If you’re an avid Facebook user and you’ve ever shopped on websites such as eBay, Amazon or even Halfords, you may have noticed those adverts that seem to follow you around Facebook wherever you go. It’s becoming more popular, certainly at this time of year, and is surprisingly easy to do.
If you haven’t noticed it, the concept is quite simple. Let’s say you visit a company’s website and look at a specific product. You might be considering buying one for yourself, or for someone else as a Christmas present, but you’re not quite sure yet. You’ve got a few other websites to check and a few other ideas of what you might buy.
Maybe you’ve not yet saved up enough money, or it’s not yet payday.
Later, when you’re browsing Facebook (as an estimated 1.66 billion people do as of November 2016), you notice an advert for the product you were previously looking at, from the website you were previously on. Is that a massive coincidence? Is it one of the universe’s little tricks to make you believe in a higher power?
No, it’s Facebook being really, really clever.
What has happened there is that the website owner has used the Facebook Advertising Pixel to track visitors to their website who are also logged into Facebook. Don’t worry, as they don’t know WHO you are, just that you were on their website and you’re a Facebook member. They can’t see your profile or message you. There’s nothing sinister going on. You have, in effect, been added to a ‘list’ for that website owner; a list they can use to display adverts to, but not contact in any way.
The website owner can now set up adverts and aim them at people who have looked at their website. If they want to be extra clever, they can create lots of adverts for specific products (or services, this doesn’t just work from a product perspective) and target them at people who have looked at particular pages of their website.
For instance, we have a course on the Online Learning Academy to become a professional writer and, using Facebook’s Advertising Pixel, we can show adverts for that course on Facebook aimed at people who have visited the course page on our website.
The advantage with advertising in this way, as opposed to using Facebook to advertise to an audience based on other parameters such as location, age, interests etc., is that the people who will see the adverts have already expressed an interest in your product or service. They have already visited your website, so they’re not ‘cold’ leads. They’re warm leads, which makes them more likely to convert.
Additionally, the Facebook Advertising Pixel allows you to remarket your website to people who have already visited, which means you can increase the conversions from your marketing efforts, such as content marketing and SEO.
So how does it work?
Luckily, that’s actually the easy part. First off, you need to log in to the Facebook Ad Manager and then create a Facebook Pixel. It sounds complicated, but it’s really just a case of clicking buttons and following very simple screen prompts to generate your pixel code. Once you have the code, you need to add it to EVERY page of your website.
If your website uses include files, then you can insert it into a header or some such file and that will add it to the whole website. You may need to ask your website designer to do this for you.
Once this has been added, it’s now a waiting game. That pixel code will now track anyone who visits your website while they’re logged into Facebook. Only when the code has tracked enough people will you be able to use it to create audiences.
To create an audience, click on the Create Audience button. Select ‘Custom Audience’ and then ‘Website Traffic’. It will open up the following box, where you can choose to create an audience for everyone who visits your website, or for everyone who visits specific pages on your website. You can see the options available below.
To ensure your audience is as large as possible, tick the box that says ‘Include past website traffic’ and set the time period to the maximum of ‘the last 180 days’. Remember though, if your Pixel has been live on your website for over 180 days, then your audience will include people who visited six months ago. You need to decide whether or not you want that, as they may not remember your website and you may end up wasting budget with your adverts.
Once your audience has been created, Facebook will take a few moments to work its magic and segment your website’s visitors into the new audience you have created.
You can now visit the Ad Manager and create a campaign using your new audience. We will discuss creating campaigns in a future article, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to catch all of our blogs.
If you have any questions about what we’ve mentioned, let us know in the comments or on Twitter.