Undoubtedly you’ve noticed that after visiting a website and especially if you’ve checked out products while you were there, related ads seem to follow you everywhere you go online.
You might wonder if your computer or smartphone is spying on you. Don’t worry; you’re just experiencing remarketing.
Remarketing is a technique used to target online advertising to website visitors. Typically, when you visit a website, it will interact with your web browser and leave a small file called a cookie. The file allows the website to recognize you when you return. It also provides data that can be used to send advertising to your device.
Benefits of Remarketing
Remarketing is a great way to build your business. And it is a very affordable option with a high return on investment for even the smallest business because you are paying only to target those who are somewhat interested in what you have to offer.
It would be great if everyone who visited your website would sign up for future contact. Then you could send promotional emails and try to turn every prospect into a customer. But not everyone who visits your site will take advantage of your offers. That doesn’t mean they don’t have an interest in your products or services. After all, they found your website.
Remarketing gives you another chance to make a valuable connection.
And, remarketing contributes to brand awareness and recall. A study by comScore found a 1046 percent increase in branded search after four weeks of ad exposure and a 726 percent uptick in site visitation.
How it Works
To take advantage of remarketing, you decide on a company to work with and they provide you with a piece of code to insert into your website. The code allows your provider to gather data from your site.
There are many third-party providers of remarketing platforms. These include AdRoll, Criteo, Facebook, Google AdWords, Perfect Audience and ReTargeter. The Google Display Network allows you to coordinate a campaign of text, display and video ads across Google’s platforms, including YouTube.
Depending on the options you select, your retargeting may employ display ads, Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, or some combination of these and other ways to reach people. You can also develop search marketing and email campaigns for remarketing.
Define Your Audience
For remarketing to be cost-effective, you need to have a sound understanding of your target demographics. From your website analytics and other knowledge of the demographics of your market you should be able to develop a list of different types of users.
As an example, let’s say you sell rain boots. I’ll bet your analytics will show more users looking at rain boots in Oregon than in Los Angeles. Yes, it does sometimes rain in Southern California, or people from L.A. might be planning to travel. You could include all of California in a remarketing campaign for your rain-boots but you’ll have greater ROI if you target people who live in Oregon.
Take a look, too, at your users’ behavior. Are they visiting your website primarily from mobile devices or from desktops? You can target campaigns to users based upon device, so keep this in mind when you’re compiling your data.
Make a list of groups and prioritize them so you can focus your remarketing efforts on your most valuable prospects. Think of it like this: You have three arrows to shoot. Which target do you want to shoot first? Which will be the most valuable to your business? Which is the most likely to respond to your offer?
Understand How Your Website Functions
In addition to defining your audience, it’s important for you to understand how your website works. Your analytics should help you analyze which pages generate the most conversions.
You may want to develop new landing pages to use with your campaigns. Or you may know that certain user groups are more attracted to different pages of your site. Keep this in mind when you choose your remarketing provider; evaluate the analytics tools you’ll be able to use to develop more data upon which to make decisions for future website enhancements.
What Will You Pitch?
You’re almost ready to start going after those users who visited your website and disappeared. Now it’s time to decide how you’re going to pitch them.
Did they leave your site with a full shopping cart but ultimately abandoned the purchase? Perhaps you want to offer them a discount or other incentive, (such as free shipping,) to come back and complete the transaction.
Or maybe you have a group of users who spent time looking at particular types of products. You might offer a 10 percent discount on those items and remarket those who seemed interested when they visited your site.
Your First Campaign
Once you’ve selected a platform, developed your lists of users, and come up with a pitch, you’re ready to get started with your first campaign.
Using the information from your demographics and market research, you will construct a remarketing list; the point of this is to define the group that will see each of the ads in your campaign.
Your costs depend on the number of people you’re reaching, so spend your money on groups of users you believe have the most potential. The best way to blow your budget is to try to be all things to all people. Focus on who is most likely to convert.
As part of setting up your campaign, you’ll determine the length of time your ads will follow users. Remarketing success involves some trial and error; expect to do some testing to learn what works best.
It may take you a while to determine the best length of time to run your campaign. Research has shown that there is a greater click-through rate on remarketed ads than other display ads. But there is also a chance of the consumer developing a negative perception if they feel that your ads are haunting them for too long a period wherever they go online. Remember, the idea is to get a sale, not a restraining order.
Spend some time with your data, your knowledge of your products and the marketplace and I’m sure you’ll come up with some ideas to help you test remarketing. Try one or more service providers and experiment with different landing pages to see what works best.
Other than current customers and prospects who have engaged with your site and left you with email addresses, previous visitors to your site offer you the most potential for future conversions and remarketing provides you a great way to reach them.
Claudia Elliott is the head of content marketing at The Deep End Consulting in Chicago. Her ultimate goal is to help her clients thrive online through a highly targeted content strategy. In her off hours, she loves to read and spend time with her children and grandchildren. Follow Claudia on LinkedIn.