Facebook Advertising Just Got Much More Powerful

Posted by Wes Mills on April 02, 2014

Up until now, targeting your ads on Facebook to those who have visited your site had to be done through a third-party company, like AdRoll. Yes, remarketing — that’s what I’m talking about. As excited as I am that it’s finally available to advertisers, I can’t believe it’s taken this long. But it’s powerful and everything I could’ve hoped for.

Remarketing is a wonderful thing

I’ll preface with providing a context about why remarketing is incredibly important and why Facebook’s new change is a big deal. It’s a way to re-engage your target audience.

When you’re browsing around the web and notice ads from the websites you’ve recently visited, you’re being re-engaged and exposed again to the brand. Traditionally, users who visit a website from a remarketing ad are much more valuable.

For those indecisive visitors who haven’t converted yet, or those who visited your site and have forgotten how amazing it was, this is your opportunity to invite them back.

But not every visitor is the same and you can’t market to them like they’re all the same. And this is why Facebook’s refresh of custom audiences is awesome. 

It’s time to get creative

Facebook’s new custom audiences can be broken down into three levels:

  1. All visitors
  2. Visitors of a specific set of pages
  3. Converters

From a marketing perspective, it’s instinctual that all three of these categories are marketed to with their own unique messaging. This is where we can be creative.

I’ll use a home builder’s website to conceptualize my point here. On this website, there’s a portfolio that’s organized by varying styles — all of which are unique. We’ll call one of the organized sections “Contemporary Living” and another “Classical Charm.”

With Facebook’s custom audiences, advertisers can now create one audience who has viewed the “Contemporary Living” portfolio and another audience that viewed “Classical Charm.”

Separating these audiences will now allow for highly targeted ads that you already know appeal to those users.

A good example of this would be two different sponsored stories, each targeted to the two the organized sections. Each ad could contain one of the popular pictures from the section on your site, with a call-to-action that may look like “View our most recent Contemporary Living homes by subscribing to our blog!”. This may be not the best call-to-action, but hopefully you get the idea.

This is just a simple example. The possibilities are endless, of course, but let’s look at how it can get more complex.

If you love Google Analytics as much as I do, you’re probably familiar with reverse goal paths and knowing which of the pages on your site create conversions. With this knowledge, you can easily create a custom audience that only includes visitors of those pages.

But wait, there’s more!

There’s one caveat to all of this: you have to have a significant amount of visitors to your website for your campaigns to have any kind of traction. But Facebook has a solution to that, too.

Facebook has always given the option to create a lookalike audience. After creating a custom audience, Facebook will look into a number of different variables and turn that audience into millions.

This was always a great option when creating audiences from email lists, but it just got much more valuable now with remarketing.

[Note: Facebook is somewhat ambiguous as to what exactly they’re looking at, so testing and pulling reports regularly is highly recommended when using a lookalike audience.]

For most businesses, the most valuable visitors are those who convert. Now that Facebook has remarketing available to those converters, the “create a lookalike audience” gives you a plethora of Facebook users to are similar to those who already converted on your site.

For those of you who are perspicacious, the ideas are probably already flowing through your head!

Pro tip: don’t be creepy

It’s important when developing your remarketing strategy to take your mind out of the context of the business and put your consumer hat on for a moment.

Remember to have your messaging highly targeted, but not so targeted that the audience becomes uncomfortable, which can be really easy to do.

A good example of this was an ad I saw on Facebook that used my name. While this was great targeting, don’t do this. With the thought of privacy very prevalent in everyone’s mind nowadays, it’s best to be discreet about knowing who your audience is. Admittedly, I thought it was awesome and immediately Google’d how they did it. But I won’t use it and you shouldn’t either!

Frequency plays another role in not being creepy. Facebook gives you the option of how long to keep a user on your remarketing lists, with a maximum of 180 days.

This is all dependent on your business, obviously, but don’t overdo it. It’s not beneficial to keep showing your ad to someone who has visited your site once 60 days ago and has not been back since. 

Google Tag Manager can be your silver bullet

This is really where you can create endless possibilities with your Facebook advertising strategy. Google Tag Manager is a tool that deploys JavaScript snippets across your site asynchronously. But with each “tag” or snippet of code — like the Facebook remarketing code — comes a custom firing schedule.

Depending on your level of expertise with JavaScript, you can define custom rules that will only fire for certain web browsers, operating systems, mobile phones, or after a visitor has spent a certain amount of time on a page.

I doubt that Facebook will release these as native features anytime soon, or at all, but I am a huge fan of Google Tag Manager and the wonderful things it can do.

Is your mind blown yet?

You still have to be marketing smart

Facebook’s new robust audience options are great, but they don’t do everything for you. To leverage them correctly, you still have to be a great marketer and understand who your audience is and what they respond to.

But if you don’t have a clue, no need to worry. Luckily for you, we’re digital marketing experts and know what it takes to reach success with Facebook advertising.

Do you feel that you’re not getting the most out of your Facebook advertising? Or are you ready to start leveraging the most ubiquitous social platform in the world to drive valuable leads to your business? Drop us a line here, and let’s talk about how we can help. 


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