These days, businesses simply cannot afford to miss out on the wide range of marketing opportunities available and it pays off to stay up to date with the most effective techniques and methods of generating sales and improving online conversion rates. With Internet usage at an all-time high and people accessing the Internet through their smartphones for large sections of the day, online marketing has become particularly important for businesses of all sizes.
There are so many different digital marketing channels and features available that small businesses can struggle to keep up with the changes. Even if you were up to date with the latest technology a few years ago, the landscape quickly changes and new marketing methods take the place of the dated ones. If you are not familiar with the most effective marketing strategies then the simple truth is that you are losing money.
If you do not have a full-time marketing or digital team at your disposal then you could miss out on some massive opportunities presented by the latest and most valuable online marketing methods. Investing time in social media marketing, email segmentation and having a really good website will pay off over the long-term if you can master even just some of the basic principles. SEO and paid traffic are two other areas that you should spend some time to understand, as they reap very high rewards when executed well.
Another marketing strategy that is very popular right now is remarketing, which is all about trying to capture a potential customer a second, third or fourth time. It involves cookies that are installed onto a website visitor’s browser and follows them around different websites and finds the specific products that they are looking at. That information is then used to advertise targeted content to promote a product that they have shown an interest in.
Let’s take an example: You are looking for a new pair of running shoes and you go onto the Adidas website and there is a pair of shoes that you click on to get more information and to see the different images of. Maybe you put them into your online shopping basket but you don’t actually make a purchase, perhaps because you don’t have your payment card handy or you’re not quite sure whether you definitely want them.
An hour later you go onto another website to find out some sports news and an ad pops up for those exact running shoes that you were looking at. A coincidence? No, that is the power of cookies and remarketing. As a business, having this information will help you to get more sales because you remind potential customers about that product that they were deliberating over. Or your business stays in their mind when they decide a few weeks later that they did actually want those running shoes, so they come back to your website.
So in a nutshell, that is how remarketing works and it is also sometimes referred to as retargeting given the nature of how it works i.e. targeting potential customers at a later date.
Here are 10 top remarketing/retargeting platforms that you should know about:
We don’t need to tell you how powerful Google is but when it comes to remarketing, like most things Google do, they are pretty good at it. The search engine super power describes their remarketing service as a way of showing ads to people who have visited your website or used your mobile app. Remarketing helps to reconnect with them once they have left your website by showing them ads that are relevant to them.
When you are using Google AdWords you create lists of targeted people, for example people that have added your product to their shopping basket but never went through with the check out. One of the big benefits of using Google AdWords is that it has a very good success rate in terms of ROI, which basically means you get a good return on your investment. It is really easy to create an ad, as Google have everything set up ready for you in the Ad gallery.
There are different types of remarketing offered by Google Ads:
- Standard remarketing – Showing ads to previous website visitors as they browse on other websites.
- Dynamic remarketing – Makes content even more relevant by showing ads that include the specific products or services visitors looked at on your site.
- Remarketing lists for search ads – When Google users are searching for your product/service, your ad will be displayed.
- Video remarketing – Shows ads to people who have watched your YouTube videos or other videos.
- Customer list remarketing – Allows you to upload lists of contact details for Google, which enables ads when they use different Google products.
The social media giant Facebook is another leader in the remarketing domain. The huge reach of the platform is one of the big benefits of choosing Facebook for your retargeting needs, as they have over 1 billion active users.
Facebook’s Customer Audiences is the extension from the popular Facebook Ads, and works by creating a Facebook pixel that you add to your website and it then allows you to build your custom audience. It also enables you to build lists for specific sets of audiences based on the pages they visit on your website, or people from your email subscription list.
With Instagram being owned by Facebook, as you might expect they too have a pretty slick retargeting service to use. Instagram has over 300 million users and is used by all of the top celebs, who share pictures and stories with their followers.
Instagram’s popularity is on the rise and therefore it is a good platform to retarget ads with. It works in the same way as Facebook, with a Facebook Ads account to set up your target audience and launch retargeting ads.
With the Twitter remarketing solution, you install a Twitter pixel onto your website to collect the cookie IDs of visitors to then match them to Twitter users. Tailored Audiences can be used in three different ways:
Lists – Using email addresses or Twitter usernames to target specific users.
Web – This concentrates on the people that have visited your website and is enabled through the use of Twitter’s website tag.
Mobile apps – Using the data collected from the user activity on your mobile app.
ReTargeter offers a range of solutions including Facebook, Web, CRM, Audience, Dynamic Retargeting and Search options. According to the ReTargeter website, they offer best-in-class technology that helps brands reach the 98% of web traffic that they are unable to convert into customers.
It works by placing a pixel (piece of code) on your website to identify your website users and then they will be targeted with your business ads when they are browsing the Internet. ReTargeter is focused on the bigger sites that attract over 30,000 unique visitors each month. They also cater for a larger marketing budget, so if you are a small business just starting to dabble with retargeting, you will want to start with one of the more reasonable options first.
Targeted ads can be created based on specific details such as geographic, demographic and even the income of customers.
AdRoll prides itself in being able to offer a range of digital marketing techniques including connecting with ecommerce sites like Shopify and Magento or marketing tools such as MailChimp or Marketo. It allows you to bring customers in from abandoned shopping carts, recommend products and uses display ads to remind people about your website.
The powerful technology behind AdRoll is fairly impressive, with boasts of processing 34 million plus signals into 2.5 million marketing predictions each second. It integrates with Google, Facebook, thousands of marketplaces and exchanges as well as email to drive more conversions from your web visits.
The simple dashboard feature is a big bonus of using AdRoll and you can carefully monitor the success of your campaigns with the easy to use reports function.
The Perfect Audience retargeting solution offers Mobile Retargeting, Dynamic Retargeting, Web Retargeting and Facebook Retargeting. By installing a tracking code onto your website you can unleash the power of Perfect Audience. You can collect data such as website and page visitors, people who clicked on an event or people who opened your emails. It works over a number of top networks including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, Bing and Rubicon.
Perfect Audience gives you the opportunity to advertise to your website’s users once they leave your website through over 13 billion daily retargeting ads impressions. Another great benefit of choosing Perfect Audience is that if you partner up with other businesses, you can serve ads to their audience list.
You can currently get a 14-day free trial with Perfect Audience so that you can see how it works for yourself and see if it is the right retargeting solution to meet your needs. Digital marketing guru Neil Patel describes it as one of the easiest and simplest retargeting solutions for people that are new to the art of retargeting.
Like the other retargeting solutions, Sitescout works through adding a pixel to your website’s landing page to create an audience list. Sitescout works best with businesses that can generate larger audience lists, with a recommendation of a minimum 1000 visitors to work from.
Mobile retargeting is one of the popular types of retargeting services offered by Sitescout and this works through an audience list built using device IDs. Exchanges include Rubicon, Oracle Data Cloud and OpenX.
If you are looking to retarget an audience for an event, you can use this solution to identify people who attended similar events previously. You can also reach out to people that have put tickets into their shopping cart but not gone through with the purchase.
The solution identifies the best time to send your email marketing to ensure the best results, combining that with a targeted message that resonates with your target audience. You can curate attractive emails using templates that look really professional and are very simple to add your own details to customise.
Criteo is a retargeting solution that is a favourite with some huge companies like BMW and Sony. Their web retargeting services offer 16,000 publishers and a high quality inventory. Networks include Facebook, Instagram and advertisement on Google in addition to the large volume of individual publishers.
Their support channels are one of the key benefits of choosing Criteo, as they are renowned for their support through online information in their easy to use knowledgebase and they also operate with an email ticket support service.
How to choose your remarketing solution
Like many digital marketing channels, remarketing should be selected based on the specific requirements of your business. There is no overall ‘Best Retargeting Solution’ as some are designed for small businesses with limited website traffic and others are geared towards the global businesses.
What is really important is that you decide your available budget and look at the solutions that fit your budget. You may find that your budget increases over time and that you will move onto another remarketing provider but for now you should evaluate how well each solution fits into your business strategy.
Your target audience should be at the heart of the decision you make on your remarketing strategy. If you are selling products that are likely to appeal to the typical demographics of Instagram users for example, then that should play a big part in your decision process. So spend time to define and understand your target audience and which online platform(s) they are using the most.
If you are already familiar with Google Ads or Facebook Ads, or a particular platform more frequently for your social media marketing strategy then it would make sense to go with the one you are more familiar with as long as it suits your needs.
Before you make your choice, do plenty of research and if the solution offers a free trial or some free services then use that time to work out how good they are and whether they are good value for money.
Having said that, retargeting ROI can take months rather than weeks to really gauge the success rate because great tracking and monitoring to make the right adjustments to your campaigns is a long-term result. So jumping from one retargeting solution to another when you do not get immediate results is not recommended for good long-term results.