Aiming for the Bullseye: How to Retarget Ads

Tired of potential customers slipping through your fingers?

We've all had the person who comes to our site, is interested, but gets distracted somewhere along the line.

In the distant past we just had to hope they'd stumble across our banner or PPC ad again and make the purchase this time.

What if we told you there was an easy way to remind them? With the ability to retarget ads marketers are able to keep their potential customers aware of their product. Read on and we'll show you how to get the most out of this technology.

Why Should I Retarget Ads?

If you're not seeing the potential here, let us break it down:

  1. A potential customer comes along and clicks

  2. They don't have the time to make a purchase right now

  3. A week later your ad shows up in their Facebook feed

  4. They do have time to make the purchase now

  5. Profit

Seems simple enough, right?

Retargeting your advertisements is all about maintaining awareness with potential customers who didn't buy the first time around. If they take a certain action on your site, you can insert a tracker to keep yourself in the advertisements displayed wherever they may be headed.

Retargeting makes follow-ups simple and it's one of the best ways to get lukewarm customers to respond.

That said, you'll have to exercise some expertise to take full advantage of it.

How Do I Retarget?

The exact methods of retargeting your ads will depend on the platform you're using. Facebook is one of the most common, as of 2016 the average time spent on site sat at an astonishing 50 minutes per day. Power users will be on for far longer.

That's awesome for retargeted marketing campaigns. Think about how many ads you scroll by while going through your feed and you've got a good idea of the power of this method.

Facebook actively encourages targeting, including a snippet of code called the Facebook Pixel which is designed specifically for this purpose and tracking marketing metrics.

Other platforms will have their own quirks, but pixel-based retargeting is one of the most common.

For those with larger campaigns, third-party tools can easily be found on Google to allow you to not have to go through the work on each individual platform.

How Do I Take Advantage of Retargeted Ads?

If you're thinking about just slamming the feed of everyone who's so much as clicked a link to your page... you need to rethink the whole affair.

Retargeting can be touchy. If you show up too often you're wasting money on ad impressions and likely to irritate your potential customers. On the other hand, if you show up too rarely you'll miss out on the benefits of retargeting like timeliness.

Types of Retargeted Advertising

There are a few ways in which people go about using retargeted ads.

The one which immediately comes to mind is the "pixel" or "cookie" method. In this case, a small script informs ad-share networks that a customer has visited a page and begins targetting them for further ads.

List-based retargeting is for those who have already put together a list of contact information for their customers. You can put the contact details into most advertising networks easily and ensure that they're the only ones who see your retargeted ads.

Lastly, we have e-mail retargeting. This is usually a simple process with things like reminding a shopper they left something in their online cart or offering a promo deal to a regular customer.

It's All About Customization

Segmenting lists is a time-honored tradition among marketers. It allows you to use the appropriate copy for the audience you're trying to reach.

An ad for middle-aged men isn't going to to have quite the same effect on an audience of early 20s women after all.

You should be doing the same, targeting people specifically instead of just trying to keep the same ad in a person's feed. When we see the same ad over and over it quits registering.

Remind buyers of products they took a closer look at, some further advantages of your service, or even just some information related to a previous search.

The important thing to remember is that retargeting allows you to break the "one-size-fits-all" paradigm of advertisements. Take advantage of that. If you don't, you're wasting ad-spend.

Keep Up With Split Testing

Dialing in an ad campaign to maximize conversions is never a cut-and-dry process.

Instead, you'll need to work with split testing through the process to keep fine-tuning things. Once you've got an acceptable conversion rate you'll have a good idea of which ad copy and images work best for you.

From there, you can focus on what works and leave aside advertisements that failed to meet your standards.

Some people even implement an AI to get the most out of their retargeting.

Are Retargeted Ads the Future?

Retargeting is becoming more popular. Marketers can use it to get a higher conversion rate and oftentimes customers are more appreciative of the ads in question since they're more likely to be of use.

There are some caveats: you need to inform people of your policies with cookies and generally make sure you're in compliance with data gathering and privacy standards. You'll even need a message for your users to inform them of what you're doing.

Google has a great little guide on how to stay compliant, give it a read over before you begin your campaign.

Personalized advertising and retargeted campaigns don't appear to be losing steam any time soon. It's too much of a win for all parties involved.

A Lot of Work for a Huge Payoff

Retarget ads are increasingly popular. A good campaign will still take a lot to put together but with some know-how and experience, it's one of the best ways to increase conversion rates and the ROI on paid advertising.

Not everyone has the time or marketing team required, however.

It may be time to begin outsourcing your marketing if this sounds like too much of a time sink.

If that's the case, why not find out how to pick the right marketing agency for your business?