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Blog Post

Using Facebook Remarketing Ads

April 15, 2016
Table of Contents

Not sure where to start with Facebook ads? Here’s where.

I have a lot of clients ask, “We’re interested in running Facebook ads. We’ve ran internal tests and so far this doesn’t prove to be an efficient channel.” Do you have any suggestions?

My first question is: “Are you running remarketing?”

And typically the answer is No.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you aren’t running remarketing, you shouldn’t run Facebook ads.

What Is Facebook Remarketing?

Have you ever visited one of your favorite e-commerce stores and then suddenly saw the exact product or website follow you around the internet? That’s a form of remarketing.


More specifically from a Facebook advertising perspective, the user has multiple locations throughout Facebook’s platform in which they can be served ads. That includes:

1. Mobile News Feed
2. Desktop News Feed
3. Right Column on Facebook
4. Audience Network
5. Instagram

Each placement offers different degrees of real estate for advertisements and which should be considered when bidding on these different locations. We’ll cover “Understanding The Different Placements” in a future blog post so hold tight.

But for now, let’s continue.

What Facebook Is Not

Facebook is not an intent-driven platform. The SEO channel and Google Text Ads will always have a degree of intent, meaning users are actively seeking out a product or service.  The user that is searching something is already familiar with what they want, and they are in a particular mindset. Whether that is to research, buy, whatever it may be, there is a goal behind the user’s search.

And that’s why Google AdWords Campaigns will typically yield higher ROI than Facebook advertising. When a user searches “Buy Bulk Hardware.” They want to buy bulk hardware, and if the user finds the perfect match to what they want, they will probably buy. Additionally, a user could search “what are the best places to buy bulk hardware” with the intention of researching a handful of companies prior to a big purchase.

As a Facebook advertiser, there is no particular intent of users on Facebook other than entertainment.

Think about how you use Facebook and all the different ways you can use it. In between meetings on your phone, to kill time, relaxing at home while watching TV, etc.

But have you ever said to yourself “I’m going on Facebook with the intent to go purchase something online.”

Probably not.

“So… Basically what you’re getting at is that I should be advertising on AdWords instead of Facebook.”

Not quite. Let’s consider a form of advertising we are all familiar with.

organic social services

The King Of Advertising – TV Advertising

Let’s consider television advertising, the traditional king of advertising.

Much like Facebook, when someone watches TV, there isn’t intent there other than watching television for entertainment.

But it has been the most dominant channel of advertising since its creation.

Why? Because it’s a brand builder and it creates intent.

Consider a freshly invented product – if no one knows to search for it – How are you going to see a return on your AdWords investment?

Facebook Remarketing Ads – A Modern Day “TV” Ad Network

When we advertise on Facebook, we never know at what point we are reaching that user in the their day. Are they in that meeting on their phone? Are they killing time for 15 minutes? If we did reach them at this point, it doesn’t sound like they have enough time to buy.

How are you going to reach this user at the time when they are ready to buy?


In fact, users hate being sold to by a brand they aren’t familiar with on Facebook. After all, they didn’t log onto Facebook to shop.

But if you can provide value in advance to users – by providing them with blog posts, e-books, videos, or anything that the user would use in their free time, then you have your foot in the door to remarket to those users with more promotional offers down the line.

Could you imagine if television advertisers had access to that type of data? Imagine a world in which TV advertisers were able to know whether you enjoyed past commercials, so they could be a little more aggressive with an offer for you. That’s the type of access to data Facebook advertisers have with remarketing.


You know what TV doesn’t have? The click. We can see direct ROI or measurable interactions from our Facebook ads. Could you imagine if TV advertisers had access to that type of data?

But the click doesn’t tell the full story of the value of Facebook ads.

I had received an ad from Domino’s on Facebook for a special 99 cent promo. What did I do when I saw such a great offer? Immediately told everyone around me about it. No, Domino’s probably didn’t make too much off of me and 10 friends buying 99 cent pizzas. But the idea is that Facebook had such a great offer (for a decent product) that it was worth talking about. Facebook ads can get your brand talked about with a well executed strategy from an ad and content perspective. And as a result direct traffic will spike from word of mouth. You could argue, reach, impressions, conversions, etc. can be even be potentially understated from a Facebook campaign in situations like these.

Content Closes

One thing to understand about your paid campaigns – you are only as good as your content and UI/UX. You need to make sure where you are driving the user addresses not only your brand’s story, but all the questions that a user asks themselves when making some sort of purchasing decision. There needs to be a degree of trust there. Is your brand fun? Is it professional? Luxurious? Your website’s content needs to reflect that and provide value to your market.

Fun Facts: Graphs: Increase In Digital Spend YoY And Millennial Graph

If you’re reading this blog post, you have a degree of marketing knowhow.

From a reach perspective, who are two of the typical hardest demographics to reach?

Millennials and Hispanics.

And….Nielsen Research for Facebook now shows that is has surpassed TV for reaching Millennials and Hispanics.

Data is for a “typical month” comparing Facebook to the 10 most watched TV networks.

This is big. Not only does Facebook allow us to target users much more effectively than television advertising, but it’s starting to transition to become a more viable solution than TV to reach certain markets and demographics.

Additionally, digital spend continues to rise.

As you can see, digital is on the rise, and many have projected for the first time in history, digital will surpass television advertising spend in 2016. Facebook advertising will be one of the major driving factors in United States ad spend for the years to come.

Wrapping It All Up

In the next upcoming blog post, I will show you how to pull and implement your remarketing .pixel on Facebook. From there we will discuss all the different types of audiences we can create from a data collection perspective and how those can eventually help your company not only hit but exceed your goals.

*One thing to understand, the majority of the point made here for Facebook ads could be argued for other visual paid networks (Twitter, Google Display Network, Etc.)

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