I thought about naming this post something like, “Why Facebook Advertisers Don’t Need a Website Anymore,” but that takes what I’m about to say too far. A website is still required. But suddenly, those without an active website are more likely to find success with Facebook remarketing than ever before.I know. For those familiar with my strategies, this seems asinine. Blasphemous. Other big words I can’t spell without spell check. But hear me out.While I still believe that targeting website visitors is by far the best option, I realize that not every advertiser has the volume of traffic required to get optimal results. Facebook has developed several new options during the past few months that will give these advertisers some excellent alternatives.Let’s take a closer look at what remarketing is, why it’s important and how the definition of remarketing is evolving.
What Is Remarketing?
Remarketing has historically meant targeting those who visited a website you own with an ad in this case, a Facebook ad. Advertisers are able to show ads related to a blog post that was read, product that was viewed, search that was made and a whole lot more.This includes the manual creation of ads and Website Custom Audiences, but it also includes Dynamic Ads. Note that the focus for this post will be on the manual creation, since this is something that any advertiser can use.
The Importance of Remarketing
There are several factors that ultimately determine success or failure of Facebook ads, but I’d argue that there is no factor that is more important than targeting. You can create the best ad with effective copy, imagery and bidding, but you can’t expect success if it reaches the wrong people.Most new Facebook advertisers jump in by targeting interests, or groups of people that Facebook believes align with particular topics. While this can be effective, it’s far from perfect.By targeting an interest, you’re usually reaching a user with a cold message. In other words, these people don’t know who you are. And in most cases, the advertiser is trying to sell something or collect an email address — tasks that are more difficult when targeting a cold audience.But thanks to remarketing, advertisers can reach warm users who have already revealed quite a bit about themselves through their actions on the advertiser’s properties. These actions give the advertiser a better idea of the user’s needs, interests and pain points to provide a more relevant ad.And by reaching a warm audience, users are more likely to react favorably to the ad since the source is a brand with which they are familiar.
Target Those Who Visited Your Website
As mentioned earlier, remarketing has historically been defined as targeting those who visited your website. This continues to be my preferred method.Thanks to the Facebook pixel — a snippet of code that is unique to the advertiser and is placed on every page of a website — audiences can be generated of people based on the pages they visited and when.Up until this year, remarketing with Website Custom Audiences was limited to the following options:
- Anyone who visited your website
- People who visit specific web pages
- People visiting specific web pages but not others
- People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time
Make no mistake, this is all very valuable. By targeting all website visitors, you can promote content and expect to get a high response rate. By targeting people who visit specific web pages, you can reach those who read a certain blog post with a related opt-in. By targeting people who visited a specific web page but not others, you can reach those who visited a landing page but didn’t convert. By targeting those who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time, you can re-engage those who visited sometime during the past 180 days, but not recently.Those are just generic examples, of course, and there are many other ways to remarket to website visitors. But one weakness of website remarketing was that it was difficult to isolate the highest quality website visitors from everyone else — other than based on the page they visited or when.
In other words, we couldn’t separate those who visited once during the past 180 days from those who visited 20 times; we couldn’t separate those who visited for three seconds from those who visited for hours on end.But then Facebook added “Advanced Mode” to Custom Combination targeting…
Website Remarketing Isn’t For Everyone
I’m obsessed with the targeting methods listed above. I use them almost exclusively. But what about people who either don’t have a website (come on, you need one!) or simply have a lightly trafficked site?It’s true, I’m privileged to be able to target large numbers of people who have visited my website. But not everyone has that option. If you get minimal traffic to your website, then what?Up until now, I encouraged you to focus first on driving traffic to your website to increase these audiences. That’s still a good idea, but these types of businesses now have more options.
Target Those Who Engaged With Your Page
Targeting people who engage with your Page is Facebook’s latest addition to “Engagement on Facebook Custom Audiences,” and it may have the most potential.With this new option, advertisers can target people who engaged with their Page content in the following ways:
- Everyone who engaged with your Page
- Anyone who visited your Page
- People who engaged with any post or ad
- People who clicked any call-to-action button
- People who sent a message to your Page
- People who saved your Page or any post
For the biggest possible audience, target everyone who engaged with your Page. And since the duration can be as long as 365 days, the potential for volume is there, too.In theory, a website suddenly becomes less necessary — at least for the purpose of remarketing. Advertisers can now reach a very relevant group of people who engaged with their Page or content.I focus on all website visitors when promoting a new blog post. I’ll focus even more on the most active visitors when promoting an opt-in.But advertisers with low traffic numbers can instead promote a blog post or opt-in to those who engaged with their Facebook Page. While it’s not as precise (it’s not based on a specific post, for example), it provides relevant volume for an advertiser who may not have had that option previously.