How to

What is Retargeting?

If you use the internet on your smartphone or a personal computer, you may have witnessed a number of advertisements. These online advertisements appear on websites, mobile applications, search engines, emails, or social media platforms. When the advertising of products and services is done through such digital channels, then it is called digital marketing. One of the important concepts you will come across when learning about digital marketing is retargeting. 

To understand retargeting, let us take one common scenario. Suppose you are looking for a flight from Bangalore to Mumbai. You went to a website and checked out the rates of various flights available on that route. Now you closed that window and navigate some other stuff on the internet. You will observe that there are advertisements showing you the fares of a flight from Bangalore to Mumbai in a flashy banner. You start wondering how did that happen. Well, it is the result of retargeting. 

Retargeting has become a crucial concept for every professional willing to start a digital marketing career. In fact, when you take a digital marketing course or social media skill-up program, this concept would be covered. Let us understand what retargeting is all about and how it helps to attract more audiences to your website and generate leads.    

An Introduction to Retargeting

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that aims to bring back the website visitors of a company’s products or services after they leave their webpage without making a purchase. According to a survey, around 97% of people who visit a website for the first time leave before purchasing anything. So, retargeting is for such audiences and reminds them of your product by showing advertisements on other websites. There are many platforms that allow users to launch retargeting campaigns like Facebook retargeting, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and so on. 

Technically speaking, retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses simple JavaScript code to follow your target audience anonymously over the web. You will generally come across two ways of retargeting – pixel-based and list-based. In pixel-based retargeting, a company adds an invisible ‘pixel’ to a website visitor’s browser. When the user leaves your website, the pixel notifies retargeting platforms to place specific ads based on the products that the user viewed. Similarly, this tool starts to tag all the website visitors and put them into a list. Once a person visits the website, the pixel tracks them as per the selected parameters.   

Advertisers bid on ad placements across the entire web to put in front of the target audience. This online auction is carried out within milliseconds when the site is loading. Different programmatic advertising platforms like The Trade Desk, SharpSpring Ads, Facebook, AppNexus, ReTargeter, OpenX, and AdRoll have a different configurations of their bidding system. It is important to note that a company cannot know the exact identity of the person they are retargeting. However, the pixel will contain information regarding their buying behavior so as to create a personalized user experience based on the behavior. 

The next kind is list-based retargeting. Compared to pixel-based retargeting, list-based retargeting is less automatic and a time-consuming process. It works when a company already has a list of prospective buyers in its database. It may happen that people give their phone number, email address, or social media id when exploring your products. You can get started with such information stored in the database and use it for certain types of retargeting ads. You can create emails informing the audience about the new products, offers, or discounts available to lure them into vising your website. 

Does Retargeting Pay Off?

By reading the above information, you may initially think that showing a product again and again to viewers who already seem to be disinterested in it isn’t going to generate leads or convert into a customer later on. However, this impression doesn’t show the real picture. Retargeting leverages the general behavior of humans that the more they see something, the more they tend to like it. When an ad is shown repeatedly, the users become familiar with the image, colors, and other details of a product and will most likely click on it to explore more. 

Retargeting is also a cost-effective way to reconnect with website visitors. This is because you start showing your products to the audience who have already shown some interest in your brand. With retargeting, such audiences get additional information regarding the product, thereby improving the chances of lead conversion. Moreover, every return visit gives the brand another opportunity to sell and generate more revenue. When combined with other inbound and outbound marketing strategies, retargeting proves to be a powerful branding and conversion optimization tool. 

Bottom Line

The world of digital marketing is changing rapidly, and you cannot win people’s attention just by quantity, quality needs to be given equal emphasis. You may feel that it is necessary for customers to experience several touchpoints with your brand before they make a purchase. However, you need to ensure that each online encounter with your brand is relevant to the audience and doesn’t seem unnecessary. So, get ready to set the goals, types of campaigns to be launched, the platform to be used for retargeting, and leverage the power of retargeting to the fullest.   

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