Retargeting as an Effective Marketing Tool

I dentifying your target audience is an essential step in developing an excellent marketing strategy. Once you get to know your target audience, you can begin formulating different tactics to reach them. From there, visual materials are developed and the budget is adjusted. However, one determining factor that makes a marketing strategy effective is whether it reaches its target audience in the first place. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how attention-grabbing and witty your ad is; before a consumer can respond, they’ll have to see it first, won’t they?

The World Wide Web is filled with millions of people across varying demographics. And because marketing strategies are developed based on their target audience, the challenge for every business is to connect with the specific people for whom the ads are made for. Retargeting addresses this issue.

Gone are the days when Facebook shows us generic ads we’re not even remotely interested in. Nowadays, we can almost exclusively see only the things relevant to us. Yes, the internet knows what we like, what we want to see more of, and what we really don’t care for. Although it is slightly creepy how the internet can seemingly read our minds, it is definitely convenient as well. This way, people can get what they need at a click of a button.

What is retargeting and how does it work?

Retargeting will help you achieve your marketing goals by creating a specific pool of people to show your ads to. There are two kinds of retargeting techniques: pixel-based and list-based. We will go over the pros and cons of each to help you see which one will be more effective for your business.

Pixel-based retargeting:

Pixel-based retargeting keeps track of the people who visit your website by placing a sneaky piece of JavaScript on their browsers. These pieces of JavaScript are more commonly called “cookies”. Cookies work by instructing retargeting platforms such as Facebook to show users specific ads based on items they scanned on your shop’s website.

One of the advantages of this retargeting technique is that it is automated. Once you set it up, it automatically caters to the audience who is already interested in what you offer. A potential customer may have scanned your shop and exited without making a purchase. Some do this to mull things over before making a decision, while some are simply considering other options. Retargeting will give them the little push they need. When they exit your shop and browse other websites, they will be shown ads from your website related to the items they were looking at. Basically, site cookies are the sales representatives who follow you everywhere you go.

On the flip side, pixel-based retargeting is too reliant on your site traffic. Your ads will only appear to the people who have initially been to your site. As a result, the volume of your ad’s audience is very limited at a given point in time.

List-based retargeting

This type of retargeting works with a list of contact information you have on hand. You compile a list of email addresses of your target audience and enter them into a retargeting platform. These platforms then track users of their websites who have those emails and show your ads only to them. While this may be more time consuming, it allows for a highly customized audience. You can adjust your targets by editing your list from time to time. Should your priorities and goals change, you have the freedom to edit your list accordingly.

One major disadvantage of list-based retargeting is that it is manual and is therefore more time-consuming. Unlike pixel-based retargeting, you have to track and update your list by hand. Another downside is that people may have given you a different email address than what they use on their social media. Platforms are then unable to find those email addresses in their system. You will need a large number of emails to be able to connect with a wider audience.

Will retargeting really work for my business?

While retargeting may have diverse effects on different businesses, it is generally more beneficial for specific stages of your marketing campaign.

Retargeting will serve best to raise awareness on new products and services available on your site. It will put your site on the map and let consumers know that you exist and what you offer.

Not only does retargeting catch the eye of potential customers, it can also convince them to avail of what you are offering. Once they’ve clicked your ad, you can then convince them to take the next step by consistently showing them items related to those they’ve scanned.

Latest statistics report that the average American spends 10 hours on social media. People spending 70 hours of their lives on their screens is good news for your marketing plan. They will be more likely to revisit your site and eventually make a purchase. While retargeting may not give instant results, it is definitely beneficial for your business in the long term.

How do I retarget?

There are various ways to start retargeting, including third party platforms or good old Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media retargeting is generally more effective as these are the sites that people browse multiple times on a daily basis.

If you opt for the list-based technique, begin by compiling a list of emails from people who are more likely to be interested in what you offer. For pixel-based retargeting, have a company, advertiser, or third-party generate a snippet code for your site. You can then add that code (called a pixel) to your site. The next time a user visits, that pixel will drop a cookie on their browser and show them ads based on their history with your site.

Retargeting opens doors for your business to grow. Not only is it an effective marketing tool, it eliminates limitations caused by geography. Wherever they are across the globe, potential customers will be able to find your site.

About the author: Callum is the head of marketing at . They are a boutique website design and internet marketing agency based in Dubbo, NSW, Australia.