How to Use Retargeting Ads for Your Business in 2021

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Retargeting Ads

Convive Wines, a wine retailer, recently expanded its target market, introduced online ordering and delivery, and increased its ROI – all during a pandemic! How did they do it? With the help of SharpSpring Ads’ powerful artificial intelligence. You can check out the full Convive Wines case study for all the details – and get inspiration below on how to use retargeting advertising for your business to elevate your own marketing strategy.

Using retargeting ads for your business

You may have heard the marketing rule that it takes 6-7 “touches” before a person becomes your customer. In an era of high distractibility and overwhelmed choice, this is more true than ever. Advertising becomes a numbers game – how many times do you have to show someone an ad before they bite on it? Can you capture their interest every time?

While big brands have the resources to flood their audiences with ads, small and medium-sized businesses (like Convive Wines) don’t. This is where retargeting comes to the rescue. It’s a way of showing ads that takes into account a person’s previous activity. This means that you show more relevant messages, moving potential customers down the funnel and ultimately getting a greater return on investment from your advertising budget.

How retargeting advertising works

Retargeting campaigns assume that the target audience has already taken an action that “qualifies” them for your funnel. Using Convive Wines as an example, a person searching online for chardonnay will clearly be interested in their offerings. When they spend time on Convive’s website, it’s a clear sign that they are a qualified lead.

However, if they don’t make a purchase or sign up for the Convive Wines mailing list, the company has no way to get their information. They quickly disappear into the depths of the Internet. Retargeting fixes this situation by allowing them to be shown ads that remind them of the brand. Now 2 touches have been made that direct them deeper into the Convive funnel.

However, a simple reminder is not enough. People want their problems solved and their desires heard. In this case, you saw that a search for “chardonnay” led them to the site. They spent time on the “chardonnay” category page and then left. Would a retargeting campaign be effective if you showed them a generic merlot ad? Probably not: so the solution is to serve chardonnay ads and use their tastes – literally!

Retargeting is different than simply creating an ad audience, for example, you can ask Facebook to show a campaign to people who are interested in wine and are in the right neighborhood. Retargeting ads specifically track a previous action and show ads that either (a) remind the lead of that action or (b) respond to their interests with a detailed offer. This is also different from remarketing, which uses emails (such as abandoned cart reminders) to get people back into the funnel.

Types of retargeting

To show relevant ads to potential customers, a retargeting service (such as the SharpSpring Ads platform) analyzes data from cookies that users’ browsers collect every time they visit your site. You can then offer them ads based on their behavior (for example, they looked at a certain product but didn’t buy it) or context (for example, they bought one product and may be looking for similar products).

There are two types of retargeting:

Static retargeting assumes that each page on your site addresses a different segment of your audience. You can also link each of these pages to a specific position in your funnel. For example, a person who spends a few minutes on a chardonnay page but doesn’t make a purchase is a cool lead – now you know their wine tastes. You can offer them ads tailored to those interests.

Dynamic retargeting is a little more complicated, but it’s worth the effort if you sell a lot of different products. Amazon has perfected this approach: look at any set of Amazon ads and notice how their recommendations always look fine-tuned just for you! This style of retargeting collects information about each customer’s actions and dynamically generates ads that reflect their interests.

Why use retargeting?

It will help you cut through the noise

Even before COVID struck, people were spending more and more time online – and were flooded with ads and virtual content. When you’re at the top of every funnel, many brands start to seem the same to you. You might be looking for an online wine store, but you end up choosing the last one you remember. You’re also used to fast and convenient delivery, so if something doesn’t offer that, you look for another option.

This is the mindset of many modern consumers. They’re not going to do serious research or keep track of when and where they’ve come across a particular brand. That’s why it’s important to provide a consistent, multichannel experience that validates your customers. Retargeting allows you to stand out in a sea of messages, ads and websites.

Improves conversion rates

Repetition breeds familiarity, which builds trust. One of the main reasons leads don’t convert is that their objections override their initial desire. For example, someone considers buying from an e-commerce site, but then drops the cart because they’re not sure the product fits their needs. Unfortunately, only 3% of visitors never return to the site; there’s just too much noise.

A retargeting campaign brings them back into the funnel by learning about the benefits and features. If done right, it helps visitors resolve their objections and feel more confident about making a purchase.

Allows you to target a high-precision audience

When people first encounter your brand, they are usually looking for solutions. Retargeting allows you to recognize this problem and position your offer as the best option. And because people have already heard of you, they’re much more likely to reach out to you again. In fact, 65% of consumers are more likely to pay attention to an ad for a brand they’ve already seen elsewhere.

Most advertising audiences need to be broad enough, yet specific enough to generate interest. Finding the right balance can be difficult. That’s why retargeting is so effective: it allows you to (a) connect with those who have found you organically and/or may never have seen your ads at the top of the tunnel, and (b) provide highly targeted messages that drive conversions. The goal of retargeting is to make potential customers feel like you are reaching them directly.

However, this is only possible if you use an advertising platform that can track people’s activity on your site and then provide meaningful ads that reflect the buyer’s journey. Ideally, this platform combines multiple social channels and ad exchanges. (See how the SharpSpring Ads platform works).

Retargeting depends on good data

Of course, not all of your consumers are created equal. Retargeting needs to address their unique interests. The simplest campaigns target those who have visited your site – but don’t think that means they’re ready to buy. You may have to get them a little more fired up with ads. On the other hand, maybe your visitors don’t need convincing, and you just need to get them back to your site. Either way, you need to show them the right messages to inspire them to buy.

Let’s go back to the example of Convive Wines as a specialty wine retailer. In their situation, you could develop a retargeting campaign for everyone who visited your site. However, this covers a wide range of interests and contexts, such as:

  • Wine lovers of a certain type of wine.
  • Connoisseurs and sommeliers looking for rare or high-end brands
  • Previous buyers who want to try something new
  • New customers who are passionate about wine and spirits but are not yet convinced to buy from your brand.

Effective retargeting influences the buyer’s journey

A simple message of “Hey, you left something in your cart!” is often not enough. You need to engage those shoppers’ path and send relevant messages with ads that effectively:

  • Show your choice of a particular type of wine
  • Highlight your high-end wines
  • Recommend products related to a previous purchase
  • Explain a unique benefit of your brand (e.g., free shipping).

To send the right messages at the right time, you need an ad management platform that receives activity data from your site and then interprets it correctly for your campaigns.

Best practices for retargeting

Include a call to action. The people you retarget move down the funnel (become “warm”) as soon as they interact with your ads. So give them a clear call to action. It may or may not be a purchase. It could also be “sign up for a free trial” or something else, depending on your funnel. However, you are in a unique position to leverage their brand awareness. Make sure they know what their next step should be.

Eliminate bounced visitors. When someone comes to your site and immediately leaves, that’s the bounce. They tend not to be interested in your offer, so don’t place retargeting ads for them. It’s a waste of your advertising budget.

Keep your ads short, sweet and solution-oriented. Identify the main problem your potential customers hope to solve and make it the main theme of your ad. For example, during COVID there was a big demand for online wine delivery. Get to the heart of the problem for your potential chardonnay buyer: send them a retargeting ad advertising free delivery of good chardonnay.

Send ads to a dedicated landing page. This is best practice for all ads, but especially important for retargeting ads. Don’t send potential customers to a generic homepage where they have to search for information. Each campaign should link to the appropriate sales page, product page, etc.

Bottom line

A good retargeting campaign strengthens your brand and increases the profitability of your advertising. It’s especially effective if you’re changing your offerings, launching a new service, or trying to capture new audience segments. In all of these situations, it’s important to understand your customers’ buying path and offer them highly relevant advertising.

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