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Optimizing Facebook Ads for Content Engagement: 4 Custom Conversion Ideas



optimizing facebook ads for content engagement 4 custom conversion ideas

We all know Facebook Pixel. The little snippet of code that is tasked with sending interaction and conversion data back to Facebook Ads algorithm for delivery optimization and tracking. With its set of standard events and the ability to track Custom Conversions, Facebook Pixel is a key element of the Facebook Ads platform.

While the standard events cover different scenarios for a variety of common conversions such as purchases or downloads, but what if we need to track and optimize for something that’s not “standard”? In this post, we will take a look at some unconventional use-cases for implementing Facebook Pixel custom conversion with a focus on optimizing for content engagement.

In order to follow the instructions provided in this post, you will need basic Google Tag Manager knowledge. If you’re not familiar with GTM or need to refresh your mind about it, make sure to check out Google Tag Manager Basics.

Base Facebook Pixel installation using Google Tag Manager

Before diving into our use cases, let’s quickly go through installing Facebook Pixel through GTM. All of the custom event codes that we will add later will rely on this base code. It’s not necessary to install the Pixel using GTM, you might as well do a manual installation.

Google Tag Manager has native integrations for a wide range of platforms but Facebook Pixel needs to be installed as a Custom HTML tag.

  1. Login to Google Tag Manager and create a New Tag.
  2. Name your Tag, something like Base Facebook Pixel.
  3. Select Tag Configuration and then pick Custom HTML as the tag type.Google Tag Manager tag type selector
  4. Copy your Facebook Pixel code, paste it here and save the tag.Paste Facebook Pixel code in the Custom HTML tag.
  5. Now it’s time to define a trigger and set the conditions for firing the tag we just defined. We want the Facebook Pixel to be fired on every page of our website. Set the Trigger to Page View on All Pages. Don’t forget to save your tag.Setting the Page View trigger to All Pages
  6. Make sure to test your new tag using Preview mode and also through Facebook Pixel Helper plugin for Chrome.

Now that we have our base Pixel set up, let’s look into use cases for Custom Conversions.

1- Delayed Pixel fire

A while back we were asked by a client about optimizing Facebook campaigns towards content consumption. Optimizing for Landing Page View seems to be a good way for achieving that goal if you see the engagement you expect but in this case, we needed to make sure the visitor spends a minimum amount of time on the landing page. That’s why we started to look for ways to define that as a custom conversion and optimize for it.

  1. The first thing we need is to fire a conversion pixel for the desired web page engagement. Here we want to create a custom conversion if a visitor spends 7 seconds or more on our page In Tag Manager, create another Custom HTML tag and type the code below.<script>
    fbq("trackCustom", "Content Engagement");

    As you see we’re taking advantage of Facebook Pixel’s fbq function to define a custom event called Content Engagement.
    Naming the Custom Conversion using fbq function.

  2. The script we just wrote is dependent on the base Facebook Pixel code and for this reason, we need to make sure it fires up after the base code is loaded. We will be using the Tag Sequencing feature under Advanced Settings to load the custom event code after the base Pixel tag.
    Expand the Advanced Settings section and check the box next to “Fire a tag before [your tag name] fires”. Select the base Facebook Pixel tag from the dropdown menu.Setting the Tag Sequencing settings.
  3. Now it’s time to define the trigger. Click on Triggering panel and then on the (+) sign on the top right of the page. Select Trigger Configuration so you can see the list of all triggers. Select Timer trigger type. As you see, we’ve named our trigger “7 Seconds”.
  4. Enter the amount of time that you like to delay your pixel fire (aka when your custom event fires) under Interval. As you see this is in milliseconds so we have entered 7000 for 7 seconds.Another important setting here is Limit, we want the custom event to only fire once, so we have entered 1. If you leave this blank the custom conversion will fire every 7 seconds (or whatever interval duration you have defined).

    Finally, we need to define the conditions for firing the tag. We would like to record our Content Engagement custom event on every page of your website and have used the RegEx (regular expression) operator to include all pages. Save your work!Setting up Timer trigger.

  5. Publish your Tag Manager workspace with all new changes. It’s time to test now. You can use GTM’s preview and debug mode or Facebook Pixel Helper like us. In addition to the PageView event which shows the base Pixel is fired we should also see our custom event loaded after our defined interval. This is how it loads in our example: it takes a couple (7 seconds to be exact) for the conversion action to load:Checking the Custom Conversion with Pixel Helper plugin.

Voila! We got our Custom Event fired, all we need to do next in order to be able to optimize our campaigns for this conversion is to define a Custom Conversion.

Navigate to Custom Conversions in Events Manager and create a new conversion. Select the Custom Event you created in previous steps under Website Event dropdown. You can add rules to your custom conversion if you wish to track it only on certain pages of your website. Assign a name, a category, and a value. The last two are optional but very helpful when it comes to reporting and measuring the RoAS (Return on Ad Spend).

Choosing Content Engagement as a Conversion Event in Facebook Ad Manager

That’s it! You have successfully created your Custom Event and also Custom Conversion for a delayed Facebook Pixel. In the following sections, we apply the same process to other use cases of deploying Facebook Custom Events using Google Tag Manager.

2- Page Scroll Depth

Defining page scroll depth as a Custom Conversion can work as a proxy for how well the audience is engaged with the landing page. Examples are more complex products or services with content-heavy and long landing pages or simply on blogs, news websites and other content distribution businesses.

The process for defining our Custom Event and Conversion is the same as what we just went through for the Delayed Pixel fire example. The only thing that changes Step 4 from the previous section and that is the Trigger Type that we need to select in GTM. This time we will be using the Scroll Depth trigger.

Google Tag Manager Page Depth trigger settings

You have options for making our Custom Event tag fired for vertical, horizontal or a hybrid of both depending on the user experience on your website or app. And the measurement of the scroll depth can be based on the percentage or pixels. So for example, you can define your Custom Event tag to fire only when the user has scrolled down 75% of your landing page.

3- YouTube Video Views

This will be a great fit for those who use videos embedded from YouTube on their pages. It can be a recorded webinar, a video course website or a vlog. You can tie your Facebook Custom Conversion to YouTube Video trigger in GTM and optimize towards different sorts of video content engagement.

Google Tag Manager YouTube Video View trigger settings

Again, the main process stays the same as our first example of Delayed Pixel fire. The only different step is the Trigger Type and this time we are using YouTube Video.

You can track video start, completion, pause, seeking and most importantly video watch progress. Make sure you’re creating separate tags in case you’re interested in testing different optimization actions as it can muddy up your results. You can define either percentage or time-based event captures depending on your video length and user experience.

4- Element Visibility

There can be cases where you are interested in tracking and optimizing for actions like the visibility of a certain element on your landing page. Examples can be firing a Custom Conversion when a user stays on a certain image for more than 2 seconds. Or, if they made it to at least the 3rd photo in your product photo gallery. The Trigger Type that allows us to define such engagements to fire a Custom Conversion tag is Element Visibility. 

Google Tag Manager Element Visibility trigger settings.

Follow the same process that is explained in the first section of this post. Element Visibility tag gives us options to identify the desired page element(s) with their element ID or CSS Selector. You can define a minimum time for the on-screen duration (in milliseconds) and also there are other settings that you can tweak to get the right combination of conditions that you like to be considered as a conversion. 

As you see the options for firing your Custom Conversion code using Google Tag Manager are almost endless. You can track and optimize your Facebook conversion campaigns for different types of user interactions depending on your use case and user experience. 

I hope this blog has given you some great ideas for optimizing your Facebook campaigns with creative Custom Events that are representative of high-quality content engagement. If you’re interested in learning more about Google Tag Manager and tracking important interactions on your website or apps, this Google Analytics Academy course is a great place to start.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

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Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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