You’ve probably heard of remarketing, and while you may not be currently running remarketing campaigns for your firm, you have definitely experienced it. 

Remarketing is basically what it sounds like – re-marketing. There are an endless number of ways to format your ads, but remarketing is ads that are shown to people who have already been marketed to. What this means for online marketing is ads that are shown to people who have already visited your website. Advertising services use a small snippet of code that talks to a cookie installed in a user’s browser that tells the advertising service which sites the user visits. The advertising network (i.e. Google, Facebook) uses the data they gather from these pixels for several things, but allowing advertisers to target users that have already visited their sites is arguably the most valuable.

One of the most common examples of remarketing is with ecommerce websites like Amazon. Amazon runs ads on all the major advertising networks, and you’ve probably seen ads for things you just looked at on Amazon. Amazon actually takes things one step further, and delivers tailored emails to clients based on their purchase and browsing history — these tactics have been instrumental in Amazon’s growth and branding.

For law firms, things are often less aggressive and, by nature, less specific. While we do have access to all of the tools the ecommerce companies have, law firm clients are more likely to criss-cross practice areas while browsing your website, and this makes it difficult to deliver content (rather than product recommendations) that meet the needs of the users. As automation and artificial intelligence are developed further, this will become easier and more accessible.

Right now, the name of the game for law firm remarketing is branding. Branding has normally been pretty hit-or-miss in most markets, but with online advertising we can eliminate the broad targeting of traditional media.

Facebook’s relatively inexpensive impression prices allow us to put our ads in front of thousands of users for a few dollars, giving us cheaper access to users that have already expressed interest in our businesses. Like anything, you’ll get out of remarketing what you put into it, but it’s an incredible tool to leverage.

Setting up Remarketing

First, let’s get remarketing set up.

You’ll need:

A Facebook Page for your firm

A Facebook Ads account (connected to your personal page)

A website (preferably WordPress — that’s what I’ll be covering)

Step 1 — Setting up the Facebook Pixel

Here’s Facebook’s instructions on how to set up the Facebook Pixel on your WordPress site. 

All you need to do is head to the Pixels section of your Facebook Ads account, create a pixel (or click “Set Up”) and select “Set Up With WordPress” and download the zip file they provide.

Then you’ll head over to your WordPress site, select the Plugins menu, and add the zip file the same way you would any other plugin. After the file is uploaded, you’ll be able to activate the plugin.

You can verify the pixel immediately back on the Facebook pixel page, and then you’re all set.

Step 2 — Setting up a custom audience

Here are detailed instructions on how to set up a custom audience on Facebook

After setting up your pixel, you can navigate to the Audiences tab of Ads Manager. There, you’ll create a custom audience based on the pixel you just installed. At first, I’d recommend creating an audience for all your website visitors over a 30 day period (this should be automatically populated when you open the audience creation form). You’ll also want to use logical naming conventions so you can remember which audience is which when you’re setting up your campaigns.

Next, select the audience you just created, and click “Create Audience” and then “Lookalike Audience” from the drop-down. I usually keep the Lookalike Audiences parameter as tight as possible (1M users, USA or relevant country only), but even these numbers can look a little scary. Fortunately, we can deal with targeting only users that are local when we set up the ads. Now you can go ahead and save the Lookalike Audience — we don’t have to worry about naming here.

The Custom Audiences tab is also an area where you can dive deeper into remarketing and retargeting, by splitting up your audiences and targeting based on topic (if your practice has 3 distinct practice areas, this is more viable than for a single-issue firm). There’s 3rd party software that can help with this and can actually get more granular than Facebook, but it can also be done directly within Facebook’s platform. To do this, simply create remarketing audiences based on certain pages on your site (one audience for employment law, one for bankruptcy, one for criminal, etc.) and then target different ad campaigns with creative targeting the users in the respective audiences.

Step 3 — Setting up your ads

Some of this will vary depending on your objective, but the basic principles should stay the same. For this example, we’ll discuss setting up an ad that sends users to the home page of your website (you should have a very sticky home page for this — check your bounce rate and heat maps to determine this).

Here’s a link with detailed information about setting up all types of campaigns on Facebook.

For this campaign, we’ll choose “Traffic” as the type.

In the “Audience” section of the campaign, select the custom audience and/or lookalike audiences you just created (it often makes sense to create a separate ad group for each audience — I’ll cover this in a moment), the geographic area and demographics you want to target, and edit your placements and budget. I usually don’t mess with the bidding method, but you may want to run a small test on your won. Then we’ll move on to ad creative.

Select the page you want to “sponsor” the ad (your law firm’s page) and take a look at the ad types. Obviously we have a ton of flexibility with creative here, from individual images to slideshows to video ads. I use a lot of Lead Ads coupled with e-books and e-course follow up sequences (you’ll actually need to go back to the first step of the ad set up process to access Lead Ads) but we also use ads directing users to a landing page.

Select your ad type, ad in some text and images (you can use stock images from Shutterstock provided by Facebook, too) and decide on the call-to-action button you’d like to use for the ad.

For traffic ads, you can turn on conversion tracking. I always recommend using conversion tracking, and while we aren’t talking about a specific conversion action or how to set it up in this post, you definitely need to be tracking what users do once they’re on your site. You can learn more about setting up Facebook conversion tracking here.

Once you’ve finalized your creative and tracking, you’re all set! Submit the ads and they should go live within a few minutes. You may want to check that they’re not disapproved for using any terms or content that Facebook flags (the word “you” is often flagged for specifying specific traits about a user, some law firm content is flagged for being political, etc.) but they’ll send you an email if this happens.

You can test new creative as you would any other remarketing campaign. We don’t usually change the targeting much as the users we’re targeting have already indicated an interest in our business by visiting the site, but there is one caveat to that: lookalike audiences.

I touched on this earlier, but you’ll probably want to isolate your lookalike audience campaigns in a separate ad group from your primary remarketing campaign. The easiest way to do this is to create your initial campaign with one ad group targeting only your primary remarketing group, and then duplicate the original ad set and change the targeting over to the lookalike audience. This allows you to easily determine how your lookalike campaigns are performing compared to your primary remarketing campaign. 

Creative

When it comes to creative for these ads, limitlessness can be more constrictive than liberating. To start off, I’d recommend something simple. Remind users the issues that you can help them with, not who you are (the logo above the ad takes care of that). Tell them how you can make their life better instead of focusing on who you are. This is a little counterintuitive for an ad that’s objective is branding, but because users have already visited the site, we don’t have to hammer our name home so hard.

Coca-Cola is in a similar situation — their customers already know what Coke is. As one of the largest global brands, they no longer have to tell people who they are. In their ads, Coke focuses on singing, dancing, and soccer-playing polar bears and celebrities. While many of their customers may not be quite as jocular, Coke uses these ads to associate their brand with happiness. The chemical effects of sugar may do a lot of the heavy lifting in customer retention, but Coke is able to further cement the association of their product with happiness through these images. Happiness is something everyone wants, and it’s a feeling or story that everyone can relate to.

For law firms, we can adjust this by identifying the emotions our clients feel and designing creative that resonates with those emotions. In many areas of law, clients are scared. Whether they’re scared of the legal issues themselves or simply with the process and fees, dispelling those fears can be incredibly helpful in motivating a potential client. Telling the client their story will help them realize you understand exactly where they’re coming from, where they’re going, and that you’ve been there many times before.