How to reach your customers at the right time: Facebook ads and retargeting

December 18, 2017

What if you could market to people who are already considering your product, but haven’t identified themselves? You can with retargeting ads. Retargeting is marketing to customers who have visited your site and then clicked away. Because customers have already spent time on your site considering your business and your products, retargeting ads usually perform much better than regular marketing. Customers who are exposed to retargeting ads are 70% more likely to convert into a paying customer than customers who aren’t exposed to these ads.

How “Anonymous” Retargeting Works

Even if customers have not identified themselves, you can retarget ads using something called “pixel-based” retargeting. Visitors to your site get “cookied” with a small piece of JavaScript code often called a “pixel”. When they go to another site, that cookie triggers specific ads on specific retargeting platforms based on where that visitor has been.

Here are the typical steps you’d take to implement retargeting ads using Facebook as an example. Facebook allows businesses to retarget to its more than 1.8 billion monthly users using pixel-based retargeting.

Step 1: Create a pixel.

First you need to create the small bit of code (the “pixel”) to put on your site. In the Facebook ad manager you can create a pixel simply by clicking on a button. There is one pixel per Facebook account, but once you created it you can use it for multiple purposes such as tracking visitor behavior.

Step 2: Put the pixel on your website.

Simply copy and paste the pixel code between the <head> tags on each web page or paste it in the website template to install it across your website. If you want to use your pixel to also track events and do more targeted marketing (like if someone abandoned a purchase) you’ll need to install event code as well. Here is Facebook’s Pixel Implementation Guide for more details. At this point you’ve created and installed the tools to enable Remarketing. The next step is to identify who should receive the ad.

Step 3: Create a “custom” audience in Facebook.

In this step you are defining who should see the remarketing ad. Go to the Facebook Ads Manager, click on “tools” and then “audiences”. Select “custom audience” and then click on “website traffic” to target people who have visited your site. Name it and click on “create audience” to finish.

Step 4: Create the ad.

Now it’s time to develop an ad specifically for people who have visited your site. From the Ads Manager in facebook, you can manage your remarketing ads by clicking on the “Audiences” tab. Next to your newly created custom audience, click on “Create an Ad.” Follow the prompts to create your remarketing ad. (Check out these Facebook guides to improve your Facebook ads and 5 Questions to Ask Before Launching a Marketing Program.)

Retargeting Current Customers

You can also retarget customers by uploading a list of your current customers. Clover’s Insights and Promo apps help you automatically collect customer data and build up customer lists that you can use on remarketing platforms. Check out these free apps on Clover’s App Market.

While it may seem like retargeting is highly technical, once you get over the hurdle of implementing the code you can develop really targeted and effective marketing campaigns.

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