Think, for a moment, about the last time you bought something big. A new phone, a refrigerator for your kitchen, or maybe a new car. Did you buy the first one you came across? Of course not.
When we’re in the market for something new, we take time to ensure we purchase the right one.
- We check out reviews.
- We look at what different places have to offer.
- We price shop.
- We look at different features.
- We look for specials and sales.
- We window shop to ensure we get the best of the best.
And only then do we lay down the money and buy.
Retargeting is an online strategy that works hard to convert those window shoppers into buyers.
When people buy online, they rarely hit the “buy” button on the first visit. They need to look around, build trust, be sure they are purchasing the right thing at the right time. Retargeting brings the “lookers” back to your site to increase the chances of conversion. Retargeting tracks the people that visit your site and displays your retargeted ads to them as they visit other sites.
It’s Different Than Buying Ad Space
If you have ever purchased banner ads or display ads on other networks, you know they can be a hit-or-miss. You work to fully understand their demographics and take the chance that what you have to offer will appeal to people visiting the site you choose to advertise on.
Retargeting ads are more efficient. We retargeting, you only target users that have visited your site before. They have experience with your brand, recognize what you have to offer, and display their choices to trigger their previous shopping habits. You can choose to target users with very specific pages – the item they placed in a shopping cart, for instance – or you can display things based on your brand, to build awareness as to what your company is all about.
By retargeting ads to people already familiar with what you have to offer, you are guaranteeing your marketing dollars are only being spent on people already familiar with your brand. You build trust. You have the opportunity to funnel them into better campaigns.
You have a better chance of them taking action.
Even if they are out searching on competitive sites, your ad is front and center – it remains on the screen for them to consider. It puts them into comparison mode. It helps your brand gain traction and have more recognition as they continue on.
And that means higher click-thru rates. And higher conversions. Which means higher sales.
How Does It Work?
It starts by understanding your goals. What is your retargeting strategy? (Don’t worry. If you’re not sure, we can help you with that.) Then we go to work by adding retargeting pixels to your site. We determine what pages are best, or we can incorporate it into your entire site. Then, as visitors come to your site and search through your pages, they are added to an audience list that is cookied. As they move to other sites that display retargeted ads, your ads are shown.
This audience list builds and grows as people visit your site. Like a lot of technology, it learns and grows through search behavior. The more you have this technology in place, the stronger and more qualified your group of past visitors becomes.
When someone converts, it takes them out of your audience. You can also choose to build more sophisticated audiences by placing them into different groups after conversion. Your list can grow quite complex if you have different products and services to offer.
You can also control the sites your ad shows on. That means you decide if a site is working or not. And if a site doesn’t have strong conversion, cut them from your list. With a little dedication, your conversion rates can grow exponentially over time.
How Is All Of This Measured?
If you’re used to display advertising, you’re familiar with click-thru conversion. You don’t pay unless someone clicks on your ad.
With retargeting, you have two ways of measuring results: click-thru and view-thru conversion. Click thru conversions occur when someone clicks on a retargeted ad. View-thru conversion is measured through assistance. If conversion happens by viewing an ad on another network and it assists in sending them to your site, it’s measured through view-thru conversion.
How Can You Use Retargeting?
Now that you know a little bit more about what retargeting is and how it works, let’s get into how it can work for you.
Retargeting works to bring people back into your site. And because you’re already familiar with the marketing funnel, it’s easy to understand that you can retarget at any phase within that funnel.
- Awareness – use it to introduce your brand and your logo to your audience
- Interest – show products your visitor clicked on inside your site
- Decision – show ads to help confirm the decision – why not give them a special discount if they click now?
- Options – if they aren’t sold on one product, why not show them something similar? This works well if you have a variety of products with different models and options.
- Services – increase the depth of your branding by showing visitors more benefits to your services.
- Retention – get them to come back again … and again!
The truth is the sky’s the limit for using retargeted ads in your marketing and advertising strategy. It’s one of the most effective ways of advertising because it builds on performance. They know you. They’ve seen you before. They’ve considered your brand, products, and services in the past. Why not give them the push they need to complete the sale?
What Else Should You Know?
Like every form of marketing, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you use this approach.
First, realize that retargeting is a channel on its own. This isn’t something you can take banner ads from past campaigns and place them into your retargeting channel. It requires a great deal of work to ensure the landing pages are created, unique banner ads are made, and all of it is optimized to ensure your potential customers receive something they’re willing to take action with. If you don’t have the means to research and learn the best approach for your business, it’s best to wait until you do.
Next, realize that too much retargeting can work against you. If you’ve ever experienced “in your face” marketing where an ad follows you – haunts you – you know exactly what I mean. If you see the same ad over and over again, a visitor can grow so sick of it that they think negatively about you. Bombardment is not the way to go.
Finally, realize that retargeting takes commitment to get it working right. If you can’t use this strategy for the foreseeable future, it’s best to place your funding somewhere else. Retargeting works best when you can create an effective audience. And that takes time to grow.
Retargeting can be a great addition to your marketing strategy if you have the time to use it the right way. You won’t have the competition you might have in other channels. And it’s a great way to build strength in your brand.
Have additional questions? We’d love to hear what you think.