What is remarketing or retargeting?

What is Remarketing and How is it Useful for Small Business

The common misconception among many marketers is that consumers hate ads on their websites. According to a report published by Page Fair, 615 million devices now use adblock. This represents a global growth of 30% in 2016. This high rate of usage seems to support the idea that people do not like ads. A recent study completed by Hubspot, however, has made a serious argument against this position.

This report found that customers actually do not mind ads all that much; they simply do not want to see irrelevant ads. 77% of the people surveyed reported that they would prefer to use an ad-filtering program than a complete ad-block. Brands that can find ways to boost the relevance of the ads they present for customers can create a better user experience and engage more people.

Remarketing can be an excellent way to boost the relevance and personalization of the ads displayed. Knowing what is remarketing can help you better engage online customers. According to eMarketer, 73% of US internet users who are at least 14 will buy something online this year.

Tapping into what interests these online customers can engage these users. According to Adroit Digital, nearly 3/5 of online buyers in the United States indicated that they noticed the ads that appear for products they had researched on other sites. This means that engaging consumers through remarketing ads catches the attention of consumers.

Despite this strong support, Digital Remedy reports that 46% of professionals who work in online search marketing believe that remarketing does not get leveraged by brands as often as it should. If you want to understand what is remarketing for your own campaign, here is what you need to know.

What is remarketing? Understanding the definition

Many people have questions about what is remarketing. Remarketing involves targeting customers who have already viewed something on your site or demonstrated interest in your products. It offers a means of re engaging customers who might have been browsing pages on your site, but did not follow through with a conversion.

A remarketing program will allow you to track certain pages on your website. This will allow you to identify the customers who spent time on those pages without converting. For example, many brands will track their shopping cart pages, so they can target those who abandon their shopping carts.

Retargeting Remarketing

Once you have identified the targets, you can then display specialized ads that promote the products they already viewed. These ads, therefore, will be highly personalized and promote items that people already showed an interest in, increasing their relevance.

Consider that according to AdRoll, typically only 2% of consumers will convert the first time they visit a website. This makes remarketing a valuable tool to entice customers to return and complete a conversion.

A statistic cited by CMO found that as many as a quarter of customers also report that they enjoy retargeting ads. They appreciate them because the ads offer reminders of products and brands that the consumer had been interested in before. These ads therefore spark their interest more than standard ads, providing an improved user experience.

With the increase in interest that remarketing ads provide, it becomes clear why this marketing strategy can be so effective. Kimberly-Clark reports that they see as much as a 50-60% higher conversion rates for those who receive retargeting ads. Another study by Digital Remedy found that general ad response went up by as much as 400%. Meanwhile, comScore reports that retargeted ads can increase the rate of branded search by as much as 1,046%.

Remarketing offers brands the tools they need to create improved ad experiences. They can tap into the interests of their customers and display the content that they have the greatest interest in seeing.

Those who want to build a successful remarketing ad campaign should consider how the following steps can boost their success.

What is remarketing? Understanding the different types

There are several types of remarketing that brands can use to re-engage their customers online. To understand what is remarketing, professionals will need to consider these different options.

Brands can select the ones that will work the best for their organization. Some of the most popular options are:

Ad displays for people who have visited your site

One of the most common forms of remarketing includes ad displays for people who have already visited your site. These ads can appear in two main types of platforms.

Those who set up their remarketing campaigns through Google Adwords will have their remarketing ads appear throughout the Google display network. Remember that Google Adwords offers the largest platform for PPC, making it an excellent means of reaching millions of searchers throughout the country and around the world.

You can also set up these display ads on a number of social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter, for example, both offer their own ad display platforms. Considering that Facebook reaches over a billion people around the world, this also provides a great platform for reaching prospects.

Email remarketing

Email remarketing allows you to target people on your email list while they journey elsewhere through the digital ecosystem. You can create ad campaigns specifically for those who open your emails.

Since the people who open your emails already demonstrate their interest in what you have to offer, using email remarketing helps you keep your brand on their mind. You know that they have some interest in your products and services, which opens the door for you to bring them back to your website further down your sales funnel.

Remarketing list search ads

In addition to displaying ads on other websites throughout the web for remarketing targets, you can also display ads on the search engines themselves. With these remarketing ads, you will be able to target those who have visited your website and are searching for certain terms online. Between these two criteria, you can find potential customers who will be the most interested in learning more about your company with a high degree of accuracy.

Search retargeting

Search retargeting offers a unique form of retargeting. With this form, you can find customers who have searched for terms and looked at products that are similar to your own offerings, but they haven’t visited your website yet.

This form of retargeting allows you to broaden your reach. You will be able to specifically target those interested in your competitors. You can therefore let them know precisely why they should give your organization a try.

Video remarketing

Through Google, you can also display ads to people on YouTube. People who have visited your channel or your videos can be retargeted through ads while they browse elsewhere on the Google display network.

What is remarketing? How to build a successful campaign

If you now understand what is remarketing, here are 6 steps you can use to build an effective campaign.

Step 1. Determine which pages you want to tag and how to segment your campaign.

The first step in remarketing is deciding which pages you want to tag for the campaign. A quality remarketing campaign will identify high-value pages. These pages will offer the best indicators that visitors who land there will want to purchase.

When you select these pages, you want to closely analyze your sales funnel. The pages that people visit further through your sales funnel will likely provide more accurate indicators than those towards the top of the funnel.

Not only will customers who visited pages further through your sales funnel be more likely to respond to retargeting ads, but it will also be easier to identify the precise content that interests them. Instead of showing general brand information, your retargeting ad could show content specific to what they sought on your website.

For example, brands may want to bid more on their shopping cart abandons or conversion pages that were interrupted. There might be people who had visited your page to get a free ebook, for example, but clicked away before finishing the conversion form. These pages will likely provide more value than just targeting those who visited your homepage.

Step 2. Consider offering special coupons and deals for your retargeted consumers.

In your remarketing campaign, you will want to offer ads that help you to get to the core of why people abandoned your shopping cart or other conversion page. Coupons or special deals can be an excellent way to bring these people back to your page.

Coupons and deals specific to those who had already visited certain product pages will entice people. Remember the example that JCPenny set for retailers everywhere.

The department store had decided to abandon regular sale items and instead offer their lowest possible price on products all the time. They saw their sales plummet. It was only when they raised prices and included regular sales that they were able to recover some of their customers.

People want to feel as though they have found special deals. Offering people who already visited your page special coupons will help convince them that they have found a special deal for your products. This will incline them to visit your page.

By monitoring the success of these campaigns, you will also be able to better understand what people respond to most. You will have a better idea of some of the causes of shopping cart abandonment by seeing which types of deals and coupons bring back the most customers. This may help you identify potential solutions to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rate.

Step 3. Consider how long you want to follow your past visitors with the ads.

An important part of understanding what is remarketing is knowing your customers. You must carefully gauge the line between providing customers with personalized ads and annoying them by following them endlessly around the internet. Customers do not want to feel badgered or as though brands stalk them. These emotions can quickly turn a superior ad experience into a negative one, harming your brand’s reputation.

The correct duration for showing ads to your customers will depend upon your industry. Those who have a longer buying cycle might want to show ads for a longer period of time, while those with a faster cycle will not.

You also want to think about the number of times you want individuals to see your ads. If you promote a coupon that will only be valid for a few days, for example, you will want to show your ad at a high frequency for a short duration.

Determining the right number of times, as well as the correct length of time, might require some experimenting. During your first remarketing campaign, you want to make your best guest based on industry best practices and what you know about your sales cycle. Then, watch how people respond to your ads.

If you notice that the ad for the first week or two sees strong success, but then it drops off, that might provide you with a good indication that customers have become fatigued of your message. You will know that you need to consider redrafting your ad or shortening the length of time to target customers.

Step 4. Consider targeting your post-conversion customers with remarketing campaigns

Although many people who understand what is remarketing know the value of targeting those who drop out of the sales funnel, it can also be valuable for targeting those who have converted on your site. You will likely have two main groups of post-conversion customers.

  1. Those who converted in a non-monetary way, such as downloading an ebook or signing up for a rewards program.
  2. Those who made an actual purchase.

Both of these groups can benefit from a well-constructed remarketing campaign.

With the first group, you know that these customers recognize your value. They have signed up to receive information from you. Continue to nurture that interest with your ads. You can remarket to them with information about other services and features your brand offers.

You might promote an upcoming webinar that fits their interests. You might also let them know about sales or deals you offer for first-time customers. Encourage them to come back to your website and continue to learn more about your organization.

With the second group, you can tap into their expressed interest in your company. They have already made a purchase, so let them know how much you care about them. You can offer returning-customer deals and alert them to new products you offer. According to BIAKelsey, 61% of SMBs report that returning customers are responsible for more than half of their revenue. Tap into this important source of growth with your remarketing campaign.

Step 5. Target broader keywords than you would normally

In traditional PPC wisdom, you likely do not build many of your ad campaigns around broad search terms. After all, you do not want to waste money on high numbers of clicks for irrelevant traffic. Instead, you want to use precise terms that will boost your chances to bring only your targeted audience to the page.

To understand what is remarketing, you must also know how it differs from regular PPC. When you run a remarketing campaign, you have the opportunity to expand your reach. Since the only people who will see your ad will be those who have already expressed an interest in your brand, you can be more confident in your traffic.

Someone on a remarketing list has already indicated their interest in your industry. This means that the likelihood is greater that their broad searches do pertain to you. You can therefore create campaigns that target these terms.

Doing so can help you control costs. It will also allow you to maximize the power of your remarketing campaign by reaching as many former site visitors as possible.

Step 6. Monitor your campaigns and make adjustments as needed.

As you better understand what is remarketing and send out your campaigns, you will want to carefully monitor each aspect to see what performs well and what needs some adjustments.

Look at your response rates. See how many people click on the ad. This will let you know how well your ad copy entices those who had already visited important pages on your website. If you have a low click-through rate, you might want to consider adjusting what you promote. For example, some brands will find that free shipping promotions perform better than deals for 10-15% off.

You also want to look at how your ads track over time. Decreases in interest after the first few runs might indicate that your ad copy becomes stale or, as already discussed, that you follow customers for too long after their visit to your site. Try and change up the copy after a certain duration to see if you can reestablish your higher rates. If not, you might want to consider shortening the amount of time you display your ad to past visitors.

Finally, look at how people behave once they reach your site. Look at how well they engage with your content and their rate of completing conversions. You want to see how well your ad copy encouraged them to go ahead and make that purchase or finish that conversion that they had abandoned.

If you see a high click-through rate but you do not have the conversions to match, you want to look at the alignment between your ad, your customer, and your page. See if there might be other reasons that people do not want to convert on your page.

For example, your website layout and your shopping cart process might be difficult to navigate. Your customers might have questions during the final steps but be unable to reach you, and thus just abandon the page. You might also have substantially higher prices than competitors while offering customers no real reason why they should be willing to pay more for you.

Remarketing can be a valuable and productive means of enticing customers who have already expressed an interest in your business or products. Instead of trying to figure out who your most likely buyers will be based on what they search for or their social media demographics, you will be able to target people who specifically have already expressed an interest in your business. Consider hiring a full service digital marketing agency to help you incorporate this strategy into your next PPC campaign. See the lift that comes with knowing what is remarketing.