Why should the Facebook pixel be an essential part of your online advertising and marketing? To answer this question, you must first understand what the Facebook pixel is and how it can impact your online advertising.
It is surprising, in the age we live in, how few marketers I talk to are implementing this tool in their marketing mix. Facebook has over 1.2 billion active users each day. Facebook captures loads of data about your customers, where they live, what they like, their career, what they follow and much more. This data combined with the Facebook pixel allows you to target your advertising better. Because of this, I want to start with the basics and walk you through some of the ways you can implement the Facebook pixel to create higher converting ad campaigns that better target your customers and their interests.
What is the Facebook pixel?
Pixels are found across most advertising platforms. They are used to drop a cookie onto a visitor's browser when they come to your website so that you can advertise to them later. In this regard, if you are spending money on pay-per-click advertising and not using the pixel you are not maximizing your budget. The pixel allows you to retarget website users based on behavior, optimize ad performance, and track leads and conversions on your site from Facebook ads.
To set up the Facebook pixel, you need to have a Facebook Ad Manager account. If you don’t already have this, you’ll need to set one up.
Once you have your Ad Manager account, you can set up your Facebook pixel. Open your Ads Manager in the main menu and click on “Pixels” under the “Assets” menu.
You will then be prompted to either generate the code to place on the website or use a tag manager to place this code.
Depending on how your website is set up and the platform you are using, this step will vary. For many, simply work with your developer to follow the steps outlined in the Facebook instructions. HINT: Enabling “advanced matching” allows you to identify similar audiences on Facebook based on website users email or phone number they may enter during registration or checkout
Once the code is placed on your site, verify everything is working by checking the status of your pixel with the Pixel Helper.
Once you have the pixel in place and have verified it’s working, there are three ways you can use the Facebook pixels to maximize your Facebook ad campaigns.
1. Custom audiences and retargeting
When creating a new audience, the first thing you do is select "Create a Custom Audience". The Facebook pixel allows you to identify and advertise to audiences that have visited your website. The base option allows you to target all visitors to your website, but there are many customizations to choose from to create multiple audiences.
You can choose to target based on certain pages visited or how long it’s been since they visited your site. You can even target based on what page they visited. For instance, if you have an audience who completed a request-for-info form and doesn’t complete a purchase, you can serve a different ad to that group. This allows you to serve dynamic ads to audiences based on where they are at in your sales process.
Once you have identified your audiences for retargeting, it is very easy to create look-alike audiences. Facebook will match other targets that have similar interests to those that have visited your site already. This allows you to scale your advertising to a broader audience based on which campaigns and audiences have already proved successful.
2. Conversion and lead tracking
One of the most useful features of the Facebook Pixel is in tracking actions through custom conversions.
Through the pixel, you can track specific actions and tie them back to your Facebook ad campaigns. This allows you to know how many sales, or how many new lead signups were generated from these campaigns or even specific ads.
When creating your custom conversion, you want to tie the conversion to the success of an action. Such as a thank-you page on your website that follows a contact submission, or you can even tie the conversion to a specific event such as a click to call from a mobile phone.
After you select the specific URL or tracking event from the drop-down menu, you will need to select what category this conversion falls into. This is for your classification, so just make the selection that makes the most sense to you.
Once this is set, you can name your custom conversion in the following screen and assign a dollar value to it. If you don’t have a monetary value to assign you do not have to enter this, but if there is a purchase tied to the conversion I would highly recommend doing so. This will allow you to better assess your return on the ad spend.
To begin tracking your conversions, check “track all conversions” on your ad campaigns and Facebook will handle the rest.
Viewing the conversions does get a little more complicated, as Facebook doesn’t put this in plain sight. From your Ads Manager screen, select the “columns” drop down and go to “Customize Columns.”
From here, you can search for the name of your custom conversion and view the number of conversions, the cost of those conversions and (if you assigned a dollar value) the value of those conversions.
3. Optimizing your campaigns
By setting up your custom conversions, Facebook can help you optimize your campaigns. Whenever you create a new campaign, Facebook will ask you what your marketing objective is. You will almost always select the conversions option.
By selecting this option, Facebook will recognize users that are converting based on the custom conversions you set up (such as a sign-up thank you page). Facebook will then optimize your campaign for other people who are most like those that have already converted on your site.
That’s a wrap! You should now have a better understanding of how to utilize the Facebook pixel to increase the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising. From reading this, I hope you see how crucial it is to implement this to make your ad dollars effective.