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Managing your paid social media ads is never a one-and-done endeavor. It takes continual monitoring and regular adjustment to get the results you want. You also need new, relevant ways to engage your existing customers or those who have encountered your brand but haven’t yet made a purchase.
Meta and its advertising tools can help you engage those most likely to buy, and its options for retargeting can bring you closer to your goals. Here’s what to know before you start.
You are likely already familiar with how remarketing works: you reach out to customers who have made purchases in the past to get them to recommit to buying again. The same premise works in retargeting, the term for re-engaging visitors to your site or those who have clicked on an ad but haven’t purchased.
In this case, Meta offers straightforward tools for retargeting customers through the ads they see in their Facebook or Instagram feeds. It’s an ideal choice for brands that need to get orders in but don’t have the time or budget to target upper funnel users at the very beginning of their customer journey with paid social awareness, non-brand paid search, or Youtube campaigns.
While Meta does offer some simple tools in its ad dashboard to retarget, the options available may be overwhelming. Meta suggests businesses consider these best practices before launching a retargeting campaign of any size.
In order to create a retargeting campaign on Meta, you’ll need a list of customers to engage. You can get this one of three ways including:
· Customer contact information stored in a CRM
· Website activity data from visitors to your website via an installed Meta pixel code
· App activity data from users via the Facebook SDK
Facebook requires advertisers to properly format the lists of customers to retarget, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the guidelines. If you use data from the pixel or app SDK, it will capture the right data elements for you.
It’s important to create a completely new Custom Audience with your list members or data captured by Meta. Specify which characteristic of those audience members you want to highlight for each custom audience. Ideas include:
· Website visitors who visited a specific product page
· App users who open the app and browse but don't buy
· Past customers who have purchased from a specific product category and might be interested in an upcoming sale
By creating a different audience for each type of goal you set, you’ll ensure you are showing them the right ad for their buying intent.
Another consideration is how you’ll market to these retargeted audiences. Are they more likely to respond to an ad in their feed featuring catalog items they have purchased in the past? Or are they the type that would jump at a sale offer you send to them through sponsored messages?
Knowing how your audiences will engage and using the right ad type increases your odds of success and helps you manage your ad dollars responsibility while also lowering the chances of annoying your audience. (You don’t want them to hit that “X” to indicate the ad wasn’t a good fit. Too much of this can signal to Meta that you are an advertiser of low quality.)
Meta offers an intuitive advertising tool called a Conversion Lift Test, which can help you understand how your ads are being received. It tracks data between a control group that hasn’t seen your ads and a group that has. Both groups are created with your ad audience parameters, so you can see how your ads specifically affect an ideal audience.
Conversion lift tests differ from A/B tests, where two groups are shown different ads or messaging. In Meta’s conversion lift tests, one group is kept from seeing your ads in any form, so you can measure performance completely independent of your marketing efforts. It can help answer the question, “How many sales are the result of our ads?” and keep you from taking credit for organic sales that had nothing to do with your retargeting.
Whether you like science or not, the results of your retargeting campaigns can be measured by data, just like a science experiment. What went wrong? How can you do better? Instead of just swapping out assets or changing the audience parameters without any idea if it will help, consider the testing and learning approach encouraged by Meta. Incrementality measurement is a big word, but it explains the impact of tiny changes to your campaign. Whether your test sample is too small or there are outliers to ignore, Meta’s advice for figuring out what went wrong before you throw more money at new ads is spot on and can help in instances where you aren’t getting the results you want.
Bottom line: Retargeting uses the data you already have and makes it more powerful. However, data is most relevant when used right away, as customer habits can change rapidly. Get the full value of your customer engagements and start now, or get help from a partner if you are facing delays in getting the job done.