1 Feb '22


Retargeting ads explained

Instagram and Facebook retargeting ads (sometimes known as remarketing ads) are a great strategy to have in your advertising backpocket.

You might not be all that confident on what retargeting ads actually are, or how to set them up. Our guide will help clear this up.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting simply means reaching people who have already engaged with you and your business.

Social media retargeting ads are social ads targeting people who have engaged with your Instagram profile, Facebook Page, app, a specific video on Facebook & Instagram or even a customer / mailing list.

Simple enough.

Why should I do retargeting?

Retargeting (/remarketing) campaigns bring huge benefits, and should almost always be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.

Reason 1 : To reach audiences who already know you

This is the obvious one, but it’s the biggest benefit retargeting ads bring.

A handy rule of thumb: it takes 4 pieces of content before someone will take your desired conversion action.

This all fits within the traditional marketing funnel = the steps a customer takes when moving towards a purchase / conversion.

  • The first layer of the funnel is Awareness, where people learn about who you are.
  • Next they will move to Consideration, where they start to consider your offering vs competitors or other purchase options.
  • Then finally they move to Conversion, where they take the action you are aiming for with your business.

Retargeting ads are essential in moving people along this funnel.

At Feed we use a more human version of the marketing funnel: your customer journey.

  • The first step we refer to as Reach or Engage - running ads to reach new potential customers and engage them.

Getting people to engage at this step is important because they only fall into your retargeting audiences after they have engaged. In other words, if you want to reach them again, you need to get them to view a video, like or comment on a post etc.

  • Next is Nurture - where retargeting ads are served to remind those engaged audiences about you, build a relationship with them and move them along the audience journey.
  • The final step is Grow or Convert - where you encourage those engaged audiences to follow you (Grow) or buy your product, sign up to your mailing list etc (Convert).

You can reach a large number of potential customers without retargeting ads. But when you retarget you remind them who you are, build their familiarity with your business and products and move them along the customer journey.

Reason 2 : superfans and a loyal customer base

Retargeting is not just about finding new customers but also reaching back out to those who have already bought from you. Through retargeting, you can get previous customers to keep coming back and buying from you time and time again.

An extension of the marketing funnel is the Loyalty and Advocacy steps. Basically turning your customers into repeat customers, and then referring others to your business.

You can show them new deals and products which may catch their interest, or just remind them you’re still around!

Does retargeting work?

Obviously each business is different. An advertising strategy that works for one project won’t necessarily work for you too.

That said, consensus is that retargeting is a winning strategy. It’s known to bring lower cost per clicks, higher conversion rates and that all-important higher ROI.

So now you know the potential gains with retargeting it’s time to get some retargeting ads set up.

How to set up retargeting?

So once you know you want to try a retargeting campaign, how do you actually get set up?

  1. Choose a custom audience, which is the source of your retargeting audience. There are a few ways you can do this:

    • Use an audience of people who have engaged with you on Instagram, Facebook or viewed a specific video.
    • Add a pixel to your website - or even better use the Conversions API. This allows you to build up audiences of people who have visited your website and then retarget them. We have another blog post on how to set up a Meta pixel / the Conversions API so head there for more info.
    • Pull together and upload to Facebook a list of customers to retarget - using your existing CRM lists if you have them e.g. Mailchimp, HubSpot, Salesforce, Oracle etc. - Meta’s guide on how to format a list can be found here.
    • If you’re an app developer you can also try the Facebook SDK, which gives even more data.
  2. Set up your retargeting ads

  1. You can then select your custom audience source. For example if you have set up a pixel on your website and you want to retarget anyone who visits your site, you would choose Website.
  1. Narrow down your retargeting further. For example, you might not want to include all website visitors, but just those who visited a specific blog article on your website, or those who visited in the last 30 days.

NB the smaller your audiences are, the less narrowing down you’ll want to do.

  1. Once you’re happy with your selection, select create audience and use this audience in your ad campaigns.

To take your retargeting efforts to the next level you can also try the following strategies.

Dynamic Ads When running a retargeting campaign in Meta there’s also the opportunity to run dynamic ads. This only works for businesses which have a catalogue on Facebook. This is done in Ads Manager through the steps outlined here.

Dynamic ads allow you to automatically show relevant products to people in retargeting ads, based on how they’ve engaged with your socials or website before.

Lookalike Audiences Using lookalike audiences, you can let Facebook do the heavy lifting in finding more people who ‘look like’ a specific custom audience - demographics, interests etc. This can be a really effective way of growing your audience and getting people moving along the start of the audience journey.

Our guide to setting up lookalike targeting can be found here. It’s also worth remembering that Feed does this automatically!

As ever…

If you want to save yourself the time and hassle, you can let Feed set up and run lookalike + retargeting ads for you. Much simpler than setting them up yourself in Ads Manager.

Simply connect your Facebook Page and Instagram profile to Feed, set a goal and a budget… and that’s it. Feed will automatically set up and run your ads for you, optimising which posts to use and whom to target.

Harnessing the power of retargeting without the technical legwork 🥳

So what next?

Join Feed by heading to tryfeed.co. If you’re interested in hearing more about our Managed tier send an email to team@tryfeed.co.

Have a look at our other articles for more tips and tricks for running Instagram and Facebook ads.

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