Display Ad Retargeting – What it is and how to do it.
We’d all like to think that every single person that comes in contact with our business follows a very straight and orderly path to purchase. Someone visits our site for the first time, then fills out a form to download an ebook, then becomes interested in talking with a sales rep, all in one session on your website. Minutes later, the sales rep reaching out to this lead, and before you know it, the lead is becoming a customer, handing over their credit card to purchase something from your company.
But in reality, the buyer’s journey is probably not so linear. People pop over to your website then leave. Two months later, they discover your latest blog article, and then decide to download that ebook. A few days after that, they decide to check out another blog post. Maybe a week later they decide to get in touch with Sales, and it takes several more weeks of meetings and discussions to come to a decision to buy. Same end result, but the process is a little more convoluted.
So marketers need to be prepared to help their buyers through that convoluted process. One great way to do that is with retargeting ads.
What is retargeting?
Unlike typical banner ads, retargeting ads are a form of online targeting advertising and are served to people who have already visited your website or are a contact in your database (like a lead or customer).
If you’ve never used retargeting before, don’t worry — in the following post, we’ll go through all the basics of how retargeting works, explain how you can use it to support your larger marketing goals, and even outline an example of a Facebook Ad retargeting campaign. Let’s dive right in.
How Retargeting Campaigns Work
There are two main types of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based. The way each works is slightly different, and each has different advantages based on your campaign goals.
Pixel-based retargeting is a way to re-display your material to any anonymous site visitor.
List-based retargeting works after you already have someone’s contact information in your database.
You can also use lists of your existing contacts for certain types of retargeting ads. The way that works is you upload a list of the email addresses to a retargeting campaign (usually on a social network like Facebook or Twitter), and the platform will identify users on that network who have those addresses and serve retargeting ads just to them.
Though it’s a little less common than pixel-based retargeting, list-based retargeting allows you to have highly customizable criteria for your ads because it’s based on more than behavior — you’re choosing who goes in which list. On the flip side, it’s possible that a person in your list gave you one email address and the social network another — and in that case, they won’t see your ads. This happens quite frequently: according to MediaMath, match rates can vary from 70-80% down to as low as 20-30% for some platforms, so you’ll need a fairly large list to make this type of retargeting effective. And because you are in charge of uploading and maintaining the list, list-based retargeting also is less automatic and timely than pixel-based retargeting.
Which Goals You Should Have for Retargeting
Now that we have the background for how retargeting works and the different types of audiences you can segment by, we can focus on the goals you should aim for. The main types of retargeting campaigns you should consider running are those for awareness and those for conversion.
Awareness campaigns are useful when you want to re-engage website visitors and tell them about relevant products, features, or announcements. These ads are usually served to pixel-based lists.
The obvious drawback to awareness campaigns is that you’re serving less targeted content to people who haven’t engaged heavily with your brand. They’re not in your contacts database, and often, there are lower expected clickthrough rates than other types of campaigns.
However, since the goal is to make prospects aware of your business, impressions and engagement are acceptable metrics to track. Often awareness campaigns are precursors to a much more effective campaign goal: conversions.
Conversion goals are just that — you want to get people to click on your ad and take a next step, such as filling out a landing page form. Conversion campaigns are best used to align a specific list with a clear next step in the funnel, and can be measured with typical conversion metrics like website clicks, form submission, and cost per lead (CPL).
The best thing about a conversion campaign is that you can use it for multiple parts of the funnel. You can use pixel-based ads to generate leads — the ads will direct people to landing pages where they can give over their information. You can also use list-based ads to better qualify those leads — the ads will appear to contacts who gave you limited information and lead them to longer forms with additional fields. You can also use retargeting to move those qualified leads closer and closer to the bottom of the funnel. For example, you might use retargeting to send a list of contacts that have downloaded an ebook to sign up for a free trial of your product.
Regardless of your goal, it is important to align the positioning, creative, and next step in the conversion process — whether that’s an offer landing page, site page, or request for more information — with the list you’re showing it to.
Choosing a Retargeting Platform and Tool
While each platform you use to implement your ads will be different, there are some advantages and disadvantages for choosing ones that serve up social media ads or elsewhere on the web. Social media retargeting often works well since people are more likely to share, reply, and discuss your content on one of these well-known platforms. They are also can see the ads are posted from a real account, as opposed to a small web banner ad with little text that could be posted by anyone. That being said, web retargeting works well for impressions since the ads follow your targeted audience throughout the internet, not just on a few specific social media sites.
Want to see how setting up a remarketing campaign is like? We’ll walk through a step-by-step process on setting up a retargeting campaign and measuring its success.
Retargeting is a great way to keep your prospects engaged and interact with people who have already shown interest in your company. While it may sound like a simple enough concept, there are many aspects of a retargeting campaign that must be worked out before you make the ad copy and creative. Be sure to give enough time to make your lists, set goals and types of campaigns, determine the platforms your ads will run on, and tie the whole conversion path together.
Let one of our Reps help you understand the process. Just give us a shout.