The eternal dilemma faced by B2B marketers everywhere is the same: how do I get a return on the investment I have put into the company’s marketing efforts? Your team spends a lot of time and energy building flawless websites, creating excellent content and driving traffic to your site to capture leads. However, web visitors do not always follow the precise path you’ve laid out for them.
According to ReTargeter, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. That leaves a huge opportunity to capture the remaining 98%.
Getting people to visit your website is challenging enough, so how do you capitalize on that initial engagement when your visitors decide to leave your site before initiating the sales process by completing a desired action, such as requesting an online demo?
A solution to this is a form of online advertising called “retargeting,” which keeps your brand, product or service top of mind as your web visitors wander away from your site to other parts of the internet and drives them back to your landing pages.
So, if you have an interest in running your own retargeting campaigns but just aren’t sure how to get started, continue reading for an introduction to retargeting.
What Is Retargeting?
Retargeting is a specific form of online advertising that serves ads to people who have visited your website. They are directed to a landing page designed to capture lead information via a web form that offers a valuable piece of content (i.e. a white paper, product demo or case study) in return. There are several companies that offer retargeting services, as well as social media platforms that offer customized audiences and remarketing options.
How Does Retargeting Work?
Retargeting works by serving ads to people who are potential leads, either by collecting data from existing lists or using “cookies” to identify visitors to your webpage. There are two primary ways retargeting services work:
List-based retargeting takes email addresses that you have already obtained from leads and delivers ads to those leads on their networks (social, search engines or email). With list-based retargeting, you can serve customized ads to specific people based on information you already have about them. While you can’t use this to discover new leads, it’s an effective way of moving high-quality leads down the sales funnel. Be sure to ensure that your list of email addresses is up-to-date as these ads will only be served to your list – which means anyone with bad email addresses or who have moved to another organization will not see your ads.
How Do I Develop A Campaign?
Before you set up a campaign, you need to understand how it fits into your overall strategy. Since retargeting relies heavily on incoming traffic to your website, you should have a strong inbound (and outbound) marketing strategy to drive visitors to your site. Your content marketing efforts play a significant role in this—people will be more likely to visit your site if you offer them something interesting to consume. Before investing in retargeting, beef up your blog, content offerings or other valuable assets which are most relevant to your clients.
Already have a killer content strategy that has your web traffic on fire? Before starting retargeting, you should first determine your end goal. Retargeting campaigns can be used in different parts of the funnel to boost awareness or drive conversions, but it’s hard for one campaign to do both of those things at the same time.
Awareness vs. Conversion
Awareness campaigns are best served to people who have relatively little information or current engagement with your site, or to re-engage existing audiences with new products or services. Awareness campaigns don’t necessarily produce measurable leads—you may choose to use an ad showcasing a new product and drive clicks to the new product page, but click-through rates are much lower with awareness campaigns.
You can also use awareness ads to announce upcoming events, webinars, tradeshows or conferences. With awareness campaigns, you may be more interested in tracking impressions and engagement than conversion rates, since the ads are less targeted and meant to reach a much broader audience.
Conversion-based campaigns can be used throughout your sales funnel, and are generally measured by more common metrics like ad clicks or web form submissions. Once you capture their information, you can place your new leads in the appropriate portion of your sales funnel and create segmented nurture campaigns.
This type of campaign relies heavily on strong content marketing tactics. Make sure your landing pages are mobile-friendly, offer a high-quality content piece and provide a clear call-to-action. Double- and triple-check that the path from ad click to conversion is smooth and bug-free.
Creating the Ad
Once you’ve set your retargeting goals, it’s time to design the ads themselves. Retargeting ads typically come in the form of display ads (image-based) and must adhere to specific guidelines set by Google AdWords and/or the platform you are using.
Depending on whether you are using Facebook or other retargeting platforms, you may be able to include headlines and text in the ad space. Do your research and check the guidelines provided by the retargeting service you choose. General rules of thumb include:
• Make the ad visual, not text-heavy.
• Include a border around the ad so it doesn’t blend into the web page.
• Include a call-to-action with a large clickable button.
• If you’re planning to run an ongoing campaign, A/B test the ads on a regular basis to optimize the click-through and conversion rate.
Still unsure of how to go about starting the campaign development process? Check out these six tips from the HubSpot blog to build your confidence.
What Retargeting Tools Should I Use?
Retargeting platforms such as Perfect Audience, ReTargeter, AdRoll and Google AdWords Remarketing will place bids on websites that sell display ad space using pixel-based retargeting tactics. Don’t fall into the testing trap with these platforms. Pick one and stick with it for a while. Since these platforms bid against each other for ad space, you could potentially set your ads to bid against each other, which drives up costs.
If you want to stick to list-based retargeting, social retargeting campaigns may work well for your goals. You can set up retargeting campaigns directly in Facebook and LinkedIn, using existing customer and leads lists to create targeted audiences to serve your ads to. Social retargeting has benefits, since people are more likely to share content that already pops up on their social feed; however, your audience will be more limited than it would be with a third-party retargeting platform since it will only show up in their social feeds.
Retargeting can be an extremely useful part of your overall digital marketing strategy, but it is not a magical elixir that will dramatically increase your conversion rate. Frame your retargeting efforts in the context of your overall marketing goals, sales funnel and web presence, and you will be able to leverage a greater percentage of your web traffic.
Ramp up your content, develop a strong vision and goal for your retargeting campaign and carefully select your platform. If you are consistent, set reasonable expectations and metrics and rotate the creative elements of your campaign, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of retargeting.