Marketers spend a lot of time and money trying to understand their target audience, reach that target audience, and thus drive more business. They often overlook remarketing, an excellent method for lifting both brand affinity and sales.
Remarketing, or retargeting, is digital advertising aimed at individuals who have visited your website or business. It features specific products or services in which these visitors have shown interest. Retargeting ads “follow” users around the internet, by displaying these products/services on websites the users visit and the apps those users employ.
Here are a few examples of retargeting ads that Northwoods has run on Facebook:
Why Remarketing Is Effective
People who have already visited your website or interacted with your business are your obvious target audience. Marketers often falsely assume that once a customer has been exposed to their message, the user will convert if interested and thus requires no further marketing effort. But customer behavior tells us that a single interaction with a business isn’t enough to build brand awareness or affinity.
Many industry experts consider 15-20 impressions per customer per month a proper range for retargeting. Retargeting ads tend to convert more highly than top-of-funnel ads aimed at an audience that has not previously interacted with a business or its website.
Even though someone may have some exposure to your business, they are likely to forget or not be fully aware of the services and benefits your business offers. Increasing awareness of your business is one of the most important goals of remarketing.
Now that you’re ready to get started remarketing, keep these important elements at the top of your mind as you set up a good remarketing campaign.
Four Key Elements in Planning and Running Remarketing Campaigns
In an ideal retargeting campaign, a business can follow users across their various activities throughout the day. For example:
- A user might go onto Facebook to relax and unwind. Even though purchase intent might be low at that moment, the time might be right for brand messaging to sink in.
- On YouTube, retargeting ads are often served prior to or during video content. A video ad can be the perfect place to introduce slightly more complicated messaging to an engaged audience.
- Consider the Google Display network for retargeting. The Google Display network is a large group of individual websites that offer banner or static image advertising placements. These placements, usually relatively cheap, are very good for brand awareness or moving a customer marginally along in the funnel. But they’re the wrong place to deliver complicated messaging or influence immediate action.
In general, a great remarketing campaign involves a variety of placements and messaging that plays to each channel’s strength. If you are an e-commerce business, Google Ads dynamic remarketing may be a good fit. It involves creating a “product feed” and syncing your products with your Google Ads account. Google then will retarget people with products that they have previously viewed on your website.
Also, don’t forget about email marketing. This channel can move a customer along the funnel. While email marketing might work better for some businesses than others, it’s typically free and is great for conveying informative content.
Understand the level of interest of your target audience segments.
- Cold Audience: They haven’t heard of your brand before or have shown little interest in it. This audience is at the very top of the funnel.
- Cool Audience: Maybe they’ve visited your website, but spent little time there and taken few or no actions while there.
- Warm Audience: These people have spent a lot of time on your website. Maybe they have interacted with your brand through other channels. They might have taken action -- say, subscribed to your newsletter. They’ve shown interest and potential intent.
- Hot Audience: They’re serious. They’ve clicked on “add to cart” (even if they didn’t follow through and buy). Maybe they’ve contacted a sales rep or filled out a form.
All these audiences sit at various levels – awareness, consideration, purchase – in the marketing funnel. When you retarget them, do so with content and creative that match their level of interest.
Include previous customers in your remarketing campaigns. For many businesses, they fall into the hot category, which can also be great for cross-selling or upselling.
Keep probing for opportunities that might not be obvious. For example: You might import offline data, such as mailing or event lists, into a platform such as Facebook to match profiles and effectively keep your business top of mind.
Once you’ve segmented your audience, keep these important considerations in mind:
- Vary your retargeting messaging based on the channel and remarketing level. Cold audiences may need “softer” messaging that is informative or shows value.
- Cool and warm audiences might react best to messaging that touches on potential concerns.
- Warm or hot audiences might require messaging focused primarily on benefits and discounts, as well as rarity and time sensitivity, to drive action.
Messaging focused on building brand awareness can work across channels and levels.
Remarketing can be simple at first, but audience segmentation can complicate it quickly. Big budgets and large audiences justify complex segmentation and the wide variety of messaging that go with it; the return can be great.
Smaller businesses with smaller audiences and budgets typically benefit from focusing on just one or two segments.
Regardless of the complexity of your segmentation or budget size, be sure to watch the cost per conversion of all of your remarketing segments. For example, if you see much higher conversion rates with website visitors than with Facebook post engagers, you might shift budget toward the website visitors. Remember that audiences at the top of the funnel (cold and cool) will almost always convert at a lower rate than a warm or hot audience. But you still must invest in retargeting cold and cool audiences to push them further down the funnel.
As Facebook expert Jeff Sauer puts it, expecting your cool and cold audience to continuously convert is like continuously throwing hail marys in a football game. Each segmented audience needs enough budget to push them gradually through the conversion funnel.
While the warmest audience may convert for the cheapest cost per conversion, it also may be worth giving this audience the highest frequency, so they see your ads more often than cooler audiences. They’re almost there; nudge them.
Rule of thumb: Split your budget according to the relative sizes of your audience segments.
We’ve mentioned just some basic remarketing methods; dozens more exist, many of them specific to certain sectors or businesses. For example, SMS remarketing can be great for companies that require important reminders, organic posts for businesses that have a community following, and push notifications if you have an app. Develop a strategic retargeting plan, but at the end of the day, be ready to change your approach based on how your customers interact with your remarketing ads.
Need help with your remarketing ads or aren’t sure how to get started? Northwoods’ digital marketing and advertising experts can help! Request a free consultation.