As you are no doubt aware, any form of online marketing is aimed at gaining more customers and increasing the rate of actual sales. A website might be awesome and eye-catchingly brilliant, but if its conversion-to-sales rate is low, it might just be missing the mark somewhere along the line.
If this happens, it can be a sign that your marketing efforts need some honing and refining. This is where retargeting comes in.
What is retargeting and why does it matter?
Retargeting is a form of marketing to audiences based on their previous behaviour. It matters because it provides a way to better target people who are more likely to actually be interested in a product and to make a purchase.
In a sense it can really only be called ‘retargeting’ if the person targeted has bought from the company before. However, the term also relates to targeting people based on past search behaviours and habits, whether they purchased or not.
When you think about it, prior to the internet, companies may have sent you mail marketing material they thought might be of interest to you based on previous purchases you had made. Obviously, to be able to target you in this way, they would have had to have gathered your data – which may have happened when you bought something through mail order, or when you joined a retail club of some sort. This could be considered a form of retargeting.
Internet remarketing is based on data in the same way, although it is going to be broader than in the past since a lot more data can be gathered than before.
Different levels of retargeting
Retargeting can happen at different levels. For instance, site retargeting markets to existing customers based on their previous purchases, while search retargeting is aimed at engaging with new customers based on the interest they have previously shown in a product or brand.
You can see this type of activity on ebay – when ads pop up for things that may interest you based on your past searches and purchases. Retargeting may also occur on places like YouTube and Facebook, based on the interests you have shown and on your past activities. In that way, you could call it a type of personalised advertising.
Does retargeting work?
Well according to Larry Kim of Wordstream it does. Wordstream’s retargeting efforts resulted in a 300% increase in time spent on their site, and a 51% better conversion rate. In addition they found three specific benefits of retargeting, which were:
- Better brand recall. When people know and remember a brand, they are more likely to show an interest in it.
- More engagement. Retargeting may help you to become better at engaging with people at their level of interest, rather than promoting what you think they should be interested in. This could be done by grouping your audience according to different criteria for example.
- More conversions. While many SEO tactics are aimed at increasing traffic, on its own, this is not enough. The trick might be to target visitors based on what you believe their intent actually is in visiting your site.
The thing is, these days people are busy. This means they might go onto a site, show an interest in a product or even intend to purchase, but then get distracted by anything from the phone or the nightly news to the need to cook dinner or help their kids find a lost item. In other words, they might just forget what they were thinking and doing and need a little prompting. Retargeting can act as a reminder that they didn’t finish that purchase, or that you have other products or services that may interest them.
Are there guarantees?
Of course retargeting cannot guarantee any results. And depending on the audience, the response may differ. Some people might like ads in their area of interest popping up in front of them, while others might find it downright annoying and intrusive. Either way, the results from Wordstream indicate it might be well worth pursuing.