There are several different types of retargeting that your business can engage in, ranging from very simple to very complex. We’ll discuss some of the more popular ones below.
The most basic and easy to understand type of retargeting is site retargeting. This very simple version of retargeting simply consists of placing a retargeting pixel on your site and creating a retargeting audience out of anyone who visits it. Now that you’ve determined these people have an interest in, and familiarity with, your brand, you can then retarget them in the future as a “warm” audience and expect significantly better ad results than you’d experience with cold traffic.
Although site retargeting can be useful and is an excellent baby step towards your retargeting goals, it doesn’t present anything really custom tailored to your audience and, therefore, doesn’t really utilize retargeting to its full potential. Dynamic retargeting takes things a step further by taking your traffic’s specific behavior into account. Rather than just lump everyone who visits your site into one audience, dynamic retargeting reaches out to customers based on what specific products or pages they viewed. This way, you can ensure you are following users around the web with images of the specific product that they were interested in, rather than your brand in general. This makes things much more relevant for your audience and much more cost-effective for your business. Dynamic retargeting can also be taken a few steps further. Rather than simply targeting visitors based on products they viewed, you can also target people based on whether they eventually bought the things they put in their shopping cart. This can encourage people to come back to your checkout page and finish what they started. Furthermore, targeting people based on what they DID buy allows you to advertise upsells and cross-sells that are relevant to their purchases.
Social retargeting has dominated the field for the last couple years. The concept of native advertising on Facebook and Twitter (“native” means the ads look and feel like organic content) was already incredibly powerful by itself when first introduced. Throwing retargeting into that equation simply makes it even more powerful. Social retargeting works essentially the same way as the other types of retargeting except that it’s designed to target people specifically on social networks and especially in their newsfeeds/Twitter feeds. This can be done using those individual platforms’ own retargeting pixels on your web properties or the pixels of another retargeting provider.
Search retargeting is a little different from the other types of retargeting in this list in that it doesn’t rely on a pixel being installed on your web properties. Instead, it follows people around the web based on what keywords they previously placed into search engines. This shouldn’t be confused with search engine marketing or “search advertising” which simply places ads inside the search engine results. Rather, this targets people based on their search terms, but then follows them all around the web after they leave the search engine results.
Don’t let the name fool you. SEO retargeting, unlike search retargeting, actually does depend on people landing on a “pixelled” web property. However, the key in this type of retargeting is that it tells you what search terms a person used in a search engine in order to get to your web property. The data acquired here can then be exploited in your search retargeting campaigns.
A much less talked about type of retargeting is email retargeting. This requires leveraging the retargeting systems within your email marketing platform or CRM. With email retargeting, you can retarget people across the web based on how they interact with your email campaigns. You can show a certain ad to people who opened an email but didn’t click the link inside. You can show a re-engagement ad to people who haven’t opened your last five emails at all. Any email behavioral patterns that may be useful to your business can be exploited with this method. Theory is great. But understanding these tactics within the context of specific examples is even more useful. So that’s what we’ll be doing in the next article.
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