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The strategy that’s been working like gangbusters for me now combines social media’s power to generate traffic with retargeting’s ability to get users to act.

Together, social media and retargeting are a killer combo that takes full advantage of what both tools do best. Social media gets the word out, while retargeting keeps things fresh in the user’s mind and drives traffic back to you. Three exciting benefits of this strategy are:

  • Clients get a much quicker ROI from social media engagement.
  • Your clients get a huge boost in their brand’s authority (because their ads are seen on NYTimes.com and other top sites like FoxNews.com)
  • Retargeting sends engagement skyrocketing by helping move people from blogs to social media profiles.

What is Retargeting?

Before I get ahead of myself, I should probably do a little better job explaining exactly what retargeting is and how it works. In the simplest of terms, retargeting happens when you visit a website, typically a commercial or ecommerce related one, and that site places a cookie on your web browser.

That cookie (also called a “retargeting pixel”) triggers banner ads to display when you visit various sites on the web that have sold ad space to a retargeting network. Rather than have each online advertiser purchase exclusive banner space on a website, retargeting companies buy the space on a high traffic website, then resell the space to their own clients.

It’s like a digital advertising time-share, if that helps. The ad that appears in that space is different for each visitor because it’s triggered by the cookies that are stored in that user’s browser. The ads are personalized to that users’s shopping history. Typically, an advertiser will pay for each time their ad is displayed, a.k.a. an “impression” in the marketing world.


Now, from an advertiser’s perspective, this strategy is remarkable because it gives you a second chance to make your offer. In the past, advertisers had extremely limited window of time to get your attention and make an offer — like a 30-second radio jingle or the time it takes to turn a page.

If your ad didn’t get a prospect’s attention, you blew it. With retargeting, that’s no longer the case. In fact, you can take as many at bats as you’re willing to pay for. But the true genius of retargeting is how it boosts recall, while keeping advertising costs really low.

Just in case I’m tossing around too much meaningless jargon, let me give you the super simple definition of what advertisers refer to as “recall.” It’s pretty straightforward. Recall is when a person sees your ad and actually remembers (or recalls) information about the ad.

On TV and Radio, advertisers try to achieve this through repetition, which is why you want to throw them both devices out the window sometimes!

With retargeting, you know for certain that a user knows who you are, because they’ve been to your site. Depending on how you set up your retargeting pixel, you can even be sure that they actually viewed a specific product on your site.

In that way, you’re taking all the guesswork out it. You’re not hoping that prospects will remember your website or product, you know they’ve seen it — because you’re retargeting them. Pretty cool, eh?

I think so.

POSTED: 06.22.2012



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