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Use Custom Audiences to Create Highly Targeted AdWords Remarketing Campaigns

Published: March 14, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell

Remarketing is the ability to show specific ads to users based on their previous visits and actions on your site. This can be extremely effective as far as conversions and cost since you can use those previous visits and actions on your site to identify highly interested individuals.  But one way of identifying interested individuals, through Facebook Custom Audiences, is (in my opinion) overlooked.
Custom Audiences aren’t just great for getting a specific ad delivered to a highly targeted Facebook audience; it is also a great way to create a highly-targeted remarketing list.

-Create a tailored ad that is aimed at your Custom Audience
-Keep track of Custom Audience members that show interest, clicked on your ad, and visited your site
-Serve remarketing ads to them (and only them) outside of Facebook

Makes sense, right?
Through remarketing with Google Analytics, you can create remarketing lists in AdWords based on various parameters. This involves a slight tweak to your Google Analytics tracking code.
For instance, you can create a remarketing list that would show ads to visitors who have visited a specific page more than 2 times, OR if they have been on a specific page for more than 10 minutes. OR, you could show ads specifically to Facebook users that were served (and clicked on) your Facebook Ad.
So you could create an AdWords remarketing campaign that includes the Facebook users who engaged with your targeted ads. When a colleague explained this to me, this is what I said:

Here is one way to use Custom Audiences to build a remarketing list:
Create Facebook Ad that is focused on Clicks to your Website.
Create Facebook Ad
Include campaign parameters on the URL that you want users to visit. Here is an article about campaign parameters.
Remarketing lists can be based on a specific source, medium, campaign, or pretty much anything else that you can measure in Google Analytics. But if you want to remarket to only the Custom Audience that sees a specific ad or campaign, you may want to specify a unique campaign utm parameter here.
Next, you want to create a remarketing list in Google Analytics that requires the referring URL to contain utm_campaign=custom-audience-1 and utm_source=facebook. For the sake of brevity, I am not going to go through the details of creating a remarketing list in Google Analytics & AdWords (because that is an entirely different topic all together), but here are the step-by-step instructions.  After this list is created, it will be available for targeting within AdWords. Once your list contains 100 audience members, the remarketing campaign will be eligible for ad serving.
Summary: You can target a very specific market, track interested individuals, and continue to engage with them by combining the awesome forces of FB custom audiences and Google Analytics and AdWords Remarketing.
That’s all I have to say about that.

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