How To Set Up A Retargeting Campaign

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a practice of improving the visibility and rankings of a website on search engines (such as Google, Yahoo etc.) by implementing search engine optimisation best practices.

98% of the traffic on the websites does not convert on the first visit, and with retargeting ads, you can reach all of the people that visited and left your website.

A Retargeting  Campaign is very effective because you are serving ads to people who’ve recently shown interest in your brand or product. It is common that marketers who use retargeting ads see higher ROI than from other ads.

How Does Retargeting Work

There are 2 types of retargeting ads: pixel based and list based. Each type has its own advantages and is set up differently.


Pixel Based Retargeting

With pixel based retargeting, you can serve your ads to any past visitor, and this is the most common way of retargeting. You need to place a small and unobtrusive piece of JavaScript code (referred to as a pixel) on your page, and this code is not noticeable to website visitors and won’t affect your website’s performance. When a new visitor comes to your website, this pixel code places an anonymous cookie in their browser. Later on, when those users surf the web, that cookie notifies retargeting platforms where you are serving ads, to show ads only to those people.

Pixel retargeting is timely and you can retarget the visitors straight away, plus is page specific and behaviour based. There are a few downsides: usually there is a lower volume of people in the campaign, but this is specific and depends on how many visitors your website is getting. It can also be tedious to add the pixel code to all the pages if your website is large.

List Based Retargeting

This type of retargeting ads is a little less common, and for it to work you need to have someone’s contact information. The way list based retargeting works is that you simply upload a list of emails to a campaign (most commonly on social networks such as Facebook), and then the platform identifies those users and shows retargeting ads specifically to them.

There is one common problem with this type of retargeting. People can use one email address for a social network and another that they gave you (e.g. when they sign up to your email list). Because of this, you’ll need a large list of emails in order to make this type of retargeting effective. In contrast to pixel based retargeting, it is less automatic.


Retargeting Goals

Now that you know what retargeting is and how it works, let’s talk about the goals you should aim for.

Awareness campaigns

These are very useful when you want to tell your website visitors about features, relevant products, and announcements. The drawback is that you are showing content that is not as targeted to people who aren’t heavily engaged with your brand. Lower click through rates are to be expected with these types of ads.

The metrics that you should be tracking are impressions and engagement since the goal is to make people more aware of your company. These types of campaigns are a great intro to a conversion campaigns.

Conversion campaigns

In these campaigns you want people to click the ad and then take the next step (e.g. fill up a form on your website). They are best used with a specific list that you want to guide to a next step in the funnel. Some of the conversion metrics that you can track are clicks, form submissions, and cost per lead.

You can use pixel based retargeting ads to generate leads by sending them to a landing page where they’ll submit the information about themselves, such as email or phone number. You can then use list based retargeting ads to send them to your product pages or to longer forms with more fields to qualify them better and send them further down the funnel. An example may be that you send people that signed up on your email list to a landing page where they can get a free trial of your product.

retargetting platforms

Retargeting Platforms And Tools

There are many third-party platforms that you can choose from. Some of the most popular ones are AdRoll, PerfectAudience, and Retargeter. You can also run retargeting ads on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

There are pros and cons for retargeting on social media and elsewhere on the web. Retargeting on social media tends to work quite well since people are accustomed to discussing, liking, and sharing content on those platforms. Also, they see ads posted by real accounts (Facebook pages), as opposed to a web banner with some text that can be posted by anyone. On the contrary, web retargeting is great for impressions since the ads follow a person throughout the web, not just on a specific website.

It iss a good idea to segment your audience that you want to show retargeting ads to. For example, for the people who visited your homepage, you can show ads that promote your brand identity and maybe offer a sample. If you are targeting people who visited a specific product category, then showing the items from that category might perform better.


How to Set Up A Retargeting Campaign On Facebook

#1 Create a custom audience

To create a retargeting campaign, first you need to create a custom audience list. There are 4 custom audience types:

Website visitors
This is where you are retargeting people that already visited your website. Basically, when someone visits a page where you have Facebook pixel set up, they are then added to your audience list in Facebook ads manager.

To use this audience, you’ll need to already have a Facebook website custom audience in place.

Facebook fans
This is when you want to retarget only your Facebook fans. When you are creating an ad, then you just need to choose to target people who are already fans of your page under Connections section. It’s usually cheaper to get a sale from existing customers than from new leads (assuming your fans are your customers). Another way to market to your fans is to upsell them other services and products.

Email list
If you’d like to market to your email list of subscribers or customers, then you do this by going to the Audiences in the Facebook ads manager and clicking on the Create Audience and choosing Custom Audience. Next, click on the Data File, indicate that you are uploading email addresses and follow further instructions. (You’ll need to have emails in one column in the Excel spreadsheet)

Similar audiences
With similar audiences, you can create a custom audience list with which you can target people who share similar characteristics as the people on your custom audience list. (Facebook fans, website visitors, or email list). This audience is called lookalike audience and is a great way to serve ads to people who are more likely to be interested in your services or products.

To create a lookalike audience, go to the Facebook ads manager, then Audience, click Create Audience and choose Lookalike Audience from the menu.


#2 Create the ad

In the top right of the Facebook ads manager, click “Create ad” button. On the next screen, you’ll need to choose an objective for your campaign. Depending on your goals, this can be website conversions, clicks to website, promoting a post etc. You’ll need to enter the website URL and name your campaign. It’s a good idea to have a naming convention that you’re using across all campaigns and ad sets because it’ll be easier for you to stay organised.

On the next screen, you’ll have the option to select your custom audience. Here you’ll need to set the geographic location. This is “and” setting, meaning that if your list has worldwide leads and you select only “United States”, then some people won’t see your ads. Here you can also set interests, age, and behaviours, but since you are retargeting to a specific list of people, including any other segmentation such as interests might not be a good idea or make sense.

Below that, you’ll need to set the budget, which can be lifetime or daily. If you are a beginner, is a good idea to optimise for clicks automatically. If you are going to have multiple ad sets in the same campaign, then you can set a different and specific ad set name below.

On the next screen, you will need to upload your ad image. Images for website clicks on a new feed are 1200×628 pixels and if you have more than 20% of the text in the image, your ad reach will be lower.

Below that you have the fields to type your headline and ad text. Headlines are limited to 25 characters and ad text that is above the image in the ad is limited to 90 characters. You can also select a call to action button, such as Learn More, Shop Now etc.

On the right side, you have a preview and placement where you can select or remove certain placements such as right column, desktop news feed, and mobile news feed.

Once everything is set up, click the green “Place Order” button.


Keep on experimenting

Retargeting is a great way to keep your prospects engaged and interact with people who have already shown interest in your company. As it may seem like an easy concept, in reality there are many aspects in a retargeting campaign that must be worked out in the ad sets and advertisements themselves. Experiment with the different types of goals, audience types, media channels and creative ad-copy. Tie the whole conversion path together and choose what’s performing the best.