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Blog Post

Facebook Traffic and the Buyer’s Cycle: Best Practices

January 11, 2018
Table of Contents

Hey, did you know that online advertisers have the ability to follow you around the Internet? No, we’re not kidding, and yes, as a digital-savvy marketer, you should already know this.

Dubbed as “retargeting,” or “remarketing,” this feature allows brands to cookie users that reach their site and “retarget” them with new ads on Facebook, Twitter, AdWords or other platforms that provide the service.

Exciting stuff, yes. However, how do you make sure that the ads you deploy on your remarketing campaigns reach the right people? Based on your advertising goals, what drives a user to click on your ad and land on your website, and ultimately make a purchase?

Traditional marketing acknowledges the buyer’s cycle and how it affects purchasing behavior (or the lack thereof). The same can be applied to social media advertising. Without getting too in depth about each stage (you’re a level 2 marketer now, you should totally know what I’m talking about), let’s talk about how you can use Facebook’s remarketing feature to reach users in their respective cycle.

Awareness (Or Cold Traffic)

“Cold” users are people who are completely unaware of your brand. They no have clue what your brand is about, what you can do for them or the services you provide.

For the sake of example, let’s say you’re a company that sells handmade organic baskets called The Three Basketeers (bear with me).

You wouldn’t send out ads to the world wide web (or in this case, Facebook) saying “Buy a basket with The Three Basketeers for all your organic basket needs.” None of the users you’re reaching will have a clue what you’re talking about.

Instead, you will want to build brand awareness in this stage of the buyer’s cycle.

How, you say?

Video marketing has finally arrived (*throws confetti*)

… and made its mark in the world of social media. You most definitely want to take advantage of this.

Perhaps a video telling the story of The Three Basketeers or how you make your organic baskets would be a more reasonable first touch as opposed to “Only $2.99 for your newest Farmer’s Market basket!”

Creating a high-quality, appealing 30-second video that resonates with viewers may cause a dent in your marketing budget, but trust me, it’s worth the investment.

Another strategy would be to create a non-branded quiz surrounding a topic related to your brand. The operating keyword here is related. You want users to take the quiz without feeling like it’s a gimmick.

Quizzes are great for getting people engaged with your brand, drive cheap clicks to your site (Facebook’s algorithm will push content that users are more likely to engage with to the top of their newsfeed) and great for lead capturing. Usually, at the end of the quiz, users have the option to enter their email. TA-DAHH! New leads to nurture.

However, none of this will matter if you don’t follow up with your video viewers/cold traffic users.

Simply installing a Facebook pixel on your site and creating a Custom Audience within Facebook’s advertising platform will give you the ability to retarget these users that reach your entire website or specific web pages.

Facebook now also gives you the ability to create audiences based on how much of your video they have watched. This way, you’ll be able to tell who is very interested in (95%), somewhat interested in (50-75%), or not even remotely interested in your brand (25%-10 seconds or less). From there, you can send them a more relevant ad based on this knowledge.

Tips & Tricks:

  • To make sure that you’re only reaching cold traffic users with your video, be sure to exclude a “thank-you” page Custom Audience or a 30 day-180 day retargeting Custom Audience. This way, you’ll know these users have never been to your site or purchased your product.
  • Feel free to spend a healthy amount of your budget on cold traffic ad sets, exploring different targeting options. Here is where you get to be creative with Facebook’s targeting options and try to reach as many relevant users as you can. The rest will follow.

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Consideration (Or Warm Traffic)

Now that the users are a little more familiar with your brand, here is where you want show your credibility in the industry. Although video marketing may take the cake this year, content is still king (yes, this is likely the nth time you’ve heard this, but only because it’s true.)

Users in the consideration stage understand that The Three Basketeers makes handmade, organic baskets. They know you use fair-trade materials and that every basket is made with love. However, they’re not quite convinced that they need to add a Three Basketeer handmade basket to their basket collection.

They may use Google to search for a basket product review, click around your site for more information, or even check out your competition.

Here is where you want to supplement their interest in your brand by building credibility. Pushing blog posts regarding the state of the basket industry or different ways you can use the “Pretty in Pink Flower Basket” can be triggers in the buyer’s cycle. Content marketing is a realm of its own and there is a multitude of ways you can create engaging, interesting content that speaks to your brand. Think infographics, quizzes, long-form or short-form content.

To do this, you’ll need to set up a warm traffic campaign that retargets your cold traffic video viewers, quiz takers or first touch landing page users. Be sure to exclude your “thank-you” page Custom Audience as you’ll want to avoid overwhelming converters (people who have bought a basket) with your brand. (There will be more for these users later).

Tips and Tricks:

  • You can also use Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads feature to retarget users based on the products they viewed, provided if you have a product feed on your site. This feature is a little harder to set up in terms of technicality, but can be extremely valuable in keeping your brand top of mind with users using the specific product they viewed.
  • A retargeting campaign is simply that. Make sure you’re including the correct Custom Audience.

Purchase (Or Hot Traffic)

Now that users have bought their first basket, don’t pop the champagne just yet!

Traditional marketing also acknowledges that keeping a customer (customer retention) is cheaper than trying to get new customers.

Don’t abandon these users once they’ve made a purchase. Using a 180-day remarketing off your thank-you page (or depending on how often you expect people to buy a basket), you’ll be able to remind users of the amazing basket they just purchased.

You’ll be able to maximize the lifetime value of your “converters” by continually sending them content and perhaps even offerings such as discount ads.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Once you’ve collected a good amount of users in your thank-you page Custom Audience, you’ll be able to create a Lookalike Audience using Facebook’s Audience tool. Ta-dahh! You have a new set of cold traffic users to reach out to. Just remember to exclude all retargeting and thank-you pages.
  • A tactic known as “small wins” states that users tend to convert a lot more when they are given a “small win.” Think 10% discount offers every month, or 15% for those who haven’t came back to your site in over 3 months. It’s kind of like leveling up on Pokemon Go.


Messaging will be the key in making sure that your ads make sense based on the users you are trying to reach and which stage in the buyer’s cycle they are in. Think about the personas or your target audience for your product while factoring the stage of the buyer’s cycle they are in. Content is key to driving cold users (people who have never heard about your brand), and using remarketing to drive warm and hot users back to your site will maximize the lifetime value of a user. It might sound hard to believe but you do have full control in moving your users through the buyer’s cycle. Yes, at the end of the day, they are the ones that will be pulling out their credit card and buying the “Farmer’s Market’s Fun” basket, but at least you’ve educated them and build the brand trust and awareness.





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