Facebook’s advertising platform offers remarkably advanced targeting capabilities. That’s not only because of its rich pool of information about its users, but also because of the extensive array of targeting options the platform offers.
While many ecommerce marketers are already using Facebook dynamic ads, they are often only targeting past website visitors and overlooking the wide range of other Facebook ad audiences. That’s a waste of potential! You’re missing the opportunity to:
- Show users more relevant product selections
- Use more relevant ad messages according to different expectations and intents
- Bid more aggressively on audiences most likely to make a purchase
- Exclude or bid less on audiences that don’t bring the desired results
- Analyze audience profiles and behavior in detail in order to refine targeting
- Isolate audiences with the highest buying potential so that you can build strong cold prospecting audiences based on them
All in all, creating more granular audience sets can help you generate more sales at a lower cost.
Sound convincing? Then let’s have a look at the different targeting tactics available for your Facebook dynamic ads campaigns. What you choose will depend on who you are talking to and what you want to achieve.
Build on your existing customers
Your customers are your lowest hanging fruits for generating conversions and sales. Make sure you have both a short and a long-term strategy to keep them engaged. However, not all customers are equal. It is important that you change your tactics according to their purchase behaviors and interests. You should focus on increasing repeat purchases and improving customer loyalty.
Among your customers, you can target specific groups:
1. Create audience sets
Your existing customers have already demonstrated that they want what you’re selling. In order to show them that you can continue to fulfill their needs, you’ll need to first understand and define those needs. Do this by creating smart audience sets, using demographics, interests, and behavior as key data points. This will allow you to serve the right ads to the right people. Plus, Facebook makes this kind of targeting especially easy.
2. Leverage cross-selling opportunities
No matter what product a customer has purchased, there is always another product that could make it even better. There are two particularly common cross-sells: related items or products that are often bought together.
For example, if someone is searching for a T-shirt with their favorite film character, they'll likely be interested in anything related to that film, genre, or brand. Similarly, someone buying skis will likely want to buy ski poles; someone buying football cleats will probably want shin guards or football socks; in short, past purchases give you insight into what the customer might need.
3. Send out useful reminders
What's even better than getting an offer for a product you enjoy? Getting reminders for a product you need. As anyone with contact lenses knows, reminders for regular purchases are not only smart for businesses — they can very often be useful to the customer. Products like ink cartridges, pet food, or even vitamins need to be bought repeatedly and on a somewhat regular basis.
More importantly, these are products that customers don't want to accidentally run out of. If you're selling products that are purchased regularly, or holding classes, events, or anything else that may need a regular reminder, leverage them to get customers' attention.
4. Bring customers from external channels straight to your shop
A paying customer is always a paying customer — but, because return customers drive much more value in the long run, you might not want to share them. Try targeting shoppers who have purchased from you through external channels like Google or Amazon. Bring them straight to your store. Keeping clicks and purchases right in your own shop system allows you to create a much stronger relationship with the customer. That means, instead of hoping they buy from you on Amazon again, you know they'll come straight to you.
Plus, getting clicks and purchases right on your site can help strengthen your analytical understanding of the customer journey and their needs.
5. Turn historical customers into repeat customers
For whatever reason, a past customer went cold. They stopped buying and clicking. They don't hang out on your site anymore. Maybe they no longer need your products or they get their fix somewhere else. Regardless, there's a chance they'll buy from you again. That's why you should periodically take a step back and try to re-engage those historical customers.
6. Reward top customers
Around 8% of an ecommerce store's customer base will drive 40% of revenue. Repeat and loyal customers are absolutely invaluable. Businesses know it, and so should customers! Reward your best customers with special offers or exclusive collections. That will drive sales while also reminding customers why they love your shop in the first place.
Tip: Filter based on the most valuable customers using additional criteria, such as the amount of money spent, purchase frequency, customer lifetime value, or their engagement with your brand on Facebook.
Re-engage your hot prospects
The second most valuable audience group are people who have previously shown interest in your shop, product or brand. Using Facebook dynamic ads, you can make them enter the conversion path or bring them back where they left off.
7. Group and target warm audiences
Those users who have been clicking, adding items to their basket, or showing other clear signs of interest? It's time to give them a boost with a well-targeted ad. Again, segment them by creating different profiles based on demographics, interests, and behavior. They clearly want to buy, so you need only create the right moment.
8. Retarget based on the exact products they have viewed
This common email marketing tactic should also be part of your Facebook toolkit. Target those who have already added products to a wishlist or cart on your shop with a gorgeous, emotive dynamic ad. Seeing that product off of your site and on social media may be the push they need to go from “added to cart” to “purchased”.
Perhaps, instead of simply suggesting similar products, you want a little more. Try suggesting similar products to, but of a higher margin than, those a customer has already purchased or shown in interest in.
Upselling isn't always ideal, so be sure it makes sense with the customer and product. The product advertised should be bigger, stronger, newer, or better than the one the customer has already got. Perhaps that user absolutely must have the latest and greatest phone. Perhaps they'll be intrigued by unique, time-sensitive bundle of awesome products. On the other hand, you can also try downselling in order to build customer trust — for example, pushing the more affordable version of a laptop they already viewed.
10. Target Facebook fans
Users who have liked your Facebook page for any reason are going to make for a strong target audience. Start by pushing your bestsellers or newest products, as these represent the items most likely to spark interest with an intrigued follower.
11. Show warm prospects what they’re missing
When does “warm” become “hot”? Those prospects who are in the decision making stage will have clear patterns, likely browsing your shop intensely and repeatedly. Targeting these users with your bestsellers can be one way to strengthen your chances in when they finally reach a decision.
12. Retarget prospects who have reacted to Instagram or Facebook posts
Again, no matter what the reason, users who have engaged with your brand on Instagram or Facebook are showing a clear sign of interest. They have online patterns that brought them to your post and they enjoy your style or brand. Add them to your target audience and see if you can get new customers just by letting them come to you.
13. Retarget prospects who have visited a specific campaign landing page
Your campaigns don't live and die on a website landing page. If a user has visited a given landing page, that could be a sign they're interested. Bring the conversation to Facebook and see if the change of scenery can get the lead back on track.
14. Retarget prospects using the tracking parameters
Take #13 further and retarget customers based on data acquired when they clicked a campaign link to visit your website. Your campaigns are full of unique tracking links. Put that data to use.
Cold targeting: Reach out to new prospects
Once you have built high-quality audiences from your existing customers and fans, you’re well prepared to extend your reach to people who don’t know you yet.
15. Target Lookalikes
Lookalikes are groups of people who are similar to an existing Custom Audience you choose. When creating Lookalikes based on customer audiences, you’ll get a new audience that is likely to be interested in your business even if its individuals don’t know you yet. As you might guess, the better the quality of your Custom Audience, the better the quality of your Lookalikes. We’ve covered more on Facebook Lookalike Audiences in this post.
16. Target broad audiences
Broad audience targeting is another way to reach people who haven't visited your website or app yet. When a user has expressed interest in your products (or products similar to yours) on Facebook or beyond, the Facebook algorithm is still able to identify the products they are most likely to be interested in.
This can be useful for smaller ecommerce companies, who don’t have a large traffic volume to be used for retargeting.
When wanting to reach to new audiences, using demographics, and interest-based targeting is even more critical, as it’s the only door opener you’ve got. Try to refer to personal or seasonal topics that make your products relevant. For example, if you are a gift shop, target friends of people who have a birthday coming up.
17. Generate brand awareness
But what if audiences are not ready to buy from you yet? Warm them up with other types of campaigns first, before you target them with Facebook dynamic ads.
The beauty of Facebook advertising lies in its versatility. If you achieve better results with retargeting than with cold targeting, consider running brand awareness campaigns first to warm people up. You can use fun videos or even influencer or content marketing that matches your target market’s interests and desires.
Make users interact with any of your digital assets and you’ll be able to retarget them as a warm audience thereafter, promoting products linked to your awareness campaign.
Facebook targeting is a cycle of possibilities. That’s what makes it so effective and that’s also why it’s fun.
Want to learn more about creating successful campaigns for Facebook dynamic ads?
Download our comprehensive guide and learn everything you need to know to make dynamic ad campaigns on Facebook boost your ecommerce sales.
In this guide, we cover:
- An introduction to Facebook dynamic ads and how they work
- Technical requirements you need to get started: product catalog and tracking
- Guidance to find the right (re-)targeting strategy for you
- Best-practice tips on how to take full advantage of the extensive advertising options
- An overview of Facebook’s powerful features to measure, test and optimize your campaign’s performance in the long run
This updated post was originally published on May 15, 2018.