Retargeting 101: The What & How (And Tips for Doing It Well)

bannerEver notice those ubiquitous ads that seem to follow you around the Internet after a visit to a product website? The common term for this advertising strategy is retargeting.

How retargeting works

Retargeting works a little something like this: you go to an awesome hammock website, because you need a hammock to relax in during your copious free time. Thereafter, every website you visit that is a member of the same ad network will show you enticing ads for hammocks to lure you back, and to subtly convince you that owning that hammock will surely lead to incredible ROI (Return On Indolence). In this way, you are targeted, and then retargeted.

Why retargeting?

Research shows that retargeting ads have a click-through rate of .7 percent. And according to Software Advice, a study by retargeting vendor Criteo shows website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70 percent more likely to convert on your website. Retargeting can be used to meet product goals like:

  • Create brand awareness. This is especially valuable to startups and newer companies. A customer can go from having never heard of you, to seeing your ads on a daily basis. And they eventually become familiar with your brand.
  • Building brand trust over time. A slight variation, but in some cases familiarity breeds trust. And as customers continue to see your logo, branding, and message over and over, they may start to equate that familiarity with your brand as staying power, versus a short lived start up.
  • Lead generation and nurturing. This entails discovering new potential customers who may have shown interest in purchasing a product you sell, and encouraging or ‘nurturing’ them to come to your website to seek more information.
  • Education and information. You can offer white papers, demos and/or useful tips to encourage people to learn more about your service/product. The more customers can learn about the details of your product and service when comparison shopping, the more likely they will be to choose you in the end.

Tips for effective retargeting

Some retargeting ad strategies are more effective than others. Here are seven tips for getting the most out of your efforts:

  1. Update your graphic banners or animated gifs often. The ideal schedule would be every 2-3 months to keep ‘em fresh.
  2. Stay consistent. When refreshing creative, be sure you maintain consistency in your message and overall brand image. This applies to any advertising effort, but it is important that when users see your product ads, they recognize them as coming from your site. Using a consistent look will help ensure that recall.
  3. Vary the ad creative depending on where your target sits in the sales funnel. For instance, you might want your design strategy to be light and introductory for unfamiliar customers, and more direct and detailed for those closer to a purchase.
  4. Be open to advertising not just on websites and mobile devices, but also on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. You may be able to tap into a previously unreachable demographic of customers.
  5. Design your message in the size that is most appropriate to your product or service; Skyscraper, Leaderboard, or rectangle.rtgt
  6. Target your segment carefully for qualified leads. You can filter by categories like geographic location, mobile vs. desktop user, interests and more. You can also target based on things like types of other websites customers are visiting; and get even more granular with specifics, like whether they looked at shirts vs pants.
  7. Use A/B testing to see which ads and filters get the most engagement, monitoring analytics all the while to keep fine-tuning to your target.

How to get the ball rolling

To create your own retargeting campaign, you’ll start by signing up with a retargeting service that contracts with the various ad networks. Adroll is popular, and a few other big ones are Retargeter and Chango. Once you’ve created your account and decided what best meets your budget, you can get going.

You’ll first need to paste a snippet of code to your website to start building a library of viewers. Once that’s in place, you’ll upload your graphic ads, and select the segment to which you want them to display. (Segments are separate from campaigns.) For instance, you can have viewers of South American-style hammocks display specifically to your west coast audience, and Caribbean hammocks display to the east coast visitors.

Or just call us. We’ll create expertly designed and positioned ads that get results, while you build up some of that other ROI in your brand new hammock.

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