Last week, the social media world was abuzz with the news—Twitter announced its retargeting product. In Twitter’s own words:
With tailored audiences you can reach users on Twitter who have shown interest in your brand or your category even away from Twitter.
Of course, Twitter isn’t the first to offer retargeting. Google AdWords has had very sophisticated retargeting products on offer for a long time now. Big brands have also been using Facebook retargeting for a while. Now, Facebook retargeting is also more accessible and easy to use from right within the advertising interface.
With all the hoopla surrounding retargeting, I thought this would be a good time to discuss this trend and what we can expect from it going forward.
What Is Retargeting?
Let’s start with the basics. Retargeting, or remarketing, as it is also known, is really quite simple. When a Web user visits your site and then leaves without taking the desired action (e.g., making a purchase), you can use retargeting to advertise your product to them around the Web.
For example, if I’m in the market for some new boots, I usually start by doing some window shopping on a couple of online stores. I’ll make a mental shortlist, leave the site and then decide it’s time to do some work.
While reading up on the latest Internet marketing news, I’ll see an ad from Nordstrom pop up on the right-hand side. It’s the exact pair of boots I was looking at before! Later on, I’ll log on to Facebook and see Nordstrom showing me those beautiful boots again. This time, I give in. I click on the ad and the boots are mine.
Retargeting win for Nordstrom!
It sounds a bit stalker-like, I know. But in all its creepy glory, remarketing really works! I checked out four online stores, but Nordstrom was the only one that chose to remarket the boots to me. It knew how much I wanted the shoes, took advantage of it and it worked. I made the purchase from them instead of going to a competitor.
How Does Retargeting Work?
For remarketing to work, you will need to insert certain pixels on the pages of your website that you want to use for retargeting. This pixel (a small snippet of code) will then help you create lists of users you want to target (based on their behavior). You can then create advertising campaigns designed to show only to this list of users.
Remarketing For Affiliates
Until now, remarketing has mostly been used by brands. Affiliate marketers are not taking advantage of this behavioral marketing practice as much as they should.
By embedding remarketing pixels on your website, you can start gathering valuable insights on your customers. For example, say you are an affiliate for a dating site. When users signs up for a dating site via you, you are able to capture some interesting information about them. With the help of your retargeting pixel, you are then able to create a list of English-speaking male signups to a Russian dating site.
You may make $25 from a dating site referral, but by capturing this data, you can also continue to upsell to this list. If the men on your list speak English, you could potentially upsell them to a Russian language product. You could also promote Russian travel affiliate products to them ... or could they find a flower delivery service useful?
After capturing email addresses for your list, you could use your retargeting data to successfully promote relevant products and services via email marketing. No more big blasts without any real focus on who the audience is. Your email marketing efforts can also be super targeted now.
The beauty of capturing remarketing data is not the data itself, but the ways in which you can use this data. Capture important and relevant information and then think out of the box about ways in which you can remarket to them. The possibilities are endless!
Retargeting – Going Forward
Retargeting has been big in 2013. I’ve had more ads stalk me online than ever before and I predict the numbers are only going to keep growing in 2014. AdWords, Facebook and Twitter are going to continue to fight it out in their bid to attract advertisers to their own retargeting product. Fewer advertisers are likely to rely on conversions from first-time visits alone. Remarketing will help advertisers nag customers to buy the product until they give in.
While researching this article, I ended up on AdRoll, a retargeting platform. To prove they're good at what they do, they are now retargeting me on Facebook. Check out the ad below.
As consumers, we’re going to see more targeted advertisements on the Google Display Network, on Facebook and now even in our Twitter timeline. As affiliate marketers, we need to step it up and start using retargeting to build out our lists for even more profitability.
What are your thoughts on retargeting? Annoying or clever? Would you use it?
P.S. Remarketing can be a tricky concept to get your head around without a basic knowledge of paid advertising. Don't forget to check out our free guide to pay-per-click advertising to get started.