Why Everyone is Talking About Retargeting and What You Should Do About It

In a perfect world, all your customers would follow a clearly identified, step-by-step process, from discovering they need your product to clicking purchase on your website the first time they visit.

How often does such a thing happen?

According to Invesp, 2.63% of U.S. website visitors convert on their first time.

While that may not seem like a lot (and it isn't), there are ways to improve that. One of them is through an exciting and powerful digital marketing strategy known as retargeting.

What Is Retargeting?

In case you're wondering what retargeting means. It's simple. Let's say your customer arrives at your website when searching for the term pickleball. 

The good news is that pickleball is a fast-growing leisure time-activity, with Americans having more time at home these days, the sport stands to gain a lot of casual players over this summer and beyond. Of course, that good news continues if your company happens to produce pickleball equipment.

If that potential customer arrives at your website and is not convinced enough about the game to purchase a set of equipment, you will have the opportunity to acquire their business on a future visit through the wonderful world of retargeting.

Largely served by websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Google Ad Display, retargeting allows you to get in front of website visitors through display ads placed on other websites that those users frequent.

How is such a thing accomplished?

There are two forms of retargeting: pixel-based and list-based.

List-based retargeting only works when you already have a potential customer's contact information.

Pixel-based retargeting, however, is accomplished without violating any privacy laws, and it's basically invisible.   

What Is a Pixel?

A pixel is a piece of code built into your website that latches onto the browser of all the users who hit a specified landing page. This pixel then follows the user's internet habits in the form of a cookie. That cookie then notifies one of those retargeting platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Google Ad Display to place an advertisement in a certain location on other websites.

Why Use Pixel-Based Retargeting?

Pixel-based retargeting can be executed with great precision because the user usually doesn't just see a generic ad for your website. Users should see a relevant ad based on the specific pages they viewed on your website. For example, if a pickleball professional went to your website and was specifically looking at the product description of a certain brand's pickleball paddles, they might see an ad on another website that promotes the exact paddles they were recently viewing. It's easy to see how an ad like this could be much more effective than a generic ad that does nothing more than show your company logo to the user one more time.

Another advantage of using pixels is that your site visitors can receive these display ads at the very next webpage they visit. This tactic is a great way to strike while the iron is hot. If the prospect was interested in those pickleball paddles, but couldn't pull the trigger for some reason, reminding them of how great those paddles were right away might change their mind.

The location of your pixel matters. For the best results, be sure to place your pixel on the appropriate page. If you're targeting a customer that already converted, place that pixel right on the "Thank you" or “confirmation” page. 

Repeat business is also enhanced by pixel-based retargeting. Even if that prospect purchased those paddles right away, they might need a new supply of pickleball a few weeks later. Ordinarily, they might try to get those on Amazon or the online option for a big-box retailer. However, if they see your ad while browsing the internet, they might spontaneously decide to click through.

By encouraging future business this way, a trickle-down effect results in increased brand awareness. When customers repeatedly see your company in their browsing habits, they begin to associate you with their purchasing habits, and that's never a bad thing.

A Quick How-To 

The first thing to do when implementing a retargeting strategy is to have a plan and set goals. Ask yourself what sort of improvement in conversion rate you're looking for, and establish a time period when you want that to happen.

Next, decide which population you want to retarget. Shotgun approaches to marketing never work as well as more refined, strategically-executed plans. Pick a primary, secondary, and even tertiary demographic. Then, decide how you will best reach each of those audiences.

Once you've carefully laid out your retargeting plan, tracking results is key. Make sure that your Return on Advertising Spend is positive. We think pixel-based retargeting produces amazing results for businesses in just about any industry. However, if it's not working for you, something is wrong, and you need to re-evaluate. 

Sometimes, just a slight tweak to the location of the pixel or the demographic you're targeting can make all the results-oriented difference. The only way you'll know, however, is by finding a way to track results effectively. Don't track results for just the short-term and then forget about it either. Markets change, customers change, and business evolves. You need to track results that consider all those fluctuations.

If you'd like to plan, implement, and track a retargeting strategy for your business, contact us at Emmis Marketing today. We're a team of professionals fueled by creativity, driven to innovate, and ready to work with you!

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