Three audiences you should create with the Facebook Pixel.


The incredible and annoying potential of remarketing (in this case specifically using the Facebook Pixel) is an evergreen topic. It's the most Black Mirror-ish thing that's widely used on Facebook (though I'm sure there's all sorts of creepy secret shit that we're ignorant of). However, the fact is - for those of us who work in marketing for lots of different clients, it's an incredible tool, and here we've put together the three specific audiences that I think you'll really benefit from no matter what industry you work in! 

Firstly, if you haven't set up your Facebook pixel at all, then here's a great guide from Facebook on how to configure the pixel and set it up in the header code of each page of your website. 

There's a couple of super obvious straight-out-of-the-box audiences you'll want to do (remarketing directly to all website users; creating lookalike audiences based on all website users, etc), so we've tried to focus on three audiences that are just a wee bit more interesting and exciting. Ultimately, it's an area worth getting to know quite well, and experimenting with to see your ROI from each audience. 

1 - Folk that viewed your website, but didn't get in touch (or otherwise convert).

So, here's a great place to start: create an audience of people that have been on your site, but didn't ultimately convert.  That's pretty awesome info - we know that they were at least interested enough to click onto your site, but ultimately didn't make the decision to make contact and take things further. Great - so, they are now clearly aware of you and your brand and likely have some knowledge of your service. If you have an audience of those people set up, then you can choose to show them content in the future that builds on that existing knowledge, rather than for example paying to show them more generic brand awareness stuff that just completely introduces your brand to them.

If you don't know how to set up this audience, then here's a primer (which assumes you've already set up the main Facebook pixel code on your site as demonstrated here).

In addition to the code that you put in the header of every page on the website, you've also got a little piece of extra code you can put on certain parts of the site to track conversions. We could be talking about multiple different events here - a contact form submission, a newsletter sign-up, or just landing on a specific page for example. The idea of course of setting up this tracking code for conversions, is so that you can exclude people who did in fact convert, from this current audience. Let's quickly look at how to configure this. 

Firstly, the additional code is this: 

fbq('track', 'Lead');

So if you've got a Squarespace site for example, you'll want to add this piece of code onto the "Post-Submit HTML" field on the contact form - or you'll want to designate a specific page to represent a conversion (for example, a page that is only visible by existing customers or by people who have already submitted an enquiry, or a page that your prospective customer is redirected to after a form submission). In the Further Reading section below, you can see how this code can be integrated with various other platforms besides Squarespace.

So then, it's a simple process within the Facebook business manager. Firstly, navigate to Audiences under the Business Manager Menu, under All Tools -- Assets -- Audiences:

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Then, choose Create Audience -- Custom Audience -- Website Traffic, and set up similar to below (change the number of days to whatever you prefer, and note that the first section INCLUDES all viewers of your site, and the second section EXCLUDES all leads):

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Save that with a memorable and useful-at-a-glance name (like I have above), and you'll have a Custom Audience available in your saved audiences, which contains everybody who's viewed your site in the last X number of days, who didn't ultimately convert. That means that whenever you go to boost a post from your timeline, you can choose that custom audience and then further refine by geographical area, gender, age etc. Good times!

Alternative version, using websales.

If you run an e-commerce store, then you can do something pretty similar for people who viewed a product but ultimately didn't purchase. Just put this piece of code in the purchase confirmation page, or on a purchase confirmation email if you can edit code on there (you'll also need the full code that goes in your website header if you're going to use the email form of tracking), to track people who did in fact make a purchase:

fbq('track', 'Purchase');

Then, you set up an identical audience to the above, except that in the last phase (the excluded section of the audience), instead of choosing Lead, you'll choose Purchase. Again, there's guides for integrating purchases into your various website platforms in the Further Reading section below.

2 - A lookalike audience based on folk that did convert.

Okay, so using the extra code you already set up in the previous section (if you didn't, you'll need to for this one!), we can build a Lookalike Audience within Facebook that's based on people who did in fact convert, or make a purchase, on your website. Briefly, a Lookalike Audience is an audience that's basically really similar to the people that have already used the site in whichever way you specify. It's Facebook's way of saying "we'll take it from here". This is super powerful stuff, and uses Facebook's world-leading proprietary AI to do your targeting for you. Not bad, right?

This is at least a two-step process - and if you wish to narrow your geographic targeting to anything smaller than the United Kingdom, then it'll become a rather convoluted three-step mess. But, hey. You do it once and it's done. Let's get on with it then. 

Firstly, we create a Custom Audience in Facebook that's comprised of people who did convert. Do that by going into the Business Manager -- All Tools -- Audiences as below:

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Once again, create a Custom Audience, and this time instead of excluding people that converted to leads (or who made purchases), you're going to target them - and only them. So do this (again, saving with an obvious and instructive name):

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Now - we can actually just use that Custom Audience to basically remarket to those individuals, if we want to do that. Let's say we've actually set it up for purchases, and we sell a consumable product. We could remarket to them say 45 days after their purchase by playing with the timescales in the above audience creation tool, so that they hopefully re-buy once they've used their previous purchase up. 

But - that's not the name of this chapter. We're thinking bigger here - we want Facebook to look at the characteristics of those individuals who have converted to leads or who have purchased, and we want them to basically find other Facebook users who are similar to those people (using their terrifying AI). So, to do that, we need to take a second step.

Now, we click Create Audience again, but this time, choose Lookalike Audience - and then, roughly duplicate these settings below (make any tweaks that feel suitable, but note that your geographic targeting is very restricted here - not an issue, as we can further refine geographic targeting later):

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Note that above, I've used our "People Who Enquired in the Last 180 Days" audience that we just created at the start of this chapter, as a source for this new audience. That's because every Lookalike Audience has to be based off of an existing audience. I've chosen an audience size of 1 - that number actually represents 1%, and what it means is that Facebook is only targeting the 1% of the population that it feels is most like your source audience. You can push that out to as wide as the 10% of people within the geographic population who are most like your audience - but we always start nice and specific to hopefully maximise ROI, and then we can push those audiences wider when the time comes.

So - now, I've got a Lookalike Audience that I can use in future ads. But, since I'll predominantly be targeting businesses in Scotland, I'll need to create ANOTHER new audience in order to do that, as the Lookalike Audiences don't get any more narrowly targeted than the whole of the UK for some reason.

Not to worry, here goes. Click Create Audience again, and this time, choose Saved Audience. And this time, under Source, choose the Lookalike Audience you just created. Once again, give it an instructive name - I've targeted all of Scotland, but you can get as specific as a particular postcode on this one, so fill yer boots and get creative. Just make sure to include the geo-targeting info in the name so that you know at-a-glance what this specific audience is for, when you're choosing from a list when you go to boost your posts etc. 

Here's what that whole last step should look like:

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That's our geo-targeted lookalike audience that's based on people we already converted. To me, that's a really powerful audience to start introducing our brand to, in the hope that down the line they become customers as well. 

3 - Segmented readers of your website based on specific interests.

The final audience that I want to talk about today, which I think has awesome potential, is much more open to your own imagination and interpretation. Basically, as soon as you install your Facebook pixel on your website, Facebook will start to gather information about how people are using your site. And if you want to target people who have used a particular landing page on your site, then you can actually do that retrospectively, whenever you choose to start using that data. Because Facebook has been watching everything. It's fucking wild.

So - let's say I've put the Facebook pixel on my Neatly Wrapped Co e-commerce site a year ago, and only now do I decide that I want to send out a new advert that I've produced to everybody who ever so much as took a peek at the beautiful wood wick White Chocolate and Gingerbread candle in the last 180 days. Well - I can actually set that audience up instantly, and retrospectively, by simply creating the below audience:

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That one is totally open to your own spin and interpretation - point is you can retrospectively target people who took specific action by simply using the URL (or parts of the URL) of the relevant pages. And of course, you can create Lookalike audiences off the back of this as well. 

Like everything in life, the more time you dedicate to experimenting with this, the more you'll get out of it. I've included a couple of useful links in the Further Reading section that will hopefully help you to get your Pixel game really strong, before the FBI shut the whole thing down. And hey - obviously, we've got lots more of these helpful blogs that are meant to help small businesses pick up the essentials. Let us know in the comments if you think we missed anything!

Further reading

We love AdEspresso in general, and we thought that this guide to using the Facebook pixel and getting the best out of your investment was really useful.
This guide by Shopify is a marvellous place to start for e-commerce Pixel integration.
Guide to integrating the Pixel with Squarespace from Facebook (Squarespace's own guide to pixel integration is nowhere near as good).
Guide to integrating the Pixel with Wordpress sites.
If you've got a WordPress site, you can use Pixel configuration plugins such as Pixel Caffeine, to configure your pixel with various options.