Facebook Retargeting: 7 Ways to Effectively Retarget Users


You’ve probably heard that you need to incorporate Facebook retargeting into your marketing plan for your business. This article isn’t about why you need to be retargeting, but rather it seeks to explain the different ways to retarget on Facebook.

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume you know the basics of advertising on Facebook. If you do not, I recommend checking out Blueprint from Facebook. It’s a free course on advertising from Facebook, and I’ve heard really good things about it.

Website Retargeting

This is the general type of Facebook retargeting that most advertisers start with. For website retargeting, you just need to install the Facebook pixel on your website, and then create an audience based on people that have visited your website.

If you need help installing your pixel, Facebook’s help documents do a pretty good job at walking you through it.

facebook website retargetting

To retarget people from your website, go to the audience section of ads manager and click Create Audience. Choose the Custom Audience and then select Website Activity.

Leave everything alone, and just give it a name. Now you have a Facebook retargeting audience of people that have visited your website in the last 30 days.

Cart Abandonment Retargeting

Cart abandonment is a little more advanced and allows you to refine your audience. These are the users on your site that visited the cart but didn’t complete a purchase.

If you setup the normal conversion events such as AddToCart and Purchase, then this is simple. You can include the people that did AddToCart and exclude people that completed Purchase.

cart abandonment on facebook

If you did not setup the conversion events, then you can achieve the same effect by inserting the URLs for your cart page and conversion page. An example would be to include /cart and to exclude /thank-you

Sometimes it’s enough to put an ad in front of these users to remind them to come back to your website and complete the purchase. If that doesn’t work, you can offer a deal to get them to convert.

Retargeting Leads

Leads are fantastic. But they’re worthless to your business if you’re unable to get them to give you money. You probably have a process to try and get money from them by either calling them or putting them through an email sequence. If this is working for you, that’s absolutely fantastic.

You can complement this by syncing/uploading your leads to Facebook and showing them your offer. If you have other offers, you should promote these as well.

Retargeting Buyers

When a friend first mentioned this idea to me, I thought it was crazy. Why would I want to waste money on people that have already bought my products?

There’s at least two reasons to retarget buyers that actually make sense:

  1. If I have a long term asset such as a video that is running on Facebook, I will spend a little money to retarget my buyers. This way they will see the video again and will leave some feedback about the product. That social proof will help other people make the decision to buy.
  2. Another reason to retarget a buyer is to upsell them. Once someone has given you money, it is easier to promote to them than to acquire a new customer. If you can put another offer in front of their eyes, you can increase the lifetime value of that customer.

Video Retargeting

Did you know that if someone has watched your video on Facebook, you have the ability to target them again with an ad?

You can even choose from people that have watched 3 seconds of the video, up to 95% of the video. The more they’ve watched, the more they engaged, and the more they’re likely to be interested in a relevant offer.

Retargeting video watchers is an effective and cheap way to narrow a large audience. If you have a video that goes viral and gets a lot of views, you can now easily put more content in front of them or show them an offer.

My favorite strategy is to promote a video with the video view objective to get cheap views, and then target people that have watched a good portion of that video with another ad. I’ve used this to promote dog products, shirts to car enthusiasts and gear to athletes in a niche sport.

Profile Engagement Retargeting

Facebook is tracking everything users are doing on their platform. If a user engages with a page, this is also tracked.

While this may be scary to some, it’s incredible for advertisers. A few of the engagement options you have to create an audience with are:

  • Engaged with an post or ad
  • Visited your page
  • Sent a message to your page
  • Lead form (opened or submitted a lead on Facebook)

There are several other options, but these would be the larger and more effective audiences.

Instagram Retargeting

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it’s not surprising to know that they’re also tracking everything you do on Instagram. Similar to “Profile Engagement Retargeting”, you can create audiences based on interactions with your profile on Instagram.

This takes a little more work to setup, but it is a great way to cross promote on both channels.

To enable this feature, you need to convert your profile into a business profile. This can be done in the settings. Then you need to create a business manager on Facebook and connect your Facebook page, ad accounts, and also your Instagram profiles. While this sounds like a lot of work, it’s actually really simple, and only needs to be done once.

Maximize Audience Use

If you create any of the above audiences, you can show ads to warm audiences that have shown some interest in you or your business.

To take it a step further, you should create Lookalike audiences on Facebook. These are audiences that will be similar to the source audience that you gave it. Use the lookalike audiences for your awareness campaigns to funnel people into your videos, site and offers.

One of my first audiences to create for clients is a lookalike based off of their previous customers. If Facebook can find other people with similar qualities and interests to the people that have already purchased, then those people are most likely to be interested in a similar offer.

Facebook Retargeting is Just the Beginning

When people tell you about Facebook retargeting, they’re only mentioning the tip of the iceberg. In reality, if someone has engaged with your brand in some way, there’s a good chance you can attempt to reconnect with them. This article was specifically about what you can do on Facebook, but there are many platforms that offer retargeting capabilities.

If you wanted, you can almost follow someone around the web if they interact with your brand just once. While this may seem creepy to some, it’s a great way to bring people back to your site and complete the action you desire.

If you’re looking to get more out of your Facebook retargeting project, then you need to have the right tools to plan, monitor and track the progress on each of those initiatives. ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software that uses a real-time dashboard to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening, when it’s happening. Check out our other features by taking this free 30-day trial

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