What everybody ought to know about Facebook Ad Manager [PART 2]

This is the second of four articles that looks at the Facebook Ad manager tools and how they can be used to improve your paid (and in some cases non-paid) activity on Facebook.

This post will focus on conversion pixels.

What is a conversion pixel?

In the last post I talked about Website Custom Audiences (WCA) which use a pixel to gather information about visitors from across your website. WCA uses a snippet of code that is installed across all pages on your site (or all pages you want to track), much like Google Analytics.

A conversion pixel, on the other hand, is installed on just one page that represents a conversion. This could be a confirmation page on a form submission or newsletter sign up, or on the confirmation page for a ticket purchase.

Once the user lands on that page, the pixel is ‘fired’ and the conversion is tracked.

How to create a Conversion Pixel

Conversion pixels are created in the Ad Manager.

In the Ad Manager select Tools and then Conversion Tracking. All your existing pixels will be listed along with their current status. To create a new one, hit the Create Pixel button in the top right corner.

Give your pixel a name and assign it a category.

Once it’s been created you’ll be provided with the code along with instructions on how to install it on your site.

For full instructions on creating traxel pixels, check out the Facebook for Business website [https://www.facebook.com/business/a/online-sales/conversion-tracking].

Putting it into action

Unlike WCA, the conversion pixel requires a bit more planning and strategy as you have to decide where you want to use it before implementing it.

You can create as many pixels as you want, but you can only assign one per ad set when setting up a campaign. Even if you’re not using pixels in ads, however, you can still collect data against them, so it’s worth setting one up for every conversion you want to track. I’ll explain why shortly…

The conventional use for a tracking pixel is to assign it to an ad set as part of a campaign where the objective is website conversions. So if, for example, you’re running a campaign to drive ticket sales, you would use a pixel on your checkout page as set this as the main objective. Facebook would then optimise your campaign and charge based on conversions. You can still use demographic and interest targeting as you would normally. The benefit of using conversions in this way is that you pay for actual sales, rather than wesbie clicks that won’t necessarily convert.

As I mentioned above, you don’t need to have a conversion pixel attached to a campaign to collect data against it. So if you have a conversion pixel on your checkout page, you can gather information about your website visitors who are purchasing with you, even if they’re not purchasing as a result of a campaign. This is useful data which you can use in a number of ways. One way I’d recommend using this is to build a lookalike audience. These are people who are have a similar profile to your actual ticket buyers, but who aren’t… yet. You can this audience in a campaign, with exclusions for your existing fans, to then generate new customer sales by matching this audience with interest types relevant to the event or product you are promoting.

How else could you use this? You could create a conversion pixel and put this on your membership page to build a member profile type. Again, creating a lookalike audience will produce a profiled group of people for you similar to those who are already interested in (or already signed up to) your membership scheme. If you’re marketing a premium product or targeting potential donors, you can use Facebook’s demographic tools to target people based on income threshold.

In summary, conversion pixels require a little more planning to implement than WCAs, but are a great way to create conversion based adverts, as well as building lookalike audiences based on people that do convert, so that you can target other Facebook users who are more likely to convert.