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7 min read Strategies for Facebook Ads to Re-Engage Potential Customers

The Power of Retargeting: Strategies for Facebook Ads to Re-Engage Potential Customers

Key Takeaways

  • Retargeting ads surpass regular display ads in so many ways, making them the most valuable type of advertising online.
  • The most effective strategies are always highly personalised through the use of segmentation and ad delivery optimisation.
  • You’ll need to understand pixels, Facebook’s Ad Manager, and use your creativity to successfully design compelling adverts.

Imag­ine you’ve walked into a bustling mar­ket. Emerg­ing out of the crowd is a shop­keep­er who recog­nis­es you from your last vis­it. You had admired a beau­ti­ful antique vase but left with­out buy­ing it. Now, the shop­keep­er shows you the vase again, remind­ing you of its charm.

How would you feel? Touched? Intrigued? Tempt­ed? That’s pre­cise­ly the essence of retar­get­ing! It’s per­son­al, rel­e­vant, and high­ly effective.

Some believe that retar­get­ing ads are 76% more like­ly to be clicked on than reg­u­lar dis­play ads, and the data shows the aver­age CTR for dis­play ads to be 0.07%, while retar­get­ed ads boast a CTR of 0.7%.

This evi­dent­ly effec­tive tool has become a pop­u­lar fea­ture in the dig­i­tal mar­keter’s arse­nal, and Face­book, with its vast glob­al audi­ence, serves as the per­fect plat­form. But how can you har­ness this pow­er to re-engage those poten­tial cus­tomers who’ve shown an inter­est yet left with­out mak­ing a purchase?

That’s exact­ly what we’ll explore in this arti­cle. Let’s dive in so you can dis­cov­er how to refine your busi­ness’s Face­book adver­tis­ing efforts.

What is retargeting?

Retar­get­ing is a tech­nique with­in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing that tar­gets users who have pre­vi­ous­ly inter­act­ed with brands but did­n’t con­vert. It relies on gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion about pre­vi­ous user behav­iour, whether it’s brows­ing or pur­chase history.

Like a friend­ly nudge or a gen­tle reminder, retar­get­ing aims to re-engage these poten­tial cus­tomers, draw­ing them back to your brand for a sec­ond chance at con­ver­sion. But why might a busi­ness embark on a retar­get­ing strat­e­gy if they’re already run­ning ads or oth­er mar­ket­ing campaigns?

Why conduct retargeting?

Increase conversion rates

First of all, retar­get­ing actu­al­ly works effec­tive­ly. As we men­tioned above, retar­get­ing ads see a 10x larg­er CTR than reg­u­lar dis­play ads, so it’s a valu­able way to advertise.

Being more relevant

Retar­get­ing enables busi­ness­es to show ads that are high­ly rel­e­vant to users’ pre­vi­ous inter­ac­tions with their web­site or online con­tent. Since rel­e­van­cy is a key fac­tor in user engage­ment, being able to tai­lor ad mes­sag­ing and con­tent is fun­da­men­tal to boost­ing engage­ment and con­ver­sion rates.

Recapture those abandoned carts

Retar­get­ing can be an effec­tive way to remind users about their aban­doned carts and encour­age them to return and com­plete the trans­ac­tion. By dis­play­ing ads fea­tur­ing aban­doned prod­ucts or offer­ing incen­tives like dis­counts or free ship­ping, busi­ness­es can recov­er sales that they would have lost otherwise.

Maximise ad spend

Retar­get­ing can be high­ly cost-effec­tive, mak­ing it an attrac­tive adver­tis­ing prospect for cost-aware busi­ness own­ers. Giv­en the high­er CTR of run­ning retar­get­ed ads, we can esti­mate a high­er ROI of about 10% com­pared with dis­play ads.

Brand reinforcement

Retar­get­ing helps busi­ness­es rein­force their brand and stay top-of-mind with poten­tial cus­tomers by con­sis­tent­ly dis­play­ing rel­e­vant ads. This works because retar­get­ed ads can cre­ate a sense of famil­iar­i­ty and there­fore build brand recog­ni­tion, even if it does­n’t always result in a purchase.

So, how does retar­get­ing work specif­i­cal­ly on Face­book, and how can we har­ness its poten­tial effec­tive­ly? Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of it:

How to create your retargeting campaign with Facebook Ads

When’s the best time to retarget?

The answer to this ques­tion can depend on var­i­ous fac­tors, includ­ing the nature of your busi­ness, the cus­tomer’s ini­tial inter­ac­tion, and the cus­tomer’s jour­ney stage.

It’s rec­om­mend­ed that retar­get­ing efforts form a per­ma­nent com­po­nent in your sales and mar­ket­ing strate­gies. How­ev­er, if you’re look­ing for the right moment to take the plunge, try it when you notice a drop in engage­ment or when you want to remind cus­tomers of aban­doned carts or viewed products.

How do I get started?

If you haven’t already, cre­ate an account with Face­book Busi­ness Man­ag­er. This is where you’ll man­age your ad campaigns.

Before you can begin run­ning a retar­get­ing cam­paign, you’ll need to set up a pix­el on your web­site so that you can gath­er the data need­ed to inform your ads.

Understanding pixels

When you’re first set­ting up, Face­book will pro­vide your busi­ness with a pix­el. You’ll then place this snip­pet of code into the head­er sec­tion of your web­site’s HTML (or use a tag man­ag­er to imple­ment it).

Before it’s up and run­ning, you’ll need to ver­i­fy the pix­el via Face­book Pix­el Helper or Events Manager.

Once the pix­el is set up on your web­site, it starts track­ing users’ activ­i­ties, tak­ing note of the spe­cif­ic prod­ucts they browse or add to their carts. This infor­ma­tion is sent back to your Face­book account and will be used to inform your ad strategy.

The pix­el may col­lect infor­ma­tion about page views, pur­chas­es, sign-ups, brows­ing, and aban­doned carts. Your next step is to select an audi­ence that you wish to retarget.

Defining your custom audiences

You can group your audi­ence in numer­ous ways – not just demo­graph­ic data. Choose from seg­ment­ing cus­tomers into groups that have tak­en sim­i­lar actions on your web­site or groups that are at the same point in the sales funnel.

With­in Face­book Ads Man­ag­er, nav­i­gate to the “Audi­ences” sec­tion (with­in Ads Man­ag­er). Cre­ate your cus­tom audi­ences here based on what­ev­er fac­tors are cen­tral to your strategy.

Create your campaign

When you’re ready, select “Cre­ate Cam­paign” in your Ads Man­ag­er. Here you’ll be able to choose the objec­tive that best aligns with your retar­get­ing goals and attach your pix­el to your cam­paign. You’ll next need to con­fig­ure your cam­paign set­tings, spec­i­fy­ing its name, start and end dates, and ad deliv­ery optimisation.

The ad deliv­ery opti­mi­sa­tion options will help your ads reach peo­ple who are most like­ly to inter­act with them in a desired way. For instance, you can choose between objec­tives such as con­ver­sions, link clicks, impres­sions, and reach.

So, while you’ve already deter­mined your cus­tom audi­ence seg­ments, ad deliv­ery opti­mi­sa­tion is a fur­ther act of seg­men­ta­tion that will max­imise the return of your ad spend.

Set your budget

Set­ting your ad bud­get will be essen­tial for con­trol­ling costs. With Meta Advan­tage cam­paign bud­get (pre­vi­ous­ly known as cam­paign bud­get opti­mi­sa­tion), you can set an over­all bud­get for your whole cam­paign. Alter­na­tive­ly, you can set indi­vid­ual bud­gets for your ad sets, which is help­ful if you have large dif­fer­ences in audi­ence size across ad sets.

Learn more about set­ting ad bud­gets here.

Design your ad

When the time comes to design your ad, make sure it’s catchy, mem­o­rable, and impact­ful. Here are a few aspects to focus on:

  • Visu­als: Strik­ing images or videos can grab atten­tion. Ensure they are of high qual­i­ty and rel­e­vant to your ad mes­sage. Your pho­tos could be of prod­ucts that were pre­vi­ous­ly inter­act­ed with.
  • Copy: Keep it short and punchy. Use per­sua­sive lan­guage that speaks direct­ly to the viewer.
  • Call to Action: Make it clear what action you want view­ers to take. Whether it’s ‘Shop Now’, ‘Learn More’, or ‘Sign Up’, a strong CTA can sig­nif­i­cant­ly boost engagement.

Choose ad placements

Select whether you want your ads to appear on Face­book, Insta­gram, Mes­sen­ger or Audi­ence Net­work – or all of them! You can do this in Ads Man­ag­er via the Place­ments sec­tion. Meta rec­om­mends using their Auto­mat­ic place­ments set­ting because it can help max­imise the reach of your ads, but you can select and exclude cer­tain place­ments if you prefer.

As well as choos­ing the plat­forms your ads appear on, you can dic­tate whether they appear on desk­top and/or mobile, and with­in Sto­ries, Live Streams, or News Feeds.

Scaling your retargeting strategy

There may come a time in the future when your retar­get­ing efforts are going well, and you’d like to invest more into them. At this point, you can do a few things to scale your strategy.

Scal­ing your retar­get­ing strat­e­gy on Face­book can involve increas­ing your ad spend, util­is­ing cam­paign bud­get opti­mi­sa­tion, try­ing new looka­like audi­ences, try­ing new ad for­mats and place­ments, and tar­get­ing new geo­graph­ic areas.

Deciding on your retargeting strategy

Now that you know how to nav­i­gate Face­book Ads, it’s time to fig­ure out your retar­get­ing approach. Here are five dif­fer­ent ways you can re-engage customers:

1. Sequential retargeting

Sequen­tial retar­get­ing is like a film series. It involves show­ing dif­fer­ent ads in a spe­cif­ic order based on user behav­iour and cre­at­ing a per­son­alised ad nar­ra­tive. It’s like cre­at­ing an engag­ing sto­ry­line that sub­tly nudges the audi­ence towards the final act of purchase.

2. Time-sensitive retargeting

This strat­e­gy tar­gets vis­i­tors who inter­act­ed with your site very recent­ly, lever­ag­ing their fresh recall and inter­est. While some retar­get­ing strate­gies wait a week to touch base with poten­tial cus­tomers, this method might reach out with­in 24 hours.

3. Product-specific retargeting

Prod­uct-spe­cif­ic retar­get­ing sim­ply shows a user what they’ve already liked. If a user shows inter­est in a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct or cat­e­go­ry, show them more of it! Cre­ate ads fea­tur­ing those spe­cif­ic prod­ucts to reignite their interest.

4. Upselling and cross-selling

If a user has made a pur­chase, why not sug­gest com­ple­men­tary prod­ucts or a pre­mi­um ver­sion? For instance, some­one buy­ing a pair of hik­ing boots might also need a water­proof jack­et – they just don’t know it yet.

5. Engagement retargeting

This strat­e­gy is for all those ‘win­dow shop­pers’ who engage with your social media con­tent but don’t vis­it your web­site. Serve them ads based on their inter­ac­tion with your Face­book or Insta­gram posts, videos, or Messenger.

Retargeting best practices

If you’re unfa­mil­iar with retar­get­ing, you might make a few rook­ie mis­takes. Here are some tips and tricks that some peo­ple forget:

1. Frequency capping

Ever heard a song on the radio so often that it starts to grate on your nerves? Avoid that effect by lim­it­ing how often your ads appear to the same per­son. Face­book allows you to set a ‘fre­quen­cy cap’ to pre­vent ad fatigue and main­tain a pos­i­tive brand impression.

2. Optimise your ads for mobile

As mobile usage con­tin­ues to rise, ensure that your retar­get­ing ads are opti­mised for mobile devices. Use respon­sive design, mobile-friend­ly lay­outs, and clear CTAs to deliv­er a seam­less mobile experience.

3. Segment your audience

Seg­ment your audi­ence based on their inter­ests, behav­iour, and stage in the cus­tomer jour­ney to tai­lor your retar­get­ing ads effec­tive­ly. This is essen­tial because send­ing ads to irrel­e­vant audi­ences isn’t worth your money.

4. Set an end time

Be mind­ful of the length of time you set for retar­get­ing and avoid retar­get­ing users indef­i­nite­ly after their ini­tial inter­ac­tion. Set a rea­son­able dura­tion that aligns with your mar­ket­ing objec­tives and avoids annoy­ing users with irrel­e­vant ads.

5. Personalise ad content

It’s cru­cial that your retar­get­ing ads res­onate with your audi­ence’s pre­vi­ous inter­ac­tions and inter­ests. Rel­e­vance is key and a fun­da­men­tal com­po­nent of retar­get­ing that can’t be forgotten.

6. Test and refine

You won’t always get it right first time. So, don’t be afraid to test dif­fer­ent strate­gies, analyse the results, and refine your approach based on what works best. You’re going to be spend­ing mon­ey either way, so why not spend it on some­thing that works?

Our team would love to help you launch a retar­get­ing cam­paign. Get in touch via the but­ton below so we can learn more about your busi­ness’s objectives.

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