What is a Facebook Pixel?

Although it may sound like some sort of itsy-bitsy image file, a Facebook Pixel is actually a snippet of code that you install on your website. It sits, hidden within your site’s main code structure and, when users visit and interact with your site, the Pixel plants cookies that help you track their activity. Then it relays this data back to your Facebook Ad account, where you can use it to create smart, strategic campaigns. The Pixel’s data helps you understand your audience’s needs, wants, and habits, so you can tailor your ads to catch their attention. Using it, you can:

  • Improve the performance of existing ads based on Pixel-collected data
  • Build and refine targeted audience groups for new campaigns
  • Retarget (or remarket) warm leads, which means showing specific ads to people who have already visited your site

That last one is the biggie. Say you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see an ad for an online yoga class. You’ve never heard of the teacher, or the class, or the platform, so you’re likely to scroll right by. Now imagine you’re scrolling and suddenly see an ad for an online class taught by an instructor you trust whose blog you were just reading. The ad reinforces an existing interest and reminds you to take action, so you’re MUCH more likely to click and register. And that’s remarketing; Following up with people who’ve sought you out and consumed your content to nudge them toward purchasing. It’s simple, intuitive, and incredibly effective.

If you’re not interested in or ready to start using Facebook ads, you might not need a Pixel. But it really can’t hurt to have it installed and passively taking notes on your behalf! Even if you don’t use the data right away, accumulating it ahead of time will prove useful when you’re ready to take the plunge and launch a Facebook ad campaign.

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