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Ad retargeting

Roughly 97-98% of website visitors will leave a site the first time they visit without making a purchase. In fact, users typically see a brand’s message about seven times before they make a purchase. With that in mind, marketers know their digital marketing plans must include a strategy for retargeting and re-engaging audiences that have shown interest in their business.

At Polaris Marketing & Consulting, we know retargeting must be a core part of your strategy for converting your best leads into sales. Let’s take a brief look at the basics.

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that involves targeting users that have recently demonstrated interest in your business with paid advertisements. Ideally, the subjects of retargeting show a high level of intent, like clicking through to visit a specific web page or link, or adding a product to their shopping cart. Retargeting is best utilized as a bottom-of-the-funnel strategy to drive conversion. These second and third opportunities to contact audiences that are interested in your brand and convert them into new customers make ad retargeting a critical piece of your marketing efforts. 

How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting employs user behavior data captured with cookie-based technology to enable businesses to target those users with customized ads. First, a small piece of code (or pixels) is placed on your website. When a potential customer visits your site, a pixel is then placed in their browser, allowing retargeting software to track them (anonymously) all over the web. Assume that a potential customer visited your website and left without making a purchase. Later, when that person is surfing the web, a highly targeted ad will appear, recapture their interest in your product, and hopefully, convert them into customers. Retargeting ads help businesses reach the number of customer touchpoints (6-8 times) needed in today’s marketplace.

Two Primary Types Of Retargeting

Site retargeting uses the data captured about recent visitors to your website to target them with personalized ads. Everyone who shops on the internet is familiar with the sophistication of site retargeting and can intuitively see why it is effective. We have all had the experience of browsing products online and then later being shown an ad for the exact product we were looking at. While these ads can sometimes appear annoying or even creepy, we know that people typically need to encounter a brand’s message at several touchpoints before becoming customers. And because you know the potential customer is already familiar with your brand, the ROI for site retargeting is very high. The key is to respect your audience and not bludgeon them with targeted ads. 

Search retargeting uses search engine browsing history to allow companies to target audiences with digital ad campaigns based on what keywords they are searching. Businesses using search retargeting can reach a custom in-market audience with display ads on the user’s search engine results pages, with social media ads, and (as with site retargeting) on pages they visit online. Search retargeting captures an audience based on the intent of their searches, but this audience may not be aware of your brand. Because of this, search retargeting can attract new visitors to your site who are looking for a specific product or service, boost lead generation, and help raise your brand awareness. 

What’s The Difference Between Retargeting And Remarketing?

Retargeting and remarketing are often used interchangeably. Although they are closely related strategies, they are not quite the same. As we covered, retargeting utilizes cookie-based technology to target users interested in your brand with digital ads wherever they are on the internet across platforms, including social media. Remarketing is primarily a list-based strategy that starts with collecting the contact information of engaged audiences for the purpose of sending them personalized marketing and sales messages, primarily through email. For instance, you might email a customer with a special offer, as a reminder to renew a subscription or to nudge them after abandoning an item in their shopping cart. Both retargeting and remarketing are important digital marketing strategies for reaching your most engaged audiences and driving conversions. 

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