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What is Retargeting?

So maybe you’ve heard of retargeting but don’t exactly know what that means. Have you ever shopped for a coffee maker and then suddenly you see that same coffee maker ad no matter where you go online?
Congratulations, you’ve been retargeted.

Retargeting, or “remarketing” as it is sometimes called, is a type of cookie-based technology that runs on Javascript code. This fancy bit of hi-tech makes it possible to ‘follow’ your visitors anonymously all over the web to send them messages of your offers as they travel across the Internet. That’s actually a big deal since on average just 2-4% of website traffic converts the first time that a visitor lands on your website. Remarketing lets you stay engaged and connected with the other 96% of your visitors who didn’t take you up on your amazing offer the first time and left your website. Over time this can help to increase your brand recognition and also your sales conversions. In fact, it can speed up every stage of the marketing funnel and practically force your one-time visitors into submission. Sooner or later, you are going to break down and buy that coffee maker! This marketing method gets online window shoppers to turn into paying customers.

The Difference by Outbrain.com
The biggest difference between retargeting and remarketing is the strategy that’s used to reach potential customers who have left your website without making a purchase. While retargeting typically relies on cookies dropping ads, as described in the explanation above, remarketing usually uses email.

Here is how the retargeting process works: you install a small piece of code onto your website (the code is often referred to as a pixel). Your website visitors can’t see the pixel and it doesn’t affect the performance of your website either. It’s innocently lurking in the background. Each time a new visitor lands on your website, an anonymous browser cookie is dropped by the code. Sneaky! Later on, when the cookie’d visitor is browsing online the cookie will talk to the targeted provider to tell them when to serve your ad, which ensures that your ad is only served to individuals who have visited your website already. So, yes, you are basically stalking your one-time visitors and giving them another chance to see what you have to offer without visiting your site. When you think about it, this is brilliant!

Two Types of Retargeting:
Pixel-based Retargeting is a method that allows you to redisplay your offer to an anonymous website visitor by adding a pixel to the visitor of your site. It is the most common type of retargeting. This is how retargeting works on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Google display networks.

List-based Retargeting is a method that works as you develop or acquire an email list, and then upload the email addresses to Google or Facebook, and the email addresses are cross-referenced with users from those social networks so that they can be marketed to.

Why does retargeting work so well?

Retargeting helps to increase your sales through keeping your brand in the face of your visitors and pulling window shoppers back to your site once they are finally ready to buy something from you. So each time your retargeting ads are seen by a potential customer, your brand continues to gain more recognition and traction. You are basically just hanging around and showing yourself until they finally give in. Retargeting campaigns typically have high click-through rates and conversions, which shows how effective repeated exposure and good branding can be.

Tips on how to use Remarketing effectively

1. Retarget visitors with your best content- Retargeting ads can be used to direct traffic to your very best content such as blog posts where people are more likely to spend time learning about your services or products. You can also use retargeting to send very specific sales messages to your audience.

When Wordstream promoted content using retargeting the site saw a 50% increase in its repeat visitors, an increase of 300% on how much time was spent on the website, and a 51% improve conversion rate.

2. Custom ads for visitors- Promote content that is specifically based on the kinds of pages that individuals have visited on your site. Let’s say you happen to be a roofing contractor who also does interior remodeling and siding. You provide services to 2 or 3 cities, or maybe it’s 20 or 30 cities. If you target your visitors based on the pages that they check out on your site, you can have specific and different messages created to meet their individual interests and needs. It’s always important that everything is extremely relevant for the customer. You can’t get any more relevant than seeing several messages over time of the exact thing you had been shopping for. In fact, the more relevant that you can make your ad, the higher this specific retargeting campaign’s ROI will be.

3. Remarket different offers- How often does this happen? Someone visits a page on your site that relates to your industry, but they don’t buy anything from you. This person is still at the top of your funnel. What you can do is get retargeting ads set up on Google, Twitter and/or Facebook to drive those kinds of people to a blog post on this exact same topic. If they still don’t convert after visiting your site again, try to retarget them to a page that lets them download an ebook on the exact same subject. If they still don’t convert, then try giving them a free trial or consultation. Just keep trying to add value to your shoppers until they decide to purchase. This is an easy way to map out your retargeting path, and more steps can be added depending on what your funnel is like. It is definitely a smart and strategic way to use retargeting instead of just focusing on the top or bottom part of the funnel.

So for example, let’s say someone visits a page on your website about kitchen remodeling, but they don’t convert. This individual is still in the top part of your funnel. Why not set up retargeting on Twitter, Facebook, and Google and send these people over to your best content blog post or an educational Youtube video? If they still don’t convert, then retarget them again and offer a free estimate. This involves mapping out your retargeting funnel and is designed to convince more visitors to take action on your website. I mean, you do want to sell more kitchen remodels, don’t you?

4. Discounts, events, and holiday offers- Don’t forget about the holidays! For example, you could run a Memorial Day special and offer a 20% discount on water heater installations. Use your seasonal offers to re-market all of your website visitors. It will give you a great excuse to follow them around plus everybody loves a good deal, so why not? You also can retarget individuals who navigated over to your contact us page but didn’t click to call or email you. Send them a deal with your retargeting campaign.

You can also drop your retargeting pixel into your email signature or HTML template to target all those people who actually open and read your emails. The reason why this is so effective is that you are targeting the individuals who care enough to actually bother to open your email. It is easy to do by just using a platform like Perfect Audience.

Sales or Awareness?

It would be really nice if your only goal for all of your marketing campaigns could just be sales. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way. Who is going to buy anything from you if they can’t even remember what your company’s name is? In marketing, you sometimes have to go up one level of the funnel and run some general awareness campaigns so people know who you actually are. These types of campaigns will have a very different approach and goals than campaigns that run just to try to get more sales. Keep in mind that only around 2-4% of the traffic to your site is ready and prepared to buy something today. However, that doesn’t mean some of the other people won’t be willing to buy something for you in a few days, weeks or months. Especially if you follow them around the Internet suggesting good quality offers.

It’s your job to constantly stay in front of these visitors until they are finally ready to buy something. That’s called building awareness (or maybe stalking in less polite circles). Your awareness campaigns won’t drive sales directly, but they will enhance and complete the conversions of the other marketing campaigns that you are running.

Retargeting Platforms

Google – The Google Display Network gives you access to more than 1,000,000 partner websites and apps in addition to YouTube. You can potentially advertise to over 10% of the entire Internet through this network.

Facebook – Facebook has enormous reach just like Google and has great potential since there are more than 1.45 billion users who are active on a daily basis, and since Facebook owns Instagram, the same tools can be used for remarketing on both of the platforms.

Here’s a video that shows you how to set up custom audiences.

– Twitter is basically the same thing as Google and Facebook’s pixel. Here’s a video that shows you how a Twitter website tag can be added.

When Does Retargeting Work The Best?

Retargeting is a very powerful conversion optimization and branding tool. However, it works the best when it is part of your overall digital strategy.

You will get the most out of retargeting when you use it in conjunction with either demand generation or outbound and inbound marketing. Strategies that involve targeted display, AdWords, and content marketing are great to drive traffic, however, they don’t help you optimize your conversion. Targeting, on the other hand, can help to increase your conversions but doesn’t do anything to drive new traffic to your website. So you have a better chance of succeeding if you use several tools to drive traffic and then use retargeting to maximize the use of that traffic.

How do I set up a retargeting campaign on Facebook?

Step 1: Our recommendation is to set up a Facebook tracking Pixel to get your feet wet. Start by going to Business.Facebook.com, after you have your page and billing set up. Click on the Facebook icon in the top left, click on “Pixels,” and get started.

Step 2: It’s not as hard as you think to actually get your Pixel set up. If you are comfortable with WordPress or your website platform, Facebook already has a plug-in set up for most platforms that you can easily update. For more information, check out Facebook’s guide. https://www.facebook.com/business/help/314143995668266

Step 3: Set up conversions to ensure you only retarget people who don’t convert. Oftentimes, Facebook does this for you, but if you test your checkout process and it doesn’t work, follow these steps. Click on “Create Custom Conversion,” and set up the parameters relevant to your website. More often than not that means finding the URL where people go after they convert (it usually has the words “Thank You” in it) and entering that in the box, and naming your conversion.

Step 4: Build your audiences. If you really think about your site, there are a lot of different audiences that exist. Facebook allows you to target these people granularly. Our recommendation is to try and create three different groups of people based who have been on your site. A cold group, this is the largest group of people and all they’ve really done to interact with you is visit your website. The next group is the “warm” group. These people have visited specific pages and spent a bit more time on your page. The last group is a “hot” group that may have put a product in the cart or have spent a large amount of time looking at your site. Target each of these groups differently with both content and copy.

Step 5: Build your Facebook Ad! In your Facebook Business manager, click “Create an Ad,” name your campaign, and when you get to your Ad Set level, click on Custom Audiences to begin using your retargeting audiences. Set your budget, as a rule of thumb, for every 100 people you want to spend 10 dollars. Be sure to keep a close eye on both your cost per link click, how that relates to your frequency, and of course the cost per conversion.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. Just click the chat icon to your right 🙂