Outside of my work as a professional marketer, I am a guitar player, bandmate, and pedal enthusiast. I love finding new and exotic tones to please your ears, but that does come at a cost. Custom, boutique, and high-end pedals can be quite expensive, and that doesn't even include your instruments or amplifiers.

While I do make occasional impulse buys, most of my purchases come after hours of online and in-person research that includes: visiting musician forums & message boards, asking questions, reading dozens of reviews from shopping websites, comparing a product to at least a half-dozen other products, listening to YouTube clips, and sometimes I'll try out the product if I still am not completely sold.

Inevitably, though, I will visit their website. And that's how they sold me on an amazing pedal a few days ago. Not by immediately buying on their site, but through retargeting. I saw an ad via Facebook for the exact pedal I was looking for, and it was on sale.

So what is retargeting? Retargeting lets a company target an ad to a user that's already expressed interest in your product. In the example above, I had already done a good amount of preliminary research, but only after I visited their website did the company know to advertise to me. And I was the perfect target. These ads can show up anywhere online and you've probably seen them before, but today I'm going to focus on Facebook's Pixel.

This is how Facebook describes what Pixel does:

The Facebook pixel can be used for three main functions:
  1. Building Custom Audiences from your website for remarketing.
  2. Optimizing ads for conversions.
  3. Tracking conversions and attributing them back to your ads.

Without overloading this post with a bunch of technical instructions to get started, I wanted to share a few links to get you started with Pixel.

1. Create a Facebook Ad Account

You can get started at https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/

2. Create Your Pixel

Once you have created your ad account and entered payment info, etc., now it's time to create your Pixel. This can be found in the Tools dropdown menu, and more detailed instructions can be found here https://www.facebook.com/business/help/952192354843755

3. Install Pixel

Although there are several ways you can go about implementing Pixel, I recommend using Google Tag Manager. It's perfect for managing tags/scripts like Pixel. You can follow the instructions here to install it properly https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1021909254506499

4. Set Up Custom Audiences & Start Advertising

Also under the Tools dropdown is Audiences link. This is where you will set up your advertising audience where you can include Facebook users who have visited your website. Check this link out for additional instructions https://www.facebook.com/business/a/online-sales/custom-audiences-website

Downsides of Retargeting

A common complaint of retargeting is when a user has already purchased your product and yet they still receive ads for the product. IMO this isn't as bad as it sounds. Very often other forms of advertising will do the same thing. A common fix to this problem is to only target users to your website that have visited in the past X amount of days. This will ensure that your ads are targeting only the most recent & active visitors on your website.

Written by


AdEasel® is a professional, full-service marketing and advertising agency based in the Midwest with principal offices in Chicago, Des Moines and Minnesota.

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