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Facebook Re-targeting Based on Dwell Time & Post Shares

Facebook just released two new custom audience features. Learn how to better optimize your campaigns by putting both new audiences to work. Lower CPA by excluding ad "dwellers" and increase engagement on top campaigns by re-targeting to people who've shared your posts in the past.

Episode Transcript —Facebook Re-targeting Based on Dwell Time & Post Shares


00:01 Speaker 1: You're listening to the Spend $10K a Day podcast brought to you by the performance marketing experts at Mutesix. This is your source for cutting edge insight into the world of online advertising from the team with more Facebook case studies than any other agency on the planet. Here are your hosts, Steve Weiss and Stewart Anderson.

00:25 Steve Weiss: Hello, everyone, welcome back to the Spend $10K a Day podcast. Maybe we should actually call it, because of the time of year, the "spend as much as God-awful humanly possible without losing money" podcast.

00:37 Stewart Anderson: I think we probably just wanna keep it to Spend $10K a Day just to keep it short, but I like where your head's up. People are spending a lot of money these days, Steve. What is the latest from Facebook about new features? What do we got?

00:50 SW: A couple new features that Facebook released in regards to the audiences. Now, Facebook is continuously allowing us new ways to target audiences. They have this new thing called targeting users through dwell time. The word "dwell time," I love the way they word these new audience features. But what they mean by dwell time is you wanna target people who've seen your ads but haven't take action. And what this means is these are users that have actually seen your ads multiple times, whether it's a blog post that you're running sponsored, whether it's an organic post, but for whatever reason haven't taken any action. And this is interesting 'cause I'm already thinking of pretty cool ways of leveraging this feature in custom audiences, especially when the goal of most of the campaigns that we run is we want to drive new customers. The word "new."

01:46 SA: Yeah. This is a lurker audience. This is the people that are lurking on the feed, they're looking at the ad regardless of what type it is, and they're thinking about taking an action. They're interested, but they don't know what they wanna do. I think it's a really innovative feature that Facebook's added that gives people another angle to target people in terms of widening that top of funnel audience. It's like how wide do we wanna go. We have people who take the action of clicking a link, or watching a video, or engaging with the post. Now it's like, "Oh, do we wanna go a little bit wider and take people who haven't done any of those things but are spending time looking at the ad?" I think it's great 'cause it's another option, and having more options, never a bad thing when you're an advertiser.

02:30 SW: Yep. As a marketer, I'm always thinking about how do we get these look like eights, look like nines, look like 10s to convert better? How do we turn these really cold, big, wide gap audiences into great converting, great engaging audiences? The way I'm using this feature is I'm actually gonna start building custom audiences out of it from my top look-alike prospecting audience, look like eights to 10s. And what I'm gonna do is, if I'm just thinking of ways to tinker with the features, I'm gonna start running these higher-end look-alike audiences of my purchasers or people who view content, of people who Add to Carts, and then I'm gonna start excluding them from my main prospecting campaigns, 'cause if I know these people are lurkers and I know that they're not clicking on my normal ads or they're not clicking on my post, I know that I have to engage them in a unique way. And I don't wanna keep slamming them with ads because it costs me a lot of money to slam these lurkers with ads. So, my goal is I wanna actually build custom audiences out around the people who lurk but don't actually interact.

03:29 SW: Another interesting angle of what we've been testing out over the last couple of days is actually running conversion objective impressions, [chuckle] And actually trying to get all these lurkers out of our audiences by running really cheap impression-focused ads around reach to get these users out of our best audiences 'cause we don't wanna tell Facebook to target these users, we don't want them in our audiences. If we're serving them eight, 10, 11 ads and they're not clicking engaging, liking, well, they're not only bringing down the quality score of our ads, but they're also making us lose money in our campaigns.

04:05 SA: Yeah. You brought up a really good point there. One thing that's going through my head listening to you talk is obviously it's gonna differ for every type of business, but if I'm an advertiser and I'm noticing there's a lot of people that are... Or I'm building up this lurker audience, this dwell time audience, what are the things I am going to show those people in a campaign once we segment them off into their own audience? If I'm creating a new campaign trying to engage these people and finally get them to not lurk, finally get them to take action, what type of content in general might work for those people?

04:38 SW: That's a good question. Maybe running text overlays on top of your video. A lot of people are just saying, "I need a video content," they're not running any text overlays on top of their videos. Maybe start building different types of explainer videos to really explain the product or maybe start direct linking the content. Maybe the reason they're not clicking and engaging is because you're trying to be too direct response-heavy with your ads. I think just thinking about it differently is maybe you wanna take these dwell time users who've seen your ad, create a new audience for these people, and then start targeting different creative to them and trying to get them to be converters 'cause they actually are a part of prospecting audiences that you wanna converse. So maybe the trick is to really try and figure out how do you use different types of creative to get these people to engage.

05:21 SA: Yeah, those are really good points. My takeaway there is you obviously wanna test creative, which is good tactically for any situation, but you also want to maybe reduce the ask. If somebody is lurking maybe instead of driving them to a product page or a landing page, squeeze page, whatever, it's driving them to content, as you said. I'm gonna try to engage them at a higher point in the funnel.

05:45 SW: Yeah, totally. And secondly, which we haven't mentioned the second part of this great update of new Facebook audience features, is now we're actually able to target people who share our content. Back in the day, we used to run these little ads, they would be like, "Like this" or "Share this," where you actually will use that as a call to action to text above the image. And very soon Facebook saw that and they're like, "Oh, you're trying to game our system and really get very cheap post engagements to be able to actually get people to click." So, they won't let those ads get approved anymore, especially for a content slice that wanted to generate really cheap engagements. Now Facebook though is allowing you to build audiences specifically around people who share stuff, which is cool because now if you have content that you really wanted, that's really viral, that's really engaging for your brand, now you could run campaigns around page post engagement. And now we're actually able to get people to share our content, then re-market to our sharers.

06:48 SA: Yeah. It's a highly engaged audience. It's really great to segment off. And there's creative stuff you can do with that, too, if you have a whole audience of people you know aren't just really buyers, they're enthusiasts, they're promoters, they're people that really believe not just in maybe a product that you're selling, but they believe in you. They're sharing your content. I'd love being able to segment those people off and deliver targeted message to them. Maybe it's... You market your loyalty program to them and affiliate program perhaps, or just offering them premium content, exclusive stuff, and then now that'll be probably pretty exciting if somebody is super engaged with your brand.

07:24 SW: Yeah. Remember, these sharers are people who are gonna generate free clicks to your... They're generally what we call social clicks. The way to think about these sharer audiences that we're gonna start building is that we're gonna generate a lot of virality with the content that we're producing. So maybe one strategy, which we already started mapping out in our little mind map with our campaign team, is to really start running our best content that we produce in-house. We launch maybe a holiday ad, maybe we're launching it two weeks before, we're trying to get people to share their content initially, trying to build an audience of sharers so that when we come up with more content, we're gonna start releasing this to our sharing audiences and just try and get them to share. Then the next step is we're obviously gonna keep targeting those sharers with new content, really generate a crap-load of viral clicks and social proof on those ads. Really the sharers are the people who are the early trendsetters, the people that really engage with your brand and really understand it, and we really wanna engage them with unique brandable content.

08:25 SA: Yeah, that's awesome. I think we'll take a creative angle here for the last part of the conversation is, obviously these are two features. Right now, we are going into the holiday season. What are some creative ways that advertisers can use these two new features to get better results during the holiday period?

08:47 SW: Cool. That is true, we are going in the holiday season, we are... What are we, two weeks away from the illustrious Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving? We're all full, now we're gonna spend our money. One of the features that I really stress to people is have a strategy around price testing. Don't start your deals, don't start discounting too early in the process, 'cause remember you wanna have the deal or the Black Friday special that you're running to be monumental, to make a difference, to get people to really stop and really, really, "Wow, that's really interesting." I urge people to really try and make their product work currently before the holidays without discounting. You should keep testing new creatives, start reading the comments of the ads to understand the expectations and the solutions you're providing the customers. And then leading up to Black Friday, have another strategy around doing small amount of discounting. And then to the point of the peak when Black Friday happens, now you're getting something that's, "Wow, I've never seen it before, I've never seen a 40% off. That's amazing. I've never seen free shipping." Just remember to make this... If you are discounting, make this a moment that people are gonna remember and get them to buy in the moment.

09:57 SA: Yeah. No, that sounds good. Steve, you got any last thoughts about these new features?

10:04 SW: These features are more around really being able to segment audiences and really segment conversion objective inside your audience. I think dwell time is great because it allows us to pull our people who've seen lots of our ads and having engaged. I love the dwell time feature. I think that Facebook is just giving us more and more tools to be able to really target and narrow down very large look-alikes. That's just in priority does this, but now they're giving us a little bit more control or perception of control to do this. And then obviously the sharing, being able to build audiences around people who share content, I think that also allowed us to build very niche-focused audiences, maybe 10,000, 20,000 people that are really into sharing content generating social buzz. And I think that's something that is not gonna game change your campaigns, nothing is game-changing, but it gives us a little bit more control over who's receiving our ads, a little bit more control over our budget.

11:04 SA: That sounds great. We gotta thank you for joining us on another episode of the Spend $10K a Day podcast. If you have any questions about Facebook advertising or e-commerce, send them to questions at You can also email me, Stewart Anderson, that's, or Steve Weiss, my partner in crime over there, We will see you again next time.

11:26 SW: Yup. Thank you so much guys. Have an awesome holiday season.


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