tips for making effective facebook ads

With over 2 BILLION active users, Facebook is an important part of an ecommerce marketing strategy. Businesses have been trying to harness the power of Facebook for years now but seem to be missing one important piece: paid advertisement for retargeting customers.

Are you intimidated by Facebook advertising? Confused on what it entails and if your business needs it? Keep reading. We’ll walk you through what it is and tips for making effective Facebook ads to increase your company’s revenue and ROI.


A Basic Intro to Facebook Ads

Facebook ads have become a vital part of many business’s monthly paid marketing strategy. A huge plus side to Facebook ads are the fact that businesses don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to see results. Facebook allows businesses to target the exact market they want to sell to, removing any unnecessary spend on the wrong traffic.

Business owners and marketing teams can also take Facebook Ads to the next level by retargeting potential and existing customers. These ads can focus on getting customers back to their website or an abandoned cart. This is how it works:

  • Facebook’s API tracks a specific website’s visitors using cookies that are invisible to the customer, but invaluable to Facebook.
  • When a customer leaves the site, the Facebook API shows advertisements to the customer in their Facebook feed or sidebar.
  • The customer is reminded of the product or service they recently viewed on that website. The ad prompts the customer to click on the ad to return to the site and complete their purchase.

Guess what? Facebook retargeting ads really work. cited a study completed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) which found that “out of 1,000 marketers surveyed, 92% found retargeting to perform the same as or better than search, 91% for email, and 92% for other display advertising.”

To see great results of your own, read on for some of our best tips for creating successful retargeting ads on Facebook.


Tips for Making Effective Facebook Ads

Tip #1: Keep Targets Narrow

The strength of Facebook advertising is in its ability to target users based on their volunteered information. For example, if you’re selling nerd-themed apparel and accessories, you could target users who’ve identified themselves as Star Wars fans, or users who added comic books to their interests.

Try your best to keep your targets narrow. That’s your best chance of getting the most out of your money. If you’re selling yoga mats, market research says you should target women. By itself, that’s a broad demographic. For the most success, target based on age and interests: women between 22 and 39 who enjoy yoga.

Narrowing your target for the ad means you don’t have to spend money showing your post to shoppers who might be less likely to buy.


Tip #2: Use Dynamic Retargeting Ads

Have you ever received an email from a company showing a photo of the exact product you were considering while on their site previously? Well, your business can also take advantage of this strategy using Facebook retargeting ads.

Retargeting ads of the past on Facebook only pushed consumers to revisit a website’s homepage. However, businesses have found even more success with dynamic retargeting ads. These ads display a photo of the EXACT product a consumer was looking at while spending time shopping on your site. Putting a photo of the product in a consumer’s Facebook feed/sidebar reminds them of what they were interested in. It also increases the likelihood of the consumer clicking and returning to your site to make a purchase.

This ad strategy translates into a higher ROI because the ads are served to people who’ve already shown interest in your products or services. Take a look at these 5 Facebook retargeting ads that combat abandoned carts.


Tip #3: Offer an Incentive

Incentives, combined with a sense of urgency like a time restriction, can often overcome a potential shopper’s hesitation. Maybe only offer discounts on ads targeting those who’ve already shown interest in your product (retargeting), so you don’t worry about other too many people taking advantage of these ecommerce discounts.


Tip #4: Don’t Forget About Existing Customers

So far, we’ve discussed retargeting ads best-suited for those customers that abandoned a cart and didn’t complete a purchase. What about those people that have already bought a product? Are they exempt from Facebook retargeting ads?

No, they aren’t. To think so could result in a big loss for your business.

Previous customers are the perfect audience for retargeting ads, especially through a process called “cross-selling.” Basically, Facebook serves a “complementary” product to the product that was previously purchased. For example, if you sell smartphones and accessories and a customer bought a specific type of smartphone, you can run an effective Facebook ad with an image of various accessories for their smartphone such as a phone cover.

Advertising new products to previous customers can increase ecommerce retention and your overall lifetime customer value.


Tip #5: Optimize Multiple Ads

If you want to succeed at something, you have to keep trying until you get it right. Creating successful ecommerce Facebook ads is the same way. Your first Facebook ad might not be a success. My first ad on the site delivered huge engagement and clicks, but didn’t produce a single sale.

The key to finding success is to produce multiple ads, analyze the results, and use the data to revise future ads. Differentiate everything from the writing to the image to the demographics you’ve targeted.

Think about the yoga mat example from earlier. If the ad received less than stellar results, it’s not a sign the seller should give up. They could choose to target a different age range, or add a related interest like “clean eating.”

Compare the results of multiple Facebook ads and take time to refine your process before you give up on the platform.


Tip #6: Use Arresting Images

We are bombarded by images constantly on social media. It is becoming harder for any one image to cut through the static and grab our attention. That’s why it’s vitally important that your Facebook ad uses images that instantly catch the eye of someone scrolling through their feed.

A few things that make images compelling:

  • Relatable lifestyles. Show people doing the activity that you are targeting.
  • High quality. Professional taken photos with good lighting make your brand look legit.
  • Be funny. Seeing something silly or goofy makes social media users want to like or share the post.
  • Show some skin. Sex still sells. A provocative (yet appropriate) image will make most people stop in their tracks.

For more tips, check out these do’s and don’ts of Facebook advertising.


Tip #7: Write How Your Audience Speaks

People want to buy from brands that are personable. Make sure that your copy is relevant to your audience. Use slang that they are used to. You can even use industry-specific language.

Lowest common denominator marketing doesn’t work as well for native advertisements. Like I said before, the more specific your targeting, the more you’re getting out of each dollar. You can get a little more niche on this platform that you might on other forms of advertisement.



If you haven’t already implemented Facebook ads, give it a try. Just like any new marketing strategy, you may experience a bit of a learning curve launching Facebook ads. Be sure to focus on A/B testing to perfect your messaging to create effective Facebook ads. The increased ROI and less abandoned carts will be worth the extra time!

Let us know your favorite ways to utilize the Facebook Ads Manager in the comments.


Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published June 2018 by Evan Cutler, the Digital Marketing Director at Prestige Pro Media, an agency focused on digital marketing and conversion rate optimization for eCommerce brands. Updates were made in November 2019 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.

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