Remarketing vs. Retargeting
Remarketing and Retargeting are generally the same exact thing. The main difference is that it is always called “Remarketing” in Google Adwords. For the sake of avoiding confusion, I will simply call it retargeting in this article.
What is Retargeting?
I once visited a website, read a blog post, and for about the next 90 days, every time I saw an ad, it was for the website I had visited. Honestly, it kind of creeped me out. This is retargeting. Simply put, retargeting is a way of showing targeted ads across the web to people that have already visited your website.
How Does Retargeting Work?
The technical explanation is that retargeting is the act of placing a “retargeting pixel” on your web page that “fires” when someone visits. It drops a cookie on your browser. Later on, when that visitor is browsing other websites, they will see your ad due to the fact that they have a cookie on their browser.
There are numerous advertisement slots across the web on most every large website. Whether it is Forbes, ESPN, Local News Channels, Mommy Blogs, etc. Every time a web page on their site is loaded with one of those spots, it looks to see if you have a cookie on your browser from a retargeting pixel. If so, it will show you an ad from that website that you visited prior. If you have more than one retargeting cookie on your browser from visiting more than one website with a pixel, an auction takes place and the highest bidder wins the ad spot. The craziest part of this is that it all takes place in less than one second!
Why is Retargeting So Effective?
The greatest thing about retargeting is that it is considered pay-per-click (PPC), meaning you only pay a fee if that person clicks on your ad and comes back to your website! Usually, when businesses work with us and want to run a brand awareness campaign, we immediately recommend retargeting as a piece of the campaign. This is because it is the least expensive way to constantly keep your brand top-of-mind to former visitors. Maybe they didn’t convert the first time. If not, you get a chance to constantly show them ads until they do. Also, the cost per click (CPC) is generally much lower than other forms of advertising such as Adwords, Facebook, etc.
Another great thing about retargeting is that it allows you to show specific ads to specific people based on where they are in the buying cycle.
• Awareness: Ads with just a logo & name
• Interest: Ads with a specific product or service they liked
• Evaluation: Ads that answer their lingering questions
• Decision: Ads that show a special promotion or unique discount
• Purchase: Ads that show them similar products or services to the one they just purchased
After purchase you can use strategies like ads focused on retention, driving referrals, etc.
So How Do You Set All This Up?
There are numerous platforms out there to help you with your retargeting efforts. Adroll is a great platform that offers cross-platform retargeting. This basically means that you can retarget someone on facebook, across other websites on the web, etc. all from one dashboard instead of needing to manage dashboards on various platforms.
The basic process is as follows:
1. Make sure your website is already getting traffic so you will have people to retarget
2. Create your retargeting pixels and put them on the whole website or the specific pages you want to show specific ads. (This is how you retarget based on where the visitor is in the buying cycle)
3. Create your ads based on how your retargeting campaigns are going to be structured.
4. Upload your ads to the retargeting system and wait for them to be approved.
5. Test your pixels to make sure they are “firing” properly. (Most platforms will give you a way to do this)
6. Monitor your campaign performance
While this process may sound extremely easy, we are barely scratching the surface. There is so much that you can do with retargeting that you will miss out on unless you hire the right paid advertising digital marketing agency!
Retargeting is a marketing channel all its own. You don’t want to overdo it. You can actually decrease conversions if you go too crazy with retargeting. Also, if your website isn’t getting any traffic yet, retargeting will be useless. People have to visit the site first for the pixel to fire and drop the cookie.
Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional, retargeting will most likely get you the highest ROI of any marketing channel you have used so far due to its very low barrier to entry.