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Why Every Marketer Should Leverage Retargeting
Columnist Ratko Vidakovic explains how retargeting has become an essential tactic in the modern marketing arsenal. Are you using it yet?
Website visitors abandon the sales funnel for many reasons: comparison shopping, credit card not handy, “just browsing” and so on. Retargeting allows you to show ads directly to visitors after they’ve left a site or landing page, providing multiple shots at the conversion.
That is why retargeting has become an essential tactic in the digital marketer’s arsenal. It increases the effectiveness of all other marketing efforts, increasing brand awareness, strengthening brand recall, and driving customers down the funnel to ultimate conversion.
Of all the available ways to spend a marketing budget on paid media, retargeting simply can’t be ignored.
What Is Retargeting? And How Does It Work?
Here is a basic, dinner party-ready explanation of retargeting: You know those companies whose ads you see all over the web, shortly after visiting their websites? Well, it’s definitely not serendipity. It’s retargeting in action.
With retargeting, a small piece of code is added to the landing page (or website) controlled by the marketer or publisher, which places a cookie in each visitor’s browser, adding them to an audience list. That audience can now be retargeted with a specific campaign aimed solely at them.
How Is This Possible? And Why Should I Care?
What makes retargeting especially effective (and possible) is the power of real-time bidding (RTB) technology, which allows marketers to bid on and purchase individual ad impressions. The purchase of these individual ad impressions is typically based on the previously mentioned audience lists that are composed of people like you and me.
As a result, retargeting campaigns are highly-targeted — yielding higher-than-average engagement — and extremely efficient in terms of ad spend, resulting in lower overall campaign costs. Furthermore, given the unparalleled reach of the RTB ecosystem, you can find your audience practically anywhere on the web.
Here are even more reasons…
Why You Should Leverage Retargeting
There are numerous reasons why retargeting is so powerful, especially for performance-driven marketers, and for brand marketers, as well:
1. Second Chance To Convert A Visitor
What makes retargeting especially powerful is the fact that it only targets users that have visited one of your websites or landing pages. This means these visitors have already been exposed to your brand and very likely your product or service. As a result, these visitors are more qualified and likely to be persuaded by continued marketing.
If the majority of your traffic is made up of one-time visitors, paid or organic, that would have otherwise gotten away, retargeting allows you to continue marketing to those visitors to get them back into the conversion funnel.
Take, for example, a PPC search campaign, where an advertiser is bidding on a high-cost vertical like mortgage or insurance. When the visitor clicks the ad, the advertiser gets charged and is given basically one chance at converting that visitor.
But with retargeting, that sole, high-value visitor can then be retargeted with subsequent ads at a much more reasonable cost. (Note: This is essentially a do-it-yourself search retargeting recipe.)
2. Build An Asset By Capturing Your Audience Data
Retargeting is the perfect complement to SEM and SEO efforts. If you already have a steady supply of organic visitors coming to your site, you should leverage that traffic into your own retargeting list. This is especially useful if the majority of your traffic is made up of one-time visitors that would have otherwise gotten away.
Likewise, any ad campaign that you have running is an opportunity to build an audience, so placing a retargeting pixel on your landing pages is only natural. By building an audience in addition to your primary campaign, you get to create a valuable asset from your ad spend, much like a mailing list. This is a great way for marketers to derive long-term value from their campaign budgets.
3. Create Illusions Of Grandeur
You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard a variation of this statement: “I gotta tell you, I see your ads everywhere!” Little do they know. All, save a few digitally-savvy folks, are not even aware that retargeting is at play, which is why it’s commonplace for people to believe that you’re running a million-dollar ad campaign when they see your ads on most of the sites they visit. This is perfect for overcoming trust issues with prospects and building a recognizable brand.
It is of great importance to understand that retargeting is far more than just a performance or conversion-focused tactic. It plays a major role in building brand awareness among your target audience, even if the end result isn’t a short-term direct conversion.
4. Stellar Campaign Performance
As we touched on earlier, a retargeting campaign, which only purchases impressions for individual users, means a cost-effective campaign. From a marketer’s perspective, this can translate into high ROI. In fact, many people consider retargeting to be the “cream of the crop” tactic in display advertising when it comes to ROI, however, attribution models can often muddy the waters (a topic for another day).
Furthermore, because of the increased level of targeting, engagement is also typically higher. It’s not uncommon to see amazing CTRs with retargeting, anywhere from 0.30-0.95% – which is 3-10x higher than the industry average. In some cases they are even higher. In the display advertising world where you’re paying by the impression, having a high CTR like this makes all the difference.
5. Up-Sell, Cross-Sell Or Onboard Converted Visitors
By placing a retargeting pixel on conversion or “thank you” pages, you can build an audience list of high-value users. If they’ve converted before and you have another compelling offer, there is a good chance they will convert again.
Audience lists of converted users are typically used for exclusion from continued and unnecessary marketing (it only wastes ad spend and causes negative sentiment). But, if used in creative ways — like onboarding new users or offering complementary products and services — even more value can be extracted from your retargeting campaigns.
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. With retargeting, you not only get a second chance, but a third, fourth, fifth and more.
In the highly competitive world of digital marketing, you want to utilize every advantage possible and maximize the value of each of the visitors you drive. In the case of retargeting, you are leveraging your own first-party audience data, which, as we’ve discussed before, is the most valuable type of audience data.
This is what makes retargeting so compelling and why its use should be a part of every marketer’s strategy.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.