One really powerful type of display advertising is called remarketing. Remarketing allows you to use what people do on your website, in order to target them later with a specific advertising message, after they’ve left your site. In this video we’ll show you how remarketing works, and help you decide if it's right for your digital strategy.
Let’s use our example of a bike shop once more.
A potential customer comes across your website searching for a new bike helmet. She browses a few products pages before adding one of your helmets to the shopping cart, but halfway through entering her billing information at check-out she gets distracted by a phone call. So she leaves your site before completing the purchase.
While you’re probably glad she visited your website, you’d be happier if she'd finished her transaction. She might forget about your store. Or find somewhere else to get it instead.
Here’s where remarketing comes in.
Now your first step in a remarketing strategy is to define your target audience.
This could be people who added products to their shopping cart but didn’t complete the purchase.
Now your remarketing service might need you to add a little code to your web pages, or integrate it in your web analytics tool, so it can start collecting a list of users from your website who match this criteria.
Again, this won’t be a list of individual people with any personal information, such as names or email addresses. Instead, it’s an anonymous list of users (often called a remarketing list) that match your criteria who can be retargeted with ads.
So, now that you’ve defined an audience and set up the tracking, any visitor who adds products to their shopping cart but doesn’t check out will be added to the list. Now it’s time to create ads specifically for them.
These ads can be pretty focused, because you know everyone seeing them has already demonstrated interest in the products on your website. So, you might include things like first-time-buyer discounts, free gift wrapping, or some other incentive that’s aimed at getting them to come back and finish making their purchase.
So if a user gets distracted and abandons their shopping cart, you’ll be able to reach them later online with a highly targeted ad that brings them back to your site to finish their transaction.
Once they’ve bought from you, there’s no need to show them ads featuring a first-time-buyers incentives anymore. So you might want to create a new remarketing list for existing customers. Then, you can target them with a different ad campaign, perhaps convincing them to come back and explore other products that complement what they’ve bought from you already.
So that’s how remarketing works. It tracks what people do on your website, and then creates an audience based on their actions, letting advertisers design specific ads for people who have - or haven’t - done specific things.
Hopefully this sparks some ideas of how you might be able to use remarketing for your own business to re-engage visitors, turn them into customers, and bring them back again and again!
- tracking what people do on your site
- using that information to identify people you want to target
- creating ads specifically for those people.