Retargeting is one of the newer forms of marketing which has emerged in the last couple of years, and it’s amazingly effective when used properly. Instead of your ad being viewed just once, you’ll be able to find your prospective customers when they’re ready to buy, adding to your chances of a conversion.
If you’re unfamiliar with the technique it can seem a little bit esoteric, but it’s pretty simple at its core and adding it to your campaigns is a fantastic idea to help you make sure you get those customers who might never find your page again.
Here’s the thing, most marketers like to think of their customers as moving in a simple, linear progression.
The ideal customer opts-in to your e-mail list for a freebie, picks up an interest through your newsletter, and finally makes a purchase of whatever your primary product is.
This linear process rarely works out the way that we hope it does. Sometimes someone will visit a page and be interested in a product but not have the money on hand until payday, or they may be looking at a course but not yet ready to commit, or maybe they’re just waiting until they have more free time to use a subscription service before they sign up.
All of this adds up to a lot of potentially lost customers. Would you rather hope that they have added you to their favorites and remember?
Retargeting can keep potential customers interested, which in turn is likely to raise the income of your marketing campaign quite a bit.
How Does It Work?
Here’s the way it works:
- Your customer clicks on an ad which leads them to your landing page, or alternatively find it during an organic search depending on your marketing techniques.
- They leave without making a purchase.
- While surfing the web at a later point, the ad reappears on their social media feed or other ad placement.
- Their renewed interest ideally leads them to make the purchase at a later date.
Retargeting tends to have a very high ROI, because it specifically targets people who are already familiar with the product and have shown interest in it.
Retargeting is being used more and more frequently these days and has been integrated with social media advertisements, search engine marketing, and targeted display advertising.
The use of these cookies is becoming a vital part of many marketer’s strategies, and the advantages readily show why.
Who Benefits the Most From Retargeting?
Retargeting can help some businesses more than others, although most people will benefit from at least a subtle usage of it to some degree.
One of the most common places it’s seen is in B2B sales: quite often these are for larger purchases which are made less frequently. Since that’s the case, it’s not uncommon for people to look up their prospects later and staying visible can make all the difference.
eCommerce websites will often use these as well: it’s one of the most effective ways to get back at people who are bouncing or abandon their carts.
Events do well with a limited amount of retargeting as well. Insert the cookie on the page which leads directly to ticket sales and show things to people a few more times to make sure that anyone who’s still interested buys a ticket.
Really, almost anyone can benefit from using retargeting to some extent with one caveat: it has to be done right.
Things Not to Do When Retargeting Ads
If you’ve been paying attention to the ads which pop up for you recently, you may be aware that some people repeatedly pop up. Some folks do it right, others definitely don’t.
Some of the most common flaws in retargeting campaigns include the following:
- Too Much Frequency: After a certain point, you’re just wasting money on impressions by retargeting people. More than that, no one really wants to be totally aware that you’re retargeting them, instead you need to limit the frequency with which things pop back up for an individual. It’s good for them to remember, it’s bad for them to be inundated with ads.
- Too Little Frequency: It’s a case of a fine line here. If your customer is looking for a new pair of boots, for instance, and they never see your ad again before abandoning their cart then they may end up purchasing them from a competitor. For longer buying cycles, like most B2B services, you’ll want to pop up often enough that they end up thinking of you when it does come time to purchase… not totally forgetting you exist.
- Neglecting the Creative Side of Things: If you run the same banners for months on end, then people are going to get tired of seeing them and pretty soon their brains are going to overwrite the whole thing. At the very least you want to rotate banners on occasion to keep things from getting stale, and you definitely want to make sure that all of them are well-designed.
- Hitting Current Customers: If someone is already buying from you, but still receiving advertisements to buy whatever they already have… then you need to rethink your advertising strategy. You may want to do a few impressions about their purchase but trying to sell someone something they already have is a big no-no.
- Not Quantifying Your Results: Modern marketing isn’t like running a news paper ad in the old days. Each part of your campaign can be measured with pinpoint accuracy, and if you’re not doing the analytic work on your side then you’re going to have a lot of trouble improving.
- Not Utilizing Segmenting: If someone was on your page to buy t-shirts and you sell all sorts of knick-knacks then you want to show them more ads for shirts… not just ads for your page in general. This isn’t going to affect you as much as many of the other mistakes, but it can definitely take a chunk of customers away by lacking specificity.
If you can avoid all of the above, or at least tweak your campaigns as you go to try and avoid the major pitfalls, then you’re likely to be able to get a pretty high ROI.
Of course, there are also things you’ll need to do right to make sure that you get the best return possible.
Formulating Your Retargeting Strategy
Because retargeting is such a powerful and versatile tool, you need to put together a fairly comprehensive strategy before you begin.
Now that you know what to not do, let’s look over some of the practices which can ensure your campaign is an effective use of time and money:
- Start with campaigns that are already performing well without using retargeting. These campaigns are likely to benefit the most, since you’ve already got customers taking the leap on their first visit.
- Learn to prioritize customers. The farther down the sales funnel they go, the better your chances of a later conversion, you’ll want to be more aggressive with people who made it to checkout than those who just made it to the landing page for instance.
- Remarketing campaigns benefit a lot from broader keywords. While those keywords are pretty much anathema for SEO and SEM marketing, they’re great for those customers who are already familiar with your brand and interested in your products.
- Try special discounts for people who bounce from the cart. Often times you can overcome second thoughts with a relatively small gesture, which works out great for you in the long run since you wouldn’t have made the sale without it.
The above are just some general guidelines for best practices, each business is going to need to tweak things until they reach their own conclusions on what their exact strategy is.
Retargeting isn’t simple, and there’s a reason many people hire others to do it in order to achieve quicker results.
After all, you’ll have to keep track of all of the data coming in and run the fine line between being present and overwhelming your ideal customers with advertisements afterwards.
Think of it as mapping out an entire sales pitch, complete with responses, and you’ll be on the right track. The idea here is to be able to bring in customers who would otherwise never have come back through gently reminding them you’re there.
Segmentation of Customers
Segmenting your customers is the difference between a sloppy retargeting campaign and a tight one, and knowing how to do it is a large part of the art behind this part of marketing.
Segmentation can mean different things depending on what kind of business you’re running, but some general guidelines can be followed.
Chances are that if you’re running a subscription service you’re already building a list of e-mails and the idea of remarketing almost originates in these newsletters which pop in. You offer some small amount of value and occasionally hit your prospective customers up with an offer for your service.
With retargeting you can take this a step further.
Sales funnels are usually a few pages deep, leading your customers into the buy through the careful usage of copy, media, and displaying the benefits of your product. Usually they’re a bit front-loaded with a free eBook or webinar as well, depending on the product or service being offered.
In this case, using different re-targeted ads depending on how long the person made it along in your funnel is probably the best idea.
Someone who just went to the landing page and bounced may need one or two reminders, while someone who got to the end may end up converting if you make an offer with a discount at the end for instance.
eCommerce stores are able to utilize retargeting in a number of creative ways. In addition to targeting those who’ve abandoned a shopping cart you can also show ads to those who’ve viewed a certain type of product with more of the same.
Another big idea: targeting those who’ve purchased a product already with a complementary product which goes along with their initial purpose.
The wider and more targeted the array of advertisements you use in this way, the higher the chances of making a loyal customer out of someone who may have just been “window shopping.”
Even something as simple as a banner declaring that you have gotten new products in your lineup can be an excellent way to bring people back to your brand time and time again.
Your Goal is Specificity
Your goal, with any kind of remarketing, is to bring a specific need to the attention of a potential customer rather than just showing them the same ad time and time again.
This personal touch is what will make you stand out, and combined with the proper channels(such as active and responsive social media channels) it can build an entire persona around your product or service which in turn will increase overall awareness.
More awareness means more traffic, and more traffic means more conversions.
Recognizing the needs of loyal customers and being able to target them intelligently is a big advantage, and that can lead to big profit for your venture.
Retargeting is relatively new, but people have been doing it in one form or another for pretty much the entire history of advertising.
It seems complicated at first glance, but most advertisers should be able to readily pick up on what they need to do in order to bring their brand to the forefront of their industry. Making sure that you recognize and meet the exact needs of your customers, keeping your branding at the front of their mind, and even offering things which improve their own experience rather than just line your pockets are all possible… and profitable.
Whether you use a service, hire someone to do it for you, or even form and implement your own rudimentary strategy you’re likely to find that retargeting is one of the best missing ingredients in your overall strategy.
Don’t take my word for it, try it out yourself.