Facebook Remarketing – what is it and why do it?

facebook-remarketingEvery heard of Facebook Remarketing?

Facebook is now arguably one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools available to businesses. At a minimum most businesses use Facebook as a way to begin and maintain relationships, create and build an identity and brand, and to communicate with their audience on a regular basis. The smart ones go a step further. They use it to sell. To specifically target and consistently remind existing and potential customers: what their offer is; if and how it’s changed; that it’s available and desirable; and to buy it now. One of the ways they do this is using Facebook Remarketing.


What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is a sales tactic that allows a business to advertise on online platforms, like Facebook, to customers who have visited their website and shown an interest in their product or service.

Remarketing reminds a customer of what they were looking at after they have left your website, providing them with another opportunity to get involved with your brand, which hopefully leads to a sales conversion. Facebook is one of these platforms and represents a powerful remarketing tool that can be used to go one step further in this process.


How do you remarket using Facebook?

Most of us have heard about Facebook ads. Remarketing on Facebook is an extension of this and provides the opportunity to create Facebook ads that specifically reach customers that have visited your website while they are browsing their Facebook feed.

In addition to this, through Facebook, a business is able to design a remarketing advertising campaign to not only target Facebookers that have previously visited your website and shown an interest in your brand and products, but it also enables the building of what’s called ‘lookalike’ audiences. You are then able to then advertise directly to these potential new customers on Facebook.

A ‘lookalike’ audience is exactly that. It looks like, or is a clone, of your already interested customers or existing followers. To create these audiences Facebook sifts through the profiles of its millions of users and builds ‘like’ audiences of people that carry the same traits, demographic qualities and interests as your already known audiences. It then markets your products directly to them. As they ‘look’ like your followers, the theory goes that they are more likely to be interested in your brand and products, even if they have never heard of you before.

Mind-blowingly powerful and all sounds easy right. But is it?

Now that we have established a basic understanding of what Facebook Remarketing is, lets drill down into the benefits and potential pitfalls of this advertising strategy.


The benefits of a Facebook Remarketing campaign.

You get a second chance.

Lets face it, most businesses work around the clock encouraging people to engage with them and visit their website. This takes time, effort, creativity and money. What happens when they leave without buying anything or giving up any of their details? NOTHING! That’s right, all that work is gone, wasted with nothing to show for it. Frustrating! Well not so with Facebook Remarketing. By using remarketing strategies on this platform your business gets another chance to be exposed to that potential customer and to convert that interest into business while they are browsing their Facebook feed.


Build your brand familiarity and trust.

Statistically most customers like to see a brand or a product two to three times before they purchase its goods or use its services. Seeing it more than once over a period of a few days to a week to even a month, depending on your set remarketing schedule, breaks down the barriers to trying something new and works to instill the trust and familiarity required to make the jump to purchase. Remarketing ads on a trusted source such as Facebook fosters this sense of familiarity, placing the brand and product in their line of sight again and again until it feels safe and known.


You can increase your reach in a targeted way.

Facebook remarketing campaigns allow you to reach a new set of customers that have never even known you existed before through the building of lookalike audiences. It’s a powerful, cost effective and targeted way to reach new potential customers.


It fits in with any budget

There is no minimum spend when undertaking a Facebook remarketing campaign. This means that you are able to start off small and build a couple of ad sets running simultaneously and it’s not going to break the budget.


You can capture data and learn from it.

Using the data captured by Facebook in your Facebook Manager administration, you can see what ads your audiences reacted well to and what they didn’t like so much. This allows you to build on your knowledge and get better at creating the right remarketing ads for the right audiences leading to a better return on investment.


Its sheer scope

At the end of April 2016, Facebook had approximately 1.65 billion users. It’s a massive audience and one that any business, no matter what they are selling or doing, needs to be a part of.


The Pitfalls.

Remarketing fatigue.

Have you ever seen the same television advert so many times that it just stops being effective and actually becomes annoying or ignored? It’s the same with remarketing ads. In todays fast, consumer driven on-line environment, remarketing ads can get annoying and easily ignored. When this happens, not only does it represent money wasted, but it also can lead to existing and potential customers becoming frustrated with your brand. Not a desired outcome and one you should be careful to avoid.


Who is your audience?

While it is powerful to increase market reach, it’s only good dollars spent if you are targeting the right type of customer. It’s important to not stretch your budget across an oversized and too broad group of Facebookers. Doing this will only limit your visibility and potentially remarket to audiences that are unlikely to be interested in your offer. To be effective in building lookalike audiences you must really know your customer and to be as specific as possible about what their traits and interests are and what and how you are selling to them. Around this it is important to design considered and targeted ads or its dollars wasted.


Keep it fresh.

The sheer volume of ads that are seen online by consumers today means that it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Some critics would argue that Facebook has become such a commercial selling ground that it’s no longer personal anymore. To cut through all this clutter, Facebook remarketing ads need to be relevant, desirable and regularly updated to increase your chances of getting attention and generating the desired action.


Don’t advertise already purchased items.

It’s just as important to track purchases as it is items abandoned at checkout. It’s a waste of money remarketing products to customers that have already purchased them. Instead you would be much better off advertising complimentary items. So keeping a track of both must be a part of any effective remarketing strategy no matter what the platform used to remarket.



As frustrating as it can be to navigate the world of Facebook and Facebook Ads, there’s no question that remarketing on this platform has a valuable place in any effective online strategy.

Its ability to directly target already interested consumers with products that they have previously demonstrated a desire for presents an irresistible opportunity to any savvy online business to convert sales and build trust and familiarity. On top of that, the fact that it can very cost effectively and significantly increase market reach in a superbly targeted fashion makes it a no brainer.

But beware. A business must not undertake it without some seriously considered thinking into how best to design these ads and what exactly your desired audience looks like or its dollars wasted and worse than that, it can actually annoy your customers and hurt your brand.

If this sounds like a world that you need to be involved in but are terrified to navigate, you’re not alone. It’s a good idea to get some initial help and expert advice to get started. At Purple Giraffe we work with you to understand your business and therefore your customer and feel confident we can get your integrated and measurable Facebook remarketing campaign up and running in no time! Contact us today to get started.

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Picture of Margot Stolle

Margot Stolle

Margot Stolle is a marketing professional with over 15 years experience within several different industries including: sports and events sponsorship; business and financial planning; and fashion. She also owns and manages her own brand of children's sleepwear which is e-retailed and has experience in designing and editing websites and managing social media platforms.

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