Remarketing or retargeting allows you to reach people who have visited your website in the past. Maybe someone browsed a bunch of product pages but never engaged with other aspects of the site. Or it could be that another person filled up his online shopping cart but then didn't complete the purchase. It is easy to write off this behavior as disinterest. While some people are never going to buy a product or sign up for one of your services, many people just need a little more convincing, or at least, reminding.
But does this ad type really work? Do these targeted ads convert more customers? In 2013, 60 percent of marketers dedicated upward of 10 percent of their digital ad budgets to remarketing with 7 percent spending over half of their budgets on it. In 2014, 71 percent dedicated at least 10 percent with a notable 14 percent spending over half of their budgets on it. The figure is even higher for large companies. Nearly half of firms with more than 1,000 employees spend half or more of their online ad budgets on remarketing.
How do these companies measure their success? The top two metrics that B2B and B2C marketers are looking at are total conversions and insights into customer behavior. Ideally these figures should be above 50 percent. High return on investment (ROI) is also a key metric. As such, many companies aim to keep it above 40 percent. Other metrics that B2B and B2C marketers track for retargeting campaigns include low CPA (cost per acquisition), CPC (cost per click), CTC (click to conversion), and CTR (click through rate).
There are two primary resources that small to mid-size companies use for remarketing: Google AdWords and Facebook Exchange. If you already use Google Analytics to track site metrics and you have a Facebook business page, you're set up to add one or both of these resources to your remarketing campaign. While you will pay for the ads that you run, it doesn't cost anything to sign up for these services, learn how they work, and create the ads themselves.
Google AdWords remarketing allows you to add a retargeting tag to your site, create lists (i.e. a list for most popular product category), and build remarketing campaigns that use your list (i.e. a campaign that only displays for the popular product category list). Facebook Exchange gives you the opportunity to reach the active Facebook user base, which consists of over one billion users, through targeted campaigns. You get high quality, relevant reach with all of the features that you would expect from a real-time bidding exchange. It is an ideal tool to use for remarketing alongside standard social media practices to increase your online conversions.
Whether you're integrating your first remarketing campaign into your overall strategy or looking for ways to tweak your existing campaigns, there are a few key points to keep in mind. The biggest reason that consumers don't respond to remarketing tactics is that the ads are stale. If they keep seeing the same ads displaying products from last season every time they log onto Facebook, they aren't likely to click them. Even if the ads performed well initially, they have a limited lifespan. There are several simple ways to keep your retargeting ads fresh and engaging.
- Seasonal and product changes. Any time you update your product catalog and refresh your inventory, you should update your ads accordingly. Think about switching up your keywords, ad text, and landing pages for specific seasons and holidays as well. For example, people living in the Midwest aren't interested in buying convertibles in the winter.
- Unique copy. You want your ad to stand out from the crowd. Research similar ads and think about how you can differentiate your remarketing content so that consumers recognize it instantly.
- Ever changing consumer needs. One of the biggest frustrations for marketers is keeping up with the fast pace of the online marketplace. Consider the interests and behaviors of your target audience. You want them to feel as though your ads speak directly to them like you're having a conversation instead of just advertising to them.
- Changing ad platforms. If you already use Google AdWords or Facebook Exchange, when was the last time you checked out their newest updates? Both platforms roll out updates on a regular basis. Take advantage of the newest resources to maximize the reach of your remarketing ads.
What has your experience been with remarketing campaigns? Do the budget stats cited above hold true in your situation?