Small businesses face very specific challenges when it comes to marketing and advertising.  Budgets are limited and resources are scarce, but the good news is that Facebook understands that struggle and has been making some consecutive moves to help out small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners with features that will drive traffic and acquire more customers.  Facebook’s most recent feature, “Website Custom Audiences” is quickly becoming one of the most promising advertising tools yet.  Here is a rundown of everything you need to know about the feature.

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What is it?

Website Custom Audiences, often referred to as Facebook retargeting, allows you to add a remarketing pixel to your business website in order to build custom audiences based on users’ activities, and then deliver appropriate ads to those users within Facebook.  Finally, a seamless connection between web and social presence!

Cue the Pointer Sisters, cause WE’RE SO EXCITED!!!!

Why Does it Matter?

These pixels allow you to track the conversions that happen on your website as a result of ads that you’re running on Facebook.   So, for example, if you want to track checkouts, you would put the pixel on the checkout confirmation page and whenever a person loads that page, the code tells Facebook that the conversion occurred.  Facebook then matches that conversion against the set of people who viewed and/or clicked on an ad so you can determine the ROI for your ad spend. Cha ching!

 How Can Your Business Benefit?

Aside from determining exactly what your advertising dollars get you on Facebook, there are some really great benefits to retargeting.

Get Relevant Fans

You can already target your email customers who aren’t currently fans through the use of Custom Audiences, and now with Website Custom Audiences, you can reach users who visit your website but who are neither Facebook fans nor on your email list.  These people know who you are already, which allows you to quickly and affordably build a highly relevant audience.

Drive Targeted Website Traffic

Website Custom Audiences allows you to advertise to groups of people based on actions they have taken within specific time periods. You can also choose to exclude people by actions they have taken, in order to make sure you are reaching the right people at the right time.

Let’s say I’m a personal chef, and I want to promote the new line of cookware I launched on my website.  First I’ll create a Facebook post that drives traffic to the page on my site where my cookware is showcased and then I’ll promote that post to reach more fans.  With Website Custom Audiences, I can now make sure to target users who have visited my website during the past 30 days, but exclude people that already saw the new cookware so we don’t waste any advertising dollars.

Increase Sales

Have you ever visited Amazon or some other online retail site, looked at a product and when you login to Facebook, there it is again? (I’m currently being taunted by a particular pair of boots I viewed…ok stalked…online last month.)  Well, the bottom line may just be where Website Custom Audiences make the greatest difference for SMBs.  Sure, you can target any visitor to your website with a Facebook ad promoting a product or service, but now you can create an ad that only targets website visitors who already saw the landing page for your product or service but didn’t complete the purchase!

Here are a few more examples of retargeting that showcase just how powerful it is for you and your business:

-A travel website could use Website Custom Audiences to reach a targeted group – people that searched for flights but never made a reservation – with a targeted News Feed Ad: “Get 10% off your next flight reservation.”
-A retailer could encourage visitor to come back and purchase the items left in their shopping cart.:  “Did you have a question about one of our products? We’re here to help!”
-A consultant could target their blog readers to push services in the future: “Like our page to stay up to date with the latest deals on service packages.”
-An electrician can target first time visitors with a deal for new customers: “15% off any plumbing service for new customers!”

The options for SMBs are limitless.  Tell us how you are using Website Custom Audiences to drive results for your business!

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Allison Freedenfeld
Allison is the Director of Product Marketing at Zibaba, a leading provider of Social & Mobile solutions for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).   She has worked with agencies, international brands, startups, F500 companies and SMBs, focusing on how businesses with limited budgets can drive results with Social Media and Mobile.