to worry.

We’ve created this comprehensive resource to show you just how easy it can be for new users to implement Facebook Retargeting into their existing advertising, and for current users to take their retargeting campaigns to a professional level.

Simply put, we have assembled the most comprehensive guide to the most powerful Facebook marketing tactic available to date.

When you consider that less than 2% of average customers are ready to buy when they visit a site for the first time, you’ll begin to understand just how important retargeting really is. You’ll see how this feature can solve some very vexing problems, how it can impact your bottom line, and you’ll learn how to implement your own retargeting campaigns.

Now it’s time to figure out how it’s done.

My expert team and I have put together what we believe is the most thorough (read: best) guide to retargeting that you’ll find ANYWHERE!

In this MUST READ guide, you’ll learn:

  • What Facebook Retargeting Is
  • How to Create Your Facebook Pixel
  • How to Create Your Perfect Facebook Audiences
  • How to Build Out Your First Retargeting Campaign
  • How to Create Your Facebook Retargeting Strategy
  • How to Retarget Effectively on Both Facebook and Instagram
  • Plus TONS of Actionable Tactics and SO MUCH MORE!!!

So buckle your seatbelt, this is gonna be quite a ride!

Are you ready to take your Facebook Marketing
to a whole new level?

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Chapter 1 Introduction

About Facebook

I’m not sure Facebook even needs an introduction anymore. You’ve probably heard the statistics:

  • 1.8 BILLION active users
  • Well over 1 billion of them log in every single day
  • 5 new profiles are created every second
  • 1 in 5 pageviews occurs on Facebook (in the U.S.)
  • The list goes on…

What does this mean for you?

It means that Facebook represents a massive, ever-expanding global market, and one of the most powerful ways to market your business today.

Facebook and Instagram Promotion

Speaking of marketing on Facebook, let’s do a quick review of the whole process.

Facebook is really good at putting the right ads in front of the right people. Their ultimate goal is to show their users what they want to see, and they work really hard to ensure users are only being shown relevant ads.

As an advertiser, Facebook allows you to identify an objective for your campaign, then puts your ad in front of the right segment of its users.

fr-chapter1-img

For example, if you were interested in getting clicks to a particular piece of content on your website, Facebook would show your ads to people more likely to click through to a website.

If you were selling a product and looking for more out of your ads, you might select “Increase Conversions” as the marketing objective for your campaign. Facebook would then display them to people more likely to convert.

As Facebook owns Instagram, you can also use the highly efficient Facebook marketing system on the Instagram platform. That means you get to use the same objectives, targeting, and retargeting on an additional network.

This allows you to target an additional segment of your ideal buyer in a new way, with new ads. Imagine the possibilities!

Identifying a Target

One of the reasons Facebook marketing is so effective is the level of specification it delivers when creating the audience your ads will be shown to.

For example, Facebook allows you to target by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Geographic Location
  • Connections
  • Demographics
  • Behaviors
  • Interests
  • and more…

As you can imagine, you can get pretty specific. In fact, if you only wanted to target women who were 55+, recently married, worked in finance, lived in Auckland, New Zealand, and were interested in lawn ornaments, you could certainly do that.

Identifying a target market on facebook

It’s hard to say what you’d be selling or why you’d want create that audience, but isn’t it nice to know that you have the option?

While we’re on the subject of creating audiences to target, I think it’s time to get into what you’re really after: Facebook Retargeting.

Retargeting is essentially just an advanced method of targeting your existing audience, but it’s something that many businesses are doing wrong and even more aren’t doing at all.

About Online Promotion

The world of online promotion has exploded in recent years. The process is easier, the reach is greater, and the returns are higher. Basically, if you’re not promoting your business online, you may as well be marketing in the Stone Age. In fact…

Spending on digital marketing is expected to increase by 13.2% in the next year, while budgets for traditional (offline) advertising will fall by over 2%. (The CMO Survey)

What does that look like in dollars and cents?

The retail industry alone is expected to break records with a digital ad spend of nearly $17 billion in the coming year. (emarketer.com)

However, because so many businesses are participating in online promotion, your online marketing strategy must continually evolve in order to stay ahead of the curve and maintain an acceptable level of efficiency and efficacy.

Enter Facebook Marketing and our topic of the day: Facebook Retargeting.

Chapter 2 Retargeting/Remarketing

What Is It and How Does It Work?

Retargeting is a fairly straightforward concept: Simply put, retargeting is marketing to people after they have visited your website.

Have you ever visited a business’s website, looked around for a bit and then left, just to find their advertising following you around from site to site for days or even weeks?

That’s retargeting.

In this article we’ll be referring exclusively to Facebook/Instagram retargeting, so I’ll provide some more specific insight.

You can run ads to people who have visited your website by installing a simple piece of code into the backend of your website. This code is called a Pixel, and whenever it fires it alerts Facebook to the actions your site visitor is taking.

Based on the settings you’ve included in your campaigns, Facebook then determines whether that visitor should be shown an ad when they leave your site. We’ll get into the specifics of that later.

Today, many websites we visit have implemented a Pixel to track visitor actions on their website. They then use that information to show ads in an effort to get those visitors to return and buy what they had originally shown interest in.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google all have pixels that can be used in different ways to retarget your customers. However, we’ve found Facebook’s pixel to be the most effective way to go about retargeting, which is why we implement Facebook retargeting as a part of each of our client campaigns.

Chapter 3 FACEBOOK RETARGETING

Now that you know what it is, let’s take a look at why it’s a vital component to developing a truly successful Facebook marketing strategy.

Why Is It Important? The Facebook Retargeting Story

Facebook retargeting is important for one very simple reason: it’s effectiveness.

While you’ll likely see success from traditional targeting, retargeting can dramatically increase the efficacy of that advertising.

Most businesses spend huge sums marketing to people who don’t know them. The problem is that they’re only seeing half of the picture. Allocating a sizeable portion of that budget to Facebook retargeting would likely drive conversions, sales, and ROI through the roof. You just have to know what you’re doing.

Let’s take a closer look at retargeting for a moment…

Say you were shown a great ad for a one-of-a-kind pajama store. It interested you enough to click through to their website. You browsed and found what were touted as “the most comfortable pair of sweatpants in the world.”

You liked what you saw, but you were on your lunch break and you had to leave the site before you got to check out. That’s O.K. because you probably didn’t need to buy those sweatpants anyway and you have something more important happening at the moment.

How long would those sweatpants stay in your mind before something else took their place? A day? An hour? Five minutes? They’d likely be forgotten before the end of your work day.

Then imagine you’re online the following day and you see a personalized ad for the same sweatpants. It’s almost as if you were meant to be together. You head back to the website, initiate the checkout procedure, but wait…

Those sweatpants are a little pricey. Better hold off.

The next day goes by and you’re proud of yourself for making a smart financial decision, and then it happens…

The sweatpants are back!

But this time they’re attached to an ad with a discount code that’s JUST FOR YOU.

Holy moly!

It’s time to break out your credit card. A few days later you’re sitting in your living room, watching your favorite show, smiling away in the comfort of your amazing new sweatpants.

That, my friends, is the beauty of retargeting.

More Reasons to Love Retargeting

There are more great reasons why retargeting is so important. I promise, these reasons will be shorter.

According to Wishpond:

  • 72% of online shoppers (on average) will abandon their cart before checkout.
  • Without retargeting, only 8% of these customers will return to complete their purchase.
  • Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert.
  • Nearly 60% of online shoppers say they have noticed ads for products they have viewed after leaving a site.
  • 46% of Search Engine Marketing Pros think that retargeting is the most underused marketing technology.

 

The point is clear, retargeting works, especially in tandem with your traditional display ads, to significantly boost conversions and ROI.

Differences Between Retargeting and Other Targets

There are a few key differences between traffic from a retargeting campaign and other targets available when advertising on Facebook. They all fall under the same core concept, that of hot traffic versus cold traffic.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, cold traffic is that which doesn’t yet know anything about your brand. They are unfamiliar with what you do, outside of the advertising that may have drawn them in.

Hot traffic represents a much smaller percentage of the traffic driven to most websites because, by definition, it must be familiar with your brand. This means they will have had to have some experience with your company or website before making a return visit.

As you might imagine, hot traffic is a valuable commodity in the world of digital marketing and retargeting is one of the most effective ways to generate it.

The main differences between hot traffic and cold traffic are as follows:

They Know Your Brand
They are familiar with what you have to offer, meaning they have already evaluated the worth of your product or service and have deemed it worthy of revisiting.

They Like Your Brand
A return visit indicates the beginning of a brand/customer relationship and, if your tracking capabilities are advanced enough, lets you place more value on them as a lead.

They Trust Your Brand
As we know, people buy from brands they trust. A return visit indicates trust and, once again, increases their likelihood to buy from you.

Chapter 4 FACEBOOK PIXEL

Oh, the Pixel.

We are forever indebted to this masterful tool that provides us with one of the most effective ways to market, EVER!

Cookies of this sort have been around for a while, but Facebook’s Pixel allows you to take retargeting to a whole new level.

None of this would be possible without the pixel’s simple little line of code, so let’s take a closer look at what it is and how we use it.

How Does the Pixel Work?

The pixel is an invisible 1×1 pixel-unique image file that gets embedded on your website. It is added via javascript code and automatically loads on all pages of the website. This code is designed to install small text files called cookies, which track the user’s Facebook visits on the website (more information on Facebook’s cookies are available on this page).

Each Facebook Advertiser account gets its own unique pixel that is connected to Facebook servers. That means each time it’s loaded, Facebook is able to track which pages of your site are being viewed.

One of the most amazing things about the pixel is its ability to transcend a single device or IP address. Each time a user logs onto Facebook from a new device or IP address, it generates a signature that Facebook matches to that user, meaning it can accurately perform multiple devices, in multiple locations.

Based on the information provided by each page that loads the pixel, Facebook can determine which actions are being taken by each of its users and can provide a highly accurate representation of visitor habits across an advertiser’s site.

What Is the Pixel Used For?

There are 3 important reason to implement pixel tracking:

  1. Track website visitors
  2. Optimize campaigns
  3. Monitor results

When you enhance your Facebook advertising strategy with these three capabilities, you’ll be using one of the most powerful advertising platforms to it’s highest potential.

What Does This All Mean?

No matter what product you sell or what industry you’re a part of, if you successfully implement the tactics outlined in this guide your marketing will be more sophisticated and effective than the vast majority of your competitors.

The more targeted you can make your advertising, the more effective it becomes. With the help of the pixel, Facebook gives you the opportunity to deploy highly targeted ads to unique targets on a variety of devices in different locations.

You’ve never been able to reach your customers more effectively, so take the time to learn this guide and watch your ROI climb month after month.

How to Create Your Facebook Pixel

Facebook makes creating your pixel super simple.

We’re willing to bet you already have a Facebook Ads account, so we’ll skip that step.

Each Facebook Ads account is unique, but with it you’ll be able to create multiple pixels for multiple sites should the need arise.

  • Start by opening your Ads Manager or Business Manager.
  • In the top left corner, click on the Ad Manager Menu, then hover over all tools to expand it fully.
  • Click on Pixels.

Select pixels

  • Click on the green Create a Pixel button.

Create a facebook pixel button

  • Name your pixel and click Next.

Name your facebook pixel example

Once you’ve named the pixel you’ll be given the option to use an integration or tag manager to install the pixel (for ecommerce sites) or to copy and paste yourself (or have your developer do it).

  • Unless you’re installing the pixel on an ecommerce site, click Copy and Paste the Code (for ecommmerce skip to the following sub-section).

Install your pixel code example

How and Where to Place the Pixel On Your Website

The Facebook retargeting pixel needs to be added to each page of your website to track unique page visits. Facebook gives you the step-by-step instructions to do so yourself once you’ve created your pixel, but we’re going to walk you through it too.

You also have the option of using a plugin to install the code or sending it to your website developer to install for you. If this feels more comfortable, simply click on the Email Instructions button on the bottom right.

Install facebook pixel base code example

If you’re comfortable making this type of back-end modification (it’s really quite simple), click on the code in the box to copy it to your clipboard and click the blue Next button.

Note: This simple segment of code is the javascript that communicates to Facebook all of the Pageview events it will track for your retargeting campaigns.

Copy entire facebook pixel code and paste example

  • From here you’ll want to paste the code into your website header so it’s embedded on each and every page of your site.
  • Once this is completed you’ll want to verify it was done correctly by following the steps in the section that below — How to Verify the Proper Functioning of Pixel (FB Pixel Helper).

Setting Up an Ecommerce Integration

If you click on “Use an Integration or a Tag Manager” Facebook will take you through the step-by -process of installing your Pixel.

They currently offer step-by-step integration instructions for:

  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce
  • Segment

Setting up an ecommerce integration on facebook example

  • Based on the ecommerce platform you use, follow one of the guides Facebook provides, use the Google Tag Manager option, or add the code manually.

By now, you’ll have either inserted the pixel code yourself, emailed it to your developer for help, or used Facebook’s Ecommerce integrations to set up your store with the pixel.

Before we go any further, it’s important that you verify your Pixel is functioning correctly on your website.

How to Verify the Proper Functioning of Pixel (FB Pixel Helper)

Once your pixel is active on your site, you’ll want to use Facebook’s recommended Chrome extension (and a Google Chrome web browser) to verify that it’s loading correctly.

Facebook created its Pixel Helper just so you (and its millions of other advertisers) can regularly check on whether or not the pixel is working properly.

Top tip: It also allows you to sneakily check on whether or not your competitors are using the pixel.

Facebook Pixel Helper

The nice thing about this plugin is that it allows you to double check a variety of events, including the custom events that you create based on the user behavior you want to track (more on this in a moment).

IF…

If you encounter an error, Facebook Pixel Helper will notify you of the problem and give you instructions on how to fix it.

Chapter 5 TRACKING ACTIONS

The pixel basically has only one function: to monitor user actions on a website. These actions, commonly called conversions, are essential to the proper functioning of the pixels and the exploitation of its potential.

The actions (also called events, or conversions) are divided into two categories: standard and custom. We’ll be looking at each in depth, but let’s start with standard events.

The image below will help you to understand exactly what you’re installing on your website.

  • The base code (highlighted in blue) is tracking pageviews, Facebook’s most basic level of tracking.
  • The standard event code (highlighted in green) is what you’re telling the pixel to track beyond a pageview. In this example, the code is telling the Pixel to track and Add to Cart.

Facebook ads pixel standard event

Standard Events

Standard events were designed by Facebook to track the most commonly tracked user actions:

 

Website action Standard event code
View content fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);
Search fbq(‘track’, ‘Search’);
Add to cart fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToCart’);
Add to wishlist fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToWishlist’);
Initiate checkout fbq(‘track’, ‘InitiateCheckout’);
Add payment info fbq(‘track’, ‘AddPaymentInfo’);
Make purchase fbq(‘track’, ‘Purchase’, {value: ‘0.00’, currency: ‘USD’});
Lead fbq(‘track’, ‘Lead’);
Complete registration fbq(‘track’, ‘CompleteRegistration’);

 

Each website action can be monitored in two ways: within a page load or by an event on the website that triggers a script (such as a visitor’s click of a button).

To track the actions you need to integrate them within the pixel base code. For example, an ecommerce site that wants to track purchases will have to enter a code in the thank-you or final confirmation page that is loaded immediately after a successful purchase (see the example in the next image) in the thank you page (the final confirmation page).

In this code, the part in red tells Facebook that a purchase value of $0 was made.

tracking actions on facebook

Custom Events

What if you’re looking to track an event that’s not listed above?

That’s where Facebook’s Custom Events come into play.

You can create your own events to track by designating your own custom event in the code.

For instance, let’s say you want to track an action that you’ll call “potential clients” after someone has visited your Contact Us page.

What you would need to do in that case is add the following code to your standard Facebook pixel on your Contact Us page:

This will allow you to do at least three things:

  1. Track how many people coming from your ad have visited your “Contact Us” page.
  2. Target/exclude people from seeing specific ads.
  3. Optimize your campaigns for this specific action.

Standard and Custom Conversions (Beyond Retargeting)

The purpose of the pixel, in addition to retargeting, is to optimize Facebook Ad campaigns for specific actions. This means asking Facebook to optimize the publication of an ad to people who are more likely to perform the requested action.

As we mentioned previously, Facebook knows a TON about what each of its users do online. As such, it can easily optimize your ad campaigns to show your ads to people mostly likely to take your desired action.

So if we create a campaign that aims to increase purchases on our hypothetical ecommerce store, Facebook will automatically show our ads to those most likely to buy online.

We’ll cover more about creating these types of Conversion campaigns in Chapter 9.

How to Track Custom Conversions

Custom conversions allow for monitoring and optimizing outside of the standard 9-action campaigns. They can be created by following these steps:

  1. Go to Custom Conversions (from the Ads Manager.)
  2. Click Create a custom conversion.
  3. Select the rule (URL or Event).
  4. The conversion can be created depending on URL parameters.

For example: We can define that the custom conversion we created earlier—”potential customer” —occurs when a user visits the “Contact Us” page.

Create custom conversion on facebook

How to Track Conversion Value and Calculate ROI

Value tracking is very important to understanding how your ads are performing and, most of all, calculating your return on investment (ROI).

For example, if you spend $100 on ads, you’ll want to know how much money each of those dollars generated, right? ROI is a Marketing 101 concept, but many marketers don’t understand how to calculate it accurately on Facebook.

Your ROI allows you to track which campaigns are performing as desired (or not), what targets are most effective, and which ads generate the best response. It will help you to make decisions based on results, to run split tests and variations on copy and images, and to understand better how Facebook works and what your buyer personas like best.

The Facebook Retargeting Pixel, being the multifaceted tool that it is, also helps you to accurately track your ROI.

You can add a custom value to each event being tracked (from view content all the way to a purchase). Let’s say you want to track the value of your purchases, you’ll need to add the following parameters to your event:

Facebook track purchase value

“Value” can be dynamically generated based on the value of the purchase, and most third-party plugins and integrations will do it for you automatically. Follow the corresponding links for more information on how to properly track conversion values if you use a third-party ecommerce platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce.

Additionally, you or your developer might also refer to this page for in-depth technical instructions.

To Report on Your Ad Conversions:

To view the conversion value you have to learn how to use the reporting features in the ads manager.

Values can be shown by customizing the columns in your report. Follow the steps.

  • From the ads manager, click the Columns menu on the right and choose Customize Columns.

report on your facebook ad conversions

  • This will open a popup that allows you to customize the data displayed on reports. The items we need are in the Conversions section on the left.
  • For example: here you can select the action Website Purchases (Facebook pixel) which counts the number of times the pixel tracked a purchase; and the action Website Purchases Conversion Value (Facebook pixel) that tracks the total value of each purchase.

customize columns on facebook

  • Once you’ve selected the metrics you want to track click Apply.

The resulting report will contain a list of your conversions sorted by your campaign name. You can also choose to save selected columns as a default report so you don’t have to repeat the procedure every time. The new report will show the new columns on the right.

facebook website conversion value example

Advanced Matching

Tracking conversions properly is not an easy thing. People often start a purchase on one device and complete it on another. When this happens Facebook can’t rely on cookie information only. They attach pixel info to each user and cookie to better track cross-device user activity.

Facebook ads display locations

In addition, devices such as laptops and tablets are often shared among multiple users. That percentage is on the rise (at least 60% share according to recent studies – State of Mobile Commerce by Criteo and Multi Device Usage Study of GFK commissioned by Facebook).

As you might imagine, it can be be hard at times to understand who is purchasing (think about a family computer, or a school lab with multiple users).

Lucky for us, Facebook recently introduced a new powerful functionality called advanced matching.

Essentially, advanced matching allows you to transfer customer information via the pixel.
This allows you to report and optimize your ads for higher conversion rates and build larger audiences for remarketing.

By identifying attributes such as email addresses or phone numbers that you collect via the checkout or sign-in process, Facebook can identify pixel events even when the cookie is not present on the browser in which the pixel was fired.

Pretty intelligent piece of coding, isn’t it?

For an in-depth guide to activate this feature, Facebook does offer some help.

Chapter 6 FACEBOOK AUDIENCES

Introduction to Custom Audiences on Facebook

Now that you understand what retargeting is and why it’s so important, it’s time to get into the application of this powerful tactic. Introducing the most powerful weapon available to Facebook Marketers: Custom Audiences.

One of, if not the single, most important component to any Facebook campaign is your audience. Nothing else matters if your ads are being displayed to the wrong audience.

A custom audience is, in short, a group of people who have had contact with your company, they are existing customers or people who have interacted on Facebook or other platforms.

It’s a group of people you can target with your advertising, or exclude from viewing ads, or use as a base for the creation of another audience.

For example, you can create an audience based on:

  • Profiles that match emails in your list.
  • People who have interacted with your website.
  • Anyone who has engaged with your app.
  • People who have engaged with your brand on Facebook (likes, comments, shares, follows).

Each of the custom audiences types listed above have their own advantages, but for the purpose of this guide we will strictly focus on retargeting.

The advantages of retargeting are:

  • It increases the efficacy of your existing advertising.
  • No list-building activities are required to get started.
  • No Facebook engagement is required to get started.

What is needed is only a website and its visitors, however it does take several visitors to be able to immediately create one or more website custom audiences.

How to create a website custom audience

  • To create a website custom audience visit the Audience area of Ads Manager.
    From the Ad Manager Menu, in the Assets section, click on Audiences..

create a website custom audience

  • From the Create Audience drop down menu, click on Custom Audience.

Create Custom Audience Drop Down Menu Facebook

  • Then click on Website Traffic.

 

You can then create one or more audiences, depending on the actions being tracked by the pixel on your website. Facebook allows you to create 5 types of website custom audiences:

1. Anyone who visits your website
This selection allows you to create an audience from anyone who has visited your website (or since you began tracking with the pixel) in the last 1-180 days.

Create a custom audience on facebook example

NOTE: When using any of these options, you should check the “Include past website traffic” box to immediately include in the audience everyone who was already tracked by the pixel before the creation of the audience.

Create custom audience on facebook

2. People who visit specific web pages
Sometimes you might not want to track everyone who visits your site (websites with tens of thousands of hits per day, or campaigns where you need to target specific categories of users).

  • If you want to choose people who have visited certain pages, select the second option: URL contains.

create custom audience on facebook people who visit specific web pages

This allows you to create an audience based on people who have visited a certain page or a page that contained the specific keywords you input.

For example: An ecommerce shoe store would be able to target everyone who visited the “shoes section” by including the keyword shoes. This would save them from having to create unique campaigns for each page.

3. People who visit specific web pages but not others
You can also choose to include or exclude specific pages. This setting is useful to exclude from the target people who have already completed the desired action.

For example: On most ecommerce sites it would be crucial to exclude people who have already purchased from seeing ads for items they’ve already bought.

Create custom audience people who visit specific web pages but not others

4. People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time
An additional option allows you to create re-engagement traffic. You can target people who have visited the site but have not returned for a certain number of days (1 to 180).

For example: You can win-back old visitors by promoting a comeback special or advertising about a brand new shopping experience on your site.

Create custom facebook audience people who haven't visted in a certain amount of time

5. Custom combinations with inclusions and exclusions
Finally, you can experiment with multiple inclusions and exclusions.

For example: You can include all website visitors who have visited your product page(s), but exclude all that have also visited one or more thank-you pages, as you won’t want to retarget them if they’ve already purchased.

facebook cart abandonment recovery campaig

The Advanced Mode – Frequency and Pageviews

Recently Facebook introduced a new advanced mode for custom audience creation.

  • To enable it choose Custom Combination from the Website Traffic drop-down menu (see image below).
  • Be sure to click the Advanced Mode switch.

This mode adds several new parameters for the custom audience creation tool, including:

  • Frequency – Target based on how often someone visits your site.
  • Pageviews – Target users who have visited minimum or maximum number of your site’s pages.

For example: If you wanted to target people that were very interested in what you were selling, you might target those who had already been to your site 3 times in the last three days and hit them with an offer they couldn’t refuse.

The Advanced Mode -Devices

Devices – Target based on the type of device they used to visit your site.

For example: If you were advertising your new app startup, it would make more sense to target mobile users so they could download directly from your ad rather than having to see the ad on their desktop and download it from their phone.

create custom facebook audience advance mode devices

Facebook let’s you get even more technical with your targeting, which is especially useful for ecommerce businesses.

In addition to the parameters listed above, the Advanced Mode allows you to target customers based on the number of items the bought, the sum of their purchase, or the individual products or categories they purchased.

For example, this functionality allows you to create audiences who purchased:

  • At least 2 items (num_items)
  • At least $100 worth of products (minimum is)
  • An average of $100 worth of products (average is)
  • No more than $50 worth of products (maximum is)
  • Your Blue Summer Sandals (content)
  • Any Shoes (content type)

As you can probably imagine, targeting to this level of specificity can generate a dramatically higher ROI than broader “blanket audience” types of ads.

To select these parameters you’ll need to click on the URL Contains drop down menu and select Event.

additional perameters when creating an audience on facebook

The Advanced Mode -Time Onsite

You can also create an audience based on the time visitors spend on your website. This is very useful to distinguish the people most interested in our company from those who bounce quickly, especially if your site receives many visitors.

You can create custom audiences based on time of visits by choosing from the Website Traffic drop down, Based on time spent on your website.

create audience advanced mode time on site

Here you can select a percentile between 5%, 10%, 25% (relative amount of time people spend on your website).

Create audience most active users example

For example: 25% results in the top 25% of all visitors in the selected time period, who spent more time on the web site.

Inclusion and Exclusion of Facebook Custom Audiences

A key component to implementing Facebook custom audiences is understanding when to include or exclude members of each audience. Let me give you an example.

Say you’re shopping for a new laptop computer. You visit the retailer’s site a few times over the course of 3 days, each time a bit unsure about how you’re going to proceed. It’s an important decision and you don’t want to rush into anything.

Eventually, the display ads that the retailer is using to retarget to you take hold and you end up back on their site, eventually completing your purchase.

Your laptop arrives a few days later, but you’re still seeing ads for the computer you just bought. In fact, the price has dropped. These discounted ads run all over your Facebook account and eventually you get fed up with them.

You click on the Feedback tab and leave negative feedback for that ad, telling Facebook that you’re unhappy with what’s being displayed on your feed.

Inclusion and Exclusion of Facebook Custom Audiences

So why is that such a bad thing? Let’s break it down…

Facebook focuses on one thing above all else: showing relevant content to its users that it thinks they will enjoy.

If Facebook receives negative feedback from an ad, it’s not such a big deal. However, if it happens again and again, Facebook recognizes that this ad is not something its users want to be seeing.

So what happens? A few things actually:

  • The impression frequency drops.
  • The cost to display this ad increases.
  • The relevancy score decreases.
  • You annoy your customers.

So how can you avoid these things?

Excluding Custom Audiences

The key to keeping your customers and Facebook happy is segmenting and excluding members of your custom audience.

For example: You would want to exclude people who have visited your thank-you page after a purchase has been completed. Only people who have purchased from you see this page, and once they have converted to a paying customer they no longer need to see your ads.

There are two modes for excluding custom audiences (basic and alternative). Let’s take a look at how they’re done.

How it’s Done (Recommended)

In the same way you create custom audiences, you can create an audience to be excluded.

For example, for an eCommerce store, you can create an audience that includes all users who have purchased in the last 30 days.

Excluding Custom Audiences

When you create your campaign (we’ll provide a step to step guide on Chapter 7), in the target section, simply include the audience you just created within the exclusions, as shown in the image.

Create lookalike audience example

An Alternative Method

An alternative way is to add exclusions while you’re creating your audience, as shown below.

For example: If you would like to create an abandoned cart recovery campaign, you could create an audience that includes all users that have added products to the shopping cart, excluding those who purchased.

This allows you to use that audience in multiple campaigns.

facebook cart abandonment recovery campaig

 

Combine different audiences

If you want a much more specific target, Facebook lets you combine multiple audience segments to include or exclude (you can include or exclude multiple custom audiences).

For example: For an online pet store, you could make retargeting to all visitors of the website or further define the target and show ads only to people interested in dogs. Also, it could drop even more in detail, and exclude both the people who have already purchased, and the people interested in cats.

This is just an example, but it gives you an idea of ​​the potential available to you. You can indulge with a maximum of inclusions and exclusions, so be sure that ads are relevant as possible.

Chapter 7 CREATION OF A FACEBOOK RETARGETING CAMPAIGN

O.K., it’s time to build out your retargeting campaign. I’m about to take you through the process step by step.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

Step-by-Step Process

#1: Create and install a Facebook Pixel

  • Using the instructions explained in Chapter 4, create a pixel and install it on your website.
  • Make sure that the pixel functions and the actions (standard or custom) you want to track are monitored properly.
  • If you want to track conversions outside of those standards, create custom conversions.

#2: Create one or multiple custom audiences to include/exclude

  • Use the instructions explained in Chapter 5 for Creating a Custom Audience.
    • From the audience section create a new website custom audience.
    • Choose whether to include all visitors to the website, visitors to specific pages, people who haven’t visited for a number of days, etc.
    • Create one or more audiences to include/exclude.

#3: Check the audience availability

When an audience is created you should wait until it is available, which means waiting until it gets populated enough that it can be used as a target for advertising campaigns.

On Facebook, an audience must be composed of at least 20 people before it’s available. If your audience is not large enough Facebook will let you know with a red dot (see image below).

You will have to wait for the dot to turn green and Facebook shows the word “ready”.

check audience availability

If after an hour of installing the pixels the creation of the public is not ready, be sure to check the correct installation of the pixels through the Google Chrome extension mentioned in Chapter 4.

#4: It’s Time to Create Your Campaign

Now it’s time to get this campaign going.

  • Click the Create Ad button in the top right of your screen.

create your facebook campaign exampe

  • Select the objective of your campaign and name it accordingly.
  • After the objective, we can create an ad set and its audience. In the Add Custom Audiences section we can include the custom audience created earlier.

Add custom facebook audience

  • By clicking on Exclude you can exclude one or more public custom from the target.

exclude target from facebook audience example

  • Select all of your other parameters according to your campaign, including:
    • Conversion Type
    • Budget
    • Schedule
    • Placement
  • Name your campaign and click Continue.

#5: And you’re off…

At this point you’ll be in a familiar place (if you’ve created Facebook ads before). You’ll now be able to select the images and copy you want to include in your ads and build out the rest of your campaign accordingly.

Facebook Marketer’s Top Tip: Remember that you’re advertising to people who have ALREADY been to your site, so hit them with a more specific message and let them know you want their business.

But first…

Remembering What You’ve Learned

Now that you know how to create a standard retargeting campaign on Facebook, let’s take a step back to remember what you learned in Chapters 4 and 5.

When we introduced the pixels we talked about three main functions. The pixel allows us to:

  • Count and track visits and actions on the website.
  • Include or exclude those people in advertising campaigns
  • Optimize an ad campaign for the action.

At this point you’re familiar with the first and second items in that list. Now let’s take a look at the third.

How to Optimize Facebook Ads for an Action

Facebook allows you to optimize your ads for specific actions. These can be on Facebook itself (e.g. with campaigns targeting the acquisition of likes, or click, or event responses, etc.) or outside of Facebook, on your app, or on a website.

In the latter case you can configure the pixel to track actions and ensure that Facebook optimizes who it shows your ads to, ensuring the best results possible.

Here are some of the actions a traditional ecommerce website might optimize for:

  • Product views
  • Adding to cart
  • Search
  • Begin checkout process
  • Add payment information
  • Signing up for an account
  • Complete purchase process

In short, you can optimize each specific campaign for each of these actions.

As you learned in Chapter 5, we can also create different custom conversions for any action you can think of, and optimize each ad group to each for those actions.

As we mentioned, Facebook optimizes ad delivery based on user behavior, meaning they show engagement campaign ads to those most likely to engage with ads, and conversion ads to those most likely to convert.

To take full advantage of this, use the conversion objective.

  • Create a new campaign.
  • Select the Conversions objective.

select conversion as marketing objective

  • Under the Conversion menu, select Website or Messenger.
  • In the drop-down menu, choose your conversion pixel or create a new one for the desired action.

Conversion pixel

  • Build out the remaining components of your ad targeting. When you get to the Bidding and Pricing section, select Website Conversions (under Advanced Options) to tell Facebook to display your ads to people more likely to convert.

facebook conversions bidding and pricing

Measuring Your Conversions

After you create your ad, you’ll automatically see columns displaying various relevant metrics in Ads Manager. In this display you’ll be able to see and track your conversions, as well as the cost per conversion and total cost.
You can track anything from purchases to sign-ups to leads, and being able to measure these conversions (and their cost) will give you valuable insight into the efficacy of your ads and overall campaign strategy.

How to Use and Customize Facebook Ads Reports

Facebook Ads reports are a crucial component to understanding your Facebook retargeting and your Facebook marketing as a whole. You set goals, Facebook Ads reports are how you stay on track and make the necessary adjustments to achieve them.

Facebook allows you to create customized reports based on the data/metrics you need to evaluate for each campaign. Here’s how it’s done:

Starting Out

  1. In the Ad Manager Table, Facebook will automatically populate data for all active campaigns, ad sets, and ads. To view data about a particular campaign, ad set, or ad, check the boxes to their left and click View.
  2. You have the ability to sort the data being provided by clicking on any of the individual column names (ex: Delivery).
  3. Click Export and select which format you want for your data.

Date Range

Choose your prefered date range for your report by clicking the default Last 30 Days from the drop-down menu on the top right. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of preset options or select your own custom dates.

Customizing Columns

Facebook allows you to customize the date columns in order to view more of the data/metrics that are relevant to your goals. As outlined above, you’re able to check your advertising success based on the actions being tracked, such as conversions.

  • Click on the column’s drop-down menu (default will display Performance).
  • Select Customize Columns.

customize columns facebook

  • Select the relevant metrics you wish to view.
  • If these are metrics you’ll use in the future, be sure to check the Save as a Preset box on the bottom left and name your custom columns selection.

Customise columns Save as preset facebook

Scheduling and Saving Reports

Once you choose your date range, you’re able to schedule your Facebook ad report:

1. Click  the reports icon in the upper left and select Save New Report.

Scheduling and saving reports facebook

2. Enter a report name and click Schedule Email to set the delivery and frequency of your reports.

name and save report

3. Click the icon, then Manage Reports to view and edit the report settings.

manage reports facebook

Instagram Retargeting

Facebook owns Instagram, so it’s only natural that you would want to take advantage of this amazing platform and make the most of your newfound Facebook retargeting prowess. Let’s take a look at how to retarget on Instagram too!

The steps used to create a retargeting campaign for Instagram are exactly the same as those used to create a Facebook retargeting campaign. Any campaign launched on Facebook can include Instagram among the settings; retargeting campaigns too, of course.

Facebook Retargeting on Instagram

All you need is to make sure you select Instagram between advertising placements. It is already selected automatically through Automatic placements setting.

facebook retargeting on instagram

Alternatively you can use it alone, by disabling other placements and maintain Instagram as the only active. This is useful if you want to do specific listings for Instagram.

Edit ad placement

In this way each custom audience you create for Facebook will be available for Instagram too.

Tip: If you do not have an Instagram account you can still advertise using the same Facebook page. If you do have an account and would like to associate campaigns with it, simply connect it into your Facebook page (from the Settings area) or in the Business Manager.

Chapter 8 STANDARD FACEBOOK RETARGETING STRATEGIES

Now let’s take a look at some of the most common ways to use Facebook retargeting.

#1: All Website Visitors – Past 30 Days

This audience is Facebook’s default audience because it’s the most effective across a wide range of industries, especially for “beginner retargeters.” As the name implies, you’ll be showing your ads to everyone who has visited your website over the past 30 days.

This audience is good for a few things:

Boosting Your Site Traffic

If someone has visited your site recently, it’s more than likely that they’re interested in your brand and your content/products/etc. You can show ads for specific products, articles, and offers to get them back on your site and closer to what you’re offering.

Growing Your Email List

One of the important things to remember is that there are other ways of retargeting people. Using email to reach out to your site visitors is usually referred to as remarketing, but it’s largely the same concept of marketing to people who have shown interest in your brand.

If you produce great content that provides value to your visitors (and you should), using retargeting to get a gated downloadable offer in front of those who have shown interest in your brand is a highly effective list-building technique.

Increasing Awareness by Growing Your Fan Base

If you want to increase your brand awareness and get people liking your page, you can create a “like campaign” around this audience, as they’re far more probable to “like” your page than the average Facebook user.

#2: Test Different Durations

Facebook gives you the option to increase or decrease the number of days old your audience is. This is an important part of making the most of your advertising.

For example:

24-Hour Flash Sale

Try running a special “24 Hour” promotion for those users who have visited your website in the past 3 days (hot leads). Enough people should have visited your site in this amount of time to allow you to create a custom audience, but you’re still only targeting a group that is far more likely to buy.

“Like” Campaign

One of the simplest and most effective ways to boost your following is by optimizing your campaigns for “Likes” of your Facebook page. Try only including those people whom have visited your site in the last day or so to make it more effective. The more recently they have visited your site, the more likely they will be to “Like” your Page.

#3: Retarget Based on Product/Service Categories

Some businesses sell just one thing, but many sell a wide variety of products or services. You can segment your visitors by category and retarget them with ads specific to their unique qualities.

Let’s use an online fashion retailer as an example:

Retarget by Gender

If the retailer created valuable content (are you seeing a theme here?) like style guides to capture visitor email addresses and carry them through the sales funnel, they may find it useful to create two audiences to target by gender.

Each person who visited a woman’s product page would be added to the audience set to display ads for the women’s style guide, and each visitor to reach a men’s product page would be shown ads for the men’s style guide.

Retarget by Product or Service Type

The retailer may have created a more specific piece of content that was relevant to their highest-selling product category, boots. This boot buyer’s guide could be shown to anyone who reaches pages related to boots or boot accessories.

Retarget by Specific Product

Finally, some of the most powerful retargeting is done by showing ads of the exact product that a visitor was interested in. An ad could be created for each specific product, and everyone who visited that unique product page could be shown ads to drive them back to the site and buy.

#4: Upselling and Cross-Selling

Once you’ve used retargeting to get your customer to return and buy, your job is over, right?

Not even close!

Smart businesses understand that an initial sale represents future opportunity, not a reason to stop marketing. You may sell products that are closely related, tend to be purchased together, or could be upgraded and repurchased in the future.

Let’s look at an example of cross-selling:

Say your run an online store that sells kitchen utensils. A customer just bought a corkscrew.

By studying your customers’ purchase history you know that people who buy corkscrews are also usually interested in buying other products such as a decanter, or a set of wine glasses.

So what do you do?

Create highly specific ads for those products and show them to those that have recently purchased corkscrews.

Now let’s look at an example of up-selling:

Let’s say you work in online counseling. You have several consulting packages:

  • Single Counseling Sessions
  • Weekly Counseling Packages
  • Monthly mentoring
  • And so on…

Have you ever noticed any habits in the needs of your clients? For example, do those clients who purchase a single counseling session tend to need weekly or monthly sessions to achieve their goals?

What do you do?

You might want to create a custom audience targeting people who have visited your consultations page and exclude those who have already purchased. Then you could run ads for your longer term packages at a discounted rate to get them to take part in those programs right off the bat!

#5: Lead Generation

If you’re interested in the generation of potential contacts and strategies such as inbound marketing, retargeting can play a key role.

Take the case of a startup that operates in the world of B2B services; one of the lead generation strategies could be the promotion of a free content in exchange for contact information.

For example, in one of the articles that speaks to our target we could include a link to a PDF file to download (just as it does this guide) in exchange for contact information.

Remember: Once the user has downloaded the file and has become one of your potential customers, you would want to show them new ads (or at least exclude them from those on which they’ve already converted).

Chapter 9 ADVANCED FACEBOOK RETARGETING STRATEGIES

If you’re looking for a way to make the most of your Facebook retargeting, check out some of these strategies. They’re a little more advanced, so if you’re just starting out you may way to hone your skill with some of the above-mentioned strategies before jumping into the deep end.

Lookalike Based on Website Events

A great way to get super specific with your Facebook retargeting is to build lookalike audiences based on specific events that are being tracked on your website.

Lookalike audiences is one of the most powerful features of Facebook Marketing and, when combined with custom audiences, is able to provide us the best “cold” audience to achieve maximum results. In short, we can use Facebook to find similar people (according to the interests and demographics) to a source audience.

For example: An ecommerce business that tracks purchases through the pixel should create a custom audience that includes all the people who bought on the site ( “Purchase” event) in the last 180 days. This audience will then be used as the basis for the creation of a similar audience.

The same strategy can be used for each conversion (standard or custom) tracked on the website.

#2: Window of Opportunity

One of the most creative and advanced strategies that you can take advantage of revolves around the identification of your “window of opportunity.”

Let’s use a hair salon as an example to outline this strategy.

We can assume that everyone who visits their website today is interested in what they sell and are more likely to eventually convert.

We can also assume that if they haven’t visited their salon within 7-10 days or purchased anything from them in that period, they most likely have had their hair cut by a competitor and shouldn’t continue to spend money promoting their services to them.

HOWEVER…

Just because they didn’t win their business the first time around doesn’t mean they should give up trying. Because 30-45 days later, they’ll likely be looking to have their hair cut again. This 15-day period is called our “window of opportunity.” We want to reach them while they are getting ready to buy again to win them over this time around.

In order to do so we could do 2 things:

1st – Target all customers who haven’t visited our site in the past 30 days. This is simpler, but doesn’t give us quite the same level of sophistication as the second method.

2nd – Create 2 audiences:

A) An audience of the people who have visited our site in the past 45 days to target.
B) An audience of people who visited our site in the past 30 days to target.

Our window of opportunity will then be Audience A, while excluding audience B.

#3: Combining Retargeting with Additional Targets

If you receive a lot of website traffic and know a lot about your ideal buyer, you’ll likely be able to use a combination of targets to further enhance your marketing. This could be as simple as a unisex fashion retailer retargeting with gender-specific ads.

For example: If they wanted to reach the men who had visited their site with ads for a men’s clothing sale, they would want to include men and exclude women to make sure they weren’t advertising men’s clothing to women.

But you can take it even further.

For example: If the same retailer was having a sale on women’s boots, they might want to include the segment of their website visitors that were interested in boots, but exclude men to ensure they weren’t seeing ads for women’s boots.

As you can see, there are a wide range of uses for custom combinations of audiences. Can you think of a custom combination that would work well for your product/business?

# 4: Content Amplification and Inbound

As we previously discussed in Strategy #5 in Chapter 7, your Facebook’s content amplification/promotion capabilities can play a major part in your inbound marketing. Not sure how to use Facebook to make the most of your existing content? Let’s take a closer look.

Ideally you already have content for all 3 stages of the buyer’s journey. Now you’ll just need to learn how Facebook can help fast track leads through the stages and toward a conversion.

The process may look something like this:

  • You show ads for an awareness stage content offer.
  • To all those that download your awareness stage offer, you show ads for a consideration stage offer.
  • To those who download both your awareness and consideration stage offer, you show ads for a decision stage offer.
  • Depending on your business model, at this point your lead is either going to convert on their own or their information gets turned over to sales so they can reach out and close the deal.

While Inbound marketing is set up to walk people through each stage naturally, Facebook ads promotion can help to speed up the process dramatically.

Chapter 10 DYNAMIC RETARGETING ON FACEBOOK

Facebook has taken retargeting to a whole new level for online retailers. With the help of the pixel, Facebook allows ecommerce businesses to serve dynamic ads to the right people at the right time, without creating and tracking a unique ad for every single product.

Simply put, Dynamic Ads are ads that are dynamically served to people depending on the actions they take on your website.

Let’s look at a great example from Amazon:

When you surf through product pages on Amazon and/or add them to the cart without purchasing, as soon as you return to Facebook you see those exact products in custom ads. Amazon didn’t create that ad manually, they did it with a product catalog and a dynamic ad template.

Product Catalogs for eCommerce and Travel Websites

Many online retailers carry thousands of products, making it nearly impossible to create and track unique ads for each of them. For this reason, Facebook allows you to upload a product feed that helps them keep track of your products and inventory (and all the info associated with it) automatically. Think of the time you’ll save!

Product Catalog

This product feed (also called a product catalog) is an XML file that lists all of your products and their characteristics, such as title, description, image, price, availability, and so on.

How to Create It

To create a catalog for your website you need to use a plugin for your specific platform (in the next chapter you’ll find a plugin for WordPress) or contact a developer.

As soon as you create a product catalog, you’ll have to add it to Facebook. You can use the ads manager, or a business manager.

From the ads manager open the menu and click on product catalogs (direct link):

Create a facebook pixel example

Instead, if you use a business manager, go to the business manager settings, then to the product catalogs section and create a new product catalog.

People and assets product catalog

Currently on Facebook there are 3 kinds of product catalogs:

Create catalog

The Products catalog is suitable for any ecommerce, while the Hotels and Flights catalog will work for travel/tourism websites.

During the product catalog creation, Facebook is going to ask you the pixel/pixels or app/apps to associate with the catalog. This is an important step, because the pixel is where the actions are being tracked, so make sure to choose the right source.

How to Add Products

As soon as the catalog is created you can add a product feed by clicking on the appropriate button.

product catalog example

From here you’ll be taken to a guided process where you’ll be able to choose settings like name, currency, upload type, and product feeds.

How to Update It Automatically

It’s frequent and convenient to have the product feed be automatically updated from time to time. You’ll be able to specify hourly, daily, or weekly uploads.

Add product feed facebook

Create Product Sets

As soon as the feed is created you will then create one or multiple product sets, depending on the size and structure of your catalog.

Product sets should be product categories of your ecommerce, for instance. Each set can be promoted to a specific group of people.

Diagnostics

From the main area of the Product Catalog section you’ll be able to check for any error that might happen during uploads or during tracking.

catalog diagnostics on facebook

Create Dynamic Ads and Campaigns

In order to use dynamic ads you’ll have to create a campaign with the objective to promote a product catalog.

facebook and instagram marketing objective

You’ll have to select your new product catalog and one product set to promote (you can also create a product set that contains all of the products).

Then you’ll be able to choose advanced targeting methods, shown in the following picture:

added to cart but not converted

You can:

  • Create ads for those who viewed products without adding to cart or purchasing.
  • Create ads for those who added to the cart but didn’t purchase (cart-recovery ads).
  • Create upselling campaigns.
  • Create cross-selling campaigns.
  • Use a custom combination.

You can also click “show advanced options” to even define a more specific target. Keep in mind that the more people you include in your product catalog target, the better the campaign will perform, though.

After defining the usual aspect of budget and optimization, you can create your ads.
Here you’ll notice how the ads gets generated dynamically on the right, based on text and the product catalog fields that you chose.

Currently you can add these fields:

  • Product name
  • Product Description
  • Product Price
  • Brand
  • Custom labels

retargeting on instagram

Dynamic Remarketing on Instagram

Dynamic ads are also available on Instagram. Instagram is an excellent platform to display highly targeted ads (ecommerce, tech, apps, etc.). Attention-grabbing images or video ads do well here because they’re able to blend into a user’s feed and incite impulse purchases, downloads, etc.

To activate them, make sure Instagram is selected as one of your placements:

Edit ad placements

Chapter 11 BONUS: Powerful WordPress Plugins

Now that you’re getting more comfortable with Facebook retargeting and the pixel, let’s take a look at two very helpful plugins for WordPress sites.

PixelYourSite

PixelYourSite offers two plugins that help to track conversion values and better optimize the ads and audiences you create. One tracks standard events, the second is for use in dynamic remarketing with product catalogs. Look at each of them to determine whether they’d make a positive addition to your Facebook retargeting program.

For Standard Pixel/Event Integration
For Dynamic Marketing

Pixel Caffeine

AdEspresso, the popular Facebook management platform, has also recently released Pixel Caffeine. It’s an excellent plugin for implementing the Facebook Pixel.

They created their plugin to help their users track conversion values and optimize ads and audiences (just like PixelYourSite). However, the fact that it’s completely free (to AdEspresso customers and non-customers alike) and full of additional features has us touting it as the best Facebook pixel plugin around at the time of this writing.

Chapter 12 WHAT'S NEXT?

Wow, is it just me or does all of this talk about such a powerful marketing tactic have you super excited?

There’s only one thing left to do. It’s time to get started with Facebook retargeting!

With your current knowledge and understanding of retargeting you’re way ahead of the curve. Most Facebook advertisers don’t understand or implement the power of retargeting, which means your marketing is going to be more powerful and more effective than the majority of businesses advertising on Facebook.

Retargeting is simply the best targeting available on Facebook, so get going, take what you’ve learned here and build it into your marketing strategy. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see your sales increase and the boost in ROI you’ve been looking for.





Facebook Advertising Strategies (Business Advantage Attack)