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The Basics of Facebook Advertising and Retargeting

Social Media

Facebook Advertising vs Facebook Retargeting

Many of us are familiar with the feeling of scrolling through our Facebook newsfeeds and being met with numerous Facebook ads. You can reach a whole new audience with Facebook advertising - gaining new followers to your social media, and gaining new eyes of potential customers on your brand. But have you ever wondered if they have been listening to your conversations? That it must be fate that you have seen the shoes you nearly purchased a few nights ago? Sadly, it is not fate – it is the power of Facebook retargeting. But what is the difference between paid Facebook ads and Facebook retargeting methods? There is actually quite a big difference between the two forms of advertising, albeit a little confusing at times. Below is an outline of the two advertising methods and the benefits associated with each option.

Paid Facebook Ads  

When creating a Facebook advertising campaign, you have a choice of audience (who you choose to see this campaign, and who Facebook targets). There are many options here for you to select from. You can choose an audience via their gender, age, location and interests on who you believe are your target market. Or you can use a Facebook Pixel to target people you know are already interested in your product or service (this is a Facebook retargeting method).

Facebook advertising is an effective technique of gaining new eyes on your brand and gaining new customers. Facebook’s targeting options means that you are able to reach a very specific audience who are going to be interested in your products or services. For example, if you are marketing a wedding venue, you can target ‘recently engaged’ people. Unlike other more traditional forms of advertising, where you are paying for a mass of people to view your ad who may not be interested, with Facebook advertising, you only pay to advertise to valuable potential customers.

Facebook audience selection


Facebook ads can take many forms – image ads, video ads, carousel ads (which include up to 10 images or videos), collection ads, slideshow ads, instant experience ads, lead ads, messenger ads and stories ads which all have their own advantages. Facebook offer a realm of marketing objectives for your ad such as brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, conversions, store traffic to name a few. You can create a unique ad to complement your product/service and marketing goal perfectly.

facebook marketing objectives

Facebook Retargeting

Facebook retargeting is the act of targeting to someone who has already visited your website. This is known as a ‘warm lead’ as this person has already shown an interest in your products or services. One way you can do this is inputting a Facebook Pixel code onto your website (or ask your website designer to help you out with this). This ‘tags’ all visitors to your website and means that your ads follow that tagged user onto Facebook. Therefore, if you visit an e-commerce web page with a pair of shoes for sale – it is likely that you will see those shoes in an ad on Facebook later on, or a few days later. This is a clever marketing technique to show you exactly what you are missing out on and encourage you to return to the website to purchase.

There are various options when it comes to Facebook retargeting. You can upload a ‘customer list’ to Facebook. This is an email marketing type approach – where you specify people's email addresses, phone numbers and Facebook user IDs to form a list of contacts that Facebook will target and show your ad to. This is a great way of remarketing to existing clients to use your service again.

You can target visitors of your website using the Facebook Pixel which you have planted on your website. You can even set up specific audiences based on the pages they have visited. For example, if you have an online shop and your ad is specifically selling ‘high heels’ you can create an audience for people who have visited pages with the keyword ‘high-heels’ in the URL. You can also use Facebook pixel to help you track the results – by tracking how many hits your pixel has which is on a bespoke ‘thank you for your submission/order’ page. This is a page which can only be reached once completing the set-up goal of your ad and will only track successful completions.

Retargeting is a way of converting your ‘lowest hanging fruit’ – reminding those who already have an interest in your brand to revisit your website and become a customer. The chances of someone who is familiar with your brand engaging with your ad are much higher than if they are viewing your brand for the first time. Facebook retargeting ads get 3x the engagement of regular Facebook ads!

At Fountain Digital, we offer social media advertising and retargeting services to all businesses – whether you have a website with us or not! Gain new clients, build your online presence and see massive Return on Investment (ROI) with the power of Facebook advertising and retargeting! Get in touch to discuss what you are looking to gain from social media and see how we can help!

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