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Social Media Remarketing: Close The Loop On Non-Converters

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  • Social Media Remarketing: Close The Loop On Non-Converters

Millions of marketers and web entrepreneurs get it wrong when it comes to launching a remarketing campaign. Most people know that it needs to be a part of their marketing mix, and that it can provide a good return on ad spend (ROAS) if executed correctly.

However, where most people go wrong is they launch the campaign on a whim and hope for the best. Or even if they don’t, they only scratch the surface with testing different targeting options, creatives, call to actions, segmentations, offers, and more.

Because of this, the results are often lackluster or don’t even exist. Ad spend goes to waste, confidence in remarketing diminishes, and eventually, the campaign gets turned off. Had the campaign been set up correctly from the outset, conversions would have increased, and there would have been a positive impact on revenue and profit.

Lackluster campaigns can be turned around. Social media remarketing specialists Digital Next share some tactics that can quickly turn non-performing remarketing campaigns around.

Get visitors onto your remarketing list.

The first thing that you need to do is successfully capture the data from your web visitor so that they can be remarketed to in the future. In most cases, this will involve a cookie being dropped in their browser for a certain time period or having a pixel on your website that will add the user to your Facebook audience list.

social media remarketing

A chart showing the Facebook remarketing pixel capturing new audience data from a website.

As you build your list and collect data, you will create an option to market to lookalike audiences in the future as well.

You will usually be able to generate clicks and conversions at a lower cost, as highlighted in the image below.

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What kind of data can you expect to collect from your remarketing audience?

The data collected from Facebook is vast and will allow you to create different audience segments and targeting for your campaign. In addition to the standard demographics that can be seen below, Facebook collects additional data based on interests, behaviours, work and study history and more.

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Below is a chart that shows some of the additional targeting that you can leverage when remarketing via Facebook.

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Start by understanding your target audience and their journey to conversion points.

You will need to have a good understanding of your visitor’s intent, consumer journey, and where they hang out across the web. There are then two areas you will need to focus on:

  • Which stage did they get to on your website?
  • Which platforms can you reach them on to invite them to continue their journey?

If you are using platforms such as Facebook, you will be able to leverage their remarketing network across several third-party sites, as well as Facebook’s own platforms (WhatsApp and Instagram) to continue promoting your business’ products and/or services, and lure the web visitor back to your website to convert as a lead or customer.

Which stage did they get to on your website?

You need to segment your remarketing list so that it aligns with the stage of the journey that the visitor was experiencing. Some of the segmentations include:

  • Multiple visits to the website
  • Engagement
  • Add to cart
  • Certain landing pages

Which platforms can you reach them on to invite them to continue their journey?

There are a number of platforms you can run remarketing ads on to continue the consumer journey with your audience. These include:

As more platforms emerge, you can consider using retargeting on those platforms to reach and engage with your audience.

Should you also remarket to existing purchasers of your products or services?

Yes, you should; especially if those customers enjoyed your product. There are a couple of outcomes that can occur from retargeting this group.

They will endorse your ads and build social proof.

They may leave likes, share your content, or comment on your content, which will build social proof. This will build trust with your remarketing audience and can help boost conversions from your remarketing ads.

They may recommend your retargeting ads to others in their network.

Happy customers are likely to recommend your product or service to others that they know by sharing ads directly in their social media feeds or direct messages in their network. The reach of your remarketing ads will be amplified, and the quality of the traffic leads should be higher, which should also have a positive impact on conversions.

Use strong incentives to convert your remarketing audience.

Very strong incentives are required to incentivize your audience to convert. The incentive needs to leverage urgency and scarcity in order to get the remarketing audience to act. A few options that you can consider include the following.

Free shipping

Free shipping is a strong offer that can be used to incentivize people in remarketing audiences to buy. One popular tactic is qualifying for free shipping with a minimum order amount. (For example, free shipping on orders over $100USD).


Capture your remarketing audience’s attention by highlighting a percentage discount on the product or service that they’re interested in.

Strong percentage discounts will offer 10% or more cost savings. This should also be supported by a sense of urgency; such as a time offer (today only) or a limit (only available for the first 10 purchases).

Alternatively, they can also receive a discounted order on their follow-up order.

Free gift

Incentivize the visitor to act by offering a free gift or bonus with the product that they were interested in purchasing. Promote the free gift as a strong offer, but make it clear in the retargeting ad that the buyer needs to make a qualified purchase (e.g. minimum order, order in the next 24h) to receive the free gift.

Use compelling creatives to attract engagement with your remarketing ads.

To maximize conversions from your remarketing ads, you will need to test a lot of creatives. This is to work out which content will trigger engagement, and it will minimize the risk of your audience fatiguing from seeing the same ads over and over again.

There are a few things that you can do to vary the ads.

  • Test different images
  • Test different titles
  • Display different sales messages
  • Display percentage offers
  • Show social proof

Below is an ad that’s being promoted across Instagram.

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Test different images

You will also need to test out different images to see which ones compel people to browse your remarketing ad. Split test images based on the people, colors, models, and more to see which one attracts more attention and engagement.

Test different titles and headlines.

Test out different headlines that will capture the attention of your remarketing audience. The headline should compel them to engage with the ad, and then convert.

Display different sales messages

Test out different product offers to improve the incentive of the sale. Lead the offer with benefits, facts, prices, bonuses, discounts, bundles, and more! Also, test long vs. short copy variants in your ads to see which ads attract more engagement and conversions.

Below is an example of one of the long-form sales retargeting ads from Sam Ovens.

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Image source.

In this example from Sam Ovens, his remarketing ads focus on educating the potential lead as much as possible on the ad itself before inviting them to click through to his website. His ads use long-form copy that shares a compelling story, and also shares a strong incentive to arouse curiosity that will motivate the person viewing the ad to click through and become a highly qualified lead.

Leverage social proof

There are a couple of ways you can leverage social proof in your remarketing ads. You can show an image or text of the social proof and promote it. Or you can run another creative ad and have shares, likes, comments, and discussion threads on the post.

The image below is an example of a social video post on Facebook that also shows the comments, likes, and engagement as social proof on the video.

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Test the different ad types.

Don’t limit your ad creatives to one type of ad. Test out the different ad formats that you have available to you on the platform where you plan to run the remarketing ad.

For example, if you are running remarketing campaigns on Facebook, you will want to test the performance of a static ad against dynamic product ads or product display ads.

Why should you include remarketing ads in your web marketing campaigns?

Simply put, humans love to be reminded of things that they were previously interested in. Remarketing ads should serve as a prompt for previous visitors to continue their journey from where they left-off; and continue on the path to conversion.

The purpose of remarketing ads is to trigger the previous site visitor to continue engaging with the advertising messages and the website whilst following the path to conversion.

How often should your remarketing audience see your ad?

Audiences will need to be exposed to your ad between 7-20 times to become familiar with your product or brand via remarketing.

What are some of the remarketing tactics that you can try?

Broad remarketing

Ignore implementing laser targeting in the beginning and let the pixel and algorithm learn so it can drive qualified traffic and leads. Adding different retargeting audiences into a single ad set should allow the platform to figure out which people are more likely to convert.

Something to keep in mind though is this tends to work well on small remarketing accounts that don’t have a lot of remarketing traffic.

Focus on promoting content ads.

For audiences that don’t know or trust your product, company, and brand well enough to make the purchase, you will need to initially focus on educating them through social media content promotions prior to asking for the sale.

You will need to consider promoting content ads with a frequency of 15-20 interactions.

Focus on promoting product explanation ads.

Promoting remarketing ads that clearly explain the benefits of the products to the target audience and that’s supported by a buying incentive such as a percentage discount or sales price should also do well.

Segment your remarketing audience by latency

Segment your audience into buyers, abandoners, and visitors. Split them up into different time lengths, 7-days, 30-days, 60-days, etc. Test them all and optimize the bids accordingly.

Split test your remarketing ads.

Create a bunch of ads and split test them for the life of the remarketing campaign.

What are some of the ways remarketing has been used successfully?

Create lookalike audiences from converting remarketing lists.

As your remarketing campaign matures, you will want to build out your audiences by leveraging the lookalike audience function. Focus on building out these lists initially from visitors that have engaged with certain types of content on the website, made multiple visits to the website, or if they have added products to the shopping cart.

What outcomes can you expect from running successful social media remarketing ads?

Cheaper and more qualified clicks.

By creating custom audiences for your content ads and then adding retargeting with your link click to conversion offers, you should be able to buy traffic at $0.10-0.30 per click. The cost per click does depend on the size of the audience. So if the audience size is say, 20,000, the cost will be more around the $0.30 mark. However, if the custom audience is 100,000 or more, the link clicks should be $0.10 per click.

Good returns on ad spend (ROAS).

Good performing campaigns should provide a return on your ad spend (ROAS) of around 2-4x. If you’re able to scale your campaigns successfully, you may find returns of 5-8x.

Conversions from social media remarketing can be lucrative and can scale the sale and profitability of your business’s products and services efficiently. Social media remarketing allows you to reach your existing target audience on their path to conversion, minimizing the risk of lost sales. Add social media remarketing into your marketing mix and start amplifying your revenue and profit growth in the next 90 days.

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