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Facebook Remarketing: The Basics
October 8
Facebook Remarketing: The Basics

Facebook Remarketing: The Basics

Ever been browsing online and see a pair of really cool shoes, get sidetracked by something you are working on, and log off? You might see that same pair of shoes popping up on websites and in your social media feeds. It follows you around, stalking you every day. No, it’s not a coincidence or magic, it is the power of Facebook remarketing.

Blue Nike Shoe over blue background

Blue Nike Shoe

(Source: Alexander Rotker, Unsplash)

What is Remarketing?

To put it simply, remarketing is the act of targeting users who have taken specific actions on your website or app. In the example of an online shoe shopper, you may be searching for blue Nike running shoes on your desktop. Once you view a specific style, you would enter into the beginning of a remarketing campaign and a cookie (online tracking code) will follow you across all of your devices. Once you leave that desktop browser and open up your cell phone, chances are you will probably see that same shoe in your social media feeds, on the side of your Google browser, or on-page on websites that you visit.

Remarketing Process; User to Visit Website to Leave Page to See Ad Across Devices on Social Media & Websites back to user

Remarketing Process

(Source: Deposit Photos)

What is Facebook Remarketing?

If you run Facebook ads, you should be using remarketing campaigns. Remarketing campaigns are highly effective and necessary to maximize your Return on Ad Spend (RoAS). Remarketing on Facebook starts with implementing a Facebook Pixel. A Facebook Pixel is a tracking code snippet that Facebook’s advertising platform offers which tracks everything from page views to purchases on your website. We have a great article that dives into how to do this as well as explains other tracking tools; “Marketing Tracking Tools & How to Use Them”. Utilizing data from your Facebook Pixel, allows you to create what is called a Custom Audience.

Once you’ve installed and tested your Facebook Pixel, you should be able to create a Custom Audience in Facebook Ads Manager. A Custom Audience is a tool in Facebook Ads Manager that allows you to segment Facebook/Instagram users by actions they have taken, usually tracked with a Facebook Pixel. Circling back to shoes, Facebook uses the same example in their Business Help Center Article on Custom Audiences; “Consider a footwear company that sells their shoes online. With the Facebook pixel installed, they could create a Website Custom Audience of people who viewed specific shoes, or put items in their cart but didn’t buy them. The company could then create a website traffic campaign to encourage those people to come back and complete a purchase.”

(Source: Facebook Business Help, Reach people already interested in your business)

We typically break this down even further by segmenting these audiences into certain date ranges. With every client and every type of product that we work with, these date ranges differ. However, the same remarketing principles still apply. A good rule of thumb is to allocate more budget towards customers who are “closest to the money”. An example of this would be someone who has viewed that pair of blue Nike shoes 1-3 days ago, should be receiving more ads and budget than someone who viewed that same blue pair of Nike shoes two weeks ago and never added to their cart.

Here is a real-life example of a Custom Audience we set up for one of our e-commerce clients:

Facebook Custom Audience Tool

Facebook Custom Audience Tool

(Source: Facebook Ads Manager)


Once you set up your remarketing campaign, you should consider where you are driving customers with your ads and what messaging is appropriate. We’ve written a blog post on “Facebook Ad Copy 5 Simple Tips” which covers this.

In summary, you should be leading users to a page that makes sense based on their last interaction. For example, someone that added that blue Nike shoe to their cart two days ago should be brought right back to that exact blue shoe from your remarketing ads. If someone was browsing a variety of basketball shoes, they may be brought to a section of your site which sells basketball shoes.

As far as messaging goes, to-the-point messaging works best for remarketing ads. Facebook recommends no more than 125 characters or less for the body text and 40 characters or less for the headline. You have these people hooked, you will want to grab their attention quickly and show them an offer with pricing if possible. A great strategy some clients use is offering discounts to items left in cart for a certain period of time. If a user added blue Nike shoes three days ago, Nike may run ads to that user offering free shipping on that item. This works very well because it adds value to the user.

Remarketing is crucial to your digital marketing success. Many customers don’t make decisions when they first view a product online. You will often need to continuously remind them in order to get them to complete your desired action.

If you are running Facebook Ads, you should be running remarketing campaigns. If you need an expert to look over your Facebook Ad Account, we are more than happy to do a free advertising audit for you!


Want to make sure your Remarketing is set up correctly? Schedule a free meeting with someone from the Black Box team today!


Black Box is a growth marketing agency that focuses on optimizing paid media channels to drive growth metrics. We partner closely with all of our clients to become a data-driven extension of their marketing department.

We specialize in conversion rate optimization and strategize closely with your team to define conversions that drive your bottom line. We extensively test and optimize all of your paid channels to maximize our outputs. Our specialization allows us to achieve best in class results, and we treat every client like they’re our only client.

With experience ranging from e-commerce to fintech, and small business to enterprise, there’s a reason 70+ companies trust Black Box.

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