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What is Retargeting Marketing?

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What is Retargeting Marketing?


Did you know that 97% of your website’s first-time visitors leave (without purchasing!) to never return? I know, that’s a huge number.

The reason for that is they want to get to know you first before purchasing. However, in the process of getting to know you, they could get distracted and end up just leaving to never come back.

Let’s say they were looking for Christmas lights and they end up on your website. Then as they are looking around, they get a phone call from work. They close your website.

There’s a good chance that is your last time to see them.

Did you know that there is a way to bring them back? In this blog post, you will learn all about retargeting marketing.

  1. What is retargeting marketing?
  2. Platforms to use for retargeting
  3. Effective retargeting strategies
  4. Key takeaway

What is retargeting marketing?

Retargeting marketing—or simply, retargeting—is the practice of using personalized ads to remind your past visitors to return to your website and check out your products and services or to complete their purchase.

According to LinkedIn, only 2% of visitors convert on their first visit to a website. By retargeting those who visited your website then left without purchasing, you entice them into coming back to your website and convert.

For example, let’s say the person looking for Christmas lights earlier (let’s call them Alex) got a phone call from work and closed your website. If your company invests on retargeting marketing, they would be seeing ads of those Christmas lights even on other websites. That means they get to be more familiar with the brand and product of your company until they decide to check out your website again and eventually make a purchase.

Thing is, 49% of consumers need to visit your website 2-4 times before purchasing anything from you. So if they aren’t coming back after that initial visit, how will they make that purchase?

How effective is it? A 2018 statistic says that leads who see your retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert. And not just that, but those who abandon their carts are also more likely to come back and complete their purchase, with conversion rates rising to 26% from a measly 8% from non-retargeted leads.

Retargeting also has been found to increase branded search results by at least 500% and deliver a 700% increase in website visitors “due to improved ad exposure.”

What is the difference between retargeting and remarketing?

Yes, retargeting and remarketing are two different strategies.

Retargeting is when you “target” a customer based on their activity (and cookies) by showing them your ads even after they leave your website. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been “followed” by a certain brand or product that you’ve Googled once, that’s retargeting at work.

Remarketing is when you collect the information of your leads so you can send them sales and marketing emails. For example, check your “Promotions” tab in your email. You’ll see there are a couple of offers from various companies you’ve purchased from or signed up for before.

How does retargeting marketing work?

When your leads enter your website, they leave cookies. According to Google, “Cookies are files created by websites you visit. They make your online experience easier by saving browsing information.” Cookies basically give you the personalized experience you have on the internet.

There are two kinds of cookies: first-party and third-party cookies.

The difference is that first-party cookies are the ones created by the site you’ve visiting. For example, if you sign in to my podcast website, The Leadership Stack Podcast, you can keep yourself signed in there because the site has created cookies.

Third-party cookies are created by other sites. For example, here’s the homepage of CNN:

CNN homepage

(I visited ReadyCloud to get statistics on retargeting, now I’m seeing their ad!)

To display their ads, third-party cookies are essential. What happens is that advertisers are using your first-party cookies with third-party cookies so they can retarget you even as you leave their website.

The interesting part is that support for third-party cookies were announced to be removed by Google by 2023. I won’t get into the alternatives here, but you can read this extremely useful blog post by Mateusz Rumiński on how retargeting will work without third party cookies.

When should you use a retargeting marketing campaign?

Simple—you use a retargeting campaign when you want your leads to come back to your website.

Whether it’s because they haven’t purchased anything yet, they abandoned their cart, or you have new products or bestsellers you think would catch their eye (and again, lead them back to your website), you should be retargeting your leads.

Platforms to use for retargeting

There are three major platforms that you can use to retarget your leads and bring them back to your website.

Google Display Network

Google Display Network has a massive reach, so using this platform would be essential in successfully retargeting your leads.

Google Display Network

Image from WordStream

To use this platform for retargeting, what you need to do is to add a “pixel” or “tag” to your website for your visitors to get added to your retargeting audience through browser cookies.

Through the Google Display Network, you can show your past visitors ads as they visit the different Google partner sites. You can also create various lists for your leads so your retargeting campaigns will be more personalized and relevant.

Meta (Facebook)

We have all been followed by ads even on our social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. That is because Facebook also allows retargeting campaigns on its platform.

Facebook Retargeting

Same with Google, you just need to install a Facebook pixel that will enable you to track your visitors and their actions as they engage with your brand. You can also create lists for your leads so your campaigns can get more personal.

LinkedIn

Last but not the least, you can use LinkedIn for your retargeting campaigns as well.

LinkedIn Retargeting

To use this platform, you need to install their LinkedIn Insight Tag to your website so you can retarget them using ads on LinkedIn. They also have demographic segments for more personalized retargeting marketing campaigns.

Effective retargeting strategies

Retargeting marketing, like any kind of marketing, also needs strategy to be effective. And as always, personalization is the name of the game.

Segment your audience

I cannot stress this enough. Audience segmentation is one of the main things you should be doing, whether it’s remarketing or retargeting. When you segment your audience, you are able to give them more relevant and personalized ads.

You can segment your audience by behavior, intent, or demographic. Then you can show them ads that are relevant to the lists you’re putting them in.

For example, you can show an ad to your past visitors who viewed your Christmas decorations but left before engaging anything. The ad you will be showing them will be different to those who added the decorations to their carts but left without purchasing, or those who are looking at non-Christmas-themed decorations instead.

Choose the right platform

The next question is, where is your target audience hanging out?

If your past visitors (whom you’ve segmented) prefer LinkedIn over Facebook, then it would not make much sense to invest on retargeting campaigns in Facebook. If they have no social media accounts, then Google Display Network would be the best platform for you to use.

This is why understanding your audience is a big deal. You don’t want to waste money creating retargeting campaigns that they won’t be seeing anyway.

Another reason is that although 30% of recipients of targeted ads react positively to being targeted, bombarding your audience with targeted ads can seem… creepy, that’s why there are calls to ban targeted ads. So make sure you don’t overstep your boundaries. Remember, you still want to give your customers a good experience with your brand, and the goal is to entice them to come back, not to scare them away.

Have easily recognizable and pleasing ads

Your retargeting marketing campaigns will be useless if your ads look generic. Make sure your leads know it’s you at first glance, and make sure they look good.

You can opt to A/B test your ads as well. A/B testing is when you change certain aspects of your ad or email such as copy, titles, or graphics to gauge what works well with your audience. By knowing what your audience prefers, you get to run better, more effective retargeting campaigns.

Use tools for retargeting marketing

You can also opt to use tools for your retargeting marketing campaigns. One such tool you can use is AnyTrack. As we’ve mentioned before, “AnyTrack is a conversion tracking platform that consolidates all of your conversion data from your website, whether it’s organic, paid, or direct, and sends it over to the marketing and analytics platform that you use. All of these using a single line of code only.”

AnyTrack

This means that whatever your visitors do on your website, you get to know about it and you can make retargeting campaigns based on their behavior. You can sign up using my referral link here.

Key takeaway

Letting your past visitors leave without engaging your site and converting is a huge mistake. Running retargeting marketing campaigns is one of the most effective ways you can bring them back to your site, so it’s integral to do it and to do it right. There are strategies, platforms, and tools you can use to successfully convert your past visitors, so make sure you learn them and utilize them.

Did this guide help you? Let me know by commenting below!



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Inflation’s Impact On Ad Spend Detailed In Merkle Report

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Inflation’s Impact On Ad Spend Detailed In Merkle Report


The leading technology and data-driven customer experience company, Merkle, released its quarterly Performance Media Report last week.

Research from the past quarter shows valuable insights into marketers’ priorities, challenges, and performance.

With over 57% of respondents indicating an increase in paid search spend YoY, these findings are especially crucial as we face economic challenges and uncertainty.

I sat down with Matt Mierzejewski, SVP of Search at Merkle, where he provided his take on some of the most glaring stats from the Performance Report.

Prioritizing Privacy And Measurement

From the Merkle report, 45% of respondents stated that getting accurate reporting in the face of privacy regulations is a top priority in measurement.

Many companies are likely in the same boat but may not know where to start.

Mierzejewski states: “Brands are big on cross-device measurement. Apple disrupted the measurement game. Many companies are looking to build their data warehouses for multiple reasons:”

  • Too much reliance on individual platforms. The more conversions are modeled in a platform, the less perfect a company’s individual measurement is.
  • They’re tired of black box solutions. Brands want to be able to own or change the way they model conversions.

Mierzejewski also noted that with more brands looking to build their own reporting solutions, it changes the dependency from the platform conversion truth to their own conversion truth.

Prioritizing Audiences & First-Party Data

Looming privacy regulations have kickstarted the need for brands to create and manage their first-party data.

However, only 35% of respondents prioritize managing audiences and first-party data.

I asked Mierzejewski: “what do you see as the macro implications of so many companies waiting on this?”

He responded with a few points:

“From a digital perspective, they’re shifting towards getting their creative and messaging right.” If you’ve interacted with a brand, you’ll notice how consumer expectations have shifted.

“An implication of deprioritizing audiences and first-party data is poor customer experience.” Not prioritizing these crucial aspects of marketing will accelerate the deceleration, or further remove, the customer feeling connected to that brand.

“You have to use those unknown audience signals to your advantage to meet the expectations of consumers and beat out the competition.” For example, In-Market audiences from Google releases more signal and intent of propensity to buy. They’re allowing those signals to be in the open market.

Mierzejewski summarized: “It misses out on the opportunity for the best customers. You’ll be left competing for the worst customers!”

Paid Social Growth In 2023

An overwhelming 67% of respondents prioritized paid social more this year than 2021.

The growing number of social platforms with ad opportunities is a partial factor in increased prioritization.

When asked about what social platform would see the most growth in 2023?

“If we’re talking raw dollars, Facebook and Instagram will still win,” Mierzejewski stated.

Further, he notes: “If we’re looking at percentage growth and who to watch for, it’s TikTok.” Matt shed some light on user projections, with TikTok’s growth projected to surpass Snapchat next year.

Inflation Is Driving Faster Adoption Of Machine Learning

With inflation costs, adopting automation and machine learning may be put on the backburner.

Not according to the Merkle Performance Report.

  • 41% of respondents are beginning to take action on automation and machine learning strategies
  • 38% of respondents have made significant progress in their ML strategies

So, why is inflation driving faster automation adoption?

“Inflation is just one element. It goes hand-in-hand with the last few years. COVID accelerated Ecommerce and the digital world for many companies,” Mierzejewski noted. He went on to say:

“There’s greater scrutiny on the investments in companies. They are trying to beat the market and the competition. There’s pressure for leaders to be tied into the data and marketing measurement.”

Let’s not forget one of the most critical aspects: resources.

Mierzejewski finished by noting that if companies are having trouble hiring individuals, they’re trying to do more with less. They have to rely on automation to supplement the workload.

Inflation’s Impact On Advertiser Strategies

We’ve seen the stats on increased advertiser costs YoY.

We have a better understanding of what marketers are prioritizing in the future.

Amid economic factors that companies can’t control, advertisers might not know how or where to pivot their strategy. When posed with this question, Mierzejewski provided his expert opinions.

“Expect double-digit changes to ad spend.”

Whether the above statement refers to an increase or decrease in ad spend, this change is based on a mixed bag of strategy, cash flow, inventory positions, and the vertical.

“The economic pressure reminds me of 2008 – the downturn of the digital sphere. Some clients will pull back on ad spend. Others may take the opportunity on the downturn and have double-digit growth,” Matt commented.

CPCs will likely decline.

In these types of environments, CPCs are likely to go down. This could allow advertisers to shuffle dollars based on what will work hardest for them.

Matt notes, “If you can be bold, it’s the time to do it.” The decreased CPCs become a buying opportunity for advertisers with the financial capacity to spend more.

“Don’t over-pat yourself on the back.”

Mierzejewski emphasized, “Be careful on the data.” He explained that with inflation and rising costs, you may also see a natural rise in revenue.

For example, if you’re seeing a 10% lift in sales but spent 15% more in advertising or COGS, that can provide a false narrative in growth. The 10% increase in revenue may be attributed to inflation costs and, in this case, shows a decline in profitability.

Summary

The Q3 Performance Marketing Report provides invaluable data to unpack.

If you haven’t yet taken action on privacy regulations, you’re not the only one.

And while inflation, privacy, and other economic impacts can cause shifts in performance trends, they’re not the only factors.

The paid media landscape changes every day. Use this to understand how others in the space are shifting priorities and strategies and what this means for you.

You can download your copy of the Performance Marketing Report here.

A special thank you to Matt Mierzejewski, SVP of Search at Merkle, for taking the time to address these statistics and providing additional insights.


Featured Image: PopTika/Shutterstock





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Google Maps Testing New Local Panel With Images & Tabs

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Google Maps Testing New Local Panel With Images & Tabs


Google Maps is testing a new local listing interface where it shows more images in the top portion of the local listing and there are tabs to show the business overview on the left and the reviews on the right.

Here is a screenshot I took from the video recorded by Punit on Twitter:

click for full size

Here is his video so you can see it in action:

In 2017, Google rolled out the tab interface like this for local panels in Google Search but I don’t think it launched in Google Maps.

I think I like the tabbed approach, since reviews for many local listings are super important.

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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Small Business Search Trends On The Rise In 2022

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Small Business Search Trends On The Rise In 2022


A new report from Semrush reveals searches related to small businesses, particularly ‘opening’ a small business, are on the rise.

The report details the business categories and specific search queries gaining traction and offers insight into what areas of marketing businesses are investing in.

Data in the report is based on the keyword and search volume intel collected by Semrush.

After analyzing the traffic growth trends to organic search performance over time, Semrush shares which small business categories manage to do better online.

Here are some key highlights from the report.

Search Trends Around Opening A Business

Looking at search volume for various searches that indicate an intent to open a business, the report finds:

  • Over the past four years, the number of “open business” searches has grown by 21%.
  • The majority of “open business” searches occur in January and March.
  • From 2018 to 2022, searches for all things related to starting a small business spiked by 76%.

Most Popular Small Business Categories

While general interest in starting a small business is spiking, search volume indicates aspiring business owners are looking to open boutiques:

  • Almost one-fifth of all entrepreneurs-to-be want to open a boutique.
  • starting an Etsy business looks attractive to almost one-fifth of all the searchers.
  • Vending machines appear to be gaining the most significant traction, as the category broke into the second spot of most-searched small businesses.

Analyzing search trends across regions, the report finds:

  • The “Etsy, cleaning, boutique” triad is present—fully or partially—across each state’s top 3.
  • In exactly half the states, coffee shops also make it into the top 3 most searched small business categories.
  • Montana and Vermont searchers also consider delivery services as a potential undertaking.

Most Frequent ‘Small Business’ Related Searches

Half of all the top small business-related searches are related to financing.

Here are the top queries, ordered by average monthly searches:

  1. Small business loans
  2. Small business grants
  3. Small business administration
  4. Small business ideas
  5. How to start a small business

Small Business Searches Related To Marketing

Keyword stats indicate small business owners try to embrace all the up-and-coming trends:

  • Searches for digital marketing services surged by 1,500% (especially fast during the pandemic).
  • Interest in creating short videos for small businesses grew by 420%.
  • 600% more people were looking up free text message marketing in 2022 than in 2018.

Small Business Site Categories With the Highest Traffic Growth

The report finds the average traffic growth for small businesses across the board was 2900%.

Semrush states:

“This means that over the past 4 years, most of the websites within our client list managed to expand their visitor base.”

Top 10 Small Business Site Categories By Share of High-Ranking Organic Keywords

The report explores which small business site categories have the largest share of high-ranking organic keywords.

Here are the categories listed in order, followed by the median number of organic keywords where the domain ranks in the top 10

  1. Publishing: 45,581
  2. Online Media: 10,116
  3. Veterinary: 9,379
  4. Entertainment: 6,627
  5. Consumer Services: 3,518
  6. Consumer Goods: 3,339
  7. Building Materials: 2,957
  8. Music: 2,593
  9. Human Resources: 2,145
  10. Food & Beverages: 1,839

What’s interesting to note here is how the top 10 categories by high-ranking keywords don’t line up with the fastest-growing site categories by traffic. Semrush suggests this could mean ranking for a high number of keywords might not directly lead to traffic growth.


Featured Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock





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