If you go on almost any social media marketing or Facebook Ads blog, you’ll see a long list of posts focused on retargeting—how important it is, methods to retarget successfully, and how to make sales with it.
This is all great, but these posts, unfortunately, are forgetting one thing: retargeting isn’t the only part of Facebook Ads that matters.
Retargeting seems to be the current buzzword in social media marketing; it can help boost sales and keep people around, sure, but in general (and like any buzzword), it’s way overhyped. It can help your business, but without cold traffic, it’s not sustainable.
In this post, we’re going to talk about why you need cold traffic to supplement retargeting, and how to determine who to target for best success.
Why Retargeting Isn’t All You Need
Retargeting at its core is displaying offers only to people who have connected with your content before, whether it’s a video on Facebook or a post on your website. This is great, and it does normally help get high conversion rates. The problem is, that retargeting is only appealing to the list you currently have, and that’s it.
Retargeting needs a steady stream of fresh traffic to be worthwhile; this usually means lots of organic search traffic or a massive large list. The majority of small and medium businesses don’t have this.
If this sounds like you, then your marketing efforts need to be focused on getting that new traffic to your site and new names to your lists. This is how your business will grow—and it’ll give you a bigger list to retarget in the future.[Editor’s Note: It’s still worth setting up custom audiences even before you have traffic with our 100% free Facebook Pixel plug-in]
Targeting Cold Traffic With Facebook Ads
Targeting new users and getting cold traffic from Facebook Ads is definitely going to be more challenging than running retargeting campaigns where users are already interested in your brand or products.
Knowing how to find the right people to target and knowing some best practices on getting increases in cold traffic will help your campaigns be successful.
Finding the Right People to Target
Finding the right people to connect with is the most difficult part of cold targeting on Facebook Ads. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools and strategies you can use to determine what your targeting criteria on your Facebook Ads campaigns should be.
- Facebook’s Audience Insights. Facebook’s audience insights is an incredibly valuable tool all marketers on Facebook should be using. Your audience insights can provide you with detailed information about the audience you’re currently connected with. When you’re able to detect certain trends in demographics, interests, or behaviors, you can use that information to target new and similar users.
You can also use audience insights to see which sections of your target audience you may not be connected with on Facebook; you may be missing a certain age group, gender, or interest group. You can create campaigns specifically geared towards these missing users (both in targeting and in the creative aspects of the ad) in order to hopefully connect with more of these users.
- Use Google’s suggestions. You can use Google’s search suggestions to inspire new targeting ideas. It can be particularly helpful when finding audience sectors to target. You can use Google to find similar audiences, which you can then plug into the Audience Insights tool and look for more potential “interests” that you can then target with your ads.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you sell running shoes. You can research Nike (which would be one of your biggest competitors), but you can also search for “Nike’s competitors” on Google. You could also Google “Nike vs.” and let Google suggest top competitors’ names.
- Google Similar Pages. Google Similar Pages is a Google Chrome extension that can help you locate sites similar to the one you’re viewing. You can use this extension when viewing your own website or when viewing a competitor’s website. You can then find these sites and locate their Pages on Facebook. Once you have that, target the pages again in the Facebook Ad Manager.
Get better results with Facebook’s grid search
Facebook’s grid search has made it much easier to find and research audiences to target. But often the search yields results that aren’t very useful.
Let’s imagine you’re performing research to target entrepreneurs. Lewis Howes is popular in entrepreneurial circles, and we want to find more influencers like him to target.
Here’s a move we use at Growth Ninja to get better results.
First, go to http://findmyfbid.com/ and paste the URL of the of the person’s page (in this case Lewis Howes’ Facebook page).
The Find My FB ID website will spit out a unique series of number, the pages’ Facebook ID.
Copy the Facebook ID and plug that number into the following URL:
So the end result should look like:
Here’s where we see: Melanie Duncan, Frank Kern, Ryan Deiss and more audiences we can target as Interests in the Ad Manager.
Using this method will have a dramatic impact on the speed and quality of your research.
Targeting Tips for Getting Cold Traffic from Facebook Ads
Once you’ve determined what targeting criteria you’ll use to get new cold traffic from Facebook Ads, you’re almost ready to run your campaign. Before you do, though, there are a few more strategies and tips to keep in mind when targeting cold traffic, including:
- Utilizing lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences is a fantastic targeting option when you’re looking to connect with new, relevant users. Create a lookalike audience off your most high-value custom audiences list and run a campaign that you know would work well on it. This will help connect you to new users who are similar to your most loyal customers, increasing the chances that they’ll be interested in your brand and product.
I only recommend using lookalike audiences that with a source of 1,000 or more results (conversions, clicks, video views, etc.)
- Keep an eye on your frequency. When running campaigns to generate new traffic, it’s expected that conversions will be a little lower than they would be in most retargeting campaigns. That’s fine. What you want to keep an eye on is the frequency. This is a metric that tells you how often users are seeing the same ad from you.
Try to keep it under three; some repetition can be good for building name brand familiarity. If it gets too high, however, you’ll want to pause or edit the campaign; otherwise, you could be paying for ads that will never convert, and harming your brand by annoying your current audience with too many ads. Create a new campaign, with new creative, and run it instead of keeping the old one going.
Strategies For Making “First Contact” With Cold Traffic
You can’t pitch cold traffic in the same way you would with retargeting people who have visited your site before or are already part of your email list.
Remember that you need to add value first; these people don’t know you or trust you yet, it will be difficult getting them to share their contact information right away even if you have a great offer. Here’re a couple of ideas for how to add value up front.
- Give away a great lead magnet in exchange for their information. Choose a popular download or resource for your site and promote it with ads. If you don’t have a lead magnet, currently a great place to start is by creating a resource for one of your most popular blog posts. If you don’t have a blog yet, try to create a resource that your current customers would love to have. It’s likely your future customers will have the same problems.
- Share content on a video ad. Give away some of your best ideas or content on a video ad. Add a short call to action at the end of the video so people can dig deeper. It gives people a chance to get to know you before they click away from Facebook. If your video resonates with the people you are targeting, they’ll share it and give you some free advertising as well. You’ll also be collecting audience data on the video engagement, which you can use for retargeting or lookalike audiences later.
Facebook recently added a new feature that allows you to create custom audiences from video viewers. This is an excellent source of retargeting traffic. You can choose to target people who have seen your video, or even segment down to anyone who watched the full video.
- Promote one of your best posts. Send cold traffic to a high-converting or high-value post on your blog. It will be much cheaper to send traffic to a blog post instead of aiming for a conversion. According to the Content Marketing Institute and several studies, it often takes 6 to 8 interactions before a visitor will be ready to make a buying decision or even share their information with you. Sending a steady stream of content to your target audience will allow you to build a relationship with them.
Getting cold traffic to your site getting them started on the digital sales funnel can increase your client base and profit line. The most difficult part of targeting cold traffic is knowing who to target for your best success on Facebook Ads, but with the right tools (and the tips from this post), you’ve got everything you need to connect with new, relevant users and to continue to grow your business.
What do you think? How do you get the best success from cold traffic on Facebook Ads?
Vincent Nguyen is the founder of Growth Ninja, a company that provides full-service Facebook Ads management and uses a completely performance-based pay-per-lead pricing model.