If it were a regular campaign, you could just create your ads and landing pages, put them up on a traffic source, click on a button, wait for approvals, and the campaign is good to go.
For paid traffic sources, the results are almost immediate and you’ll be able to see impressions and clicks coming through as soon as you launch.
Retargeting, however, is a different beast.
Retargeting tries to target visitors to your site who did not take any action that you intended them to take. To target those visitors, you’d need to build retargeting audiences first.
Since retargeting is almost always profitable and because it has the potential to bring your paid marketing costs down, it’s worth looking into how retargeting works.
Before you think of retargeting, you’d have to think about building audiences for your retargeting. Here’s how you build an audience for your paid campaigns:
Build Retargeting Audiences Before you Start Campaigns
You can build retargeting audiences regardless of the traffic source you use. Most of your efforts in building retargeting audiences will happen on the landing page level or the website level.
Audiences are built based on all visitors coming to any specific URL of your website, your root domain (like yourwebsite.com), and your landing pages.
If you receive traffic on a page, you’d ideally build an audience for the visits on that page.
You’d need a sizeable audience for your retargeting campaigns to be effective. For that reason alone, start building audiences from the start. You can decide when you actually want to run retargeting campaigns later.
Building Retargeting Audiences With Pixels & Shared Audiences
If you are big on Facebook Advertising, you’d be working with a Facebook pixel to help build your audiences, track visitors, and to gauge your campaign performance. If you are a Google Adwords user, you’d be using “shared audiences” to help build audiences for your websites and your landing pages.
For any other traffic source (and even if you were using Facebook and/or Google Adwords), it’d make sense to keep a general database of your audiences using Perfect Audience or Adroll.
With Facebook Pixels, your audiences are called as custom Audiences. With a definitive size of custom audiences already built, you can also let Facebook help build “lookalike” audiences.
Specify rules for granular targeting
Let’s say your landing page tracks visitors and clicks on a button (leading to an affiliate link to a merchant’s page or offer).
- As visitors drop on your landing pages and leave without doing anything, that’s one kind of target audience you’d be interested in.
- If people visit your landing page and “actually click” on the CTA, this is a different kind of an audience.
- For an ecommerce store, visitors who abandoned a “cart” is another audience.
Because you’ll dig deeper and strive to build finely targeted audiences such as those above, you’ll need to specify rules such as “visitors who visited this page but not that page”.
Inside Google Adwords “Shared Audiences”, for instance, you can specify rules as to what rules the visitors must pass before the audience database is populated. Taking a little effort upfront to formulate these rules helps you to define your audiences properly and to launch campaigns that are relevant and targeted.
Always keep Tracking
Most affiliates (and even regular businesses or merchants) don’t take the trouble to track their retargeting campaigns. Some platforms such as Adroll do make it easier to track your campaigns by just specifying a final URL (usually a thank you page) that visitors mush visit to count as a conversion (usually a sale or a signup).
If you are using Facebook or Google Adwords directly, be sure to track these as conversions by placing the Google Adwords tracking code or the Facebook Pixel on the right page and track those as conversions when you do retargeting.
When it all flows together, you’ll see that retargeting is truly under-utilised, extremely smart, and rewarding.
Better still, it slashes your campaign costs by more than 50% right off the bat.
Do you use retargeting? If yes, how is it going for you? If not, what’s stopping you from using it?