Retargeting for Rookies: Your Guide to What it is and How to Use it

December 9, 2015 Rachel Riley

what-is-retargetingRetargeting (or re-marketing) is a buzzword thrown around the online advertising space, but many marketers are unclear as to what this kind of campaign does and can accomplish. But with 71 percent of marketers spending between 10 to 50 percent of their budgets on retargeting it’s important to understand this ad type to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

We’re here to clear things up. In this post, we’ll explain what retargeting is, why marketers love it, and best practices for running your own retargeting campaign.

What is Retargeting?

So, what is retargeting and remarketing? Simply put, retargeting campaigns convert browsers into buyers. Retargeting keeps track of the internet users who visit your site but don’t convert, and after they leave shows them your retargeting ads as they peruse other sites across the web.

All that’s needed to implement retargeting on your own website is a simple Javascript code (also referred to as a “pixel”). Every time a new visitor comes to your site, the retargeting pixel notes them with “cookies” and once they leave, lets your retargeting provider know to serve them your ads.

Why Do Marketers Love It?

Marketers love retargeting because it keeps their brand front and center in the minds of interested, but not converted, website visitors. It’s all about repeated exposure: Every time a potential customer sees your remarketing ad, they gain a greater awareness of your brand and generally feel more inclined to become your customer. In fact, website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70 percent more likely to convert.

Retargeting Best Practices

Get your retargeting campaign started on the right foot by implementing these best practices:

  • Take Advantage of Targeting: All remarketing platforms have comprehensive targeting features that you can use to ensure your ads are relevant to those seeing them. Consider targeting your audience based on demographic, geographic, or contextual variables and tailor your creatives accordingly.
  • Implement a Frequency Cap: Alleviate “banner blindness”—a phenomenon where prospects ignore your ad entirely—by putting a frequency cap on your ads. This will limit the amount of times a tagged user will see your ads, keeping your potential customers from feeling overwhelmed by your brand, or worse, stalked.
  • Add a Burn Pixel: A burn pixel is a snippet of code you add to your post-transaction page that will untag users who have made a purchase, removing them from your retargeting audience so they don’t continue to see the same ad. Burn pixels serve two purposes: 1. They save you money by ensuring that impressions aren’t wasted on audience members who have already converted and 2. They eliminate the possibility of your ads potentially annoying already converted customers and damaging your relationship.

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