Shalmie PPC Blog
Sign Up To Get PPC Intelligence Sent To Your Inbox
You’ll get expert advice on topics to help grow your business today.
You’ll get expert advice on topics to help grow your business today.
Remarketing is an important tool in any digital marketer’s toolbox. But, with all the different targeting options, the confusing way sales funnel buckets can overlap, and the attribution issues still unsolved by modern technology, the entire process – in addition to running prospecting campaigns – can make managing Facebook remarketing seem like an intimidating and confusing task.
With the right knowledge and mindset, however, any digital marketer can master Facebook remarketing and seamlessly incorporate it into their web advertising process.
Remarketing gets three times the engagement of normal Facebook ads because they are shown to users who have already expressed an interest in your brand by visiting your website. And Facebook ads are getting 22 BILLION ad clicks per year! It is hard to argue against that number when you’re determining whether an ad campaign in Facebook is worth it.
Retargeting or remarketing, whichever you want to call it, is the sales equivalent of not giving up until you get a hard ‘no’. It is low-hanging fruit to go on a date with someone that has already expressed an interest in you. Don’t pass up this opportunity!
Via Tony Crennell Blog
Once a user has expressed interest in your brand, there is a finite window where you can capitalize on their interest. Remarketing is basically ‘following up’ – and in today’s hyper-competitive world, you need to be following up early and often. We’ll get into how often is too often, but it is imperative to have some kind of remarketing program within your digital marketing efforts.
When a user visits your website, they are ‘cookied’ with a code that you implement on your site that tracks which pages the user visited and other information, which you can then utilize to help characterize your visitor better. For example, you can see which pages they went to and how they interacted with certain elements on your site.
All of this key information helps you understand how engaged each user is with your site, which helps you better target them with the right ad and offer in your remarketing campaigns. This will, in turn, help to elicit the response you want – whether it be a purchase or another step in your sales funnel, like signing up for a free trial or watching a demo video.
The big selling point of Facebook remarketing is that nearly one out of every four people on the planet is on Facebook! Therefore, it is a no brainer to use Facebook as a channel to reach back out to those who have expressed interest in your website and offerings. Let’s take a closer look at how you ‘cookie’ your users for Facebook remarketing.
Sound tracking is the foundation of a good remarketing program, and the first step is to place a tracking code/snippet/pixel across your website. These days, all the big advertising platforms have their own tracking pixel so that you can segment your audience based on your website data.
Once you segment your audience based on your website data and by your sales funnel priorities, you can retarget individual segments using each advertising platform’s unique targeting methods.
Facebook is no different. You’ll want to install the Pixel across your website, and once you verify that it is working, you are set to start remarketing through the largest social media platform – where many of your potential customers are located.
I personally recommend using Google Tag Manager to help you install your tracking code across your site.
Removing converters from your remarketing audience is a staple rule for all remarketing campaigns, but it bears repeating. There are few things as annoying as having already purchased from a brand, only to continue to see remarketing ads for said brand following you around, reminding you to buy something that you already bought!
This is a good way to lose the goodwill and loyalty of customers. Exclude your converters.
Facebook has basic events that can be tracked with their Facebook Pixel. This includes basic ‘thank you’ page tracking for conversions. However, using the flexibility of URL tracking available on FB, you can track events like page views, searches, lead form fills, and registration completions.
Facebook also allows you to track up to 100 custom conversions. Besides the typical URL conversions associated with a ‘thank you’ page, the Facebook Pixel allows you to track any URL on your website as long as it has the Facebook Pixel on it (which it will, even with new pages if you use Google Tag Manager as we recommend).
You can use ‘URL contains’ or ‘URL equals’, but ‘URL contains’ is the most flexible
Via Neil Patel
Don’t forget to set up tracking for your custom conversions. If you want to increase custom conversions in your campaign objective, then you would choose the ‘increase conversion’ option and – using the custom conversion you just set up – Facebook can use its sophisticated algorithms to optimize for your unique goals.
Via Neil Patel
Before diving into Facebook Remarketing, it is imperative that you understand your customer sales journey, specifically as it applies to your sales funnel. When a customer becomes aware of your website or brand, what is the next step to move them down your sales funnel?
What happens once they express interest? Are they ready for a sales message yet? If not, what is the appropriate ad or offer?
Remarketing is about showing specific audience segments the right message at the right time. In order to do that, you need to understand all the relevant segments for your business.
What touchpoints complement other touchpoints. A touchpoint can be a microconversion, like a specific page view, or a less significant conversion before the ultimate conversion (i.e. the sale).
Each touchpoint signifies a warmer and warmer lead, and businesses that really understand their customer journey and the important touchpoints in their digital marketing process will fit the pieces together in a way that guides the user seamlessly towards becoming a customer.
Sometimes touchpoints or offers can overlap. Each user is different and how ‘warm’ a user is, or how receptive they can be to different offers can vary. Unfortunately, user behavior in response to different offers can’t be definitively determined, even though that would make our jobs easier. Test different offers for all stages to discover how often they work.
Via Ad Espresso
When you can create audiences offline based on proprietary data, like conversions from analytics or website visitor traffic for specific pages on your website, then you can truly harness the power of retargeting.
As we have discussed, however, the all-powerful Facebook Pixel takes care of most of the creation of custom audiences with the unique way you can segment audiences based on their behavior on your site through flexible URL requirements.
However, despite this power, Facebook gives you even more options to create audiences outside of specific URLs on your website.
Customer files, like business email addresses, can be used to create custom audiences to be retargeted. You can upload customer data acquired offline to be used as an audience in a defacto remarketing campaign.
Website traffic custom audiences, again, using that thing you installed called the Facebook Pixel, is a great way for segmenting your audiences into the buckets that you want.
Use custom audiences to create the funnel segments in your customer sales funnel and target them with the touchpoints that you know work. You know this information already because you understand your business process, and your customer sales journey, inside and out.
There are various other ways to segment your audience based on interactions your users have with your Facebook page, too. There possibilities are endless. You’ll want to think carefully about all of these possible areas of interaction.
Again, it’s not just your website traffic or your offline conversions, but also users’ interaction with your social media pages. The choices can be overwhelming, and if you don’t have help from an advanced PPC firm, it can get overwhelming.
How can you tell if your remarketing campaigns are double counting conversions? The tough answer is that it can be quite difficult.
Facebook has an overlap tool that you’ll want to use to make sure your remarketing audiences aren’t overlapping, or at least are only at levels of overlap that are not too harmful to spend.
Via Social Examiner
While you can only examine two audiences at a time, this can still give you an idea of the overlap of audiences and help you control duplicating your efforts.
Via Social Examiner
You can prioritize your various overlapping segments by size and bid higher up on the smaller sizes. Do this to ensure that the smaller sized audiences don’t get engulfed by the larger ones.
Remarketing all website traffic can be tempting, but it is too broad. You should take the time to segment your audience, even if remarketing to all website traffic works to some degree.
Segmenting audiences by behaviors and other attributes allows you to tailor offerings and ads better. And again, if you understand your sales funnel and the state of mind users in each sales funnel bucket possess, you are better equipped to show the right ads at the right time. Here is a short list of possible segments for you to create. It is by no means exhaustive, but should give you a few ideas.
The cool thing about targeting segments of users who have read your blog is that they are so top-of-funnel that there are many options in terms of offers and landing pages.
Test various offers with different blog article segments. Group blog article readers by the subject they read, or a particular article. You can get as granular and as diverse as you want.
You can even experiment with targeting blog article readers with other blog articles they might be interested in. Sometimes, slow and steady is the best strategy when it comes to retargeting your top-of-funnel users. You are still keeping them ‘warm’, and the added value you’re giving them in terms of educational and useful content will build the reciprocity that you want in your users.
You must not forget about users that have already purchased from you. Indeed, repeat customers can account for almost half of online retail business. While excluding converters is a must, converters still represent a profitable audience segment that can and should be nurtured.
One of the best ways to target past purchasers is through the upsell. Having a deep understanding of your buyer personas will help you find ancillary or complementary products that can be sold at a high rate to your past purchasers segment.
You’ll want to use your most reviewed and best selling products to increase the chances of getting a purchase. Offer a discount to spur more shopping. After all, they’ve earned it.
In a survey by Forrester, shopping cart abandoners cite timing and price as reasons for not completing the purchasing process.
One of the best ways to remarket to this group is to provide a discount to them for the same product that they were about to purchase. This discount can come in different forms, such as a free shipping, a discount code specifically for them, and even free shipping on possible returned goods to lower their risk of purchasing the product.
All of these methods don’t cost much. They simply require tactical thinking and execution.
However, with shopping cart abandoners, the usual best practice is just to target these users with the exact product they were about to purchase. As long as you have this component, then the other components, like the varied ways you can show a discount, matter less.
One way to implement this product retargeting is to use Facebook Dynamic Ads.
Once you get Facebook Dynamic Ads set up, there are a multitude of ways to retarget this particularly high value segment who have expressed purchaser intent – a crucial and important attribute for all Ecommerce businesses.
How long should you target shopping cart abandoners for? As you can see from this graph below, the answer is nuanced. While the majority of shoppers can be reached shortly after they abandon their carts, there is a vast spectrum of user behavior exhibited from day 1 after the shopping cart abandonment, all the way to a year later. You’ll want to balance excessive retargeting spend and continuous follow-ups to capture these potential sales.
You’ll have certain segments that perform better than others in terms of ROI, and you’ll want to bid higher on those audiences because of the direct impact they have on your bottom line. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the average return of various segments, touchpoints, audiences, and offers to make the best decisions possible on how to allocate your budget – and indirectly, how you bid on certain segments.
Via Ad Espresso
You can target Facebook users who have interacted with your Facebook page in a variety of ways through custom audiences.
Via Social Examiner
And as you can see, there are many ways in which a user interacts with your page that you can target. Take advantage of these unique user engagements and test different offers based on these engagements. You’re bound to find some useful insight.
Via Social Examiner
Video retargeting is one of the more savvy ways to follow up with users who have engaged with your brand through video.
As you can see, you can target those who have viewed your video for specified amounts of time: 3-second video views, 10-second video views, 30-second video views, video watches at 25%, video watches at 50%, video watches at 75%, video watches at 95%, video watches at 100%, etc.
The more they watched of your video, the more engaged or warm they usually are for retargeting offers. This targeting method can also be based on Instagram video views, too, since it is owned by Facebook.
Retarget those who have opened lead forms on Facebook, but didn’t fill them out. This segment of users are warm, and you want to do what you can (discounts, limited time offers, etc.) to make sure you close the deal.
Via The Startup
The freemium and free trial users of your product are a very crucial segment. They are oh-so-close to converting to customers, and you don’t want to flub the opportunity. These leads are very warm, and there are specific offers that can work well for them.
A lot of online publications will offer deals on first-time subscribers.
You can even look at these first-time subscriptions as not-quite customers. You have the free trial users, the customers on deeply discounted deals like the one above, and then the paying customers.
Free samples work across all industries, and inching your way into their lives with progressively less-discounted deals is a surefire way to eventually convert them into your customers.
View-through conversions of your ad can be happening. For example, users might spot your retargeted ad and search your brand to find your site to make a purchase. This is where it can get hairy with attribution.
There can be a billboard effect of users that don’t necessarily convert off of your ad, but use the reminder that the ad provides to take action later. You’ll want to set your windows for view-through conversions to make sure you account for these valuable actions, while also cutting off the window when it is obvious that the retargeted ad happened too far in the past to have helped the conversion.
It’s a balancing act, and sometimes you have to outsource this work if you don’t have a dedicated PPC marketing team.
If you’re running an Ecommerce business, Facebook Dynamic Ads are a no-brainer in terms of targeting shopping cart abandoners and previous purchases.
Most of your audience is on Facebook, and if you have a good understanding of the numbers behind your retargeting campaigns, you can capitalize on showing previous webpage product viewers certain products that will get them to purchase.
For shopping cart abandoners in particular, timing and pricing can be the biggest initial barriers.
Even something as basic as shipping costs can be what users need to reconcile before making a purchase. This can be a part of the ‘timing’ process that users mention.
Give them a compelling reason to return, especially with special discounts, free shipping, limited time offers, etc. – and be sure to test what works best and what doesn’t.
Documenting what each offer, ad, and landing page does for every audience and segment is crucial so that you can move forward incrementally with constantly improving ad campaigns. Just because these are remarketing campaigns doesn’t mean you should forget about the basics of running ads.
The audiences are unique and are users you’ve interacted with before, but the process of incrementally improving PPC performance still applies.
Ad fatigue is a concept that coincides with A/B testing because you are naturally keeping ads fresh by testing new copy. Seeing the same stale ads over and over won’t inspire users to convert. Indeed, it can do quite the opposite.
This issue is not only more of a reason to keep your ads fresh and constantly A/B test, but it is a concept that seeps into other strategies as well, such as duration of membership in an audience and frequency capping – which we’ll get into near the end.
There can be a fine line between over-showing ads and converting users over a long period of time after they’ve been introduced to your brand, and there are no easy answers for how to approach the issue because each user is different.
When trying to get users to first come to your site, product reviews can help draw those users in. However, when retargeting users, its better to emphasize site reviews to reinforce brand credibility.
Don’t forget to use this social proof to back up your credibility when retargeting, and don’t take it for granted that a user that is interested doesn’t need more wooing to buy into your brand.
Instagram is a placement within Facebook and has unique features that allow you to show ads in a highly visual and engaging format. Take advantage of this distinct outlet and treat it as a different ad format within the same ecosystem as Facebook.
This is a staple principle when setting up retargeting campaigns. As with most retargeting campaigns, you don’t want your users to see your ads too much to the point where they think you’re ‘creepy’.
An easy solution to this is to limit the number of ads a person sees per period. You’ll want to arbitrarily determine how many impressions you want to limit your audience with. This is a difficult question to answer for your audience as an average number will not work for everyone. Some users may even like to see an ad many times before they act and are not annoyed with the volume.
Other users can definitely be uncomfortable with the ads that are being shown to them, and how accurate they can be in describing their motivations based on previous websites they’ve visited.
This is a very real downside to retargeting, and something to consider when applying this method of follow-up. This also leads us to membership duration.
How long should audiences stay within your remarketing campaign before you give up on them? You’ll need to have some data on how long customers usually spend in a particular area of the sales funnel to answer this. We talked about this earlier with shopping cart abandoners, but there is definitely a fine line between making sure you don’t lose the sale and over-doing remarketing ads.
Think about your business model. If making a purchase of your product is something users do once a year, it makes sense to have longer windows of remarketing audience membership if the ROI is still there. You might also want to create a workflow to cut off a remarketing audience after a certain period of time.
You can easily create membership windows for your audiences through the Facebook platform.
Like A/B testing, you’ll want to gather data before you stick with a predetermined window. Again, this can be complicated, but you have to start somewhere in figuring out how your segments behave, and now is as good of a time as any to start!
There is a lot to think about with retargeting strategies and implementation. In fact, you could probably write entire books on this topic. However, the complexity of the subject should not deter you from diving head first into making it a part of your digital advertising strategy. Remarketing is here to stay in the PPC world, and it is a crucial part of the conversion process. The information above is invaluable to getting a head start, but you can also reach out for more information on whether outsourcing this marketing is a better way to maximize your time. Happy remarketing!