Online advertising is a process of assessing people’s intent based on their activity, and then serving them ads for relevant products and services in response. This simple concept is what turned Facebook and Google into the behemoth, multi-billion dollar enterprises that they are today. One particular method of online advertising, known as “retargeting,” is particularly effective due to its ability to precisely identify someone’s intent. In this post, we explain how retargeting works and show you how law firms can use Facebook retargeting to get more leads online.
Measuring Intent Based On Activity
As mentioned above, the key to effective advertising is understanding people’s intent. In traditional advertising, this can be quite difficult.
Consider a billboard on the side of the road – that billboard knows nothing about you as you pass by, other than the fact that you’re in your car. This advertising is not well targeted.
But online, there is a wealth of data about you which can be used to precisely measure your intent and target you with relevant ads.
How Google Measures Intent
Google can assess your intent by using your search queries.
If you search for “men’s Nike shoes” on Google, there’s a pretty good chance that you are in the market to buy a pair of shoes. Google uses this information to serve you ads for online shoe stores at the top of the search results, and they charge those shoe stores for each click on one of its ads.
How Facebook Measures Intent
Facebook does it based on all of your personal and demographic data such as age, location, marital status, pages you like, etc.
If you are 30 years old, you just got married, and you just moved from one city to another, there’s a good chance you might be in the market for some new furniture. Furniture companies can target you with relevant ads based on this information, and Facebook charges those companies whenever someone clicks an ad.
Their methods are slightly different, but both Google and Facebook have an incredible ability to measure intent and serve relevant advertisements in response.
What Is Retargeting?
Remember that time you looked at something on Amazon, but didn’t buy it, and then that same product showed up on every other website you visited along with your Facebook and Instagram feeds for the next few weeks?
In online advertising, that approach is known as retargeting, and while you may find it creepy and annoying, it’s also proven to be extremely effective.
Retargeting works by tracking the pages you visit and the actions you take on the web. This data is then stored in cookies in your browser history.
When you visit another website with ads on it, the advertising networks behind those ads are able to reference your browser cookies in order to serve you relevant advertisements.
Why Retargeting Works So Well
Retargeting is a particularly effective advertising format because it taps into one of the most clear indications of purchasing intent that exists.
If you made it all the way to the shopping cart on Amazon, but didn’t click the “buy” button, Amazon knows with almost 100% certainty that you are considering buying that product.
But, if you didn’t buy it on the first attempt, you may forget about the product or end up buying it elsewhere. And that’s why retargeting is so useful for a company like Amazon.
Amazon can now show you ads to keep reminding you about that product, and subtly nudge you toward completing the purchase.
It’s essentially the digital equivalent of following up with a lead in sales. If you aren’t following up, the lead goes cold or purchases from someone else. But if you actively follow up and stay top of mind, you will be much more likely to seal the deal.
A Simple Facebook Retargeting Strategy for Law Firms
Now that you have a solid understanding of retargeting, as well as the general thought process behind online advertising, let’s apply these concepts to your law firm.
Few firms are currently utilizing retargeting as part of their online marketing strategy, but you can really drive some impressive results from it, so it’s worth looking into. And of course, be sure to keep in mind the ethical rules around attorney advertising at all times.
You can retarget with many different ad networks, including both Google and Facebook, but in this post, we’ll focus only on Facebook because is one of the most effective retargeting channels available. Here’s a simple strategy to get started:
Track Your Website Visitors
The first step to implementing a Facebook retargeting strategy is to install a Facebook tracking pixel. This is how you track the visitors to your website, and drop the browser cookie needed to retarget them.
The process of installing the tracking pixel is actually quite straightforward, and may not require help from a web developer. You just simply copy/paste a script from your Facebook advertising account into your website’s header.
Facebook provides thorough instructions for how to install the tracking pixel here.
Build An Audience
Facebook has incredibly powerful “audience” tools which enable you to target and advertise to specific groups of people.
An audience is essentially a custom group of Facebook users that you can define based on any criteria you want. The criteria might include where they live, their marital status, things they are interested in, their approximate income level, the fact that they visited your website recently, or any combination of these things.
Once you have the tracking pixel installed, the next step is to create a “custom audience” specifically for people who have visited your site. When you do this, Facebook’s algorithm will automatically build a list of all your tracked website visitors and associate each visitor with an actual Facebook profile.
The people’s real identities remain anonymous to you, but now you have the ability to display targeted messages to this audience whenever they are browsing Facebook, Instagram, or even other websites in the Facebook advertising network.
Facebook also provides a feature where you can upload an existing list of leads by their email address and add it to your audience. This is useful if you don’t have a lot of web traffic or you get most of your leads from other sources and they never visit your website.
Create A Facebook Ad
With your tracking pixel installed, and your custom audience set up, the next step will be to start retargeting your audience with ads when they visit Facebook. You will do this by creating an ad campaign with at least one ad in it.
The process is pretty self explanatory, and there are a ton of guides available on Facebook, YouTube, and other places. Below are the basic steps and considerations to make:
Choose Your Objective
Facebook categorizes its ad types based on specific goals. For example, a goal could be getting people to visit your website, getting them to like your Facebook page, getting them to install your mobile app, etc.
Below is a screenshot showing these options:
As a law firm, your goal is most likely to get these people to contact you or schedule a consultation. The best options for this would probably be either “Lead Generation” or “Conversions.”
They are effectively the same thing, but the difference is whether your ad is directing people back to your website to contact you (Conversions) or they are contacting you directly via Facebook (Lead Generation).
The Lead Generation option is a more recent addition to Facebook, and it works really well because people never have to leave Facebook in order to contact you. Plus, their contact info (name, email, phone) can be pulled in automatically from their Facebook profile without them having to type anything into a form.
This makes the process extremely seamless, and it is particularly effective on mobile devices where filling out forms is more tedious.
But, your capabilities are also a bit more limited with Lead Generation. For instance, it isn’t available on Instagram just yet, and if you use some type of scheduling software that allows people to book an appointment on your website, you wouldn’t be able to handle this directly through Facebook at this time, so you would want to direct them to your website and use the Conversions option.
Choose Your Audience and Budget
Since you already created a custom audience, you can just choose this existing audience for targeting.
You may not need to do any additional targeting based on demographics or interests at all. But you could if you wanted to refine your audience and ensure that you were only targeting people who live in your city, for example.
The other things you will want to decide are your daily budget, and the schedule for when your ads will be shown (i.e. whether you want to run the campaign continuously, or start and end on specific dates). This is shown below:
You can pretty much leave the default settings in place for everything else: optimization, bid amount, when you are charged, ad scheduling, and delivery type.
Create Your Ad
The last step is to actually create the ad. This part is pretty easy too. You just need to write some copy for the post (i.e. what you want to say to the people who will see the ad) and upload an image or video.
It has been shown that images with people in them convert better than other things like logos, so keep that in mind when selecting a photo to use for your post. You can find some guidelines provided by Facebook here.
If you chose the Lead Generation objective, you will also create a simple lead capture form that people will fill out to contact you. Facebook makes this process pretty straightforward, as shown below.
Select the fields you want on your form (e.g. name, email, phone number) using the checkboxes. Keep it short, since people will be more reluctant to submit it the more information you ask for.
You will also write some basic text explaining why someone should fill it out and create a headline. Use a compelling headline to encourage people to take action, such as “Schedule Your Free Consultation.”
Finally, when your ad copy and form are finished, place your order to publish the ad. Facebook will review and approve it within the next hour or so, and your campaign will be up and running.
That’s it! You are now set up with a simple, yet effective retargeting strategy. The people who visit your website will start automatically seeing a post from your firm on Facebook encouraging them to contact your office or schedule a consultation.
As you can probably see now, retargeting is a very powerful advertising method. It will help your firm stay top of mind for anyone who visits your website, and it should help increase your overall conversion rate for website visitors drastically.
All that’s left now is to drive some traffic to your website and watch the leads start funneling in!