Have you ever been browsing the internet when suddenly you come across a couple of products that interest you?

You click on them, have a read around the page for a couple of minutes and decide that now isn’t the time to buy them. You carry on with your life until a few hours later, you see an ad on Facebook, Instagram or another website, displaying that exact same product you looked at.

If so, If so, then you have experienced first-hand the power of retargeting ads, which by the way, can increase your click through rates on each ad by up to 10%!

But what exactly are retargeting ads?

Essentially, they are ads that you run across paid social media campaigns that are placed in front of an engaged audience. This audience can either be created based on shared behaviours or common data fields such as gender, age range, job industry or shared interests.

How do retargeting ads work?

Simply put, retargeting ads allow you to serve ads back to a list within your database of contacts or a group of prospects who either share similar characteristics or engage in a similar behaviour across your website, app or social media channel. Retargeting is one of the most powerful marketing stratgies you can implement when it comes to reengaging with engaged audience members and prospects.

Now, one of the most important steps of a retargeting campaign comes before you even touch a software platform. What we’re referring to is the conceptualisation of the campaign aka “what are the behaviours or traits of the audience we want to retarget?”

For the purpose of this article, although you can also execute remarketing campaigns across your email platform, let’s stick with paid retargeting ads for now. You can either upload a list of users into Facebook or Google Ads for example or use their native pixel or tracking code to create audiences to serve ads to (NOTE: You will not be able to obtain the email addresses or any personal information of the audience you create via a pixel or tracking code).

From here, you can simply select the audience within the platform you choose to launch your ads through, create the image/video, write the copy and come up with a compelling and contextually relevant call to action to begin your campaign.

Be sure to use a combination of demographics and behaviours when retargeting.

Some examples of ways to segment your audiences include the following;

  • Website visitors who abandoned a cart at checkout
  • Users who visited a specific blog or information page of your website
  • An audience who engaged or watched a particular video on your Facebook or Instagram page
  • Existing customers who might be interested in a complementing product or service
  • Website visitors who viewed a particular product or service page

Where can you launch retargeting ads?

There are a few different channels you can utilise to launch your retargeting ad campaigns, however, let’s go over the top three which you should start with;

Facebook Business Manager

When it comes to Facebook, you’ve either been remarketed to, you’re doing the remarketing or it’s a bit of both. With over two billion people now using this platform, you’re more than likely to be able to get your brand and ad in front of a group of users who are interested in the products and services you offer.

In order to best utilise this channel, you will need to implement a Facebook Pixel on your website and set up unique events to start tracking visitor behaviours which you can use to create retargeting lists.

Google Ads

When set up correctly, Google Ads is perhaps the most powerful retargeting platform that exists today. This is mainly due to the number of data sources and volume of data that you can use to create audiences.

Whether it’s website and app data through Google Analytics, video watch and engagement data from YouTube or if you have an app, data from Google Play, you can combine or silo behaviours and user traits at will to create unique retargeting audiences.

LinkedIn Ads

Unlike Facebook & Google, LinkedIn’s primary benefit is that it provides access to decision-makers, employees and business owners across a wide range of industries and organisations. Essentially, if you want to target people who are looking for business-related information, then this is the channel for you.

Similar to Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn uses what’s called an Insight Tag to track key behaviours across your website and landing pages from previous campaigns. You can also upload data sheets to launch retargeting ads to existing contacts.


There is so much to unpack when it comes to retargeting ads, however, the beauty of this type of marketing is that the more data and success you have, the more opportunities, strategies and audiences are available to you.

Perhaps the easiest way to get started is to use an existing database you already have access to and segment it based on one of the examples above.

From here, upload them into Google Ads or Facebook Business Manager and create a compelling graphic or ad with accompanying text with a relevant call to action, to encourage them to take the next step in your customer journey.