It is funny how so few people know about content remarketing. Some confuse it with usual content marketing, but it is actually a separate technique that has its own aims and practices involved. Here’s a complete guide to content remarketing.
What Is Content Remarketing?
“Basically, content remarketing helps you attract the attention of your site’s past visitors to prompt them to take further steps. It is something like a second hook that works perfectly after the first one wasn’t as successful as you expected,” says Marie Fincher, Head of Content at Trust My Paper.
Content remarketing strives to capture the attention of your site’s visitors to make them come back to your website and complete an action they didn’t make during their first visit. This can be anything from purchasing your product to subscribing to your newsletter. Content remarketing is like that second chance you needed desperately. Remarketing helps you to:
- Increase brand recall and branded searches.
- Turn abandoners and bouncers into leads.
- Improve the repeat visitor rate and engagement.
- Increase the effectiveness of SEO.
Content Remarketing: Google Display Network
Google Display Network also known as GDN is one of the largest remarketing networks in the world. It has over two million sites in the network with nearly any site you could think of. It includes some of the big sites Google owns such as YouTube and Gmail. AdMob is also there which means you will be able to make your ads show up in mobile apps. The only major site that is not included is Facebook.
In this article, you will learn how to use GDN for remarketing and maybe become an expert in it after some practice. In addition to GDN, you can also use Replug (a platform for link shortening, tracking, optimization, and deep analytics) and Content Studio (a content marketing and social media management platform) which are both quite valuable for content remarketing.
One of the best things about using GDN for remarketing is that it gives you a lot of reach. You will be able to find your tagged site visitors on the network several times per day across many different sites. In general, you will be able to connect with 84% of the people you tagged around 10 to 18 times per month.
The first step in remarketing is to create an audience of users that you will be remarketing to. This can include people who visited specific pages on your website or read your blog, but you will have to group them into separate audiences depending on your goals. By grouping your tagged site visitors into audiences, you will be able to reach out to only certain people and offer them relevant ads to prompt them to come back to you.
Another benefit of grouping your audience is that you can bid more aggressively. Consequently, this will lead to more impressions and higher ad positions. Some pages on your website such as the pricing or product pages are way more valuable than your blog. By selecting those who visited specifically your product and pricing pages, you will be able to provide them with higher value ads.
In order to define your audience, create a new remarketing list on GDN and define which website visitors you want to include and which you want to exclude. Don’t worry about cookies and such, because Google will take care of them itself.
Yet another great idea is to group your blog audience by the posts they read. So, for example, if you have articles on three different topics, create three remarketing lists for each of these topics’ visitors.
Setting Up Audience Membership Duration
Once you have your remarketing lists set up, you must decide on your audience membership duration. In remarketing, this refers to the number of days you follow a user around with your ads. This means that setting your audience membership duration to 30 days will make your site visitors see your ads for, you guessed it, 30 days.
The problem with deciding on the “right” audience member duration is that there is such an issue as ad fatigue which is a result of overly aggressive remarketing. Many experts believe that being too “creepy” with your ads may result in the loss of ROI of your campaigns or can even damage your brand. This is why so many marketers advocate for shortening audience membership duration, even though the reality seems to be different.
Fortunately, remarketing ads have shown to be way more effective than generic display ads. In fact, they stay effective even after ad fatigue starts setting in and viewers are more likely to engage with a remarketing ad they saw several times before than with a new generic display ad.
This brings us to the fact that being bold with your remarketing is the way to go. There is no need to be scared of being creepy simply because people don’t think you are by using remarketing. Set your audience membership duration for longer periods of time (something like three times your average sale cycle length). Having more impressions means a higher conversion rate while rotating several ads during one campaign can help you fight ad fatigue.
To help you create great content for your website, blog, and ads, use these tools and services: Grammarly (checks your grammar, spelling, and punctuation), Studicus (online writing service to make your content for you), Google Docs (allows you to share and edit word documents in real-time), Grab My Essay (another great online writing service), and Plagiarism Checker (checks your text for plagiarism).
Creating Content Remarketing Ads
Once you set up everything, you will only need to create the perfect ads for your remarketing campaign. Google Display Network currently offers fourteen display ad formats:
- Vertical Rectangle (240×400)
- Mobile Leaderboard (320×50)
- Banner (468×60)
- Leaderboard (728×90)
- Square (250×250)
- Small Square (200×200)
- Large Rectangle (336×280)
- Inline Rectangle (300×250)
- Skyscraper (120×600)
- Wide Skyscraper (160×600)
- Half-Page (300×600)
The format of your ads matters because this will decide where they appear. Same format ads compete against each other for positioning, while different ones don’t. Consequently, you must diversify your ads as much as possible so that you get more chances of your ad being placed in better positions.
Obviously, there are some ad formats that get more impressions than others. For instance, leaderboard and inline rectangle ads get over 25% of impressions, while banners get only 12%. The fourth place is held by wide skyscraper ads with over 10%. All the remaining formats get less than 10% of impressions, but they still perform quite well and shouldn’t be overlooked by you.
Likewise, there are certain emotions that draw people to your content and to your ads. Ads that promote such reactions as awe, laughter, amusement, and joy are said to work best. So, in order to create great ads, you should simply diversify them and make them easy for your audience to relate to on an emotional level.
Before we move on to the best tactics in content remarketing, it is important to mention one great tip: raising your click-through rates will reduce your click prices. This way, you will be paying for a greater volume of clicks, but they will cost you several times less. Just remember to have image ads rather than text-turned-image ads.
And now, finally, here are the best practices in content remarketing for you to use:
- Ads That Push To “Hard” Offers: The best way to get your ads working is to promote your best offers. If you have a bestselling product, make an ad for it, because this will make it sell even better and will help you get your other products selling too.
- Conversion Path Analysis: Do a conversion path analysis and figure out which pages the user usually visits before converting. Once you know what these pages are, target them with your ads.
- Ads That Push To Content: Your content maybe even more important to visitors than your products. This means that it may be better to target an article in your ad rather than promote a product page.
- Social Shares On Your Blog Content: Analyze your blog content and see which content gets the most shares to social media. This will give you a general idea of what kind of content people are interested in and you will be able to target your ads at those articles on your blog.
20 Examples of Remarketing & Retargeting
Lastly, to give you more ideas about how you can retarget your ads and remarket your content, here are twenty examples from the past:
- The Right Link: One of the biggest mistakes you can possibly do is sending your customers to the wrong place. Imagine you posted a picture of one product, but linked to another one. The person who clicks on the link wants to see the product on the picture, but once they see something different, they quickly lose interest. Instead of doing this, act like Kelley Blue Book on Twitter – link the corresponding product that is in the image you attach to the post.
- Customer Buying Window: A common misconception in remarketing is that you have to retarget potential buyers with ads for the product they haven’t bought. In reality, there are many customers who can’t afford certain products and have simply browsed through your catalog before and viewed these very products. As Rob Weatherhead, the owner of Agent Wolf, says, you must retarget these individuals only for a certain amount of time while their interest is still present. If they don’t convert during this time, it means they either decided not to purchase your product or bought something similar elsewhere.
- Separate Landing Pages: This is a mistake done not only by those who practice remarketing but also by many experienced marketers. Instead of linking their ads to separate landing pages, they simply link them to the homepage which is a big turnoff for many consumers. Neil Andrew, Marketing Manager at PPC Protect Limited, recommends creating separate landing pages for your ads and always linking to them.
- Cheap Alternatives: Philippe Côté-Léger, Marketing Director at Lab Urbain, believes that using Facebook and Google is not mandatory. You can follow suit and make use of cheaper alternatives that can prove to be just as effective as Google and Facebook. For example, a content discovery network like Outbrain offers inexpensive CPC.
- Dynamic Remarketing Ads: This is one of the simplest yet overlooked tips. Using dynamic remarketing tips is essential for getting the best results. For example, Ryan Scollon says that dynamic remarketing ads allow him to show ads with products that customers have viewed before. This makes the ads way more interesting instead of leaving them generic. The only thing to keep in mind when designing dynamic remarketing ads is that your imagery must be on point to capture the attention of your target audience.
- Email Promotion: Learning Success Systems has been implementing this technique into their strategy for quite a while now. They match their retargeting campaign with email promotion making it twice as effective. There is no logical explanation for why this works so well, but it has been proven to be successful for many businesses. Perhaps, people remember their emails once they see the ads.
- Reviews: Karen Sahetya, the founder of Brand Central Marketing, says that one of the best ways to build social proof is to use reviews for retargeting and remarketing. Those who viewed your products but didn’t make a purchase are more likely to buy once they see that others have had a positive experience with your brand and with some particular products of yours. It is the equivalent of someone considering buying a car in real life and a friend telling that person about their positive experience with this model.
- Social Proof: This is very similar to the previous example, but it is still quite different. Let’s look into this practice with the help of Birchbox. They have successfully integrated social proof into their retargeting ads. You can either send those who click on the ads to reviews of your products or include quotes from your past customers about your brand into the ads themselves among other things.
- Audience Segmenting: Audience segmenting is crucial for your digital remarketing campaign. Separating your targeted audience into those who have converted and those who haven’t will allow you to show corresponding ads to different individuals. This practice has been proven effective by many businesses that used it and Evoke Strategy LLC in particular. Its co-founder Devon Vocke says that audience segmenting has always helped them make their campaigns more effective.
- Best Offer: Displaying your best offer is essential for attracting the most attention. One of the best examples of this is Handy’s home cleaning retargeting banner that appears after a customer views other similar websites with home cleaning services. Making such ads catchy is also very important. They have to have bright colors, a promotional offer, and a call to action that stands out and speaks to the audience.
- Prioritizing Users: Joe Castro from Elevation says that prioritizing users that are close to completing a purchase is crucial for achieving more conversions. Those who added products to the cart or went as far as to get to the billing stage are more likely to purchase something than those who simply visited your homepage or product pages. Be ready to invest more in targeting the former ones and offer them free shipping or something similar to get them to convert.
- Potential Clients over Sales: Instead of focusing on making a sale, nurture potential clients. Take WordStream, for example. The company offered a free assessment instead of a discount for their products. Consequently, many customers let their guard down because they weren’t pressured into purchasing. WordStream offered a service of value related to what their customers wanted based on what their remarketing “sensors” detected. Always think of customers first and sales second.
- Urgency: Many marketers know of this simple characteristic that always works. Creating a sense of urgency will motivate your customers to complete the action you want them to faster. For example, Expedia uses urgency in their retargeting ads to prompt users to book travel from their site. Expedia uses irresistible deals with a last-minute offer and this works like a miracle. This is credited to the fear of missing out that most people experience when they see such ads.
- Interesting & Relatable: It has been said before, but it will never be old: make your ads interesting and relatable. There is also a great example of this technique. Mazda and Merchenta worked together to create ads that would attract more potential customers to test drive their cars. Merchenta built customized ads that were based on geographic radius matching individuals to the nearest Mazda dealership. The ads displayed the nearest dealership houses that had the specific Mazda car models that customers viewed online. This, in turn, raised the chances of these people visiting the saloon and test driving the car.
- Frequency Cap: Using a frequency cap can prevent overexposure. As Kyna Garrett from Strike Social points out, social media ads are everywhere, so applying a frequency cap can prevent potential customers from being overwhelmed by your ads. In fact, overexposure can be very damaging to your brand, so it is important to determine the right frequency (which is also not that easy). Find the perfect balance by testing different frequencies and then use the one that works best.
- Avoid Spammy Ads: Patric Kreidler from Power Digital Marketing talks about something very closely related to the previous example. Such ads as pop-ups, countdown ads, ads with sound on autoplay, and so on are seen as spam by many users and usually ignored. Moreover, they often lead to viewers associating them with a bad experience. Obviously, no brand would want that, so avoid using such ads at all costs.
- Emotional Connection: It has long been proven that ads that create an emotional connection in viewers are way more powerful than usual ads. For example, Think Engraved uses cute pictures in a combination with cute statements to draw a smile or make the viewer laugh. This draws in potential customers and hooks them onto what else the brand can offer. You can also add an extra something to such ads to make them even more appealing (e.g. a discount or a gift).
- Videos & Slideshows: What can be better than visuals that “speak” to the audience? Images are so common that most ads get lost even if they have a stunning design. This is why videos and slideshows are now becoming so popular. However, you must remember to keep your slideshows with no audio and disable autoplay on your videos. Otherwise, they can become annoying.
- Relevant Sites: Thomas Budnik from Auto Accessories Garage says that including only those sites that are relevant to your brand will ensure that you don’t waste your money for nothing and target only the relevant audiences. Before letting your remarketing campaign go live, check that only the relevant websites are included or the irrelevant ones excluded.
- Content Messaging: Last but not least, Robb Hecht has adopted a social content messaging strategy to help his remarketing efforts. This simply means that you use a special framework that breaks down your ads and serves them to customers at different stages of your sales funnel.
All in all, content remarketing is one of the best techniques to use in your online marketing strategy, and you will definitely get something useful out of it. Make sure to read this article carefully again to refresh your memory about what content remarketing is and how to use it properly.
Guest blog post by Kristin Savage who nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. She is a regular contributor to Best Essay Education and WOWgrade.