Retargeting is a marketing tool that allows you to show ads to those who have already seen your offer. With retargeting, you can catch up with users who visited your site, Instagram page or any other platform with your offer but did not make a purchase.

In this article, we’ll reveal how to set up Instagram retargeting ads and share the best practices for retargeting advertising campaigns.

Types of Instagram Retargeting

The first type is defined by the audience who has seen your ads.

  • Site visitors

In Facebook Ads Manager, this type of retargeting is called Site. Accordingly, these users have an Instagram account, where advertising will catch up with them.

To retarget site visitors, you need to create a pixel in Facebook Events Manager and install it on your site. With the pixel, you can track people who put an order in the cart but do not complete the purchase, or visitors to a specific page.

  • Mobile app users

You can build up a database of people who have used your application or game and set up displaying ads on Instagram for them.

  • Customers lists

Use the contacts of Instagram customers who have already made a purchase and make them a profitable offer. Thus, you’ll remind your customers of you and your offer.

  • Users who engage with your content

In Facebook Ads Manager, you can find them in the Use Facebook Sources section:

  1. Video: show ads to those who viewed videos on Instagram.
  2. Lead generation form: collect a list of people who filled out or just opened the lead form by clicking on the advertisement.
  3. Instagram business profile: catch up with users who interacted with the profile - visited it, texted you in DM, liked or viewed your posts.
  4. Instant Experience: this is a full-screen format for mobile ads in Stories and Instagram feed. This can be a promotional video, carousel photos, or images tagged with your product. It gathers an audience that has opened the ad on full screen and interacted with it.
  5. Shopping: an audience that interacted with shopping tags on Instagram.

How to Create an Audience for Instagram Retargeting

Who you can retarget to:

  1. You can show your Instagram ads to people already familiar with your advertising offer but did not take the conversion action.

For example, they visited your site but did not buy anything or opened a lead form on Instagram but did not fill it out.

2. People who made a purchase or other targeted action, that is, your customers, are another option.

You can show the ads to them to increase your profit by upselling. For example, you might offer an additional accessory or a discount on a new purchase.

How to Create a Retargeting Audience for Instagram Ads

  1. Open the Audiences section in Facebook Ads Manager.

2. Click Create Audience, then Custom Audience.


3. Select Website.

When you choose this, you do it based on the thought the audience should be built up. The list can include people who meet any specified criteria or all at once.

Also, in the settings, you can collect data from people who have visited certain pages or collect a database based on the time spent on the site.

4. Name the audience, give it a description (optional) and click Create audience.

Finding an audience can take several minutes.

How To Create and Install Facebook Pixel on Instagram

A pixel is a unique HTML code that helps collect information about site visitors.

  1. To create it, go to Facebook Events Manager in the Facebook Ads Manager menu: burger icon (three horizontal lines,) then Company Management, then Events Manager.

2. Click Connect data sources (green circle with a plus sign).

3. Select Web and click Start.

4. Next to Facebook Pixel, click Connect.

5. Press Continue, then name your pixel and put the website address.

Ways to Install Facebook Pixel on Your Site

  1. Paste the code manually.

You can use integrations (no need to bother with code) suitable for sites on WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Ecwid, OpenCart, and Magento; more than 30 integrations are available.

2. Send instructions to your engineer or any tech-savvy co-worker.

And they will choose a convenient way to install the code.

You just need to copy the code and paste it into the site header before the closing </head> tag to set the pixel manually. The code is placed on all site pages or specific ones - it depends on what information you need to collect.

You can add special commands to the base code to track specific actions. Facebook Pixel supports tracking of the following events:

  • Adding billing information;
  • Adding a product to the wishlist;
  • Adding a product to the cart;
  • Completed registration;
  • Contact - when the company established contact with the client, for example, there was an email correspondence;
  • Donation;
  • Product personalisation - customising the product for yourself through the configuration function on the website or in the application;
  • Search for a place - when a client is looking for a place to visit, for example, a cafe;
  • Start of order - when the client has clicked the "Checkout" button. Helps track customers who have not completed the checkout process;
  • Lead - sending contacts to get feedback, for example, and a client filled out a registration form on the site;
  • Registration - the client signed up for the service;
  • Purchase - making a purchase on the website or in the app;
  • Trial period - the client has issued the beginning of the trial period of the subscription; you can use this command to offer a discount on a paid subscription by the end of the trial period, thereby motivating him to purchase;
  • Search - search for a product or service on the site;
  • Application - the client has applied, for example, to participate in a webinar or to get a credit card;
  • Viewing content - allows you to track a visit to a specific page but does not provide information on the actions performed on the page;
  • Subscription - a customer has a paid subscription.

Instagram Retargeting: Best Practices

How are retargeting campaigns different from regular ad campaigns?

The main difference is that when retargeting, your audience is already potentially interested in your offer. In regular ad campaigns, your audience might’ve not even heard of you.

Thus, retargeting campaigns typically show a higher CTR than regular ones. This is why retargeting campaigns often cost less than regular campaigns.

When setting up a regular advertising campaign, you only guess and assume who your target audience is.

Retargeting means that we already know how to get closer to the client: offer them a promo code, a discount, etc.

You can start collecting data about your audience immediately after launching regular campaigns or after analysing the statistics of already completed campaigns.

You can also gather your current customers’ data separately and retarget them with loyalty programs to get more sales.

In your ad creatives, use bonuses, promo codes, discounts, already viewed products or the ones added to the cart, similar or related products.

Some other factors can be quite helpful, so consider adding these into your ad creative:

  • An intriguing headline that instantly draws the attention of your target audience
  • A countdown timer to the sale’s end or its end date to create a filing of limitation.
  • An engaging CTA.