Remarketing: The ‘Secret’ Strategy Online Marketers are Using to Dominate Their Market
About The Author:Alex Cleanthous, Chief Strategist at Web Profits, lives at the cutting edge of online marketing. He is responsible for the testing, rapid implementation and enhancement of the latest online marketing strategies including social media, mobile, SEO, online advertising and conversion optimization. You can watch Alex at webprofits.tv or follow Web Profits at facebook.com/webprofits and twitter.com/webprofits.
Have you ever seen the same banner ads everywhere you go on the web and wondered how they could be so targeted to what you’re interested in? Have you ever wondered how some companies can afford to pay so much to advertise themselves on nearly all of the sites you visit? Well... there’s a secret that not many companies (or even agencies) know about. That secret is remarketing.
Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is the process of advertising to your website visitors on other sites they visit around the web. With remarketing, when somebody lands on your website, you tag them with the cookie provided by the remarketing advertising network. Then, whenever that person visits a website that runs ads as part of the remarketing advertising network, your ad appears. Sounds simple, right? It’s very powerful.
How Does Remarketing Work?
When somebody visits your website, they have landed there as a result of some form of marketing, intentional or not. They may have clicked on a search engine ad, they may have found you in the organic SEO listings, they may have clicked on a banner ad, they may have come from another website, or from a social media site. Whatever brought them to your website, they have landed there because they are interested in what you offer. The problem is, your visitors are all at different stages of the buying cycle. Some are ready to buy now, some in a month, some in a few months, some not at all. That’s where remarketing comes in.
By implementing a remarketing campaign you can continually market to your visitors even after they’ve left your website, but one thing is different. Now, you know that you’re advertising to people that have already visited your website (rather than the general market). And this gives you an advantage. Because now you know that these people have already shown interest in your offering in the past and are more likely to buy from you. With this knowledge you can then design remarketing campaigns designed to convert those visitors into leads and sales.
The best part about remarketing is that the cost-per-click for advertising to that audience is much lower than standard display campaigns because your ad is appearing on websites where there is little or no competition.
Setting Up Your Remarketing Campaign
The first step in setting up your remarketing campaign is to identify the various conversion goals in your online marketing strategy. You might have one conversion goal where prospects subscribe to your email marketing database. You might have another goal where prospects contact you for a free consultation. And you may have another where prospects buy from you.
Once you have identified your conversion goals, the next step is segmenting your website visitors. Segmentation is critical to the success of your remarketing campaign because segmentation allows you to target your remarketing to precisely what your audience is interested in - and the more targeted your messaging, the higher the response rate. You may offer a number of different services, you may have a number of different product categories, or you may have specific landing pages for specific campaigns. Whatever the case, you want to identify and segment your website visitors.
Once you have segmented your website visitors, you then need to setup an account with a remarketing advertising network (Google Adwords is by far the biggest). When you setup your campaigns there is an option to create ‘Audiences’ - setup a new audience for each one of your website visitor segments. The remarketing advertising network will then provide you with a remarketing script that you add to each page of your website where that segment visits. Make sure to add the remarketing script for each audience to only those pages that target that audience.
When this process is complete, anybody who visits your website (except if they have chosen the ‘do not track’ option in their Internet browser) will be tagged with your remarketing cookie. The more traffic you receive, the faster your remarketing audience will grow.
An Example of How You Could Launch Your Remarketing Campaign
The combinations of how you can run your remarketing campaign are endless but here’s an example of how it could run. Let’s say that you’re a printing company offering business card printing, flyer printing and poster printing (you would probably offer more than this but I’m keeping it simple for the purpose of the example).
You would first setup a different remarketing audience for each service (eg business card printing) and ensure that you have a different page on your site for each service. You then add the remarketing script to each page, and probably a different one for the home page (as you don’t exactly know what they’re interested in on the home page).
You run standard advertising campaigns to each page using Google Adwords, display advertising, Facebook ads, etc. The goal is still to convert visitors the first time they land on your website but even if you convert 10% of visitors (which is high), 90% are leaving your site without taking action on your offer. That’s where remarketing kicks in.
Let’s say that a visitor landed on your Business Card Printing page but didn’t convert. Now you start using banners to advertise to them whereever they are on the web (and there are millions of websites you can advertise on). But the advertising is now a little different. Instead of using your standard advertising messages you can tailor your messages to people that have already visited your site. For example, you could say in the banners “Still Looking For Business Cards? Click here”, or you could include messaging about why your company is different from the others, or specials you are running.
The key to making your remarketing campaign successful, at least at the basic level, is to continually test new messaging in your banners to find an angle that works, and then to keep updating your creative so that your audience doesn’t get bored with your ads (which will affect your click-through-rate and how often your ads are shown).
Taking Your Remarketing to the Next Level
Setting up a remarketing campaign is quite simple but making it a roaring success takes a bit more effort. In this section I’ll share a few examples of how you can take your remarketing to the next level.
You could setup a remarketing audience for visitors that have completed a specific conversion goal, such as purchasing a product online, and then use remarketing to upsell them a different product. Hint: offering a discount will increase your conversion rate.
Using the same remarketing audience as you use for up-selling, you could market a different offer entirely, yet something similar to what they initially visited your website for.
If the product you’re selling is quite expensive and a visitor leaves, you could use remarketing to sell a lower cost product and then upsell them to the higher priced product during the sales process. Hint: try advertising affiliate offers to your remarketing audience.
Grow your email database
You could run a remarketing campaign that gives away a free report or a free digital product to build up your email marketing database - and once they’re in your email database you can convert them using email marketing.
Increasing Facebook Fans
You could create a remarketing audience of people that visited the Facebook landing tab you use to convert Facebook users into Fans. You could then launch a remarketing campaign to drive those Facebook users back to your Facebook landing tab.
The various combinations of how you can setup your remarketing campaign are endless. The most important thing to remember is that someone who has visited your website is worth a lot more than someone who hasn’t. And someone who has completed one of your conversion funnels is worth even more. Remarketing allows you to leverage the relationship you have established with your website visitors to drive more conversions.