Close your eyes and imagine yourself in your ideal business market. In this market, your product is readily accessible to your perfect demographic and they are aware that you are the very best provider for that particular product. They recommend you to all their friends and family and you don’t need to run expensive advertising campaigns because your word-of-mouth business is sufficiently strong enough to keep your business running smoothly.
Now open your eyes and welcome back to reality. In the real world, you have many competitors who provide similar if not the exact same products and services that your company provides. You may have stellar customer service and great low pricing models, but how do you stand out against the mass of other businesses? If your company does any sort of business online, or if you only have a website, setting up a remarketing campaign can be the most profitable addition to both paid and organic campaigns.
Remarketing campaigns work by tracking the customers that visit your website, either through paid advertising via pay-per-click advertising models like Google Adwords, or through organic traffic that reaches your site either directly or through search engines. It tracks your visitors by depositing a tracking cookie in their browser and follows them to other websites they visit and shows them an ad of your choosing. Now, before we get too far down the Big Brother tunnel here, searchers have the option to disallow cookies from websites used in such a manner. Searchers can clear their cache, and you as the advertiser have the option to weed out specific searchers at set the number of days these searchers are followed. There are many options for people to disallow this cookie, so do not worry about invading someone’s privacy. They can unsubscribe at any time.
Within the Google Adwords platform, you build your remarketing campaign like you would build any other advertising campaign, with a few slight variations. Remarketing works with lists of audiences. The audiences that it includes are entirely based on the end goal of your ad and how far down the purchase funnel your audience has gone. Here are a few examples:
Homepage – if the customer has only made it to your homepage but bounced off before learning anything specific about your brand or converted in any way, you should consider this person in the awareness stage of the purchase funnel. This is a great opportunity to build your business name in the mind of someone who is already looking for something you can readily provide. The next time they see your ad while they are searching through another website, they will be more likely to follow through because they know you have what they need. Serve them an ad with just your logo and your name to build brand awareness.
Inner Pages – if your customer made it past your homepage, and have traveled through one or two inner pages searching for more information, they are within the interest stage of the purchase funnel. You can customize this remarketing campaign to show specific products to customers depending on what page they landed on. Build a remarketing campaign with ads specific to each product page (if you only provide a few) or one ad per category (if you provide hundreds of different products). This reminds your potential customer that you have all sorts of products, but also the exact product they were looking for, and at a great price too!
Specific Pages – If you provide a specialized product or service, and your average potential customer has a really low bounce rate from those specific pages, you should consider those customers to be in the evaluation stage of the purchase funnel. They know the product they want, they know how much they are willing to spend on it, and they are looking for the perfect company to provide it to them. If you think that you are the perfect company for them, respond to these searches with ads that answer a question. Show them you are the company they should convert with by showing ads that toot your own business horn. Show awards you have won, brag about warranties on your products. Anything that shows your customer that you are hands-down a better choice than your competitors will help you convert at this particular juncture of the funnel.
Shopping Cart/Form Page – If your customer made it as far as your shopping cart or form pages but abandoned these pages to take off to parts unknown, they have done most of the work for you and are within the decision phase of the purchase funnel. If you don’t know where to track these things, visit your Google Analytics account and check out your Funnels page. These potential customers need to be reminded why they almost chose you to begin with. Show them ads with promotions that can be applied to the product they almost purchased. This could be the very thing that tips them over the edge from an almost to a full-on conversion.
Purchase – Customers who have already made a purchase on your website are all the way through the purchase funnel, but should never be neglected. They already know the benefits of shopping with your company, and if you are doing your job, they are happy and have no problem working with you again. Now is an excellent time to show them ads with similar products that they may also enjoy in addition to what they have recently purchased. If they bought bindings for a snowboard, show them ads for boarding goggles, beanies, gloves, or great discounts on lift tickets if you provide these products. Don’t worry about bugging people who have already converted. They may thank you for offering them solutions to problems they didn’t know they had by converting on your site again and again.
A Few Tips – if you are worried about customers finding your ads annoying, set a cap on the number of impressions, or number of times your ad is shown. This will limit exposure so customers do not feel harassed by your company, and also has the great side benefit of controlling some of your advertising costs. Customers may see your ad and click on it a few times before they convert, and those clicks can really add up.
Constantly rotate the creative in your ads and have multiple variations of your ad active at the same time. This helps to keep your marketing fresh in the eyes of your customer and also allows you to split test wording, coloring, and many other ad variations to figure out what message is working best towards your bottom line.