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If you’re an eCommerce marketer, how well you understand Facebook ads could make or break your business. The landscape of Facebook ads is continually evolving to meet the expectations of social media users. Remember, thousands of companies are vying for people's attention on the platform. It's vital to stay on top of trends and use them to your advantage.

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 practical strategies and techniques to help you master your Facebook ads and drive conversions for your business.

We’ll discuss how Facebook helps you better understand and grow your audience using data you already have, how to target and retarget potential customers, and how to leverage Facebook’s different ad formats. 

We’ll also dive into how to build brand awareness campaigns using Facebook, and how to track your results within the platform. 

Continue reading along, or use the links below to jump to specific sections.


One of the key advantages of Facebook’s advertising platform is the advanced targeting options. Facebook’s massive data stores allow you to go beyond simple demographics to hyper-target audiences for more relevant ad experiences.

However, these features 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 casting too wide of a net, believing that it will increase their chances of attracting more customers.

It's important to understand that all ads are, at their core, conversations. Targeting your ad to men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 is the advertising equivalent of shouting on the street. Someone might pay attention to you, but most people will ignore you.

Facebook's advertising platform makes it easy for you to target your existing contacts and reach new people with a similar profile. But, if you want to drive conversions, you must tailor your campaign to a specific audience. Focus on crafting a message that will resonate with a particular group within your customer base.

Setting Up Custom AudiencesFacebook’s Custom Audience feature allows you to plug in your email list and segment your contacts based on their demographics and specific interests. These are people who have already expressed interest in your business. You're likely to have greater success with them than cold prospects. Simply upload your email contact list or your website traffic, and you can create a specific audience for them.

Example: There are several ways to make the most of the Custom Audience feature. For example, you could create a Custom Audience that consists of your repeat 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 everyone who has liked your Facebook page and send them an exclusive offer. Loyalty campaigns help you establish a deeper relationship with your customers and 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.

Facebook's Lookalike Audiences — This feature helps you to find new customers by serving up ads to people who are similar to your contacts. This powerful feature allows you to quickly expand your reach to a significant number of highly qualified leads. It's a must for any serious marketer.

Facebook also provides value-based Lookalike audiences, which lets you reach consumers who match the profiles of your 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.

Video — Video ads can play automatically on the newsfeed or appear in as in-stream ads on longer Facebook videos. Remember, video tends to get the most engagement on social media.

Image — Image ads are probably the oldest format on Facebook. Much of the spotlight has been taken up by video-based ads, but a clever image ad can still attract customers and generate leads.

Collection — Collection ads are a mobile-specific format and great for eCommerce marketing. They allow you to showcase up to five products at once. All your target has to do is click to buy.

Carousel — These ads can display up to 10 images or videos to showcase a product or even several products.

Slideshow — Slideshow ads allow you to quickly take images or short clips and turn them into a video. Facebook Ads Manager even has a suite of stock images to choose from if you don't have media.

Stories — Stories are short, vertical video ads that play in the Stories section of Facebook and Instagram. When done correctly, Stories allow you to connect with your customers in a more personal way. Creating Story filters allows your customers to interact directly with your brand on social media.

Messenger — Messenger ads can appear in two different ways. They can appear directly in the user's inbox as a sponsored message or as a click-to-messenger ad within their newsfeed. Both styles can be effective when used right.

Learn more about how to use Facebook Messenger ads to your advantage.

Instant Experience — These are full-screen mobile ads (formerly called canvas ads) capture the user's attention with multimedia. Since their inception, the number of instant experience ads has doubled, making them very hard to ignore.

Payables — Playable ads allow the user to interact directly with the brand through gameplay. Playables could be a great option if your audience has a lot of overlap with gaming culture.

Dynamic Ads — Dynamic ads are personalized ads that remind a customer of items they've already viewed. They are an essential tool in your remarketing kit.

How to Leverage Different Facebook Ad FormatsAs you can see, Facebook Ads Manager 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 an Instant Experience Ad. These ads appear in the consumer's News Feed, and allow Facebook users to swipe through Carousel images, tilt to view panoramic images and zoom in to see the picture in greater detail. 

Retarget Lost Shoppers — If you have high web traffic and an extensive 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 — 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.


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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. Facebook Ads Manager is in a unique position to help you accomplish this goal.

Carousel Ads  — Carousel ads and other "sequenced" ads are particularly great for telling your brand's story. Telling your brand story through a sequence of paid ads is more effective than merely 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 Lookalike Audiences with a Carousel ad that tells your brand's story through a series of images, with the last few photos including strong calls-to-action that encourage users to like your Facebook page.

Attract New LeadsIf you are starting fresh and want to promote multiple products to see what sticks, then multi-product ads can be beneficial. 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 great for customer acquisition. Whether you leverage user-generated content or your product ads, be sure to use high-quality images and videos. 


It can take several interactions with your brand before someone makes a purchase, which is why a retargeting strategy is vital to your marketing campaign’s success. To start retargeting using Facebook Ads Manager, you need to install the Facebook pixel. 

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 tool lets you know which actions your visitors are taking and allows you to begin building custom audiences of people who have visited your site. 

How Does Facebook Work? — 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.

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 to your site to complete the sale.

Optimize Your Retargeting CampaignsRetargeting is a powerful and essential marketing tactic that should be central to your Facebook marketing strategy. But, 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. Adroll will let you optimize your retargeting campaigns, and 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 each campaign generated. Plus, you can use these features for marketing channels beyond Facebook, which makes it a sound investment for any eCommerce marketer. 


There is strong evidence to suggest that this type of advertising is significantly more powerful than the old-school banner ads of the past. Native ads work — and are therefore definitely worth the hype — because they play to the consumer’s subconscious. Users have evolved to consume and digest more information than ever, and they are adept enough to be able to weed out information that’s not pertinent.

So finding solutions that keep content fresh, relevant and engaging is more important than ever. Native advertising is definitely worth the time and investment, at least until we evolve to tune it out, too.

Choose a Tracking Method — The Facebook pixel offers two conversion method tracking options: standard event and custom conversion tracking. 

Facebook currently offers 17 standard events, including:

  • Purchase
  • Add payment info
  • Add to cart
  • Add to wishlist
  • Initiate checkout
  • Start trial
  • Submit application
  • Subscribe
  • Complete registration
  • Lead
  • Search
  • View content
  • Contact
  • Customize product
  • Donate
  • Find location
  • Schedule

If you want to track an event not included in the 17 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.


Facebook's marketing platform provides an abundance of data, targeting options, and ad formats to help you reach your audience at the right time with the right message. It's a fantastic resource for strengthening your relationship with your existing customers and attracting new ones.

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.