Generally speaking, only about 2% of consumers convert on their first visit to a website. For some companies, that 2% may generate enough purchases or leads to reach their sales goals, while others will need to expand their marketing strategy to improve their bottom line. So how can an advertiser capitalize on the other 98%? Well, the bulk of users visit sites out of curiosity or in response to a marketing campaign meant to drive site traffic. Advertisers should find value in customers who visited their site but didn’t convert because their initial intrigue is already established. This is where ad retargeting comes into play.
Ad retargeting involves the placing of a discrete and nonintrusive pixel on a company site. When a consumer visits the site, the pixel drops a tracking cookie on their browser. Once the user leaves the site, the cookie stays in place and notifies a retargeting provider of when to serve an ad. For example, a user could browse a site for shoes. They decide not to buy anything and continue to browse the internet on other sites. If they happen to visit a particular site on which a retargeting provider bids for ad space, they will be served an ad related to their recent search history from the highest bidder. The bidding process itself is instantaneous and automated.
Why is it Successful?
Ad retargeting is intrinsically conversion-driven. Its sole purpose is to generate sales or leads rather than drive users to a site. Additionally, it targets consumers who are more likely to convert given their browsing history and implied interest. When a retargeting provider places an ad, they are reminding the buyer of the exact thing they already saw, tempting them to go back and complete the purchase or lead.
Retargeted ads are especially effective when segmented. For instance, someone who browses shoes will see different ads than someone who shopped for dresses, even though the ads derive from the same site. An ad’s similarity to the original product the consumer sought is directly proportionate to conversion rates. Ad retargeting campaigns are highly customizable, allowing an advertiser ideal placement for maximum revenue.
Companies that implement ad retargeting as a supplement to their overall marketing strategy see a higher ROI on average than those who don’t. Retargeting can be used for retail and B2B companies alike. No company is too big or too small; in fact, smaller companies that invest in retargeting efforts will appear bigger than they are to their users.
How to Start?
Ad retargeting is simple to use and worth the expenditure. To start, advertisers must create cookies that will help them differentiate customers by their behavior. A certain cookie placed on any particular page should directly relate to the ads that later show up for that user. The retargeted ads should not only be relevant but also have a clear call-to-action button and an specialized offer that motivates consumer interaction.
To make their campaigns more effective, advertisers can use frequency caps and burn pixels. Frequency caps prevent ads from reaching a consumer too often while burn pixels prevent ads from reaching consumers who have already converted. Both tools allow a company to stay present without bombarding their target demographic. The constant barrage of ads from a certain site or brand can cause banner blindness, meaning the display ads are no longer effective as a use has grown immune from overexposure. Frequency caps and burn pixels can prevent banner blindness and therefore save companies from wasting marketing funds.
Overall, ad retargeting is an essential component to a successful marketing campaign. While it shouldn’t be the sole marketing tactic and isn’t meant to generate site traffic, it can significantly increase conversion rates for any company. Those who fear privacy infringement can be assured that the pixels placed for retargeted ads don’t collect sensitive information about a user and therefore do not violate anyone’s privacy. If they no longer want to see ads from a given site that is being retargeted, they simply need to clear their browser cookies and their searching can continue undisturbed.
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