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Retargeting and Remarketing

Retargeting and Remarketing Explained

Retargeting Is A Powerful New Method For Businesses To Interact With Previously Engaged Customers. It Also Allows For Audience Segmentation While Optimizing Your Budget Spend. Here Are The Reasons Why Retargeting And Remarketing Are Crucial For Your Marketing Strategy, And How To Implement Them Today! 


Retargeting and Remarketing
Retargeting remarketing online advertising strategy of targeting visitor who leaves website to make it return and become customer


More Data-Driven Marketing Related Content from HVMA:
► How Facebook Ads Uses Your Data For Ad Targeting?
► The Future Of Personalization in Digital Marketing
► Using Identity Resolution To Create A 360-Degree View Of Your Customers
► Facebook’s Algorithm Trigger Words, And How They Are Affecting Your Paid Ads / Organic Reach

*Connect with us on LinkedIn HVMA Social Media LinkedIn Profile
*More Data-Driven Content from HVMA: Are you ready to get a ROI from social media?


You’ve probably had this experience before: you’re growing through a webpage or social media site, and you come across an ad for a product you’ve searched for before. Time and time again, you’ll start seeing similar ads for these products, as you’ve expressed interest in them. This process is a section within data-driven marketing known as “retargeting”, and is the crux of most major successful marketing strategies today! 


Retargeting campaigns are a way for brands to interact with users who previously engaged with product advertisements that are somehow relevant to them. This statistically increases the odds that this person will engage with the offer and reenter the conversion pipeline. Retargeting also allows for audience segmentation. Your website visitors can be categorized based on page they’ve visited, time spent on a specific page, and any other behavior which can be tracked and measured. Retargeting is a sure-fire way to optimize your business’s ad spend/marketing budget and works alongside most all other aspects within your overall marketing strategy. Below, you can learn more about retargeting, its close cousin known as “remarketing”, and how it can help boost your sales! 


What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a digital marketing strategy which relies on identifying warm users who have recently visited a brand’s site or socials, or even engaged online with a previous advertisement—followed by the re-serving of repeated ads for the same product. Examples of this can be passive, such as a Facebook like on a sponsored ad, or a high-level purchase action like a customer adding something to their cart. The goal of retargeting is to increase engagement and drive conversions. “By engaging with non-converting but recent site visitors, you are serving ads to targets more likely to respond favorably with engagement, like clicking on your ad again, and completing the intended conversion—typically a form fill, site visit or transaction,” says Gerard LaFond, senior vice president of digital at the marketing agency LEWIS. 


The reasoning behind this approach is that if someone has previously engaged with an ad or landed on a website page before, they must have some level of interest in the product or service. Instead of blindly spending large amounts of marketing money in a wide-cast net to deliver ads to users who may or may not be interested (“cold” customers) it is better for brands to provide retargeted ads to people who they know are somewhat interested.

How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting campaigns are a data-driven marketing strategy which operate on various channels and platforms. The beginning of the process involves starting ads and CTAs (call to actions) with the right creative, use of data and technical strategy to track user impressions and engagement analytics. “The main channels for retargeting are search, social and display,” says LaFond. “The best way for a small business owner to start their retargeting efforts would be to ensure all tracking, including the appropriate channel pixels for attribution and audience bucketing (segmentation) are set up correctly and in place.” After you establish the ability to track your audience online, you can understanding which specific audience segments you must retarget, and how. Typically, this includes individuals who have previously expressed interest somewhere along the conversion funnel, but didn’t exactly fully commit. 


Benefits Of Retargeting

There are many benefits offered by the retargeting process. “With retargeting, we will decide which of our users to impact. For example, we could remarket to only those who have abandoned the shopping cart in the last 30 days,” says Laura Aranda Rivera, lead performance marketer at Freepik Company. This means the timeliness and recency are of utmost importance within the retargeting process. Beyond that, there are even more advantages of this approach: 


  1. It’s the highest ROI advertising activity. Facebook ads which are sent to those who haven’t even heard of your business might offer some level of brand awareness to your site, but usually don’t build sales immediately as you have to initially establish a rapport with the customer. These traditional marketing methods don’t guarantee interest generation at all. Retargeting pays off quickly and develops a better ROI, since you’re really only reaching people who are already interested in your brand at some level, and are therefore more likely to convert. 
  2. You can target specific behaviors. If your company offers multiple products or services, predicting what new customers will be interested in can be tough. Retargeting allows you to understand user behavior and actions and only display ads for those products relevant to the customer at hand. This also encompasses knowing which pages and products a page visitor has viewed. Retargeted ads can only show customers products which suit their needs, and are subsequently more likely to convert them. 
  3. It improves your conversion rate. In a study done by Wolfgang Digital, researchers found that the average conversion rate for e-commerce businesses in 2019 was 1.85%. This alludes to the idea that only a small fraction of site visitors will end up making purchases on their first site visit, while retargeting can be implemented to raise that rate and bring more people back to the landing page or ad. Those who abandoned their cart or decided not to commit will be more likely to be recaptured in the customer pipeline, ensuring a higher marketing return.


Types Of Retargeting

Display – This form of retargeting relies on paid ads and sponsored links on various platforms to capture web traffic. If you see content for a clothing item on a site’s web content, it will likely be on the top, sides or middle of the website. These are highly effective methods, as they reach more than 90% of people who surf the web. They are often used to generate new traffic across a wide reach due to their high visibility. They are less expensive, and more dynamic—allowing for a mix of images and text to generate ads which can engage your audience. The one downside is that these ads can often come across as “spammy”, as they have been prevalent since the inception of the internet. They key is to choose platforms and content that specifically has the buyers you intend to retarget in mind, along with their needs. 


Search – Search ads, usually found on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, are the most common form of paid advertising. These are linked to keywords, and appear along the search result when a certain phrase or word is entered in. They are a smart form of retargeting, as they place ads in front of people who are directly interested in your industry’s offerings. This form of retargeting can also provide strong, high-quality leads for new customers. There is also a higher chance that they can be converted. These ads are typically simple and straightforward, with a certain amount of copy in the interface. This does also mean that the lack of visuals or images make it harder for the ad to shine amongst others, particularly for new customers. They can also be expensive, due to the high nature of competition. 


Social – Social ads are the fastest-goring segment of paid ad, mainly due to the explosion of social media platforms and their growth across the internet. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter Instagram and LinkedIn are geared to target audiences based on segment—such as network, hobbies and interests, and keywords, among other factors. Therefore, social ads can efficiently convey your message to the right audience quickly and effectively. They are easy to use, and are scalable for any size of brand. Social ads usually have a high click rate, and are flexible in terms of design—allowing you to truly showcase your brand to its fullest potential. These ads are, however, often time-consuming to create as new content is rapidly being posted to these channels in a high volume. This means you must stay current on topics and trends which are cycling through at any moment. These ads also have s short lifecycle, as the social networks often introduce new ads and remove old ones (along with their standards of practice) quicker than other forms of retargeting ads. 


Retargeting Vs. Remarketing

The term “retargeting” is often used interchangeably with “remarketing”, although there is a slight difference in meaning. While both terms focus on re-engaging prospective audiences who have previously indicated interest in a brand’s offerings, retargeting focuses on web traffic while remarketing is usually used to reference email channels. Remarketing is the process of bringing people back to your company by sending email campaigns and outreach efforts to those who have interacted with your website before. Retargeting, on the other hand, focuses more on paid ads and tracking customers through ad campaigns such as product clicks, ad clicks and form fills. 


While both areas aim to strategically interact with previously engaged users and induct them back into the funnel, the difference lies in the channel through which the strategy is executed. “Both of these strategies are pushing users back to complete an action onsite, but the path can vary,” LaFond notes. 


How Does Retargeting Complement Other Marketing Strategies?

Retargeting identifies mid- to low-funnel prospects who haven’t converted and maintains your products and services at the forefront of their attention. By reissuing CTAs or ads to these users, you increase the odds that they will eventually turn into a paying customer. Without retargeting, the odds of this happening are slim—as they will probably forget about the initial engagement and not return to your site. “Retargeting should be considered complementary to all your marketing efforts,” LaFond concludes. There are a few notable situations where retargeting is effective: 

  • To frequently retarget customers who have abandoned an online shopping cart
  • The promotion of new products or services, to warm up loyal customers
  • Rebranding, particularly to inform customers of brand changes and find early adopters
  • Right after a sale, to greet a converted customer with additional offerings or recommendations for related products (upselling) 


How To Build A Scalable Retargeting Strategy

The goal of retargeting is to set up your campaigns in a scalable manner built on optimization and elicit positive ROI by converting more leads into customers. The best method to implement this requires a balanced focus on targeting the right audiences (segmentation) and with the right creative (content). With both elements being used together, you will know that every customer is being served the right ad at the right time and place. 


  1. Creating Retargeting Audiences – Once you’ve added your Facebook pixel to your Shopify store, you can develop “custom audiences” within Facebook Ads Manager. This allows you to categorize your target audience based on who has engaged on your socials or taken certain actions on your site. These can be created based on the following categories: 
    1. People who engaged with your brand on Facebook and/or Instagram
    2. People who visited your website
    3. People who spend a certain amount of time on your site
    4. People who visited specific pages of your site
    5. People who viewed a product (viewed content)
    6. People who added a product to their cart
    7. People who initiated checkout 

These can all also be designated based on time frame, allowing for the creation of tighter audiences based on recency and larger segments of those who visited your site as far back as 180 days ago. 


  1. Segmenting Your Facebook Audience – Considering all the custom audiences available through Ads Manager, choosing targeted segmentation based on your products and services is important, especially in regards to your customers’ buying behavior. For businesses that sell cheaper, impulse-purchase products, retargeting doesn’t need to be further back than 30 days. For brands that have expensive, higher-end products, retargeting should occur over a 180- or 365-day window.


  1. Building Your Funnel – After creating your audience segments, you need to structure them into a funnel to monitor and optimize these categories separately. This can happen when you’re building your retargeting campaign. To target only social media engager, for instance, you must exclude hose who have made it past that point and visited your website, or further beyond. By separating your retargeting by funnel, such as upper funnel (aware of your brand) and lower funnel (closer to purchase) audiences, you can properly target all of these segments who are in different stages of the customer journey. Here are the various most common stages: 


  • Social media engagers (upper funnel) 
  • Website visitors (upper funnel) 
  • Viewed content or viewed product pages (middle funnel)
  • Added to cart (lower funnel) 
  • Initiated checkout/purchase (lower funnel)


A good retargeting funnel should separate the lower and upper funnel audiences, so you can avoid audience overlap. This occurs when targeting of the same segment of customers happens in two places, leading to unclear results as to the source of which segment is driving conversions. 


  1. Setting Budgets – After establishing your retargeting campaign with multiple audience segments within your funnel, you can start monitoring and optimizing your spend. Knowing how much to spend each day on each funnel segment requires testing. Start with small or moderate amounts for your daily budgets and then you can build up. It’s also good practice to estimate your initial spend allocation to each segment based on the audience size in Facebook Ads Manager. For smaller audiences, such as those who abandoned cart in the last week, a smaller budget will suffice. For larger ones, such as those who visited in the last 180 days, a larger budget will help your campaign reach enough people to drive sales. 


  1. Optimizing Your Facebook Retargeting Campaigns – Once your campaigns are up and running, check them each day and analyze your results to effectively optimize their performance. This can be done by adjusting budgets based on purchases made and the frequency of your reach within the retargeting strategy. Frequency meaning the average number of times a person within your audience sees your ad over a given period of time. This will help ensure you aren’t over- or under-serving your campaigns to the same target users. 


Retargeting is a sophisticated and effective strategy of reengaging previously interested customers back into your pipeline in a healthy and smart way. It relies on data-driven marketing insights, use of data and advanced tracking methods to raise conversion rates within segmented target audiences. The concept is simple yet powerful—wield information to fuel your overall marketing strategy! 


More Data-Driven Marketing Related Content from HVMA:
► How Facebook Ads Uses Your Data For Ad Targeting?
► The Future Of Personalization in Digital Marketing
► Using Identity Resolution To Create A 360-Degree View Of Your Customers
► Facebook’s Algorithm Trigger Words, And How They Are Affecting Your Paid Ads / Organic Reach

*Connect with us on LinkedIn HVMA Social Media LinkedIn Profile
*More Data-Driven Content from HVMA: Are you ready to get a ROI from social media?


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