We, as marketers, often create remarketing campaigns as if we’re following a recipe.

  1. Create ads and target an audience.
  2. Create audiences based on the website behavior of those who clicked on the ads from step 1.
  3. Show different ads to the people who clicked on the ads, but didn’t convert.
  4. Hopefully, the people come back and convert.

This is remarketing 101 and pretty much every platform allows some form of it. It’s what every marketer learns when they decide to give remarketing a shot.

On Facebook, we can absolutely use this type of remarketing and it can work very well. You can even remarket to people based on time spent on site along with pages visited. While these are strategies that should be tested and used, Facebook offers some other interesting types of ads that allow audience building without those users having to leave Facebook.

Why would you want to create ads to build audiences where users can stay within the confines of Facebook?


For one, it can be a much better user experience to stay on Facebook and interact with an ad. You don’t run into the possibilities of landing page issues or other types of site problems. You also still get the chance to grab users’ attention who don’t want to go to a landing page.

So what kinds of remarketing audiences can we create that don’t require users to leave Facebook?

There are three remarketing audiences that we can create that don’t require users to leave Facebook:

  1. Video
  2. Canvas
  3. Lead Ad

Let’s look at these three in more detail below.


You’ve likely seen video ads on Facebook that are used to showcase products and introduce services. They are a great visual way to get someone’s attention and fit nicely within the Facebook News Feed.

It’s even been predicted that video could be the dominant content type on Facebook in 5 years. Regardless if that prediction pans out, no one can argue videos importance on the platform.


Given that importance, it’s good to know we can use that watching behavior to create a remarketing audience. As you can see in the image above, we have the option to create various audiences based on how people interacted with the video.

You can choose the 3 second and 10-second viewing options or choose to build an audience based on a percentage viewed model. So you now have the ability to create remarketing audiences based solely on a video someone watched within Facebook.

You’ll want to create and test audiences based on a small viewing window (10 seconds or 25%) against a larger viewing window (50% or 75%) depending on your video length.


Canvas ads give users the option to view a special ad that opens and unfolds on a mobile device. It’s designed specifically for mobile and excels with the touch interface. Given that the overwhelming majority of Facebook use is on mobile devices, it’s an interesting format to test and use. You can also use it to create remarketing audiences.

Above, you can see we have two options to create an audience, either people that opened the Canvas ad or clicked on it. Since it can be opened and viewed without leaving Facebook, it gives us the option to create remarketing audiences with those types of users.

Start by creating an audience for users who just opened the ad. This way you can start with the largest possible audience of people who are interested.

Lead Gen

The last format we will discuss are Facebook’s lead generation ads. These are ads built to collect leads directly from within the Facebook interface. Users who click on the ad see a lead gen form that opens directly in Facebook that they can fill out and submit. They never have to leave Facebook to do this.

They’re particularly useful if you have a great email marketing channel or need to provide a detailed follow up post lead that isn’t easy to provide on a landing page.

Much like the other ad formats discussed, you can create a remarketing audience based on a variety of behaviors. You can create one based on just opening the form, people who opened and didn’t submit, or people who opened and submitted.

Given that users who submit completed your goal, it might be best to start with the users who opened and didn’t submit. This way you can reach back out to them.


As the media landscape changes and more people stay within the confines of various platforms like Facebook, it can be useful to find ways to reach customers in the same way. Video, lead gen, and Canvas ads give marketers the tools to find those interested in our products while not asking them to leave Facebook. Thus, reducing the friction of interacting with our brands. Once you know they’re interested you can ask more of them by sending them to your site to sign up or shop.