The revolutionary Facebook pixel.

Pixels are common across most advertising platforms. They’re used to drop a cookie that will track visitors on your website so you can advertise to them later. This is called retargeting. Once you advertise to past website visitors, Facebook pixels can also be used to track their behavior when they’re back on your website.

What is a Facebook pixel?

A Facebook pixel is an analytics tool that consists of a code that you can put on your website. The pixel fires to track site visitors. This data allows you to retarget those users with Facebook ads in the future, as well as see what they’re doing on your site when they return. This allows you to gain more insights about your audience, send targeted messaging to users who already know your brand, and track the effectiveness of your paid social advertising efforts.

How do Facebook pixels work?

Facebook used to have a custom audience pixel for retargeting website visitors, and conversion pixels for tracking website conversions such as sales. While each advertising account had only one custom audience pixel, you could create many conversion pixels — one for each web page you wanted to track conversions on.

The thing is, although Facebook pixels are confusing, they make advertising on Facebook much more effective. Not only do you know exactly who you’re advertising to, you also have a better understanding of how your Facebook ads are performing. All in all, you can make your messaging much more effective, leading to a better return on your advertising dollars.

In 2015, Facebook simplified this process by introducing a new Facebook pixel that replaced the older Facebook pixels, making it the only tracking pixel you now need. It was updated again in 2017 to make advertising on Facebook easier and more effective. This included more tracking, such as button click activity and page metadata.

Is it worth it???

The pixel allows you to take your nonprofit marketing to the next level and without it you’re just limiting yourself and the success of your advertising campaigns. You won’t be able to:

  • Target website visitors.
  • Create custom website audiences: Target people based on specific web pages they visit — with this level of detail, creating ads with copy and images tailored to the specific website content viewed is an easy way to boost relevancy and CTRs.
  • Use standard events: Track actions such as “purchases” and “add to cart.”
  • Conversion tracking: Wouldn’t it be great if you could optimize your ads to drive more “conversions” on your site? Without conversion tracking set up, Facebook can only optimize ads for something like website traffic or video views. Not very helpful.

The bottom line is if you’re not using the Facebook pixel you’re making things very hard on yourself. With the pixel the opportunities are endless and your work is minimized — who doesn’t want that?

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