Retargeting – What Is It?

Have you heard the term ‘retargeting’ recently and wondered what it was? Whether it was something that you should be incorporating into the marketing plan for your business? Or is it something you’ve known about for a bit, but assumed it was difficult to get started or an expensive investment?

This article is designed to help answer two fundamental questions about retargeting:

(1)    What is retargeting?

(2)    How to get started with a retargeting program?

Retargeting At Its Most Basic

Imagine you have a brick and mortar store and a shopper comes into the store to browse a few rows of products. Maybe she picks up 1 or 2 items, examines the products and then puts them back on the shelf. After 10 minutes of browsing, she leaves the store empty-handed.

Maybe she will come back. Maybe she will remember the items she looked out. But more likely than not she will be on her way- never to be heard from again.

As a store owner or employee, wouldn’t it be great if you could reach out to that person the next day or week by letting her know that there now is a special for the category of products she was browsing? Or just to get your business name in front of her to rekindle a memory of why she liked the 2 products she had been examining? All this to get her to come back into the store again and buy this time.

That’s the general idea behind retargeting and you website. If you’re running a retargeting campaign and someone visits your website or visits specified pages of your website (think product pages or product category pages), then you can elect to have ads for your business show up on other websites where that person is browsing. Therefore, as you can probably tell, the goal of running a retargeting campaign is to get them closer to buying from you (by clicking on the ad, increasing brand awareness, reminding them they haven’t bought a gift yet, etc.).

Getting Started with Retargeting – You Need A Partner

So retargeting sounds powerful, and may be something you would want to learn more about. The first two things you need to know is that the ability to do retargeting isn’t inherent in websites, so you’ll need to work with a business that has the ability to show your ads to people on other websites.

Just because you have a website does not mean that you are tracking website visitors to the point where you can advertise to them. What your website needs to do to track visitors after they have left your site is place a bit of code, called a cookie, in the visitor’s browser. The exact code or cookie you use on your website will depend on the retargeting platform (or partner) you choose.

There are a couple of different ways you can go about engaging with a retargeting program.

One of the simplest options is to go through Google AdWords. There is a retargeting feature that integrates seamlessly into your AdWords account.

For a more robust campaign, you can talk to companies like AdRoll, ReTargeter and Chango, who have their own network of websites (publishers) where they can place your ads in front of previous visitors to your site.

Depending on the platform, you may even have the ability to pay per click on your ads, or pay per impression. Regardless of which option you select, you will be able to decide on the budget cap (within the confines of your agreement with your partner).

One last note – depending on your website traffic volume, it may take a while to get your retargeting program running at full capacity. This is because you will only start tracking website visitors once you get the cookie in their browser. So you’ll only have the potential to retarget the number of visitors you get after that point.

Then What Is Remarketing?

Have you heard of the term “remarketing“? Remarketing is simply Google’s term for retargeting through their platform in AdWords.

Are You Ready to Get Started with Retargeting?

This article explains retargeting at its most basic level. We will dive deeper into this area of digital marketing in the future. If you have specific questions about using retargeting to improve your marketing strategy and how Mannix Marketing can help your business get started, then contact us by calling 518-743-9424.

In the meantime, take a look at these terrific online marketing articles that cover topics that will help build your business.

About Brian McGrath

Over the past 20 years, Brian has experienced many aspects of marketing, including brand management, copywriting, campaign coordination, paid search marketing, social media marketing and internet marketing. Brian now uses this knowledge to help our clients maximize their presence on the internet. His expertise in all things marketing gives our clients – and the Mannix Marketing SEO team – a distinct advantage in all areas of search. His extraordinary analytic skills provide SEO, social media and paid search clients with real, measurable results. To maintain his cutting edge expertise, Brian stays current on the latest trends in social media and digital marketing by reading industry publications, attending conferences, and consulting with peers.