Facebook Retargeting: 13 powerful ideas for Advanced Marketers

Website retargeting is huge and every marketer loves it. But most of the advice you see online talks about the same few and overused website retargeting options:

  1. All website visitors
  2. People who visited registration page but did not sign up or buy

I bet you have already tried them.

That is why I listed 13 retargeting ideas for you below. They are categorised by Facebook ad objectives so you can definitely implement them right away in your own campaigns.

1. Page like ads

Why do you run page like ads? You do so to grow your fan base and hopefully turn them into an engaged community which raves about your products and services.

To do so, you need to attract highly relevant fans to your page and not just anyone else. Your website visitors make highly relevant fans because they’re likely to have discovered your website while looking for something they need or something they found interesting.

But should you target just about anyone who visited your website? Or are there better ways for you to segment them so that you can reach them more effectively? Here are some ideas:

  1. New customers who aren’t fans
  2. New subscribers who aren’t fans
  3. Recent product page visitors who did not buy anything and aren’t fans
  4. Blog readers who aren’t fans

(1 & 2) New customers and subscribers who aren’t fans yet

The idea behind targeting new customers and not all your customers is to get them to like your page while they still remember buying something from you. This is the same reason why you should target your new subscribers and it allows you to write better tailored ad copies.

For example, you could write something like this, “At [our company name], our customers love the tips we give to help them get more use out of [what they just bought]. To hear these handy tips, LIKE our page.”

When you target people who recently bought something from you, they’re also far less likely to find your ads creepy, especially if you can put a spin to it.

For instance, you can run ads that say, “You just bought [product they just bought] and we’d like to thank you by entering you into our grand lucky draw” to distract them from the fact that you just (creepily) retargeted them.

Another way you could do it is to say something along the lines of, “80% of our customers are benefiting from the [product they just bought] usage tips we provide them with. You can too, assuming you LIKE us.”

To target new customers or subscribers, choose to include only website visitors to your product “thank-you” page within the last 7 days. If you have a large group of new customers or subscribers, you can water the duration down to 3 days.

(3) Recent product page visitors who did not buy anything and aren’t fans

You know the direct method to get someone who didn’t buy to buy - you retarget these people with promotional ads that either promise a discount or urge them to buy now while stocks last. But what about those who still don’t convert from your retargeted ads? Are they a “lost cause”?

I believe that if you put these people through your marketing funnel from the beginning, some of them will still convert. You just need to watch your cost per fan acquisition to make sure that acquiring these fans who who did not buy the first time makes financial sense for you.

Make sure to also exclude all customers to limit waste.

(4) Blog readers who aren’t fans

Blog readers are probably the least relevant to your business out of the four ideas mentioned so far. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t be your customers one day.

When someone reads your blog, you can assume that they’ve some need that you might be able to help with, assuming that you wrote or created other kinds of content that is relevant to your business. You could also specify your targeting further by blog posts, if you have a large enough readership.

So for example, let’s say that you wrote a post sharing 7 ways to unclog a bathroom drain and you sell liquid uncloggers, which are considered the last resort for DIY customers. So you might want to retarget people who read this blog post and say something along the lines of “If the typical drain unclogging tips didn’t work, connect with us on Facebook and let us know what you’ve tried. We might have more effective tips to help you.”

Summary of audiences you should exclude if you use any of the 4 targeting options above

    1. Exclude existing fans from all 4 targeting options to limit waste
    2. Exclude all customers when you target recent product page visitors who did not buy anything
    3. You don’t need to exclude blog readers from any of the other 3 targeting groups because you’ll be writing a different ad copy for each ad set anyway. The message will differ and thus targeting them is not considered a waste for as long as they haven’t turned into fans

2. Post engagement/video view ads

Post engagement and video view ads are versatile and can be used for a variety of goals. How you use them will depend on the kind of post or video you want to promote to more people.

For instance, I ran a mini experiment recently to run post engagement ads and website click ads for one of my blog posts. My goal was to see which ad objective would drive better email signup rates if you do not have an existing group of conversions for Facebook to optimise your ads for. Despite using the same targeting options for both ad types, post engagement ads drove 3x the number of email signups as compared to website click ads.

(5) People who visited a lead magnet landing page but did not sign up

Retargeting people who visited one of your lead magnet landing pages but did not sign up with post engagement ads helps because you’re trying to help them gain more value, build trust, and move them towards conversion.

In such ads, you would either promote posts that offer benefits similar to your lead magnet or short previews of the content in your lead magnet. If you are offering an eBook, you could be listing the top 5 benefits that subscribers gain from downloading and reading your eBook.

On the other hand, some of you might want to run post engagement or video view ads to get more people to consume your Facebook posts. Your Facebook posts might not necessarily be links or they could be links to other people’s website which you don’t want to pay to promote. In these cases, you want people to notice your page, like your page if they haven’t, and boost your page’s rank in the newsfeed. Even in such cases, targeting relevant website visitors can result in better post engagement rates.

(6) People who read a specific blog post

The purpose of targeting people who read a specific blog post when promoting one of your Facebook posts is to show relevant content to someone who has previously read something similar or related on your website.

Take for instance, I wrote a detailed how-to guide on lead generation in 2015 for businesses on Facebook last month. I could promote the image post above to people who read the article and that would likely generate more engagement than if I targeted all my website visitor in general.

(7) People who read a specific blog post but not your latest blog post

Similar to the previous targeting option, you can also target your blog readers when you publish a new post, but not just any blog reader.

Honestly, if someone wanted to read all your blog posts, he or she would have signed up for your regular email updates. So what about people who didn’t?

Well, you might argue that some of them simply don’t like email invasion. Fine.

But if you have a large enough blog readership, you could consider segmenting them by the kind of stuff they read on your blog. Most large blogs today cover a range of topics.

For example, Search Engine Journal covers SEO, SEM, and content marketing tips. Huffington Post covers just about anything under the sun. If you have a website conversion pixel that can track different blog post category or even just specific posts, then you could potentially hyper-target these blog readers when you post something new on a specific topic

3. Website click ads

Website click ads are also considered versatile and there are many ways you can use them, each with different retargeting options in mind.

(8) Website visitors who are neither customers nor subscribers and they have not visited your blog either

You may consider this as one of the first few steps in any brand relationship - first you get them to visit your blog, then convert them into subscribers and customers.

When you do so, you’re assuming that they stumbled upon your website to look for something they needed but they left without seeing enough. This may happen when the link to your blog isn’t immediately obvious on your website.

For example, one of the most popular Facebook tools is Post Planner. If you visit their website, you’ll find that their home page is focused on getting website visitors to try their tool. The link to their blog is available only in the footer.

There are also many examples where businesses have done this to avoid distracting website visitors. In fact, some of them have also shared that they see better conversion rates as a result.

But the better landing page conversion rates don’t mean that the website visitors who bounce aren’t potential leads that may turn into actual customers. So you can retarget these people with website click ads to your blog so that they can find valuable information to solve their problems.

(9) Blog readers who haven’t visited a specific product category

This might sound stupid, but some of your regular blog readers don’t know that you’re selling a product or service. Because of how information online is often free, they are not aware that you have a product or service that could meet their needs.

Ways to overcome this include using popups, hello bars, and self-promotion ads in the sidebar. But you could also retarget your blog readers using promotional ads to let them know about your product.

4. Website conversion ads

For email signups

When optimising for website conversions, it’s good to make use of Facebook website conversion ads and optimise for the right conversion pixels.

But it’s even better if you can already limit your targeting to the right people. In general, return website visitors are more likely to convert than new website visitors because they’re already familiar with your website. Here are some ideas when you create ads to retarget website visitors to sign up for your newsletters:

(10) Blog readers by category

This is possible if you:

      1. Have a URL structure that separates posts by topics using keywords such as “Facebook ads”. (To target readers of these blog posts, you need to target website visitors using the “URL contains” option.); or
      2. Created topics and tags for your content and if a lot of people goes through your website by categories or even tags. E.g. Politics on Huffington Post; or
      3. Have a few specific posts that are designed to drive conversions and you want to retarget those readers

(11) Website visitors haven’t visited in the last 2 weeks

Sometimes, it’s not that website visitors don’t find your content useful enough. Sometimes, it’s just that we did not sign up during our visit and we forget where we ever got hold of a certain piece of information. This also comes as no surprise as there are simply too many websites out there that demands attention, making us raise their firewall and take extra care when giving away their email addresses.

So go ahead and try targeting blog readers who haven’t visited in the last 2 weeks and write something along the lines of, “Don’t miss another tip for [your niche/the problem you solve] from us - SUBSCRIBE to receive an update when we have a useful tip for you.”

For product purchases

Retargeting “lost” leads is extremely important and although it’s what we as marketing consultants often advise our clients to do, we still find some business owners not giving this the attention (and budget) it demands.

But apart from retargeting “lost” leads, you can also use website conversion ads to cross-sell your products.

(12) Product landing page OR checkout page visitors who did not buy

Perhaps one of the most popular and common retargeting technique used, this targeting option allows you to reach people who showed intentions to buy your product but failed to make the transaction. Some of it may occur because of second thoughts, lack of trust, or just an urgent need to attend to something else in the midst of making the transaction.

To target these people, simply target visitors on your product landing page or check out page but exclude people who actually bought your product (exclude thank-you page visitors)

(13) New customers

Because you can target just about anyone on your website who uses Facebook, you can make use of this opportunity to offer a complementary product to new customers who just bought your product. By complimentary, I don’t mean to offer freebies to a customer who just bought something from you.

I mean to cross-sell your products, such as offering a camera bag to match a camera that a customer just bought. Cross-sell tends to be work more effectively if the time between the last sale and your ad is short - that is the reason why most e-commerce merchants today show you related products and services on the ‘thank you’ page immediately after the checkout is completed. Hence, you should try to target new customers as soon as possible with retargeting ads as well.

Did you know that 30% of US consumers have a positive reaction to retargeted ads and only 11% feel negatively about them?

Over to you

Website custom audiences make one of the top few targeting options that I always advise my clients to go after. In fact, some of them rely completely on their website presence because their web pages were set up long ago and they have plenty of data. As a result, after matching their ad budget to the potential audience size they have on their website, we are able to generate results by just targeting their website visitors.

But targeting all of their website visitors would mean a lot of the money would go to waste, since you’ll need to write very general ad copies. But once you find a way to segment your website visitors, you’ll find yourself with a lot of room in the way you express and write your ad copies, and as a consequence, greatly improve those click-through and conversion rates on your ads.

So which of these will you try for your next campaign?

  • Emma Burford

    Great post & fab ideas Jason I will revisit this in the New Year thanks for sharing :-)

    • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

      Hey Emma, you’re most welcome and hope to hear your success stories in 2015. Have a happy holiday!