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Why Isn’t Remarketing Working For Your Business?

Why Isn’t Remarketing Working For Your Business?

Remarketing is hailed by many marketers as the holy grail of targeted advertising.

What better way to increase your conversions than to target those that have already engaged with your brand in some way. Having spent some time on your website or landing pages shows at least some legitimate interest in your brand or what you have on offer.

By using smart tech from the likes of Google and Facebook you can gather data on these sites through the use of ‘pixels’ a small piece of code that tracks visitors movements throughout the web. You can t hen hit those visitors will well thought out and designed ads.

Unfortunately, the realities of remarketing don’t always live up to expectations. Poor returns can often be found which ultimately means many marketers do not return to using the tool based on poor performance. 

However, like anything, remarketing only works when you are doing it right. In this article we cover some of the main reasons why your remarketing may not be working and offer some remedies that will have your remarketing efforts hitting the spot in no time. 

Your ad is stale 

Ever seen a really clever billboard that made you double take?

However, hilarious, clever and to the point it was I bet after you passed it a few times you stopped noticing how clever it was. In fact, I bet after the 5th or 6th time you might have stopped noticing it all together, it just became part of the environment.

The same thing happens with social adverts. Once a potential customers has seen your ad a few times it becomes repetitive and too familiar. This can lead to them simply glazing over the ad despite the fact that you are paying for them to see it.

A study by AdEspresso showed that Click Through Rate on ads seen more than 5 times drastically dropped. This trend also correlated to steep increase in Cost Per Click after the ad had been seen five times.

To remedy this, try changing your ads up.

In the case of the Google Search Network ads, altering your key messaging within the text will give them a fresh look and feel. This is easier still with the Google Display Network and social ads where altering the graphics can give an ad a new lease of life and reignite interest from your remarketing efforts.

Staying still

It may seem a little creepy to us, but one of the most powerful aspects of remarketing is the ability to ‘follow’ your potential customer throughout their online journeys. The repetition of seeing your brand, product and services has a powerful mental effect on those that see them.

Practically this means that when someone has visited your website you can advertise to them across social media networks, other websites and in search results.

However, many marketers pick and choose too few places to show their ad to customers. Selecting just a few sites for display ads, a few keywords for search ads or just a few mediums on social.

Of course, relevancy is key. Showing display ads in locations that are relevant to your brand is certainly more powerful than a scatter gun approach.

Yet selecting a number of mediums to remarket through gives your campaigns more depth and will make your business look much bigger than it necessarily is. Combining social, display and search remarketing lets you tap into unparalleled reach and massively increase brand engagement.

Not getting personal enough 

Get a pixel. Put it on your site. Remarket to everyone.

This is the remarketing strategy that many marketing professionals take and it usually fails.

Arguably, everyone who visits your website has some interest in your brand offering. However, unless you sell exactly one product or service with zero variation you are missing out on some seriously powerful personalisation.

Both social and display ad providers offer you the ability to segment your audience. This allows you to tailor your campaigns to those that have shown interest in different aspect of your website or taken specific actions.

Google highlights a number of areas that can be segmented for greater remarketing success:

  1. Homepage viewers – this is likely to be the most generic list, remarketing should focus on delivering a generic brand message.
  2. Category page viewers – those that have shown specific interest in one product category, this segment can be used to target a range of products you know they are interested in.
  3. Product or offer page viewers – even more specific than the category segment, these can be used to advertise a specific product or offer that an individual has viewed.
  4. Basket abandoners – this is a very powerful remarketing list, those that have added items to a basket and then come away from the site. This list can be used to remarket those items, but it can also be used to remedy pain points. For example, if you believe they left without buying because of postage costs you can remarket an offer for free or discounted delivery to get them back on board.
  5. Past converter – it should be no surprise that those which have converted before should be the easiest to convert again. For example, if a customer has purchased a particular product you can use remarketing to upsell complimentary services or products.

Most engaged = most valuable 

It is clear that failing to segment your remarketing data is leaving a lot on the table.

Another way to ensure that you are getting the best return on your investment in remarketing is by refining the segments we have highlighted in the previous point by the time they actually spent on the site.

For example, when remarketing on Facebook you can narrow your segments based by time spent on page. This can be done by percentage, a general rule of thumb says is that you should remarket to the top 25% based on time spent on page. Although this can be narrowed down based on results and the number of people visiting the page.

Doing this means you are only investing in remarketing to the most engaged people in your site.

Not understanding your audience 

Being able to remarket to those that have accessed your site doesn’t mean you automatically understand them.

Use analytics to see exactly who has been visiting your website. These are available both through Google Analytics and the Facebook Business Manager platforms. These platforms can give you information on who is visiting and engaging with your site such as their age, gender and location. It can also tell you which content they are interacting with the most.

Making full use of analytics is a whole different subject for another time. However, understanding these key elements means that you can tailor your ads specifically to those that will be receiving them. Changing copy to match their tone of voice and tailoring the graphics to match that which they are most likely to find interesting and engage with.

Failing and not learning 

Many a marketer has painstakingly set up their remarketing campaign just for it to fall flat after launch.

Most chuck in the towel, hailing remarketing as a waste of time. But others use the opportunity to tweak and learn. The fact that you are reading this article means you are probably the latter.

There are many factors which make up a successful ads, from location to copy to content. Playing with these elements and improving them based on your results is a fantastic way to improve the success of your remarketing campaign.

This can also be done from the outset, by using A/B testing features that help you compare a number of variable factors and pick which ads are working best.

Combined approach 

Our final point isn’t strictly a reason why your remarketing isn’t working, but a tip on how it should be combined with other tools to increase your success and grow your effective reach.

Your remarketing list is a powerful tool that can be used to create a ‘lookalike audience’ on many platforms. This allows you to create an audience which has similar characteristics to your original list.

Using your lookalike list in parallel with your remarketing list is a good way to increase your reach based off the data that you have already captured from those that have visited your site.

It is clear that taking a more considered approach to remarketing is going to generate a better return on your ad spend. Taking small steps such as creating segmented lists and understanding your audience demographics and interests allows for your ads to be more tailored to the audience, ultimately this will return greater desired results such as clicks or interactions.

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Peter Johnson
Peter is a Google AdWords specialist, with associated skills in Bing Ads, Twitter Ads and Facebook Advertising.