January means planning and for us in the digital marketing industry, that certainly means paid media has to be considered. A question we get asked a lot at My Social Agency, is ‘can we run Facebook retargeting campaigns, the same as Google Adwords?’ A question we get asked even more, is how to improve my website conversion rate? (surprise surprise)

I feel slightly aggrieved – especially so soon after New Years – to deliver to a reminder that only a mere 2-5% of traffic to your website converts on the first visit. That is if you are lucky, with lost of sites converting at less than 1%.

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This means that for the average Joe, 98% of the people who visit your site leave again without taking any further action.

I know, I know – it’s quite a depressing thought really, especially after all the hard work that we, as marketers, put into creating interesting and engaging content for our fans and followers. It would of course be a wonderful thing if each and every visitor that strayed our way slipped neatly and effortlessly down the sales funnel 100% of the time. But, alas, this isn’t how it happens – and, realistically, it’s pretty unlikely that it ever will for anybody. Such a thing would surely require some sort of wizardry or witchcraft that (all things considered) thankfully doesn’t exist.

However, putting the occult aside for the time being, there are many mortal things that us marketers can do in order to increase our online presence across our social channels, and begin to tip those conversion rates in our favour – and the (non-magic) trick comes in the form of retargeting.

What Is Facebook Retargeting And How Does it Apply To Your Advert?

Sometimes referred to as remarketing, retargeting is a form of advertising that specifically (re)targets the people who have shown interest in our brand before. To put it another way, retargeting is all about aiming our marketing efforts at that whopping 98% of visitors who clicked on a link to our website, but left again without making a purchase.

As I’m sure the wilier amongst you will already have inferred, retargeting is actually one of the most effective means online marketing. The reason is simple – it’s far easier to convert a user who already knows who you are and what you do, than it is to convince people to make a first-time purchase from cold. Identifying and (re)targeting these users, therefore, is one of the most valuable skills to master in the whole of your marketing arsenal.

In Facebook Advert Terms

This blog is specifically about Facebook adverts, of course, and so let’s now (re)focus our attentions on retargeting on Facebook everyone’s favourite blue-bordered social network.

As you might suspect, Facebook retargeting is all about aiming any new Facebook content that you create towards those that have already engaged with your previous Facebook content (yes, retargeting really is as simple as that).

Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook, however, doesn’t use the term ‘Facebook retargeting’. This is because Facebook has its very own retargeting toolFacebook Custom Audiences. Though in reality retargeting and custom audiences are both one and the same thing.

Indeed, here’s how Facebook describes how custom audiences may be used:

“Custom audiences allow advertisers to target their ads to a specific set of people with whom they have already established a relationship on/off Facebook. Audiences can be defined by either email address, phone numbers, names, date of birth, gender, locations, app user IDs, Apple’s Advertising Identifier (IDFA), or Android’s advertising ID or by a combination of rules used to identify users who took specific actions on your website.”

How Facebook Custom Audiences Work

Facebook retargeting – or rather Facebook custom audiences – rely on a simple piece of code in order to function. It is a cookie-based technology that installs a small piece of JavaScript (known as a pixel) on a visitor’s computer that is used to ‘follow’ them when they venture off around the web.

ReTargeter.com describes it most succinctly, and indeed includes the following graphic to help illustrate the point:

retargetter Facebook Retargeting - How To Get 100% More From Your Facebook Adverts

“You place a small, unobtrusive piece of code on your website (this code is sometimes referred to as a pixel). The code, or pixel, is unnoticeable to your site visitors and won’t affect your site’s performance. Every time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are served only to people who have previously visited your site.”

The Facebook Pixel

Here’s what installing a pixel will enable, according to Facebook:

“The Facebook pixel is a piece of JavaScript code for your website that enables you to measure, optimize and build audiences for your ad campaigns. Using the Facebook pixel, you can leverage the actions people take on your website across devices to inform more effective Facebook advertising campaigns. With the Facebook pixel, you can:

  • Measure cross-device conversions: See how your customers are moving between devices before they convert.
  • Optimize delivery to people likely to take action: Ensure your ads are being seen by people most likely to take the action you want them to take, like purchase or fill out a form.
  • Automatically build audiences for website visitors to retarget: Create Custom Audiences for people who take specific actions on your website, like visited a product page, added to cart or purchased a product.”

You can get step-by-step instructions on how to create your Facebook pixel here.

Is Facebook Retargeting Effective?

You bet it is. The title of this blog post is ‘Facebook Retargeting – How To Get 100% More From Facebook Ads’, but the reality is that with smart retargeting using Facebook custom audiences, you can in fact expect a lot more than a 100% increase in engagement.

Digital Information World have produced the following infographic revealing just how effective Facebook ad retargeting can be – and some key stats include that retargeted ads can lead to a 1046% increase in branded search and a 726% hike in site visitation after just four weeks of retargeted ad exposure. Now that’s impressive.

Add to this the fact that retargeting leads to a 26% increase of returning visitors who complete the checkout process, and it’s very easy to understand where budgets are best allocated when it comes to ad spend.

retargetting-ads-infographic Facebook Retargeting - How To Get 100% More From Your Facebook Adverts

Final Word

Simple – make 2016 the year that you master retargeting on Facebook, and enjoy heightened engagement, brand awareness and ROI on your paid advertising campaigns. Enjoy!

Enjoyed my take on Facebook retargetting? Check out my personal blog – mark-mitchell.me