A Simple Guide To Facebook Remarketing

Aman Mehta
11 min readJul 23, 2020

This article focuses on how to get audiences left your website as soon as they clicked onto it, for different reasons. Facebook retargeting is for the users who might have patronized your brand in the past but haven’t visited in a while. They might also be ‘cookied’ traffic and those that were tagged. There are several possibilities that make users fall under the category of retargetable or re-marketable audience.

Retargeting ads are just a way to remind them that the products they showed interest in are still available for them to buy or to tell them that your brand is still around, so if they need what you have to offer, you remain at their service. In definition, one can simply describe remarketing/retargeting as a marketing strategy that allows you to follow leads around the internet with offers that they may be interested in.

It is made possible by a set of codes that are placed on pages that user visits. These codes automatically trigger your ads to follow these cookied users wherever they go. Since Facebook offers great marketing options with ad targeting, retargeting your leads on this platform is a perfect strategy for you.

Research has shown that only 2% of visitors who visit your website convert in their first visit. What then happens to the remaining 98% of your page’s visitors is they leave and probably would not return if you do not act fast.

Remarketing tools, however, are designed to help brands reach those customers who do not convert on their first visit. With these ads, your customers may think that the fact that they see products they might have interacted with in the past or that they might have shown mild interest in, is by a divine act of fate. It is, in fact, good that they are made to think like that as this will help them convert faster. It is also a good way to show your customers that you care about them and want to help them remember to make a purchase they failed to make because of other commitments.

Of the 76% of users who abandon their cart, 26% come back to check out with retargeting ads. These ads should be the focal point of your ad campaign strategies.

What is Facebook Remarketing?

Facebook remarketing works just like Google ads. The only difference is that these ads only appear on Facebook. On this platform, remarketing is more often referred to as ‘Custom Audiences,’ so don’t be surprised if you have never come across this term on the platform.

Once a person has been ‘cookied’ on your website, they start to see ads on their Facebook page, relating to the interaction they have had with products on your website.

For Facebook remarketing, however, there are certain features that are added to make the marketing strategy juicier than it ordinarily is. These are Customer Leads, Website Traffic, and App Activity.

Remember, Facebook is a bit of perfectionist, so they are always ready to make everything perfect for your business and personal experience on the platform.

Let’s get to know these features:

Customer List
Recall that we have explained how Facebook allows you to channel customized ads to specific customers within your sales funnel. This is perhaps one of the greatest assets the platform has to offer when it comes to advertising. By creating customer lists, Facebook adverts become more like email marketing, which gives you the chance to target particular individuals with personalized messages.

This will be made possible by gathering a list of targets by their email addresses, phone numbers, and even Facebook user IDs. Also, you can make this list by getting a list of contacts from your Customer Relations Manager or anywhere you have your customer data stored. Upload this data to Facebook, and according to whichever category they fall under in your sales funnel, target them with ads.

Website Traffic
You are probably more familiar with this than you are with any of the other features. This is meant to submit ads to people who have visited your site at any point in the past. Once you have set up Facebook pixels for different pages on your website, you can then set up different audiences, with filters for the pages they have visited, as a yardstick.

For example, if you are selling workout kits but you want your ad to target those that are in search of waist trainers, you can create your audience to show ads to those people that visited pages on your website with the keyword, ‘Trainers’ in the URL.

App Activity
This is the point where you use different user behaviors to determine which ads you will show to which sets of people. This is an excellent option for those that already have an established app. There are many ways to show relevant ads to different people based on their activities within the app.

For example, you could show ads to people who abandoned a certain product in their shopping cart on your app, with discounts on those products or special offers. Also, you can upsell to people who recently made a purchase on your app or maybe a person that has reached a particular level in a game (if you are marketing a game app).

Starting your Facebook Remarketing Campaign

Setting up your Facebook remarketing ads should be as easy as setting up any other type of ad in your ad campaign journey. To get started, go to your Facebook Ads Manager account and click on the ‘Tools’ dropdown, then select ‘Audiences.’ Once done, select ‘Create Audiences’ and click on the ‘Custom Audience’ option.

You will be led to another screen where you will see the features we talked about in the previous section. This is where you will choose the type of remarketing audience you want to create from the three options that have been described above.

Create a Customer List
To create a customer list, you have to import the list of customers you may have already created by copying and pasting or by uploading a file containing emails, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, or Mobile Advertiser IDs.

There is also an option available to you by Facebook, which allows you to upload your list through MailChimp’s email server.

Website Traffic
You have to set Facebook Pixel on your website to enable you to target your ad with the activities of customers on your website. You can bypass this step if you have already set a custom audience pixel on your website. You only need to set pixels once to enable you to remarket to your audience.

Once you have set your Pixel or you are sure that your Pixel is intact, go back to the ‘Create a Custom Audience’ section and click on ‘Website Traffic.’ Here, you will set all the parameters that you need the website visitor to meet before they are remarketed.

For example, if you wish to remarket to those that visited your website to search for the keyword, ‘Shoes’ in the URL, you can name your Audience, ‘Shoe Shoppers,’ then create the audience. Once done, apply the custom audience to a pre-created ad set if you already have one in place, or create a new one to suit the audience you have just created.

Winning Tactics for Facebook Remarketing

When going into any Facebook campaign strategy, you have to keep in mind the need to do better than your numerous competitors as the goal is to stay on top of your game.

Now that you have learned the importance of Facebook remarketing and how to set up your remarketing ads let’s now look into ways of getting the best out of these ads with these simple best practices.

Gain followers with Facebook Remarketing Lists
The number of likes on your page goes a long way to show how well your Facebook Marketing campaign is doing. Typically, people will not be as impressed by a page that merely has a few hundred likes.

It only shows your audience that there isn’t too much happening on your page. As you are pushing for more likes, it is, however, of utmost importance for you to get these likes organically. It’s quite a dangerous practice to buy followers on Facebook. This is because you need followers who are genuinely interested in the things your page has to offer.

The good news is that Facebook allows you to run paid campaigns with the goal of getting page promotions. Remarketing is a great way to get new likes on your page through promoted content. The promoted content is targeted to reach your most enthusiastic fans to give you more engagement rates, which will give you higher relevance scores, organic visibility, and cheaper clicks.

Facebook’s Relevance Score metric dictates the amount you spend and the frequency at which your ads are shown to your target audience. The highest influencer of this metric is your engagement rate, which is more likely to be higher if your ads are shown through remarketing to those that have already interacted with your brand in one way or the other. They are considered your brand’s most loyal customers. This set of people can be described as your brand ambassadors because they are more likely to interact with all your posts, and this will increase your relevance score. This will get you cheaper clicks and more visibility.

There is also another advantage to this: using sponsored ads to remarket to your loyal followers will also get you more organic visibility. This is how: when one of your Facebook followers likes your post, that post will automatically appear on the timeline of the person’s network of friends. This means that there is a potential of some people from this network of friends liking your page, so the more your fans are able to see your posts to like it, the more their friends have the potential of liking your page, hence, more organic likes.

Remarket to those that are Already Following your Page
After gaining followers, you have to make sure that these followers are responsive by interacting with your page. The first tip above can be extended by remarketing to those same people who brought in more followers for you and to those that were converted to also bring in more followers with the help of boosted posts. This tip is bound to work in your favor, as it is already tested.

The logic is simple; you are remarketing to those that have already interacted with your brand on the Facebook platform. Any user that has taken the step to like your page has certainly achieved a level of loyalty for your brand. This will translate to more engagement from them, which, of course, will mean higher relevance scores and more organic reach.

Use Facebook Targeting Options to Layer your Custom Audiences
The number of people of different categories you can reach with Facebook’s targeting options is simply mind-blowing. From the girl-next-door to the president of a first-world country, once you have a good knowledge of your audience, finding them wouldn’t be a problem.

Even though it is very important not to get too granular and limit your reach, it is of more importance to not overstretch your budget through a large arena of Facebook users as this will give great limits to your visibility and lead to lower relevance scores, fewer conversion rates, and even lower returns on investment.

For instance, if you are retargeting a very large audience that runs on the large side, let’s say you have over a thousand contacts to remarket to, with only $150 to spare. Instead of sharing your funds in tiny sections, it will be of more effect if you combine every section of your list into a larger group, using demographic targeting to get the most valuable audience that has prospects of conversion at the end.

It is important to balance between your budgets and audience size, but it is also very important to use the layering targeting options at the top of your custom audiences to carry out experiments. This will most likely increase the relevance of your page and make sure your budget is allocated to those audiences that will most likely convert. This will certainly ensure that your resources don’t fall on dry land, without yielding fruits.

Keep your Goals in Mind when Scheduling your Ads
When setting up your ads, be very careful not to bore your remarketing audience or fatigue them. Be more aggressive, however, with special offers and in cases where you have longer buying circles.

Usually, the life span of Facebook ads is short-lived. Instead of running your ads continuously until you run out of the budget, think of the goal you want to achieve with the ads.

For example, if you are running ads for Christmas sales or special discounted offers on a particular product, run the ads aggressively for the time when the discounts or sales will be on, without running frequency caps to an audience that wouldn’t convert.

On the other hand, if the ad is to promote your page to site visitors, this is possibly going to be an ongoing ad set so you can change to schedule to ‘from time to time’ to keep your ads fresh. Remember, you can schedule your ads to run at a particular time of the day or a particular day of the week. What this means is that you should set your ad schedule with the goal of the ad as a yardstick, to get the best results out of the ad.

Use Lookalike Customers to Layer new Customers into your Custom Audience
This is a way of expanding your audience by duplicating your existing audience to get to an entirely new set of leads. This is a very strong tactic which you can use to expand your reach while finding a new, untapped audience.

This is simple — this particular audience may have already converted by patronizing your brand, but you are out in search of new opportunities. What you do is to simply clone your existing in-market retargeting audience. To do this, layer lookalike audiences from the top of your custom audience. Once done, Facebook will help you find leads with a similar makeup, which is very likely to be interested in the things you have to offer.

Take Advantage of the Window of Opportunity
By now, you are no longer oblivious of the fact that it’s not everyone who visits your landing page converts on their first visit. Now, when a person visits your page and bounces almost immediately, it is your responsibility to find out the best time which you can help them make up their minds to interact with you.

Let’s say, for instance, you run a beauty parlor, and a person visits your page but leaves without converting. This means that the person is probably looking for a place to do their hair. Also, the chances are that this same person eventually found another option and went with it.

Do not take them as a lost customer; this person may still end up being your most loyal customer if you handle the relationship well. Keeping in mind that from the first visit, you have already formed a relationship with her, so you are to start timing them from that time.

Since they have just got her hair done, this means that in the next three months, she will already be in search of other options to get her hair done again because she will want to get it done again. The space between the second and third months is, however, your window of opportunity. This is the time you are expected to aggressively push in retargeting ads to her to compel her to choose you as not just her one-time place to get her hair done but as her one-stop-shop for all her hair needs and eventually, all her beauty requirements.

There are two things you can do to achieve this. First, you can create an ad and target it to all customers that have not visited your site for the past 14 days. This is a very easy option, but it may not give us explicit results as the second option, which is to create two audiences: first, an audience of those that visited your site in the past three months and the second, an audience of those that have visited in the past two months. The window of opportunity for the customer you are trying to target will be in the second option while exempting the first option.

In a nutshell, Facebook remarketing should be one of the focal points of your Facebook ad campaign. Getting ample returns on investment is important and this can only happen when your leads convert. It is for this reason that you have to focus on convincing people who already know your brand to patronize you, by remarketing to them.



Aman Mehta

Armchair Philosopher | Location Independent | Amateur Photographer