How to Remarket Effectively On Instagram

Instagram Retargeting

One of the most frustrating experiences is knowing that you’re losing potential customers in your funnel for no other reason than human nature.

The internet is a distracting place, and customers may visit your pricing pages and leave items in their e-commerce carts, but inevitably forget to complete their transactions.

If only there were a way to track these engagement milestones and nudge users towards completing these actions! That’s where remarketing comes in.

Remarketing has radically shifted how advertisers engage with potential customers, allowing them to deliver hypersegmented ads by tracking user behaviors across all sections of the purchasing funnel.

With its youthful and aspirational audience, Instagram is a perfect platform to try this out.

In this article, we’ll explore the best remarketing strategies for Instagram, the best practices for Instagram ad design, and how to implement them.

However, its remarketing potential continues to be overlooked, despite its strong Facebook integrations. Better yet, if you have an already established remarketing strategy on Facebook, you can apply it right to Instagram with just a few modifications.

With this guide, you’ll be able to leverage your remarketing strategy onto an entirely new and vibrant platform.

Why Remarket?

Remarketing is certainly a controversial practice since it is entirely dependent on tracking visitors. This can raise real privacy concerns, as we’ve all experienced the creepy feeling of getting continual webpage ads for a product we searched for on Amazon months ago.

Remarketing doesn’t have to be creepy if it’s done right. If you’re genuine and strategic in tone, you can actually be doing your audience a service by reminding them of your brand presence. Ultimately, remarketing is simply the best way to provide viewers with relevant ads based on past interests and behavior. Not only can you help people finish transactions, you can also target visitors who view your pricing pages or tutorials. This allows you to deliver ads that cater directly to their interests and needs. Additionally, the expansion of interest-driven social media networks like Facebook has familiarized users with the idea of interest-target ads, making remarketing a far less conspicuous presence.

While cookies and assorted tracking mechanisms are almost as old as the internet itself, Facebook’s Pixel has made this process far more accessible to organizations that may otherwise have difficulty implementing the strategy. By embedding the Facebook Pixel into your website, you are able to engage in conversion tracking and create audiences based on specific webpage views.

Pursuing remarketing on an underutilized platform like Instagram offers a lot of opportunities, namely the ability to reach out to new audiences and test messaging on a highly visual platform. This seems daunting, but Instagram’s integration with the Facebook ads stack makes it really easy to make high-converting remarketing ads.

How to Remarket on Instagram

If you’ve pursued a remarketing campaign on Facebook before, you’ll be right a home with the following procedure to initiate the strategy on Instagram. Using the Facebook Pixel remarketing can be a straightforward and effective tool.

Step One: Track Visitors with The Facebook Pixel

If you want to remarket, you need to target a specific audience, such as Facebook Custom Audiences. In order to implement this, you’ll need to define what this audience is, and this is where Facebook Pixel visitor tracking comes into play. Facebook outlines how to add the Facebook Pixel to your website in this handy implementation guide.

Step Two: Segment Audiences

Since your visitors likely have different interests, it follows that they should be shown different ads. Instead of simply showing all website visitors the same ad on Instagram, you should consider creating specific audiences for each ad you create.

Some examples of useful audiences are:

  • Prior customers
  • People who have searched for you
  • People who haven’t completed a transaction
  • Repeat visitors

One you have these established, you should go ahead and create ad offers that are well aligned with the expectations of each of these segments.

Step Three: Exclude Converters from your custom audience

Since you’re specifically targeting people who have not converted (e.g. made a purchased and moved to the next stage of your funnel), you should be careful to exclude them from your remarketing ads. If you fail to do this, you risk pestering loyal customers that you don’t want to alienate.

If you want to be even more intentional, you should consider excluding people who have clicked on your remarketing ads, so they don’t see the same ads over and over.

Step Four: Set Up campaign

Once you’ve established your custom audience and excluded converters, the next step is to set up your campaign. The first step is to mark your ad placement as an Instagram ad. It’s very important to opt into tracking goal conversions with Facebook pixels, since the Facebook pixel is so central to remarketing on Instagram.

Once you’ve established these parameters, it’s time to design your ad to be effective to both your audience segment and the parameters of the platform.

Designing Instagram Ads

Once you’ve set up the framework for your remarketing strategy, the next step is to design effective ads that are aligned with the funnel segments you are trying to reach. You shouldn’t just put your Facebook ads on Instagram and expect them to work. Instagram is a distinct platform that is highly visual, and you should cater the content of your ads with minimal text and highly visual aspirational aesthetic.

Additionally, you should be strategic in how you allocate your resources. Individuals who have visited your site once shouldn’t be given the same priority as those who have visited high-converting pages such as your pricing page, so the design and budget of each ad segment should be adjusted accordingly.

However, much like Facebook ads, we encourage you to engage in continual A/B testing for your different ad segments, to see which type of messaging is most appealing to them. To get a better idea of what makes a successful remarketing ad, let’s look at some typical examples.


This remarketing ad is based on previous searches about Airbnb rentals in Barcelona. It provides an informative price and eye-catching visual. Airbnb leverages the sumptuous nature of photos on its platform, and lets them take center stage on a platform like Instagram. Better yet, this ad uses Instagram’s carousel ads to show off even more shots of this great rental.

Why Remarketing is Right for Instagram

Poorly done remarketing may be a divisive tactic from the consumer’s standpoint, where they may be constantly barraged with e-commerce remarketing ads on unrelated webpages, and obtrusive messages in their Facebook Newsfeed.

However, the format of Instagram represents an opportunity for your brand to connect with target audiences in a highly visual way that may be less intrusive than other platforms. Indeed, remarketing campaigns like Airbnb’s are so well targeted and composed that viewers may not even regard them as advertisements, but helpful reminders that nudge them towards making a booking.

As always, the best strategy for social media marketing, whether it be on Facebook or Instagram, is to embrace experimentation and iteration. Even if your brand does not intend to pursue a full-time Instagram campaign, you can easily leverage your Facebook Pixel implementation onto a new platform like Instagram. This can enable you to find out valuable information on the effectiveness of your overall ad segmentation strategy and will push you to further target your messaging.

Whether you decide to prioritize Facebook or Instagram in your remarketing strategy is ultimately up to you, but with the Facebook Pixel’s ability to bridge both platforms, jumping in has never been easier.