If you are, at all, familiar with Google AdWords, you have probably heard of the term remarketing. Even if you are not familiar with Google AdWords and you market using Facebook, you probably have come across the term remarketing. Make no mistake about it. Remarketing is one of the biggest trends in advertising in recent years. There is a good reason for that of course.
In many cases, remarketing works. As you probably already know, the whole point of online promotions and online advertising is to get a healthy return on investment. That is right. It is all about ROI. We are all shooting for a healthy return on investment. You really do not know what you are doing if you are advertising online and you turn a blind eye to ROI. To make it in online advertising and to get the results you need, you need to weigh all your online advertising options based on one thing, and one thing alone, ROI.
ROI, of course, can be measured in many ways. The only real measurement that can really impact your bottom line is conversion. You can say that online marketing is about branding, online marketing is all about awareness, that is all well and good, but at the end of the day there has to be some conversion. In other words, did money come in to your company? That is the bottom line.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of hype, and there is a lot of smoke in mirrors in the online advertising industry, especially if you are dealing with large advertising platforms. Large advertising platforms would like to get you to believe that you would get results, because they have a huge network, they have superior technology, and so on and so forth. But at the end of the day, the amount of money you spent must be outmatched by the amount of money you take in. In fact, you have to compare different returns on investment among different advertising avenues, to see which advertising method is worth your time and effort. That is the bottom line.
In this context, AdWords remarketing is getting a lot of attention. A lot of advertisers are saying that AdWords remarketing is the best thing since sliced bread. While that may be taking things a bit too far, there is a lot going for AdWords remarketing. Still, just like with any other advertising options available online, it does have its limits. It does not work for everybody, it is not an across the board solution. It is not a magic bullet.
Remarketing is a simple technology. When somebody goes into a certain part of your website, your website will plant a piece of code called the cookie in the browser of the person that visited your website. When that person visits other websites that run an advertising system in the background that can read the cookie that your website planted, the viewer will see ads advertising your website. In other words, remarketing is all about giving you another bite at the apple.
Originally, remarketing was invented for websites where the visitor almost bought, or filled out a form. For example, somebody clicks a link looking for shoes and ends up on your shoe retail site. This person goes through many pages and then goes to the order form, but at the last minute backs out. This is precisely the scenario remarketing was created to fix. Remarketing assumes that this person, in most cases, would have gone through with the transaction but for some sort of last minute decision. The whole point of remarketing is to remind that person of the value your website offers, so that your past visitor can come back to your website.
The thinking behind ad remarketing is actually pretty good. It is not taking shots in the dark, it is not random, it is very specific, it only targets people that have expressed interest in what you are offering. In fact, they have expressed such an interest that they actually went to certain pages on your website that indicates a high intention to buy. Ad remarketing originally was intended to work only on certain conversion pages, like order forms, sales pages, squeeze pages, and download forms among others. In other words, just because somebody ended up on your website’s home page, does not mean that person will get remarketed too. They have to go to a specific area of your website where there is a high indication that this person wants to convert.
Remarketing is supposed to remind people of your value proposition. That is the bottom line. Since all sorts of things can happen that got them to leave your website, the whole point of remarketing is to show your logo, your ads, and other visual reminders of your website, so they can come back. It is a mix between a gentle reminder and a nudge. With that said, ad remarketing also works on a psychological level. You have to understand, that just because somebody visited your home page, dug deeper into your website, and ended up on a conversion page, does not necessarily mean that that person will convert. There are a variety of reasons why they find themselves on a conversion page. There are also a variety of reasons why they leave the website. Still, the highest likelihood is that they would have converted, and they still can convert, if you remind them. That is how ad remarketing is supposed to work.
Some helpful remarketing tips from other industry pros.
Ad remarketing also works not just as a reminder system, but because it works with an old rule in advertising. The old rule is that, people do not usually act on a piece of advertising the first time they see that ad. In many cases, they have to see an ad seven times before they can act. What does this have to do with remarketing? After all, the person has been to your website, the person was ready to convert. Surely, the rule of seven does not apply to such a person, right? Wrong. The rule of seven can also be very drawn out. In many cases, people think that they are ready to convert, they go to your website, but they back out at the last minute. In other words, they still need further persuasion. In this situation, ad re-marketing makes a lot of sense, because it fits the rule of seven. The person might have a problem committing too early. By constantly reminding this person and re-branding this person, you can increase the kind of conversion you are looking for.
The sad reality with remarketing is that, too many advertisers use it as a blunt force instrument on their website visitors. If you do not know what I am talking about, try going to a top e-commerce website that advertises a lot on Google. You would notice that when you go to other websites that feature Google ads, it would feel that the e-commerce website you visited is following you. It would feel like that website is stalking you. That is because whoever set up their campaign, was not paying attention to certain features of the ad remarketing system on Google AdWords. This can be a serious turn off. You do not want to feel that you are being followed around the internet. It might almost feel like your privacy is being invaded. This is precisely what is happening with many companies that do not set up their ad remarketing system properly.
How do you fix this? First, you have to set the right frequency cap. In other words, you have to only show your ad so many times, through remarketing, within a fixed period of time. If that person still does not click, wait for a certain period of time and then your ads will show. This way, the person does not get burned out. Which leads us to the second problem with this type of remarketing, many advertisers end up shooting themselves in the foot, because they keep showing the same ad, or they even rotate ads, but it does not really matter. What happens is, the target burns out. There has to be a limit regarding remarketing. There has to be a point where it becomes abundantly clear to you, that this person is never going to convert.
Here are some remarketing case studies.
For some reasons, they originally found themselves on a conversion page on your website, but for whatever reason, this person is not going to convert. It does happen. So, there has to be a system where AdWords remarketing basically just lets these people go. They are not going to convert.
Finally, another common way advertisers screw up AdWords remarketing is that, they show the same ads. This highlights the feeling that you are being stalked. Nobody likes that feeling. Nobody likes to feel that somebody is following you. This is precisely what is happening if you feature the same ads over and over again. At the very least, if you are going to try AdWords remarketing, you have to use different ads. Try different contexts, different angles. You have to understand, whatever product or service you are pushing has different perspectives, and there are different ways to approach it. You have to show the ads from these different vantage points.
AdWords remarketing is a very powerful advertising option. However, just like with any powerful tool, you have to use it properly. It does not work in all situations. It is not a magic bullet. It is not a magic solution to all your online marketing problems. It works only in certain situations. Read the discussion above so you can fully wrap your mind around what this technology offers, and what its limits are.
Lewis Crutch runs the Marketing Bees blog that provides a wealth of information on a range of online marketing topics from SEO through to content marketing. He has a particular passion for both email marketing and social media marketing. To learn more please visit http://marketingbees.com