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Retargeting Website Visitors on Facebook Using Custom Audiences

by Jonathan Kennedy February 10, 2017

A guest article written by Sujan Patel of Audience Push team. Audience Push will automatically and in real time, update your Facebook custom audiences.

According to its Q4 2016 earnings report, Facebook boasts more than 1.86 billion monthly active users – 66% of whom visit the site daily. Further, Business Insider shares that these users spend an average of 20+ minutes on the site every day.

The platform’s significant engagement rate makes it a great advertising opportunity for B2B and B2C sellers alike; but the network’s real power comes from the demographic information made available to Facebook advertisers.

Nowhere else on the web can advertisers target customers based not just on demographic factors, but on interests, hobbies, jobs and more, making case studies reporting 450% ROI on paid and organic Facebook campaigns unsurprising.

One opportunity that many Facebook advertisers miss, to their detriment, is the use of Facebook Custom Audiences in remarketing campaigns, which can offer a response rate that’s 400% higher than non-targeted advertising. Here’s how to get started with this important strategy and how to use it in your campaigns.

What are Facebook Custom Audiences?

Facebook defines a Custom Audience as:

“A Custom Audience from a customer list is a type of audience you can create made up of your existing customers. You can target ads to the audience you've created on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network.”

Essentially, you pull a list of current customers (or prospects who have taken an action like opting-in to your email newsletter or abandoning carts in your checkout process) and upload them to Facebook as a group. You can do this manually or by using a tool like AudiencePush.

Once your Custom Audience list has been imported, you’ll be able to target ads specifically to these customers, as well as use them to create Lookalike Audiences that’ll help you find new prospects based on shared characteristics.

How to Use Your Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences can be used for everything from reaching users who don’t open your email messages, to upselling past buyers (Marketing Metrics suggests that “The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.”)

That said, one of my favorite uses for Facebook Custom Audiences is retargeting. Imagine that you have website visitors who have abandoned their shopping carts, left after visiting key pages in your sales funnel or placed items on a wish list but never returned. Pushing retargeted ads to your Custom Audiences can help get them back on track.

To set these ads up, you’ll need to do a few things:

  • Install Facebook’s Custom Audience and Conversion pixels on your site. If you’re using a platform like WooCommerce or Shopify, find instructions for adding this code in their help sections.
  • Set your Custom Audience targeting. When you create your Custom Audience, use the targeting options to select the users or customers who meet your campaign criteria. The example below from WooCommerce shows the options that should be selected to target users who have abandoned carts, but not purchased, within the last 45 days.

  • Create your ads. Keep two things in mind: 

1) You’ll need to meet Facebook’s 20% or less text restriction, and

2) Your ad should be tailored to the goal of your retargeting campaign. If, for example, you’re trying to get users who have abandoned carts back on your website, you could try offering an exclusive 10% off coupon for the items they’ve set aside.

Finally, keep in mind that this tactic is best implemented after your campaigns have hit a certain velocity. From Nicole Kohler, writing for WooCommerce:

“Remarketing ads will be the most effective when you have an audience of several hundred shoppers or more. Prior to scaling your traffic to this stage, you might find that any remarketing campaigns you deploy receive very few views, clicks, or conversions.”

Create your Custom Audiences, build retargeting campaigns around them and watch your results. Refine your campaign targeting and creative assets on an ongoing basis – the conversions and ROI you’ll drive can be substantial.



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