Learn how Facebook retargeting ads work?

Have you ever wondered what a Facebook retargeting ad was? Or maybe how retargeting ads could help you grow your business cost-effectively?

Say hello to the world’s best and most effective advertising channel: Facebook.

Think about it. The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest event for advertisers in the United States. An estimated 111,320,000 people watched the Patriots and Falcons super bowl game last year.

Companies spend an average of $5 million for a 30-second ad spot, according to AdAge. It costs advertisers $3.82 per viewer. Once a year.

Facebook has 2.13 billion active users, 1.4 billion of whom log in every day. Users spend an average of 20 minutes on Facebook per visit and check it an average of 14 times a day. Every day.

On average, it costs advertisers $0.25 to reach 1,000 people on Facebook. Not bad right?

These are reasons why thousands of businesses use Facebook retargeting advertisements to reach new, old, engaged and disengaged clients online.

On average, it costs advertisers $0.25 to reach 1,000 people on Facebook. Click To Tweet

It seems arbitrary to compare a football game to a social media site, but it goes to show how disruptive Facebook is to advertising and how innovative businesses – big and small – can use it to increase conversions, brand awareness, and to fuel growth.

96% of visitors that land on your website is not ready to buy. Click To Tweet

What is a retargeting ad?

Google Ads retargeting (aka, remarketing ads)  is a form of online advertising that enables sites to show targeted ads to users who have already visited their site. Retargeting, also known as retargeting, can dramatically increase your conversion rates and ROI.

What is are Facebook retargeting ad?

First off, on users – Facebook now serves 2.37 billion monthly active users, an increase of 55 million in the previous quarter. Of those, 1.56 billion are logging onto Facebook every day, up 39 million in Q4 2018.

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that brings back website visitors who haven’t converted on their first visit to an online store or other action. When a person visits your website, a” cookie” is placed on their browser. The cookie lets you recognize and follow your website’s visitors when they visit other sites and then display ads to these people.

Facebook is an excellent channel for retargeting. It’s easy to set up, and there’s a high chance your website’s visitors are among the 2.37 billion people actively using Facebook, which allows you to be where your potential customers already are.

Many brands use retargeting. A few brands use it to its full potential.

So, today I’ll share one of my retargeting strategies that’s advanced enough to be incredibly useful, while basic enough that anyone can copy-paste it for their business.

This article provides answers to demystify retargeting ads on Facebook and how you can use them effectively.

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Why Should Small Businesses run Facebook Retargeting Ads?

Because Facebook Retargeting works. It’s that simple!

Some stats:

Facebook makes it easy for small businesses to create ad campaigns and measure them all within budget. Facebook Ad Manager guides you through easy steps when creating the campaign:

  • Select your marketing objective. Do you want to garner awareness, consideration, or conversions?
  • Define your audience. 50,000-100,000 in the United States is a good range. Try to be specific with your audience as possible.
  • Set up your budgeting schedule. You can set up either a Daily Budget or a Lifetime Budget. Daily Budget will work out the average you spend every day – some days will be more, others less. Lifetime Budget allocates total spending on the ad set.
  • Design your ad set. Include an image, headline, promotional text, CTA, and a news feed link description. Facebook lets you choose the format based on the images or videos you wish to use. Consider mixing it up here with static and dynamic ads with animation like GIFs.
  • Measure. Track performance metrics such as engagement and clicks. Facebook shows the results by age, location, mobile or PC view, etc. If something is not working, tweak it.
facebook retargeting

Facebook has leveled the playing field for small businesses to compete against larger companies. Even better, it is highly scalable. Read on to see how you can set up an ad campaign on Facebook.

How do Facebook Retargeting Ads work?

Retargeting is marketing to people who visited your website on a different website, like Facebook. Retargeting campaigns go after prospects who are already familiar with your brand or products.

Facebook’s goal is to get the right content in front of the right people, and it is very good at getting the right advertisement in front of the right people. People that have seen your brand but maybe have not purchased or engaged with your business.

Facebook re-engages your prospects with a purpose to get them to complete a purchase, read your content, buy a complimentary offer, and more.

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TrackVia also saw the potential inbound marketing offered to attract visitors, convert leads, and close more deals.

Facebook retargeting ads are very effective. All Facebook Advertisers get a unique Facebook Pixel, which is a piece of code that you must install on your website for it to work.

It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads people who have already viewed your website or taken some kind of action on your website or landing page.

If you already have a Facebook Ads account, you can create a Facebook Pixel.

Create the ads and fine-tune the settings and Facebook does all the heavy lifting for you.

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How to Set Up a High-Converting Facebook Retargeting Campaign

facebook retargeting campaigns

Facebook makes setting up a retargeting campaign easy, but it is important to understand how powerful these ads are. Facebook is constantly refining how it delivers its ads to the right people to optimize your campaign.

Included in this section are explanations of Facebook’s NEW split testing option. Split testing, often called A/B testing, is a must. For our clients, we may take it a step further and test up to 32 variants of an ad set.

But we suggest you start small and work up to more sophisticated testing and attribution models. Click here to read about attribution models.

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Could your marketing efforts use a little kick? Are you looking to capture more leads, convert them to sales, and score more revenue? It’s time to get in the game with marketing automation.

How many marketing leads do you need?

And if you follow some basic guidelines, you can accomplish these goals and be found on the Google search platform and gain more qualified prospects from Google search. The demand for your business will grow exponentially, and it will change forever your business.

Right now you’re asking yourself this questions:

  • How many marketing leads do I need?
  • How many go into my sales pipeline?
  • How many turn into sales?

Choose an Objective for Retargeting Ads

Think about what you want to get out of this campaign. Remember your Buyer?s Journey. If you are a niche third-wave coffee roaster with an online e-commerce website, Facebook can help you get your brand out in front of people you want to target and that want small-batch roasted coffee.

Or, maybe your customer left an item in their Shopping Cart without purchasing. Try to get them to complete their purchase with a Conversion objective within your Facebook ad campaign.  This is a must for any e-commerce small business.

Facebook Ad Manager

NEW! A/B Split Testing Facebook Ads

Facebook makes it easy to split test your ads to optimize your digital ad strategy. Facebook divides your audience into unique, non-overlapping groups who see your ad sets with identical creative but one distinct difference, called the variable.

What can you test? You can test the Creative, Delivery Optimization, Audience, or Placement. Performance of the A ad set and the B ad set are measured and compared. The best performing will win.

Here’s at Matrix Marketing Group, to help us find the best ads, we may create several versions of an ad, altering where the text appears and the image that appears in each version.

So for one ad, Matrix creates three lines of text (A, B, C), where A is the post text, B is the headline, and C is the description. Then in Business Manager, we duplicate the post and switch two of the placements (for example A, C, B).

We continue in this way until we have created every text placement combination, which is six different versions. Each ad in the set has the same text but the text placement is different. Next, Matrix tests four different visuals with the six versions of the text.

This brings the ad set up to 24 different ads. We’ll also create another version of the text (lines D, E, F), and put those six variations with the four images. When we are done, the ad set contains 48 ads that include two versions of the text (ABC and DEF) and four images. But we suggest you start small and build up to this level of sophistication.

The results come straight to your email. Now that’s convenient.

Facebook Split Test

Facebook Pixel

facebook pixel

This piece of code is a cookie that sits on your website, landing pages, mobile app, and even Facebook Messenger account. This code sends site-visit information back to Facebook to power your ad campaign. The Facebook Pixel makes Facebook retargeting ads possible.

You have the option to install this code to your site on your own, or to send it to your web developer. The Facebook Pixel integrates seamlessly with e-commerce platforms such as WordPress, BigCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, WooCommerce, Wix, and others.

I mentioned that the Facebook Pixel could integrate with your Facebook Messenger account. This feature is new. When someone clicks your ad, a conversation with your business will open in Messenger. Facebook will show these types of ads to someone who is more likely to open Messenger.

This Messenger feature works well for companies with a business development team who can answer customer questions responsively.

Optimization for Ad Delivery

SEO tuned content

Choose how Facebook will deliver your ads to people based on your objective. Your choice here affects who will see your ads for the best result at the lowest cost.

The choices for Ad Delivery are:

  • Conversions – Recommended. Facebook will deliver the ads to the right people, within your selected audience, to help you get the most website conversions.
  • Landing Page Views – Ads delivered to people who are more likely to click on your ad?s link and load the landing page. Here, you?ll need the Facebook Pixel installed on your landing page to track conversions.
  • Link Clicks – Ads delivered to the right people to get the most link clicks from your ad to a destination at the lowest cost.
  • Impressions – Ads delivered as many times as possible to people in your target audience.
  • Daily Unique Reach – Ads delivered once a day to people in your audience.

You can now split test the ad delivery methods.

Choosing the Conversion Window is important for your measurement. The Conversion Window helps Facebook collect data on actual conversions. You should select the Conversion Window based on your product so that Facebook can accurately measure your conversion.

Selecting the right window will increase your conversion because you are measuring actions accurately. If you cannot decide your Conversion Window, think about your Attribution Model. These should align.

Your Bid Strategy for ad space should suit your specific business goals. The tradeoff in choosing a Bid option is between cost efficiency and campaign effectiveness.

Lowest Cost: Get the most conversions for your budget.

Target Cost: Maintain a stable average cost per conversion as you raise your budget. This strategy is easier to scale when you have stable costs.

Facebook Target Audience

You want to start by creating a target audience on Facebook in Business Manager. It starts with choosing your location, demographics, gender, and age and then it gets better. Because of all its data, Facebook allows you to go into more detail.

Segment your audience based on Interests and Behaviors. For example, you can choose Small Business Owners, age 18-25, male and female, who live in the United States. Be careful here.

You do not want your audience to be too small, especially if you are split testing. But again, it depends on the business, industry, demographics, and other relevant data.

Facebook Ad Placements

For Automatic Placements, Facebook retargeting ads will show your ads to your audience in the places they are likely to perform best.

This option is the best, but you can choose Edit Placement where you get to select your placement. Automatic placement is the recommended feature.

Budget, Schedule, and Split Testing Percentage

Determine your spending and when you want your ads to run.

You have the option to give more money to one ad set over the other if you are running a split test. Facebook retargeting ads will automatically assume you want an even split so that it will allocate your budget 50/50.

Best Facebook Ad Format

Choose what you want your ad to look like. There are new features here too so don’t miss them. We tend to use tools like Canva and Adobe’s full suite of design tools.

Facebook ad types

Facebook formats the ads for mobile and PC alike.

Choose the images and links that appear in your ads. Tell people what you are promoting and be sure to include your URL.

Simply upload your image and write up the text you want the customer to see.

Choose Call To Action for Facebook Ads

Facebook provides 17 options that you can choose from based on the action you want people to take when they see your ad. This is where you have to put on your marketing thinking cap. Your call-to-action should be compelling and action-oriented.

Setting up a Facebook ad campaign can take an afternoon, but tweaking its effectiveness will never be done. Keep up with your reports and optimize for the better. Split testing is a must-have.

And as I mentioned earlier, we typically run up to 48 variants before we select the one or two we scale with any one campaign.  Read on about how to retarget website visitors.

What is the Secret to Building Successful Facebook Retargeting Ads?

You need to know how and who to target. Targeting an effective with Facebook Custom Audience. Reach the people who have a relationship with your business, whether they are current or past customers, who are engaging with your Facebook content, or who have interacted with your business on other platforms.

Below are your options for creating a custom audience. I will go into more detail about delivering content based on prospect’s actions on your website, landing page, or app.

Facebook custom audience

There are several different types of audiences to target and customize if you click on Website Traffic. This is where your Facebook Pixel comes into play.

The broadest you can do is to target all website traffic. If a prospect visits your website, then Facebook will automatically show your ad to them when they log into Facebook. Your Facebook ad can be displayed in your target audiences ?Newsfeed? or displayed on the side.

Here are some tried-and-true retargeting tactics for custom audiences:

People who visited specific website pages

This setting lets you set URL rules to include or exclude people who visited specific websites or web pages.

For example, if someone visits your product page, you can include the URL to ensure they are shown ads that relate to what they were viewing on your site. See below for an example of someone who sells coffee on their website.

Custom audience Facebook

Blog readers

Keep your blog readers engaged by putting your content on Facebook for them to see. Often, the first time a new blog reader sees your site is their last. They get what they need and move on to the next blog. It is easy to re-engage your readers by remarketing your content on Facebook.

Show these readers high-quality content and boost those posts on Facebook. Or try your hand at showing them some gated content to capture more information about them in your database.

I suggest you use gated content. Gated content should be your premium content that required the user to give something up to gain access to it. If you do any form of e-mail marketing you must be doing this. Here?s an example of gated content [Learn more].

Create a custom audience of people who have been to your blog or have read specific content.

customer audiance

Landing pages for gated content

There are a few reasons why people who saw your landing page left without converting. Keep a close eye on these potential issues:

  • They did not see value in the offer.
  • They were distracted or too busy to stay.
  • They did not want what you were offering.

If the reason for leaving is A or B, now is your chance to get them back with highly-relevant, targeted Facebook ads. There is always a chance they did not want your offering, but hey – maybe you can convert them too if you catch them in a better mood on Facebook.

If they did not find value in the offer originally, you might need to split test different ads. Add value with great content and enticing offers. Make sure your Call To Action is clear, so prospects know what the next step is (e.g., Download Now, Get My Copy, Shop Now, etc.).

Type different type of ad-media like GIF’s, Slideshow’s, and other animated content.

If you are selling something, consider adding a discount to nudge the prospect towards buying. A special 10% off, just for you! does a lot for those on the fence.

Retargeting on Facebook also helps make your PPC spending for landing pages more effective. It can tie everything together, so the prospect sees your content more frequently, especially if they have visited the page.

Make sure you exclude people who already converted! You can do this by excluding people who have filled out the form or completed checkout. See an example below:

retargeting campaign facebook

Freemium users

Are you a software company with a freemium problem? You have a great free service that isn’t converting users to pay for the full package.

Recently, I have been getting retargeted by Spotify for not switching over to Spotify Premium yet

During users free-trial, your goal should be to keep the user engaged with your product and learning about all of its benefits. Facebook is a good way to promote your product’s best features to your current freemium or free-trial users.

Simply create a new custom audience for these freemium users by importing their information into the Facebook Ad Manager.

To reach this audience on Facebook, click Customer File (above Website Traffic on the options to create custom audiences).

Facebook audience

Here, follow the directions to import your freemium users information for Facebook retargeting ads.

I want to draw your attention to the NEW Lifetime Value (LTV) feature. Use this feature with your Facebook retargeting ads.

Customer Lifetime Value is based on how much customers spend in your business over the course of their relationship with you. Typically, the more valuable the customer, the harder they are to acquire. The LTV lookalike feature is Facebook’s attempt to make high-value customer acquisition easier for your business.

This feature can help target freemium users who look and act similar to your business’s most valuable (paying) customers. It may cost more initially but consider the long-term payout.

AdEspresso by Hootsuite goes into more detail about setting up Facebook LTVs and unlocking the full potential.

Email Subscribers (Engaged vs. Disengaged)

Email marketing meets Facebook. Round out your email marketing campaigns by retargeting your email subscribers.

There are two types of people on your email list: The ones who open and read your emails and those who do not touch them, nevertheless see what is inside.

Segment your audiences into active and inactive subscribers. Then, upload their contact information right into your Facebook Ad Manager.

Let’s begin with your most loyal and engaged email subscribers – the ones who always click around or open your email. Target this group with more sales-oriented offers such as Shop Now, Sign Up or Chat. Now, which will send them to Facebook Messenger to speak with a salesperson.

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Now the hard part, turning your inactive users into your biggest fans. An inactive subscriber is worth 32% as much as an active subscriber, according to MailChimps analysis of 60 million e-commerce purchases and 40 million email addresses. That is a lot of revenue to capture! These people are subscribed to your list for a reason, and they purchase more frequently than people who are not subscribed to your email list.

Start by showing a blog post or a free eBook to remind this audience of your business. Frequency matters with this kind of content. If the reader has seen the blog post enough time, it may be that the 5th time they see it, they click because it looks more interesting than the first time they saw it.

Keep in mind some reasons why they may not engage with your content in email format. If they are on Facebook, they may have more time to engage with your content than when they are at work.

Facebook ad example

Take the example above. Office for Business led with a compelling quote from a post, provided a value statement, and encourages the reader to Learn More with its CTA. Maybe the email subscriber will take the time to read this article now while he or she is on Facebook.

Key Takeaways No Matter What Audience

  • Use actionable language. What’s the next step?
  • Test your ad designs to see which converts best.
  • Throw in a small discount to draw people back to your site. 10% may be all it takes.
  • Run limited-time-only campaigns to increase a sense of urgency.
  • Promote related or complementary products to past purchasers.
  • Remarket the exact product people almost bought.
  • Try NEW dynamic ads for shopping and products (See below).
backcountry facebook ad

How much should small businesses spend on Facebook retargeting ads?

Facebook strives to make advertising for small businesses as efficiently as possible. It has the lowest average cost per 1,000 impressions of any advertising platform at $0.25/1000 impressions.

$10 a day goes a long way. This kind of money can get you in front of up to 4,000 people that would not have seen your ad otherwise.

Most businesses are good at $30 – $50 per month for Facebook retargeting ad spending. According to Moz, if you do not have that sort of cash for marketing something is very wrong with your business.

Start small and increase as you go (or grow ;). Many small businesses see a positive ROI on Facebook when they test and optimize their ads. The more you spend, the more money you make. The more people who see your ads, the more data you have to make better decisions in the future.


Examples of Successful Facebook Retargeting Ads

Encourage Cart Abandoners to Complete the Check-Out Process

best buy facebook ad

Push them to Take the Plunge Using Urgency

j crew ads
expedia facebook ad

I hope that by now you know the value of running Facebook retargeting ads and campaigns for your business. Start off small, keep testing, and you will begin to see your website traffic growing and more leads for your small business. Want to learn more about the paid media PPC ad campaign check out this post.

We’re listening.

Have something to say about Facebook retargeting ads? Share it with us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Are you not getting the results you had hoped for with your current marketing advertising agency? Let the experts at this digital marketing agency help you generate more web traffic, convert more leads, and close more sales. Our team knows just what it takes to build and maintain a proven marketing strategy that drives high-quality leads and converts more sales. For more information, check out our paid advertising services or contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs and our services.

General FAQ’s

What is a Facebook retargeting ad?

Facebook retargeting is a form of online advertising that brings back website visitors who haven’t converted on their first visit to an online store. When a person visits your online shop, a ?cookie? is placed on their browser.

What are Facebook paid ads?

Facebook paid ads platform is intended to help advertisers gather data and marketing to their target audience. The Facebook advertising program uses a code called the Pixel that lets you learn more about your audience and what actions they took based on performance data. 

How much is a Facebook ad?

The average small business advertising budget on Facebook spends around $1,500?$2,500 per month; there is no minimum monthly ad spend. This ad budget makes Facebook affordable for most startups and small businesses. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on Facebook advertising if your campaigns are of low quality, so be sure that you test before you scale.

Why are Facebook and Google retargeting important?

Google and Facebook Retargeting can be an excellent way to build brand awareness in the digital marketplace, keeping your company at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Retargeting allows you to focus your advertising spend on clients you know already have some degree of interest. 


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