The best way to get high ROAS (Return On Advertisement Spending) with Facebook ads is by being careful about who you target your ads at.
Facebook decide your CPA (Cost per action) based on the relevancy score of your posts. The relevancy score means how relevant the post is for the audiences that it has been advertised to. That means that there are two variables to the equation. There is the content (ad copy, images etc.) and the audience. These two need to fit together to get a good CPA.
You are in complete control of the content, but the audience is a bit more difficult to control. In this article, I will show you some hacks to make you ads reach a more relevant segment using custom audiences and retargeting. Each little hack can be applied in 3 minutes or so.
1. Retarget people who visited your website
If you haven’t already you need to install a Facebook Pixel on your website. Having a pixel will enable you to target visitors of your website with ads on Facebook. Even more, interestingly, you can target people who did something of particular interest, for example, added something to the basket.
Having a pixel will enable you to target visitors of your website with ads on Facebook. Even more, interestingly, you can target people who did something of particular interest, for example, added something to the basket.
To get a pixel you need to go to you ads manager on Facebook.
Here you need to open up your own account which should get you to a screen containing all your ad campaigns.
To find the page where you can configure your pixel, move your mouse over the Menu icon in the top left (as shown in the image above), then click the “All tools” button in the lower part of the menu. This will expand the menu and show all the available features. Move your mouse to the right and click “Pixels” under the “Assets” pane.
Since my pixel is already set up it might look different than your screen, but when you get to the pixel page you should look for a button saying “Set Up Pixel”.
Click the button and this will present a modal view with installation options like these:
To get the script just copy the one that is on the screen and insert it using the plugin below.
Alternatively, if you have a WooCommerce shop and want to track more advanced events I know Pixel Caffeine By AdEspresso can do most of the things.
After you have installed the pixel on your website you should check it is tracking correctlyas mentioned in step 3 (See image below). An even better method is to install this Free Chrome extension: Facebook Pixel Helper for Google Chrome.
When you have confirmed that your own page is working correctly, you can use it to spy on what you competitor track about their customers.
2. Spy on your competition and learn how they use Facebook Pixels
The tool you just installed to confirm that your website is setup correctly, can be used to spy on what your competitors track about you and their customers.
Go to the website of one your competitors you consider most web-savvy.
Navigate around the website and pay attention to the Facebook Pixel Helper. When the website sends information off to Facebook the number on the icon will increment.
Click that icon and a window will pop open. Here you can see everything that the website is tracking about you.
Try putting something in the basket, check out, and buy something. Pay attention to what sort of things they track, and try imagining how they use it later, in their ads.
Here you can see an example what Fiverr tracks. They do a particularly good job at tracking. Take a look at how they track that I am a buyer, what category I am browsing at the moment, and they have a special data point they call a “power_buyer”, wonder what that does…
The cool thing about the Facebook Pixel is that it is free to use and you can insert it on your website. To get the same granularity as Fiverr has you need to work a little harder.
3. Make lookalike audiences
One of Facebook most amazing features for marketers is lookalike audiences.
If you already have an audience of customers who bought your product you can use Facebooks lookalike feature to create a new audience of potential buyers. This is an incredible super power. Using advanced algorithms, Facebook helps you find the right people to see the ads (Read more about lookalike audiences here).
So to rephrase this feature creates an audience of people on Facebook who is similar to people in one of your existing audiences.
That raises the question how to make the existing audience. As mentioned it can be based on visitors, who bought something on your website and then you will get a new audience that potentially would love to buy your products as well.
So one way to do it is with the Facebook Pixel installed and trigger a conversion event during checkout. Alternatively, you could make a custom audience from the email addresses of your existing customers.
If you have the simple Facebook Pixel installed on your page, but no advanced conversion event tracking, you can still make an audience of buyers. For example, if you know all buyers end up on a certain page after the purchase e.g. “doefler.com/thank-you” or “doefler.com/order-complete” or something like that, you can use that as a trigger.
To make a new audience click this button on you Pixel page.
In this GIF animation, I show how you can make an audience based on visitors who visited a certain page in my page. You could do the same for your web shop.
When you click “Create Audience” Facebook will create a new audience and start populating it with people who already visited the page and keep monitoring your page in the future. This makes it a very smart way to track because it works retroactively.
When the audience is created you can make a lookalike audience based on it. All you have to do is to click the “Find new people similar to your existing users” button.
Alternatively you can always make lookalike audiences from any custom audience from the “Audiences” page. You can access that from the header menu.
In the top of the “Audiences” page, you will see a menu that allows you do several useful things. If you click the “Create Audience” drop-down you will find the “Lookalike Audiences” feature. This is my go to place for creating lookalike audiences.
When you click the Lookalike audience button a modal view will show up. Here you can pick any of your existing custom audiences and the countries Facebook should look for similar people in.
Just start with the standard settings. When you get more advanced and have a bigger budget you can experiment with the Advanced options. For example, you can make different lookalike audiences that reach further. This will decrease the relevancy but make the audience much bigger.
When you are done hit “Create Audience” and wait for Facebook to do its magic. It will take Facebook a couple of hours to populate the lookalike audience. This will also be updated with the future buyers from the custom audience.
In the next section, I will teach you how to make lookalike audiences even if you don’t have a massive list of buyers already.
4. Make better lookalike audiences
If you already make lookalike audiences but don’t feel like they work, maybe it is because your custom audience is too small.
Facebook recommends making lookalike audiences based on audiences with between 1,000 and 50,000 people.
If you have a smaller web shop or are doing more premium B2B, then you don’t have enough data for Facebook to draw significant conclusions and find similar people.
To make better audiences, all you need to do is to make a bigger custom audience.
You can do that by moving up the funnel and base it on high-purchase-intent people who haven’t bought yet.
How do you know if people have high purchase intent?
- Visitors who filled out a form
- Visitors who put something in the basket
- Visitors who went to the checkout page
- Visitors who checkout shipping options
Combining these groups of people you will have a much bigger audience.
You can make this audience using the Facebook Pixel as shown before.
Even if the group of people is higher in the funnel, it will still make sense to let Facebook use them as the input for their algorithms.
In the end, you will end up having a much higher converting audience.
5. Make audiences based on people who engaged with your posts
When you are on the Audience page you might as well make an audience based on the people who engaged with your page and/or your page posts. It is super easy to make this kind of audience. Start by going to the “Create Audience” drop-down.
Here you click the “Custom Audience” button. This will open a modal view with different options.
Click the “Engagement” option to make audiences based on interactions with one of your pages.
In the next view, you click “Facebook Page” (the other options are also really interesting to check out later) and this will take you to a new view.
In this final step, you pick the page you want to base the audience off and what sort of engagement you find important. In this case, I chose any engagement within the last 21 days. Keep in mind that the shorter the time interval the smaller the audience will be and therefore the less chance of making great lookalike audiences. On the other hand though if the time interval is too big you might end up targeting people who don’t remember who you are and/or don’t care anymore. This is particularly important for seasonal products as well as products that are associated with life events like marriage, birthdays etc. Be sure to make a descriptive Audience Name and try to come up with a format you use every time and stick to it. That will make it much
Keep in mind that the shorter the time interval the smaller the audience will be and therefore the less chance of making great lookalike audiences.
On the other hand though if the time interval is too big you might end up targeting people who don’t remember who you are and/or don’t care anymore. This is particularly important for seasonal products as well as products that are associated with life events like marriage, birthdays etc. Be sure to make a descriptive Audience Name and try to come up with a format you use every time and stick to it. That will make it much
This is particularly important for seasonal products as well as products that are associated with life events like marriage, birthdays etc. Be sure to make a descriptive Audience Name and try to come up with a format you use every time and stick to it. That will make it much
Be sure to make a descriptive Audience Name and try to come up with a format you use every time and stick to it. That will make it much
That will make it much easier to keep track of things further down the line. It also makes it much easier if you are working together with other marketers in a team.
6. Investigate your audiences with the Audience Overlap feature
One of my favorite features of the Audience page is to see the overlap between audiences. You can access this feature from the “Actions” drop-down.
This tool lets you see how different audiences overlap with one base audience. So first you pick the audience you want to use as the reference. Then you add other audiences to compare with that one.
The reason this is so useful is that it lets you see which of your audiences has the most significant overlap with your custom audience of purchasers. Imagine you create 10 different audiences including lookalike audiences and then you have one audience of people you know have bought stuff. Now you can see which of your other audiences are most similar.
I use it as a way to benchmark my new audiences.
- Often I will make my audiences like this:
- Make a custom audience based on either Pixel or Emails.
- Make a lookalike audience based on the first audience.
- Make a saved audience from the lookalike audience and exclude interests, behaviors, locations, gender, age groups I already know won’t convert.
Then I confirm my idea using the overlap tool and see if the overlap is bigger between the saved audience and the custom audience than between the lookalike audience and the custom audience.
Experiment with the tool, it is really interesting and can be quite useful to identify errors and bad targeting options.
I hope these hacks gave you some new marketing superpowers.
If you need help setting this up for your company, let me know.
And if you need some inspiration to how you can target your audiences even further and make sub-audiences, you can check out my complete reference of Facebook targeting options.