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For every eCommerce marketer who has success using Facebook ads, it seems as though there are just as many negative stories of marketers throwing their money at failed Facebook ad campaigns.

It’s true that advertising on Facebook isn’t the right choice for every business, but most of these failures can likely be chalked up to a few small, yet critical mistakes that were entirely avoidable. Put another way—these marketers didn’t do their research beforehand.

Whether you are already using Facebook ads or just getting started with them, there are a few essential things that you need to know if you want to be successful. This guide will provide you with effective strategies and techniques to help you master your Facebook ads and drive conversions for your business.

Know Your Audience

One of the reasons that Facebook’s advertising platform is highly appealing to digital marketers is that it offers advanced targeting options. These options extend far beyond simple demographic data and can be used to hyper-target audiences for more relevant ad experiences.

However, these advanced capabilities won’t do you much good if you don’t know who you are targeting in the first place. Many marketers make the mistake of targeting a large audience, believing that it will increase their chances of attracting more customers.

But zeroing in on specific customers is what drives conversions on Facebook. To hyper-target these valuable customers, you need to know who your target audience is and what they are looking for online.  

Fortunately, Facebook provides you with an easy way to immediately begin displaying relevant ads with its Custom Audiences and Look-alike Audiences features.

Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences is a Facebook feature that allows you to build audience segments using your existing customers. These are people who have already expressed interest in your business, which means that they are likely going to be an easier sell in comparison to cold prospects. Simply upload your email contact list or your website traffic, and you can create a specific audience for them.

Look-alike Audiences

Facebook’s Look-alike Audiences feature helps you to find audiences who share similar traits to your existing customers. This is a powerful feature that allows you to easily expand your reach to a greater number of highly qualified leads, and it is a must for any serious marketer.

Facebook also recently introduced value-based Look-alike audiences, which lets advertisers reach consumers who are similar to their existing high-value customers. If you know the lifetime customer value (LVT) of your customers, then this is a no-brainer.

Leveraging these capabilities can significantly improve the ROI of your Facebook campaigns. You can offer these new customers a free trial or product to generate interest in your brand. Just be sure to follow Facebook’s customer data preparation best practices so that you can increase your match rate.

Set Up Conversion Rate Tracking

Setting up conversion tracking is essential if you want to maximize the ROI of your Facebook ad campaigns. By installing Facebook’s pixel, you can effortlessly track your conversions, remarket to consumers, and optimize your campaigns.

Earlier this year, Facebook began phasing out its old conversion tracking code and introduced a new pixel that makes conversion tracking, optimization, and remarketing much easier for marketers. If you’re already using Facebook ads, remember to install the new pixel.

How Does the Facebook Pixel Work?

You may already have experience using pixels in other advertising channels. Facebook’s pixel works much the same and is simply a piece of code that is placed on your web site and connects to your Facebook ads. This lets you know which actions your visitors are taking and allows you to begin building custom audiences of people who have visited your site.

Choose a Tracking Method

The Facebook pixel offers to conversion method tracking options: standard event and custom conversion tracking. Facebook currently offers nine standard events, including View Cart, Add to Cart, Search, Add to Wishlist, Initiative Checkout, Add Payment Info, Purchase, Lead, and Complete Registration.

If you want to track an event not included in the nine standard events, then you will need to use custom conversion tracking. Custom events allow you to track and optimize specific actions and help Facebook serve your ad to those who are most likely to convert.

You are most likely going to use both tracking methods for your ad campaigns but for different reasons. In the next section, we will dive a bit deeper into using Facebook’s pixel to retarget your website visitors to drive more sales.

Create a Retargeting Strategy

The unfortunate truth is that most people won’t convert the first time they see your ad, which is why a retargeting strategy is vital to your marketing campaign’s success. Remember that Facebook pixel that you recently installed? This is where it becomes particularly useful.

Once someone visits your website, the Facebook pixel will “follow” them back to Facebook and give you the chance to remarket products they viewed or target them by which pages they visited.

For example, a visitor might view a product and even add it to their shopping cart before they abandon the sale. With a Facebook retargeting strategy, you can put the product back in front of the consumer and encourage them to return for a sale.

Optimize Your Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting is a powerful and essential marketing tactic that shouldn’t be left out of your Facebook ad marketing strategy, but it’s important to remember that the journey doesn’t end after you place the product back in front of the consumer. Using AdRoll, you can dive deep into your engagement analytics and see which actions the consumer takes after they view your Facebook ad to help improve your future campaigns.

If you’re serious about your retargeting strategy (and you should be), then make it easy on yourself and integrate AdRoll into your marketing automation platform. This is a simple way to optimize your retargeting campaigns, and it lets you view all your data on a single dashboard.

With a robust marketing platform, you’ll be able to see a complete breakdown of what the customer purchased and how much revenue is being generated from each campaign. Plus, these features can be used for marketing channels beyond Facebook, which makes it a sound investment for any eCommerce marketer.

Leverage Different Ad Formats

Facebook has a variety of ad formats for marketers to use to their advantage. Which ones are best for your business? Well, that depends entirely on the goal of your Facebook ad campaign.

Do you want to increase engagement with your brand? Sell more products? Grow awareness of your brand? Once you know your ultimate goals, you can pick the best ad to achieve these goals.

Here are a few examples to give you actionable ideas:

Increase Mobile Spending

If your goal is to inspire mobile shoppers and drive traffic and conversions, then you should consider creating a Canvas ad. Canvas ads were designed for mobile shoppers and are meant to capture the mobile user’s attention with multimedia. These ads appear in the consumer’s News Feed and allow Facebook users to swipe through Carousel images (more on these later), tilt to view panoramic images, and zoom in to see the image in greater detail.

Retarget Lost Shoppers

If you have high web traffic and a large online inventory, then you should try leveraging dynamic product ads for your retargeting campaigns. These ads let you feature multiple products at once, which can change according to your audience, unlike multi-product ads.

Dynamic ads let you automatically promote products to those who have expressed previous interest. Again, if you’re using the right marketing automation platform, you can seamlessly create and launch dynamic ads from your platform to retarget lost shoppers and track your campaign performance.

Attract New Leads

If you are starting fresh and want to promote multiple products to see what sticks, then multi-product ads can be extremely effective. These ads give you the chance to promote up to 10 images in a carousel ad format, which users can then browse through on desktop or mobile devices.

They can also be used to showcase user-generated content in an ad format, which can be extremely effective for customer acquisition. Whether you leverage user-generated content or your own product ads, be sure to use high-quality images and video.

Tell Your Brand’s Story

Marketers are so focused on selling their products that they often forget to sell themselves. Building brand awareness and loyalty are what leads to long-term eCommerce success, which is why you should have a few ads that address this as their primary goal.

Carousel ads and other “sequenced” ads are particularly effective at telling your brand’s story. In fact, a study by Adaptly found that telling your brand story through a sequence of paid ads is more effective than simply delivering a single call-to-action.

To take advantage of this, you should be leveraging sequenced ads and combining them with a strong call to action. For example, you can target your Look-alike Audiences with a Carousel ad that tells your brand’s story through a series of images, with the last few images including strong calls-to-action that encourage users to like your Facebook page.

There are many ways in which you can use Facebook advertisements to tell a powerful brand story that builds awareness. With the Look-alike Audiences feature, you can tap into prospects that are likely to respond favorably to your brand and target them with ads that introduce you to high-value customers.

Strengthen Your Relationship with Existing Customers

At first, advertisements may not seem like an effective strategy to build stronger relationships with your customer, but leave it to Facebook to make it possible. Thanks to their advanced targeting options, building new relationships and fostering existing relationships has never been easier.

Using Custom Audiences to Build Stronger Relationships

With the Custom Audiences feature, advertisers can target their existing customers with unique offers that are designed specifically for them. For example, you could create a Custom Audience that consists of your most valuable customers and send them a special offer to reward their loyalty toward your eCommerce store. Not only is this likely to result in a sale, but it will create a memorable experience for the customer as well.

You can also target all your customers who have liked your Facebook page and send them an exclusive offer. Reward these amazing customers for their loyalty, and you might even turn them into brand ambassadors.

If these customers haven’t liked your page yet, create a Custom Audience to target these users with Page Like ads to encourage them to subscribe and like your page.

Test and Measure Your Results

Being a data-driven marketer isn’t optional anymore—not if you want to improve your campaigns. By tracking your key metrics and optimizing your Facebook ad campaigns along the way, you can get a better idea of how your campaigns are performing.

Key Metrics to Track

Every business will have different key metrics they wish to track, but there are a few essential metrics that every eCommerce marketer should be watching. These include clicks, impressions, conversion rate, cost-per-action, return-on-ad-spend and lifetime value.

Additionally, there are metrics to help you gauge your Facebook ad engagement, such as page likes, comments, shares, referrals and email signups. Though you can gain insight into your Facebook ad campaigns with either Ads Manager or Power Editor, some of these metrics will need to be tracked and analyzed through third-party tool.

Dive Deeper into Your Analytics

A word to the wise—look at the bigger picture when it comes to your Facebook analytics. For example, your analytics might tell you that men make up the majority of your Facebook traffic, but what if women are driving the most conversions? One metric may not tell the entire story!


Facebook advertising has been growing steadily for years, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. However, if you plan to leverage Facebook ads for your online business, be sure that you take your time to understand a few of the current best practices. Doing this will not only save you time and money but ensure that you get the most out of your Facebook ads.

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