By Chris Smith

Social media advertising has transformed the way businesses reach potential and existing customers online. Facebook, now with 2.2 billion users, remains one of the biggest players in the digital advertising space, having raked in a massive 40.7 billion US dollars from advertising; it will therefore come as no surprise that Facebook has invested a lot of money and time into making its platform as useful as possible for advertisers. However, to make the most of your advertising spend, it is crucial you make retargeting part of your Facebook advertising strategy.

Find Your Audience

Before you begin any remarketing campaign, it’s important that any of your initial Facebook marketing is reaching the right people for your business. If you are not targeting the right people, you will struggle to make your adverts convert into leads and sales, and no amount of remarketing is going to turn around a poor campaign. Do research into your audience and make sure you have a good understanding of their age range, gender, interests and location. If you are unsure of this, you can dig into Facebook’s data by having a look at their audience insights page; here you can look at the data held on your current Facebook followers as well as those of similar brands to yours and gain a better idea of who and where you should be targeting your ads.

Why Remarket?

No matter how enticing and creative you make your ads, landing a conversion the first time someone clicks through to your site is pretty rare; it is even rarer for customers to convert the first time they click your ad if they have never heard of your brand before and your price point is relatively high. We, as consumers, like to be smart with our money. We also like to play it safe when handing over our sensitive payment details. If your initial advertising campaign on Facebook is getting engagement – comments, likes, followers and, most importantly, clicks to your site – you are already onto a winner; don’t dismiss those potential customers just because they didn’t convert right away.

Consider this: the average click through rate (CTR) for Facebook display ads is 0.07% when the CTR for remarketing ads is 0.7% – 10 times higher. On top of that, statistics show that people are 70% more likely to convert with a remarketing campaign than with an initial campaign.

Create Remarketing Audiences

When it comes to creating a Facebook remarketing strategy it’s important to break your audience down into different sections for different forms of remarketing. One way to break your audience down is into those who clicked through to your site, but didn’t purchase, those who clicked on your site and started the checkout process and those clicked onto your site and made a purchase. Each section of your audience will likely require a different remarketing campaign.

You will want to target those who clicked onto your site but left with the same product or one similar that got them to click through in the first place. You want to do this as it’s likely people in this audience considered your product but wanted to hold off on making a purchase – perhaps they were too busy, were waiting till they got paid or wanting to shop around.

Targeting those who abandoned the shopping cart with discount codes and offers is often most effective. People in this audience may have abandoned the cart due to unexpected costs – such as shipping – or wanted to reconsider the cost; for a lot of people in this audience price will have been a large factor in why they abandoned the cart. However, it could be useful to – if you have captured their emails – to question them directly why they never completed the purchase and then advertise accordingly.

When remarketing to people who have already made a purchase, you will want to upsell to them and offer slightly more expensive goods. These people know your brand, have experienced your service and will be more willing to commit to buying products at a higher price point.

Need to Know

Before you build your Facebook retargeting ads, make sure you have the Facebook advertising pixel installed onto your website; this pixel will track all visitors from your Facebook advertising campaigns and allow you to easily retarget them through Facebook.  It is important to note that the GDPR laws recently brought in dictate that you must notify all visitors to your site that you will be using cookies, i.e. the Facebook pixel, to track them for advertising purposes.

To create your specific audiences to retarget you will want to enter the Custom Audience section of Facebook Ads Manager and choose “Website Traffic” for how you want to create the audience. Here you will have the choice to target anyone who visits your site, people who visit specific pages, people visiting pages but not others, people who haven’t come back in a certain amount of time or a custom combination. What you choose here is entirely up to you; it can be worthwhile split testing a variety of audiences to see what brings the best conversion results, such as targeting those who haven’t visited in 30 days compared to targeting those who haven’t visited in 10 days.

Don’t Give Up

Mastering Facebook advertising and finding what works for your business takes time. Start with small budgets allocated to each ad and only increase this if these ads appear to be getting results. Too many people go into Facebook advertising, throw a lot of money at it, don’t give it time and then decide that it’s useless and doesn’t work before giving up. Allow your campaigns to run for a few days so that Facebook’s algorithms can collect data to help them target even more specifically. Make you sure that with every campaign you also allocate a budget for remarketing; the stats show just how valuable this is and what a great way it is to not only encourage new customers, but keep old customers returning again and again.

Chris Smith is an independent writer and blogger at Spend It Like Beckham. His blog mainly focuses on business, finance and sports, and he’s had features about a variety of topics published on sites including the Huffington Post, GoDaddy, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Facebook business stock photo by Chinnapong/Shutterstock