August 22


How to Use Retargeting Strategies for Your Business

By Hanson Cheng

August 22, 2023

  • minute read
  • Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Hanson Cheng

    In this comprehensive guide to retargeting, readers will learn about its importance in digital marketing and how to effectively plan, execute, and measure retargeting campaigns for maximum results. From understanding the different types of retargeting (pixel-based and list-based) to choosing ad formats, designing effective creatives, and optimizing ad copy, this article covers all aspects of retargeting with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, email marketing, and content marketing.

    Furthermore, the guide delves into monitoring and optimization, including tracking campaigns, analyzing performance metrics, and best practices for A/B testing. Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a crucial advertising strategy used in digital marketing to recapture the attention of potential customers who previously visited a website or app but did not make any purchase or complete any desired action.

    This strategy involves displaying relevant advertisements to users who have shown interest in a product or service, encouraging them to return to the website and complete their intended action, usually a purchase.

    Understanding Retargeting

    Retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on reaching users who have previously engaged with a brand, visited its website, or used its mobile app but did not complete a conversion action such as a purchase, form submission, or sign-up. Retargeting is executed through the use of cookies and tracking pixels on a website or app, which enables advertisers to identify previous visitors and specifically target them with personalized ads as they surf the web or use other apps.

    These targeted ads attempt to persuade users to return to the website or app they previously visited and complete the conversion action they initially bypassed. Retargeting campaigns typically display ads to users visiting other websites, browsing social media platforms, or watching videos on sites like YouTube. The main objective of retargeting campaigns is to increase conversion rates and improve customer retention.

    The Importance of Retargeting in Digital Marketing

    Retargeting plays a vital role in digital marketing for several reasons:

    1. Higher Conversion Rates: By displaying ads to users who have already shown interest in your products or services, retargeting can produce higher conversion rates than traditional display advertising methods. It’s a way to remind potential customers of their initial interest and bridge the gap between casual browsing and making a purchase.

    2. Improved Brand Visibility: Retargeted ads maintain brand presence and top-of-mind awareness by consistently appearing on users’ screens as they browse the internet – this constant exposure increases the likelihood that users will return and convert.

    3. Personalization: The use of cookies and tracking pixels allows advertisers to gather detailed information about users’ actions, preferences, and engagement levels. This data can be used to create personalized, hyper-relevant ads that resonate with your target audience and result in higher engagement and conversion rates.

    4. Comprehensive Marketing Approach: Retargeting is an essential component of a well-rounded marketing strategy, allowing businesses to approach potential customers from different angles and ensure their message is being conveyed to the right audience at the right time.

    Different Types of Retargeting: Pixel-based and List-based

    There are two primary types of retargeting – pixel-based and list-based:

    1. Pixel-based Retargeting: This is the most common form of retargeting and involves embedding a small, unnoticeable tracking pixel (or JavaScript code) into a website or app. When a user visits the site or uses the app, the pixel places a cookie in their browser, creating a unique and anonymous ID for that visitor. As users continue their online activities, the cookie informs the retargeting platform to display relevant ads. The advantage of pixel-based retargeting is its real-time tracking and ability to target users almost immediately after leaving the website or app.

    2. List-based Retargeting: In this method, advertisers use a list of known contacts, typically gathered via email subscriptions or customer relationship management (CRM) databases, to target users who have already provided their contact information. This customer data is uploaded to the retargeting platform, which then displays relevant ads to the users on the list as they browse the internet. List-based retargeting allows advertisers to segment their audiences based on various factors such as interests, demographics, or online behavior, enabling highly targeted campaigns.

    Retargeting is a powerful digital marketing strategy focusing on converting lost or disengaged customers by displaying highly relevant and personalized ads. With the combination of pixel-based and list-based retargeting campaigns, advertisers can further optimize their marketing efforts, making retargeting an essential component of any successful digital marketing strategy.

    Planning Your Retargeting Strategy

    To have a successful retargeting campaign, you need to plan your strategy carefully. A well-planned retargeting strategy ensures that you display relevant ads to the right users, which increases the likelihood of conversions. To create an effective retargeting strategy, you need to define your campaign objectives, identify your target audience, segment your audience, and select the appropriate retargeting channels.

    Defining Campaign Objectives

    The first step in planning your retargeting strategy is defining the main objectives of your campaign. These objectives will shape your entire strategy and help measure the success of your retargeting campaign. Your goals might include the following:

    1. Increasing brand awareness: Entice users interested in your brand to return to your website and complete a purchase.
    2. Driving conversions: Influence users who have interacted with your website or app to complete a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a form.
    3. Increasing customer retention: Encourage existing customers to keep coming back and make repeat purchases or engage with your brand more frequently.
    4. Reducing cart abandonment: Remind users who have added products to their shopping cart but did not complete the purchase to return to your site and finish their transaction.

    Once you have identified your campaign objectives, set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your retargeting campaign. These KPIs include conversions, click-through rate (CTR), cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS).

    Identifying Your Target Audience

    Knowing your target audience is crucial for creating a successful retargeting strategy. You should understand the needs and preferences of your potential customers to tailor your ads accordingly. To identify your target audience, you can:

    1. Analyze your existing customer data: Study your existing customers’ demographics, preferences, and online behavior to develop an understanding of your ideal customers.
    2. Use website analytics: Analyze your website visitors’ behavior to find out which pages or products are most popular and identify the most common conversion paths.
    3. Conduct audience research: Identify your industry’s target audience, create buyer personas, and survey your customers to understand their preferences better.

    Segmenting Your Audience

    Retargeting works best when you segment your audience based on their actions and level of engagement with your brand. By segmenting your audience, you can tailor your ads to different groups to make them more relevant and effective. Some ways to segment your audience include:

    1. User behavior: Separate users based on the actions they have taken on your site, such as browsing specific products, adding items to their cart, or completing a purchase.
    2. Time spent on site: Target users based on their time spent on your site, which indicates their level of interest in your brand.
    3. Frequency of visits: Segment users based on their visit frequency to retarget those more likely to be interested in your products or services.
    4. Sales funnel stage: Separate users according to their position in the sales funnel, allowing you to create tailor-made ads for each customer journey stage.

    Selecting Retargeting Channels

    The final step in planning your retargeting strategy is selecting the best channels to display your ads. There are several retargeting channels to choose from, each offering unique benefits:

    1. Display Ads: Display retargeting ads on websites and apps across the Google Display Network or other ad networks. This option can provide a wide reach to your target audience.
    2. Social Media: Retarget users on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Social media retargeting allows you to leverage the platform’s audience targeting options and native ad formats.
    3. Search Remarketing: Also known as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), this option targets users on search engine result pages based on their past interactions with your website.
    4. Video Retargeting: Use video ads on platforms like YouTube to retarget users who have engaged with your content or website in the past.

    Considering the unique benefits of each channel, you may choose to use a combination of channels to maximize the effectiveness of your retargeting campaign. Take the time to test and optimize your strategy across different channels and segments to find what works best for your specific campaign objectives.

    Retargeting with Content Marketing

    Retargeting, a popular strategy in digital advertising, involves using marketing technologies to send targeted messages and ads to users who have already interacted with a brand or product. Content marketing expands this practice through crafting and sharing valuable, informative, and engaging content that speaks directly to users’ needs and interests.

    Combining retargeting with content marketing ensures that users aren’t presented with repetitive, irrelevant messages. Instead, they receive valuable content geared toward their specific needs and preferences. It’s a highly effective strategy to nurture leads, build brand awareness, and drive conversions by re-engaging your audience by providing them with relevant information and solutions.

    Using Content as a Retargeting Channel

    Retargeting through content marketing allows you to engage and re-engage users with helpful, relevant information. By leveraging various channels, such as social media, email, or blogs, you can promote content that’s strategically tailored to the user’s experience and the stage they’re at in the purchase funnel.

    For instance, consider users who visited a product page on your e-commerce site but didn’t complete a purchase. Instead of solely retargeting them with ads featuring that specific product, you can also share content such as blog posts, videos, or reviews, highlighting the benefits and differentiators of your offering. This approach can help alleviate the user’s potential pain points or concerns and encourage them to return and complete the purchase.

    Using content as a retargeting channel also enables you to repurpose existing content, maximizing the effectiveness of existing resources while minimizing the investment needed. For example, if you’ve already created high-quality articles, infographics, or case studies, you can use marketing automation tools to nurture and retarget users based on their past interactions with your website or products.Content Personalization and Audience Segmentation

    Personalized content is essential in achieving successful retargeting with content marketing. The more relevant, helpful, and engaging the content to a user, the greater the chances of re-engaging them and moving them further in the sales funnel.

    To achieve effective content personalization, audience segmentation is critical. Segment your audience based on various factors, such as the pages they visited, their demographic data, or their behavior on your site. By analyzing user data and understanding their preferences, you can create personalized content for each segment and ensure it’s displayed through the right channels at the right time.

    For instance, users who downloaded an e-book could be retargeted through a drip email campaign with a series of blog posts that dive deeper into the subject matter. Alternatively, users who abandoned their shopping carts can receive a targeted email offering free shipping or a limited-time discount, alongside relevant product recommendations based on their browsing history.

    Measuring Retargeting Performance with Content Analytics

    Measuring performance using content analytics is essential to determine the success of your retargeting efforts with content marketing. Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as page views, bounce rate, time spent on a page, click-through rates, and conversion rates will help you identify the effectiveness and areas of improvement in your retargeting campaigns.

    You can gather insights about user behavior and interactions with your content using marketing automation tools like Google Analytics or HubSpot. By understanding what resonates best with your target audience, you can continuously optimize your content marketing and retargeting strategies, making them more engaging and effective.

    Moreover, attributing specific conversions to different retargeting efforts can help you identify which content types and channels are driving the desired results. Based on these insights, you can fine-tune your retargeting strategies, allocate resources efficiently, and ultimately enhance your content marketing efforts return on investment (ROI).

    In summary, retargeting with content marketing involves combining the power of targeted advertising and engaging content to deliver a personalized experience for users. By using content as a retargeting channel, personalizing content based on audience segmentation, and measuring performance with content analytics, marketers can significantly enhance their retargeting efforts, build strong relationships with their audience, and ultimately drive more conversions.

    Retargeting Strategies – FAQs

    What are some effective retargeting strategies for increasing conversion rates?

    Effective retargeting strategies include segmenting website visitors based on their behaviors, utilizing dynamic creatives to personalize ads, setting up frequency caps, retargeting across multiple channels, and leveraging A/B testing to optimize ad performance and messaging.

    How can dynamic creatives improve retargeting strategies?

    Dynamic creatives improve retargeting by utilizing customer data to personalize display ads, making them more relevant to each individual. This approach typically results in higher engagement rates, as the ads are tailored to visitors’ interests and browsing history.

    How do frequency caps contribute to effective retargeting strategies?

    Frequency caps limit the number of times a specific advertisement is shown to a particular individual. This prevents ad fatigue and ensures customers are not overwhelmed by repetitive messaging. Optimizing frequency caps can result in higher engagement and better marketing ROI.

    Why is segmenting website visitors essential for retargeting strategies?

    Segmenting website visitors allows marketers to serve more relevant and tailored ads to specific audience segments. This results in a higher likelihood of engagement and conversion. Segmenting can also help to allocate ad spending more effectively by targeting high-potential customer groups.

    How can retargeting across multiple channels boost conversion rates?

    Retargeting across multiple channels, such as display advertising, search, and social media, ensures a consistent brand presence and increases the likelihood of reaching potential customers. Combining channels also allows marketers to target customers at varying stages of the buyer’s journey, thereby increasing conversion opportunities.

    What is the role of A/B testing in optimizing retargeting strategies?

    A/B testing is the process of comparing two different versions of an ad or landing page to determine which performs better. Utilizing A/B testing in retargeting strategies helps marketers understand which creative elements and messaging resonate with their audience, ultimately leading to improved ad performance and increased conversions.

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    Hanson Cheng

    About the author

    Living in Portugal with my wife and puppies.
    Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter.

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