14 Facebook Remarketing Strategies to Test

Facebook offers so many ways to reach prospects in unique and cost-effective ways, not the least of which is remarketing! The great thing about Facebook remarketing is that it is so incredibly versatile.

Nearly any company can find a way to re-engage their prospects through remarketing, even if they don’t view Facebook as their personas’ primary watering hole.

There are some great ways to narrow focus and the inventory is often inexpensive. Not to mention, Facebook’s bidding algorithms arguably rival some of the best in the PPC landscape.

What that means is – even if you don’t leverage Facebook for prospecting campaigns, there’s probably still low-hanging fruit for you in remarketing.

Let’s talk about some of the ways you can leverage Facebook to reach your target audience.

1. Remarketing Page Visitors

The easiest and most obvious remarketing strategy is to create remarketing lists from page visitors.

Sometimes, if you have a small audience, starting out by remarketing all visitors is best. This is because additional segmentation may make the lists too small to get out of the learning phase.

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If your audience is big enough, though, it’s ideal to create audiences based upon visits to pages that indicate intent – such as people that visited a page to sign up for a free trial or request a demo but then didn’t complete the request.

Creating Audiences From URL Parameters

To take page visitor remarketing one step further, you can create audiences off of any part of the URL string, even if it isn’t part of the page.

Put simply: you can create audiences off of URL parameters, as well as subfolders.

This can be handy if you want to remarket visitors of a specific source separate from your other audiences.

For example, if you were running a campaign in Linkedin targeting specific Linkedin groups or skills, you might decide to use Facebook as an additional remarketing source as it is often more cost-efficient.

You could then use your UTM tags to create an audience of only folks from just that specific campaign.

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This way, you know that people in that audience had a specific set of skills or were involved in specific groups. It would allow you to speak directly to those interests in your ads.

Visitors by Time Spent

You can further segment your URL-driven audiences by selecting to segment them by time spent. You could target people by the top 25%, top 10%, or top 5% of time spent, for example.

This can be a useful way to try to zero in on folks with the highest engagement.

2. Remarketing Conversion Events

If remarketing page views don’t allow you to build the audience that you need, Facebook also offers the ability to build audiences off of the events that you’ve created for conversion tracking.

This can be handy both for targeting your audience to get them to the next stage in the funnel.

It’s also helpful for exclusions, to ensure that you aren’t targeting people that have already taken a certain action – even if Facebook wasn’t the source that drove the action.

3. Remarketing Your Offline Activities

Facebook also makes it easy to remarket offline activities, which is really cool! There are two ways you can do this: through audience lists and offline events.

Let’s delve into each!

Uploading Audience Lists

One of the most well-known ways to remarket offline activities is to upload user lists.

There are a ton of different ways you can segment this data.

You can target existing customers, or leads that were once warm but never converted, or folks currently in the pipeline. You can also remarket folks that took a high-funnel action to get them to take a low-funnel action.

Remarketing Offline Events

You can also remarket people from your offline event sets if you’re tracking offline events.

So if you’re importing events for text messages, for instance, you can remarket them to get them to the next stage in the funnel – maybe to let them know of a sale on certain products.

If you have access to store visit tracking and have at least 10 measurable stores set up, you also have the ability to create audiences off of store visits – which opens up a wealth of opportunities for brick & mortar.

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4. Remarketing On-Facebook Activities

You also have the option to remarket Facebook engagement, which presents a whole host of ways that you can engage and re-engage your audience as they move through the customer journey.

Remarketing Engagement on Facebook or Instagram

One super-easy way to create audiences from engagement is to remarket people that have engaged with your brand on Facebook or Instagram.

Unfortunately, you can’t select a specific post (though there are ways to be a little more specific with the categories below) but you can choose to remarket:

  • People that have engaged with your content.
  • People that have visited your page.
  • People that clicked a CTA (Facebook only).
  • People that sent you a message.
  • People that saved your page or posts.
  • Everyone that engaged with your page (which would include all of the above).

Video View Remarketing

One way that you can zero in on your engagement audiences is by remarketing video views.

With video view remarketing, you can’t technically pick the exact post but you can choose to create audiences off of only specific videos or all videos.

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You can determine if the video views need to be 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds (or thru-play if less than 15s). Alternatively, you can select to target people that watched at least 20%, 50%, 75%, or 90% of the video.

So for example, you might leverage a higher funnel campaign promoting videos and then you could remarket people that watched at least 50% of the video.

Remarketing Lead Gen Forms

With lead generation form remarketing, you can remarket people that opened a form, opened but didn’t submit the form, or people that opened and submitted a form. You can choose which form(s) that you want to build the list off of.

If someone filled out a lead gen form for a piece of content and you wanted to remarket them to get them to the demo, for example, you could build and remarket an audience of form submissions for that piece of content.

Or, if you were testing two different forms for the same action, you would want to exclude submissions of the other form in the test so that you didn’t pay for or receive unnecessary visibility from people that have already submitted the form.

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Or, if you wanted to remarket people that opened the form but didn’t submit it, you could do that, too.

Since the form doesn’t automatically open, people that have opened the form are showing intent signals.

5. People Who Engaged With Your Events

If you create events on Facebook, you have a lot of remarketing options.

You can remarket people that have:

  • Responded that they are planning to go.
  • A stated interested in attending.
  • Visited or engaged with the event (even if they didn’t RSVP).
  • Begun to purchase tickets but abandoned the purchase process.
  • Completed the process to purchase tickets.

For example, if you decided to host another event in the future, you may want to remarket people that RSVP’d or only people who purchased tickets.

Or you may want to create such lists and use them as the seed for lookalikes!

6. Remarketing Instant Experiences & Your Facebook Shop

I’m grouping some options together here but if you’re an ecommerce, you have a ton of different in-platform remarketing options.

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For example, if you have a Facebook shop, you can remarket people that:

  • Viewed your shop.
  • Viewed products (or you could further qualify by targeting people that viewed and clicked through to your website).
  • Saved products.
  • Added to cart.
  • And more.

You can also remarket engagement with your instant experiences — those who open the instant experience or further qualify by targeting people that clicked links in the instant experience.

7. Test Layering Qualifiers If You Have a Niche Audience And/Or Find Remarketing Isn’t Converting Well

If you have a really niche audience and you find that remarketing isn’t working well, you can also test layering other interests and demographics to better qualify your list.

You may need to do this for a host of reasons. For example, if you recently added a new high funnel traffic source to your website that doesn’t seem to be performing, it can junk up your audiences as you’ll now be remarketing that low-quality traffic (sigh).

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Adding interest or demographic qualifiers can help clean up your audience list to zero it back in on the right folks.

Keep in mind that doing this will shrink the size of your audience quite a bit. You have to really consider whether it makes sense for you. Read: Can you get out of the learning phase with an audience of this size?

8. Dynamic Remarketing

Using the catalog objective, you can configure some really cool remarketing campaigns. There are so many options.

The most popular format is remarketing to people that viewed your products and didn’t purchase, sending an ad to follow folks around with the exact products they appeared interested in.

You can further qualify those folks by only targeting people that added to cart and didn’t complete the purchase.

Or, you could target folks that purchased but add an exclusion for a certain length of time – say, targeting people that purchased 30 days ago but haven’t come back to purchase since then.

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This is especially valuable for businesses that are selling products that drive a lot of repeat purchases (think products that get used up). You can filter which products you do or don’t want to include in your product set.

If you are a shoe company that also sells shoelaces, for example, you probably don’t want to remarket people that were looking at laces as it would be hard to get a good ROAS on that.

You may also want to create different ad sets for different types of shoes so that you could make sure the ad copy was really relevant. If someone was looking at tennis shoes and dress shoes, you could create ad copy that really drove the value of each without having to be too generic.

But if your audiences are small, you could keep them grouped together to pull all the data together.

Dynamic Up-Selling & Cross-Selling

The catalog objective is also excellent for up-selling and cross-selling. So you could target people that purchased specific things with accessories or other items that they may like!

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For example, one of my clients sells a popular food product. We remarket recent purchasers with their cookbook if they didn’t buy it when they initially purchased the food product.

9. Recency Based Lists – If You Have Enough Data

If you have enough data to segment it further, you further segment your audiences by recency.

Think about it – if you visited a store and added a pair of shoes to your cart but forgot to check out, you’re likely way more likely to complete the transaction in the next day or next few days if you are reminded vs. if you are reminded 30 days later.

By 30 days later, you may have changed your mind or bought something else.

Heck, if you were buying the shoes for an event, it may even have already passed.

As with all audience segmentation, you have to be careful that extra filters don’t make the audience too small to drive meaningful data collection.

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10. Creating Audiences Off of App Activity

If you have an app, you can create audiences based upon your app user base.

You can create audiences off of anyone who opened the app, your most active users, users by purchase amount, and users by segment.

You can also target app events but keep in mind your app needs to be measuring app events to create a Custom Audience from it. The app events your app is set up to measure for will automatically populate in the drop-down menu.

11. Audience Sharing

Facebook also offers the ability to share audiences with partners. There are a couple of different instances where this makes sense.

For one, sometimes it makes sense for sister companies to share audiences (if they are targeting similar personas).

And two, if you’re working with partners to cross-promote, you can also share audiences between business managers so that you can each target each other’s audiences.

The additional perk of sharing audiences in the case of custom audiences is that the business sharing the list can upload any email addresses into their own business manager and then share it to partners without ever sharing the actual email addresses themselves.

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12. Follow Your Buyer Journey

Remarketing is a great way to support your funnel. You know exactly what actions folks have taken, what pages they’ve visited – so you can track those actions and remarket them with the next step to continue moving them forward.

Your customer journey could be multiple steps with multiple remarketing audiences moving things forward (and always excluding lower-funnel audiences from higher funnel ad sets to keep things moving in the right direction) or it could be just a few steps.

Even if your buyer journey isn’t that long, you can take a look at your journey to see where people are dropping out and then use remarketing to bring them back.

For instance, remarketing people that add-to-cart but don’t complete their purchase or people that sign up for a demo but then don’t attend, and so on.

13. Planning Your Lists Around Other Marketing Activities

Another cool way to use remarketing lists is to help plan your campaigns around other marketing activities – typically email.

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So let’s say after someone makes a purchase, you may want to advertise cross-sell/upsell options to them.

Let’s say before you do that, you take a look at the bigger picture of other marketing opportunities and you see that email with a cross-sell or up-sell opportunity is automatically sent post-purchase 24 hours after the sale.

Your company has already paid for the email marketing platform so it would be silly to try to get sales through PPC that you could have gotten through email.

To work around that email, all you have to do is add an exclusion for purchasers that made a purchase within the past 1, or maybe 2 (to be safe), days. That way your ads will start running after the email has a chance to drive the sale.

This doesn’t have to only be used for cross-sell/up-sell, this can be used for any part of the funnel where email has automated triggers in place, including emails following micro-conversions.

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14. Try Testing Different Campaign Objectives

It can also be worth testing different objectives with remarketing. Often, people lean toward conversion remarketing but, as I mentioned above, it absolutely makes sense to test the catalogue objective if you are an e-commerce, as it often will perform even better.

It also makes sense to test the lead gen objective if you are set up to be able to accept lead gen submissions through Facebook or if you want to drive calls!

Even beyond that, though, because remarketing lists are often very warm, it can make sense to test awareness, reach, traffic, and even video view campaigns to see if you can get to a lower cost of acquisition because the CPMs are typically cheaper.

Facebook’s bidding algorithm is getting better and better all the time, so it may not beat your conversion-objective campaign — but it is worth a test.


Image credits: Paulo Bobita