With retargeting the ads people receive on Facebook are linked to websites and products they’ve previously expressed an interest in by way of their browsing history. So if someone spends some time perusing your Persian carpet website the next time they log into Facebook there will be an add there for your site and product.
This is a big step forward in Internet marketing because previously when someone navigated away from your site you had no way to catch up to them afterward and say “Hi! Remember me?” They were simply lost. Sure, you could try and corral another few seconds of interest out of them by using one of those extremely annoying “Before you leave” popups. But besides annoying your visitors those don’t really do much.
How it Works
It’s really pretty easy. After logging into Facebook navigate to their Custom Audience feature. There you’ll find a tiny piece of code that you grab and install on your own website. This code snippet then delivers a cookie to the computer of anyone that visits your site.
This cookie then communicates with Facebook informing them this person visited your site. Not only that but it can tell Facebook exactly what pages within your site they visited. So if, for instance, the visitor, who is a local small business owner spent time viewing your website following a search on Google. The next time they log into Facebook they can be fed ads from your company promoting your support services based on the pages they have looked at on your website.
So What’s the Big Deal?
The big deal is this. In the past in order to continue engagement with visitors to your site they had to be convinced to provide you with a useful piece of contact information, most typically an email address. But most people simply won’t do that unless they’re actually purchasing something.
As such the vast majority of potential customers were lost to cyberspace the minute they navigated away from your site. With retargeting, you take the initiative by delivering that cookie to their device (whether it’s a PC or mobile device).
Then the next time they’re on Facebook they’re reminded of your company as well as the specific products they displayed an interest in. You can also set your Custom Audience preferences to target only those who showed more than a passing interest in your product; such as those that initiated the shopping cart but never completed the transaction.
Can I Abandon my SEO Campaign if I Use Facebook Retargeting?
We would strongly argue against doing so we’ll tell you why. The SEO campaign is designed to raise your website’s visibility and drive traffic. It’s essential because if your website currently appears on page 17 of Google’s organic search results no one, and we mean no one, will ever know your website even exists.
You need to be at or near the top of search engine results, at the very least on page 1. The job of the SEO campaign is to get you seen for the most popular keywords people are searching for within your industry. Once you’re on page 1 and traffic is flowing to your site it’s up to you to make the sale or capture enough information to continue to engage those potential customers.
As we said earlier, in the past that typically meant finding some way to get the visitor to provide you with an email address. With retargeting you no longer need that. The retargeting cookie you leave on their browsing device communicates with Facebook so that next time they log in they’ll see an ad for your site and be reminded of the products they showed an interest in. So, the SEO campaign drives traffic to your site and Facebook retargeting makes sure they’re not lost to you should they navigate away from the site.
How Much Does Facebook Charge for Retargeting?
The code and the service itself is free. Yup. No charge. What you will need to do is purchase Facebook advertising which works on either a CPM or CPC model, which you should be doing already given that Facebook now has 2 BILLION monthly users. Retargeting will provide you with a much more robust ROI on those Facebook ads because they’ll only go to people who’ve already shown an interest in your product or service.
Retargeting is one of the best ways yet devised to squeeze significantly greater ROI out of your marketing budget because you are, in effect, preaching to the converted. You’re reminding people who’ve already shown an interest in your product or service that you’re still here. Such people are far more likely to ultimately convert than random Facebook users seeing your ad for the first time.
Do I Have to Hire an Marketing to Set Up Retargeting?
One of the many great things about Facebook retargeting is that anyone with any type of comfort level with computers can set up an effective Facebook retargeting campaign in just minutes. That means you too. What you’ll want to do however is bring the marketing department in on the process as well as any other agencies you may be working with to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Your internal teams and agency partners will likely have some useful suggestions about who to focus the retargeting effort on and the marketing department may want to tweak your ads or create additional ones to ensure that the ad campaign dovetails with the choices you make when setting up your Custom Audience.
Facebook is the undiscovered country of marketing: a vast resource of potential consumers waiting to be effectively tapped. If you’re already advertising on Facebook congratulations, you’re in the vanguard of companies who’ve recognized the social media giant’s potential. Now’s the time however to take your Facebook marketing efforts to the next level by bringing retargeting into the fold. By doing so you’ll be ensuring those who have already shown an interest in your product or service are not lost to the void simply because they navigate away from your site. The next time they log into Facebook they’ll see your ad reminding them of your great product or service and prompting them ever-so-gently to take the final step and make the purchase.