Have you heard of the Facebook Pixel? Internet marketers use this feature on their Facebook accounts to keep track of visitors who come to their website/products/etc. The neat thing about this is that the Pixel can re-target visitors who visit your site or go to a specific page on your site. Here’s an example you are familiar with. You go to your favourite online shop and add a few things to your cart. You don’t have time to complete the checkout process (you know, life), and you notice later that evening while you’re browsing Facebook, that one of the products in your cart is now an ad on the side of your screen! I know the first time I saw one of those I thought it was super creepy…how did my computer know exactly what I was thinking of buying on a completely different site? Enter the Pixel!
Soooo how do I use this as a photographer?
Imagine creating a page on your site with all the details of your upcoming minishoots. You send ads to this page and you promote it by emailing it to past clients, creating a post on your Facebook page and telling everyone you know. You may also have a cart checkout option so people pay and schedule their minishoots online with something like Acuity Scheduling, which I love. Some people will go to your page, select a session and pay, and complete their order. Someone else may have gone to your page, checked out your minis and left because you know, life. You can actually figure out which people did not complete check out, or just browsed your minishoot promo page, and then create ads on Facebook or Insta JUST FOR THEM! I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind. These ads are worth their weight in gold because you’re not targeting a cold market who has no idea who you are. You’re targeting people who have visited your website and may just need another reminder that this is something they were intending on buying.
Where do we start?
First you need to log into Facebook. Along the top blue bar to the right is an upside down triangle. Hit it and go to ‘manage ads’ to get to the Ads manager.
You will then see this screen here. See the Pixels section under Measure and Report? Go there.
You may be asked at some point to create an ads manager account if you haven’t set that up since you need to link the Pixel to a business account.
Installing the Facebook Pixel
Once you create a pixel, Facebook gives you a several options to insert this code to your website. It sounds complicated especially if you’re not a techy person, but with some patience and Mrs. Google, you can make it happen. The best option I’ve found is to take your specific pixel code and find the <header> section of your website and insert it before the </header> code. Depending on whether you use WordPress, Squarespace or something else, your platform and theme dictate where you would find this. I am a WordPress girl, and I use a mix of child themes from Genesis and Prophoto. There are specific places in WordPress that allow me to enter custom CSS under the header section without touching the CSS sheet or messing up the code that makes my site work.
If you have WordPress and use the Genesis theme, here’s your cheatsheet to installing the Pixel: Log into WordPress and find Appearance>Customize>Theme Settings. The bottom option in the menu is Header/Footer Scripts. Add it to the Header script and you are done!
Back in your Facebook ads manager, you will get the option of downloading something called the Pixel Helper, which will just double check that your pixels are properly inserted and are functioning. This only works with the Chrome browser which I intentionally installed just to access this feature.
In order to retarget a specific audience (ie. visitors to a certain link or even your entire website), you need to hit the ‘Create Custom Audience’ button in the ads manager. This audience can be very specific, and you can remove people who visit certain pages but not other pages. As in the example above, you can target people who visited the minishoot promo page and exclude the people who hit the page after completing their checkout, because there’s no sense in retargeting people who have already bought the very thing you are trying to promote with the ads.
Not only can you ‘nudge’ people back to a certain place they have visited, you can target specific audiences and then direct them to a related ad campaign. I could create a pixel for a minishoot promo and then a couple months later decide I’m going to do a giveaway for families in my area to build my email list. I can retarget the audience who visited my minishoot promo page first before I try other online marketing avenues.
The Facebook Pixel is an effective way to identify pockets of audiences and create warm target markets for your photography business. Nurturing potential leads in this way can encourage them to hire you as they are further exposed to your content and your brand. The Pixel allows you to identify people who visit a specific site and then send them to that site again through targeted ads, or send them to other related photography products and services you offer. Such a smart way to do marketing!