Far and away the most popular advertising platform used with Contest Domination is Facebook Ads.

You can easily target the exact persona you’re looking for, and Contest Facebook Ads work well in particular.

One of the top questions we get in relation to contest Facebook Ads is how to properly setup conversion tracking as well as a retargeting campaign for those who saw the contest but didn’t enter.

While Facebook is constantly changing their advertising interface, this should serve as a good guide on how to do just that.

Note: Use of 3rd party scripts, such as Facebook ad conversion tracking or retargeting require either the Business or Agency Plans.

Now, let’s dive right in…

What Is Retargeting Anyway?

Retargeting is a surgical scalpel for targeting ads based on the precise funnel progress of a prospect.

Retargeting is where you show advertising to visitors who have specifically hit one of your pages, but haven’t completed the ultimate goal you’d like them to accomplish.

You then advertising to them specifically to encourage them to complete the action you’re gunning for. This is massively powerful.

In an ideal world, you may setup a multi-step retargeting strategy so you’re advertising to your prospects based on where they are within your funnel.

Here’s a few retargeting examples…

  • #1: VISITED on your contest, but did not opt-in.
  • #2: ENTERED your contest, but have not visited the tripwire page.
  • #3: ENTERED your contest, but have not visited the winner announcement page.

Once you get the hang of retargeting for each step of your funnel, you’re very likely to see an incredible ROI on your retargeting ad spend. Some of the most savvy people in advertising call this the low hanging fruit that every business should be running unless they hate money.

Setting Up Conversion Tracking

The very first step in successful retargeting is getting your tracking implemented correctly.

Without proper tracking, prospects won’t move from one custom audience to another… and you won’t have any insight into how well a particular advertisement is performing compared to others within the same ad set.

Step 1: Have a Business Page

It’s easy to forget when you’re in this business for a while, but when you’re just getting started with ads you need a business page.

Even if you don’t want to post to your page all the time, this is an absolute minimum requirement for advertising on Facebook.

If you don’t have a business page yet, you can create one here for free.

Step 2: Create a Custom Audience

We personally use the Facebook Business Manager, so some interface elements may be a little different if you’re just getting started. If you’re managing multiple pages and ad accounts, we highly recommend you start with this instead so you get used to the more robust tool right from the start.

In this example, we’re creating custom audiences based on website traffic.

Before you can continue, Facebook is going to ask you to create a pixel. This is what they use to “see” your traffic on 3rd party pages.

We’ll cover how to install this pixel a little bit later. Go ahead and give your pixel a universal name for your site/brand since you only use ONE pixel for everything you do across your brand. This is a departure from the old pixels.

You’ll define rules based on the URL’s that this pixel fires on to make your custom audiences next.

Step 3: Define Custom Audience Rules

Now we get to setup our very first custom audience, based on rules on what pages people visit but haven’t reached others.

In this case, we’re going to create a custom audience of people who have VISITED your opt-in page, but have NOT VISITED any pages after the opt-in.

This effectively adds people as they hit your contest, but removes them from the audience after they successfully enter the contest.

No need to spend money on ads asking people to enter a contest they have already entered…

If you’re using the default contest.io domain, then you want to define any traffic that hits contest.io AND fires your unique pixel should be added to the custom audience.

It’s important to leave it broad here instead of using the “Direct Contest Link” we provide for promotion. As all of the share URL’s that hit your opt-in page will have a different ‘token’ at the end of the URL. Doing it this way will not only add people who hit your contest from your own promotion, but will also add people who were referred by other contestants.

Note: If you’re using a custom domain map (such as win.mydomain.com) then you’d use that in place of our default contest.io Additionally, 3rd party opt-in pages will use a different URL for their “if anyone visits” as it will ultimately be a domain we don’t control.

To make this process much easier, we provide the “Exclusion URL’s” right in your dashboard after you’ve enabled your contest.

This example has two exclusion URL’s because the example contest has the email referral step turned on.

Installing Facebook Pixel Code

Once you’ve created your pixel and defined your first custom audience to use for retargeting, you need to install your pixel on Contest Domination.

Then copy the full snippet Facebook provides for you.

And install the full snippet into the tracking code portion of your contest. Remove the extraneous part of the code that Facebook provides before and after the actual script, this is not needed at all.

To get the pixel to load, you simply need to preview your contest after saving the pixel information. This will fire the pixel and let Facebook know it’s loading properly.

Important: Put this code on all 3 steps of your contest. If you’re using a 3rd party opt-in page, you’ll want to install it on there as well.

Advertising To Custom Audiences

The last step in properly retargeting is creating advertising for the new custom audience you’ve created.

We suggest using ad copy that highlights that the user has visited your site but did not finish entering your contest.

Note: Facebook doesn’t allow you to advertise to custom audiences it deems as too small because, frankly, it comes across as creepy when it’s only a few people. It may take a little time for this audience to grow large enough to start running ads against.

Since you already have your pixel installed, it’s powerful to create your ads that optimize for “Website Conversions”.

Name your campaign for your particular contest…

…then when creating your ads, click the custom audience field and select your newly created retageting audience.

Hopefully you found this helpful in setting up your first contest facebook ads retargeting campaign.

You can take these same principles and apply them to each step of your contest funnel. I’d also highly suggest creating a custom audience of anyone who has visited the URL’s you used as your “exlcusion list” as a way to target all entries when you announce your contest winner and limited time offer.

I think you’ll find this campaigns extremely effective in boosting opt-in conversion, keeping engagement high, and ultimately turning more prospects into customers.

If you found this tutorial helpful, we’d love to hear from you in the comments or have you share it with a friend you think would benefit!

Travis Ketchum
Travis Ketchum

Travis Ketchum is the Founder & CEO of Campaign Refinery and Contest Domination - helping 10's of thousands of businesses build bigger email lists filled with qualified leads since 2012.