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Using Facebook Ads to Target Specific Traffic

Advertising on Facebook can be a very effective way to reach a large audience of potential customers. When you post marketing content on Facebook, you’re leveraging a platform with approximately 2.41 billion active monthly users. That’s a lot of leads to lure.

However, posting ads is just one way to take advantage of Facebook as a marketer. There are actually many Facebook marketing tools you may not know about. Knowing how to use them could give you a major edge over the competition.

For instance, marketers often overlook the value of using Facebook to target referral traffic. To better understand how you could use this feature to your benefit, consider the following points.

Targeting Referral Traffic with the Facebook Pixel

To target referral traffic on Facebook, you must first know how to use the Facebook Pixel. This is essentially a line of code you can insert into various pages of your site. The Pixel collects information when Facebook users visit your site and take certain actions. 

For instance, if you wanted to develop a remarketing campaign, targeting users who previously demonstrated an interest in specific types of products, you might use the Pixel to collect data about users who bought those products. That data can then be used to generate a Custom Audience.

To use the Pixel as a means of targeting referral traffic, visit your Facebook Analytics page, select the Pixel, and select Events in the Activity section. Then, select Page View. Now you’ll see information about how users are accessing your site.

This can help you know where referral traffic is coming from. For instance, maybe most of your guests find your site via Google. However, you may be surprised to learn that they also frequently access your site through different platforms, such as Pinterest or Instagram. The more information you have about referral traffic, the easier it is to develop a strategy for targeting particular types of users.

Perhaps you specifically want to run ads that are seen by users who visit your site through Pinterest. To do so, you would take the following steps:

  • Begin creating a Custom Audience from your website
  • In the From Your Events Option, choose PageView
  • Select Refine by, then select URL/Parameter
  • Click on the drop-down for URL, and select Referrer
  • Select Contains, then enter pinterest.com (remember that some domains are formatted differently in different parts of the world; include all if you wish to reach a global audience)

Pinterest is just one example. You can use this same process to generate a Custom Audience based on referral traffic from Google, or anywhere else you choose.

Once you’ve generated this audience, you can target it when running ads and campaigns. There are several reasons you may want to do so. For instance, maybe you’re promoting a contest you’re holding on Instagram. Thus, you would want to target people who you know both use Instagram, and have some degree of interest in your brand. You could use this method to target traffic referred to your site from Instagram, making sure you’re reaching the right users.

Other smart reasons to target referral traffic include the following:

Targeting Interested Leads

When you target referral traffic, by their very nature, you’re targeting leads who you know have already demonstrated some degree of interest in your brand. The means by which they first visited your site might be different, but overall, you know that Facebook users in this audience have already been willing to visit it through other platforms. That indicates they may be likely to do so again when you post a relevant Facebook ad.

Understanding Customer Behavior

Targeting referral traffic naturally involves monitoring referral traffic. As you develop ads and campaigns targeting Facebook users who initially visited your site through specific platforms, you’ll, of course, be paying attention to what those platforms are.

This helps you better understand where your ideal customers spend their time online when they’re not visiting your site or using Facebook. For example, you may find you get a high number of referrals from Twitter. This indicates that people interested in your brand may also be highly likely to use Twitter on a regular basis. Knowing this, you might decide to prioritize Twitter to a greater degree in future social media campaigns. Essentially, targeting referral traffic can help you improve your approach to marketing in general.

Personalizing Marketing Content

Surveys and studies consistently indicate that today’s consumers want marketers to personalize their campaigns. Targeting referral traffic gives you an opportunity to meet this expectation.

No, it won’t allow you to develop ads tailored to the specific preferences of every single lead. However, monitoring referrals can give you a better sense of what some leads are interested in when they engage with your brand online.

For instance, maybe you’re doing marketing for a sports apparel brand. Perhaps one of your winter sports jackets was featured on a blog’s list of “The Season’s Top 10 Winter Sports Jackets,” and you find a substantial amount of traffic was referred to your site by a link in that blog entry. You could thus create an audience of users who you know are interested in winter sports apparel. Of course, the ads you display to such users would feature other winter sports gear. By knowing how particular Facebook users initially engaged with your brand, you’ll have more chances to learn which specific products and services they’re most interested in. That makes it much easier to develop marketing content that aligns with their personal tastes.

Understanding the Value of Other Marketing Tactics

Again, in order to target referral traffic on Facebook, you need to consistently monitor where referral traffic is coming from. This will help you better understand whether certain other marketing tactics are also worth prioritizing in future campaigns. For example, if you learn you get a substantial degree of referral traffic from Instagram, you might decide it’s worth your money to coordinate with an Instagram influencer to promote your brand. Or, if you find people tend to visit your site when popular blogs link to it, you might devote more time and money to reaching out to bloggers.

Most importantly, experiment with this marketing feature! As a marketer, you know how important it is to take advantage of all beneficial tools. The more you work with this resource, the more you’ll understand its value.