3 Ways Facebook Retargeting Accelerates Your Buyer’s Journey

You visit a website, get distracted and leave the site, only to see the exact same product the following day while catching up on your Facebook news feed. Ahh, yes. The power of Retargeting. It’s one of the most effective advertising methods. With more than 1.94 billion active users on Facebook, what better platform to gently remind your potential customers about a product or service they showed interest in?

First, let’s explore what the buyer’s journey looks like and how Facebook Retargeting can effectively nudge your buyers along towards making a purchase:

Buyer’s Journey Phases

Whether we recognize it or not, we all go through a very similar process to the one depicted below, before we make a purchase. There are 5 stages:

  • Awareness: We first recognize that we have a problem which requires a solution.
  • Discovery: We’re actively searching for that solution.
  • Intent: We’ve moved further through the funnel and are now seeking providers or outlets to purchase a solution from.
  • Evaluation: Pretty self-explanatory. We evaluate the different options/vendors, ultimately leading to a purchase.
  • Buy: Where a final decision is made and a purchase is completed.

Sales Funnel

This may seem like a long journey because of all the stages we go through. But make no mistake, we go ALL of these stages each time we commit to a purchase. Some of you might say, “No way! I bought a candy bar at the store today. I just saw it and I bought it!”

Allow me to show you the stages at work:

  • Awareness: You got in line to checkout with your groceries and saw the candy bar..
  • Discovery: You noticed the discounted price and that is was the same old bar you come to know and love!
  • Intent: You picked it up and motioned to throw it in the pile of vegetables you’re about to buy.
  • Evaluation: For a split second, you wonder if you should forgo the bar because you’re trying to watch your weight (or your blood sugar!) Then you think, “Screw it. Y.O.L.O!”
  • Buy: You toss it in the pile.

That’s the purchase of a candy bar. Your product or service undergoes a much more intensive process before a ‘Buy’ can happen. And most of the time, people aren’t seamlessly advancing through each stage like in our grocery example. If they did, we’d all be retired already living on a business of pure automation!

People get distracted… by their job, their kids, by life. It’s not until something reminds them and lights that fire under them to take action, that they get back on track.

That’s why remarketing was invented and since people spend so much time on Facebook, it’s why Facebook’s Retargeting program is so hugely successful.

Below we will discuss how different types of Facebook Retargeting can be super useful in helping move people through some of these buying stages.

From Awareness to Discovery

Facebook Retargeting (or remarketing in general) assumes your audience is already aware of your company or brand because they have at least engaged with your ad, Facebook page, or website in the past to be included in your Retargeting Audience. However, being aware of your brand is far from being ready to buy. As we mentioned earlier, we need to get people through the buying processes… and ALL of them!

Let’s assume the buyer has interacted with the business to some degree and they have been added to your audience. Maybe they are seeing an ad for the first, second, or maybe third time. But this time, they are about to take action because:

a) Their interest in your product/service has increased

b) They are already familiar with (aware of) your brand, and

c) They have time now to learn more about it (because they are just on Facebook  anyway.)

Perhaps they click and land on a video that showcases your product or service. Or maybe they just go to your website where they begin a process of Discovery by filtering which specific product is the best fit for them. Either case, you’ve re-engaged them at an early stage of the buying cycle and they are taking actions toward developing an intent to buy!

The actual purchase could happen quickly or it could take months, but nonetheless, the stage advancement will be necessary for it to happen at some point.

Some good Facebook Retargeting ad campaigns for this stage are:

Ad Types:

  • Video Ads that evoke a desire or elicit a need the product or service; states the problem and qualifies the buyer a little.
  • Image Ads with high-res quality and that display the craftsmanship of your product.
  • Sponsored Posts- that capture the attention of your buyer with a strong subject, relevant to the problem you product or service solves.


Video Ad viewers, Facebook page engagements, website visitors

Intent to Buy

Once the individual enters the intent stage, they’re aware of your brand and product, but not quite sold on making a purchase yet. At this point, they will rely on their emotion and logic so it’s important that your retargeting ads address both.

Continuing on our example above, let’s say the user clicked through your video ad targeted to individuals in the awareness stage. They explored a few of your products or services on your website but didn’t complete the purchase. Now is the perfect time to remind them of the exact product or service they showed interest in. At this point, your buyer could be browsing other vendors so it’s important to demonstrate why your solution is the best. An individual who is in the Intent stage is an excellent candidate to show coupon codes or an incentive to buy.

A great way to gently remind your buyer is by leveraging the Dynamic Product Ad format to showcase all the different products they were browsing. Use promo codes that offer your audience a specific deal (BOGO or free shipping for example), to drive the user back to the website. This will trigger them back into the buyer’s journey and lead them into the buy stage.

Leverage these types of ads to push buyers into the buy stage:

Ad Types:

  • Canvas Ads to create a visually immersive storytelling experience and share more insight into your business
  • Video Ads that showcase the product or service, usually for people with a single product offering in order to stay relevant.
  • Image Ads with relevant imagery. Ad text offers a copyable or clickable promo code.
  • Dynamic Product ads that display the exact product (and price) previously viewed on the website, with a promo code in the ad.


Website visits (dynamic), page specific website visits (image or video), exclude converted people.

From Buy to Repeat Purchase

Congrats! Your customer clicked through your Facebook retargeting ad and completed their purchase on your website. But the journey doesn’t end there. The potential to increase the customer’s lifetime value (LTV) and boost your return on ad spend (ROAS) is high at this point–repeat buyers are likely to spend five times more than first time buyers. Facebook Retargeting is an excellent way to:

  • Encourage repeat sales
  • Renew an existing membership
  • Upsell or cross-sell other items
  • Turn your customers into evangelists which provide word-of-mouth referrals

Once your retargeting campaign has brought your user back to your website and their purchase is complete, create separate retargeting campaigns for each of the examples above (that apply) with very specific copy. Your ad copy is the most critical at this stage because your buyers are at a very specific point where relevancy is key.

Here are some examples of copy or incentives to use to turn buyers into repeat buyers:

Repeat Sales

  • “It’s time to restock!”
  • “Get 15% off your next order”
  • “Satisfied with your _____? Leave a review!”

Renew Your Membership

  • “Don’t forget to renew your subscription”
  • “X days left before your membership expires!”


  • “Upgrade your ___ to the _____ 2.0”
  • “Pair your _____ with these _____”

Promote Evangelism

  • For bricks-and-mortar: “Bring a friend on your next visit and get 2 for 1”
  • “Refer a friend and get 15% off your next order”
  • “Satisfied with your ____? Tell your friends about it!” with a prompt to share the product page on social media

While the ad type is a little more flexible when encouraging repeat sales, here are the types we recommend:

Ad Types:

  • Image Ads with relevant imagery, or perhaps shows complimentary items to what was purchased. Design changes frequently. Ad text offers a copyable or clickable promo code.
  • Dynamic Product ads that display the exact product (and price) previously purchased on the website, with a promo code.


Website visits (dynamic), page specific website visits (image or video), either times to display around the repurchase time, or just after the initial purchase depending on strategy.

In our experience with creating Facebook Retargeting strategies, we’ve recognizing the effect that social media has on all buying channels. Today’s savvy buyers may find your business on Google but will check out your Facebook Page, too to see what kind of following you’ve got and the types of posts you share. By placing Retargeting ads on Facebook (where they’re already spending time!) you can help build brand trust, authority, and lifetime value all at the same time.
We’d love to help you craft an effective Facebook Retargeting strategy for your business! Send us a message here and we’ll get in touch.

About Andrea Moxham

Creative, driven marketing and communications leader with a proven track record in strategy and implementation. Entrepreneurial spirit and experience with inbound marketing, social media, digital marketing, and public relations.