what is retargeting

What Is Retargeting

If you’ve been in business or marketing for any length of time then the odds are pretty good that you’ve heard of the terms retargeting and remarketing. In this post, we’re going to break down what they are, why they’re important and how you can use them in your business.

All right, let’s talk retargeting and remarketing. Now, one of the first things that we have to cover here is the differences between retargeting and remarketing.

Fortunately, this isn’t gonna take us very long because there really are no differences other than the words themselves.

You see retargeting is really just the word that platforms like Facebook and Instagram use and remarketing is the preferred choice of terms for Google and YouTube but other than that, they’re pretty much the exact same thing.

So what exactly is retargeting and remarketing? Well, it’s actually pretty simple and really all it comes down to is that when someone engages with your content in any way, shape or form.

Meaning they either visit your website or they watch one of your videos or they engage with one of your posts on social media. Then you’re able to build an audience of these people that can be targeted again and again and again with targeted advertising, that’s really it.

Why Retargeting Is So Powerful

Now the reason this is such an incredibly powerful strategy is multifold. Essentially what it does is it allows you to take an audience that you’re gonna spend some time and money building and then go out there and show them other relevant offers or content or promotions.

Again, for pennies on the dollar because you’re gonna be targeting a much smaller audience. Not only that, this smaller audience is already familiar with your brand and your business because they’ve engaged with you in some way shape or form before.

All in all, this means that you’re able to increase the frequency and rate with which you’re gonna show up in front of your ideal target market and you’re able to do it for a lot cheaper. Again, because of that smaller audience size.

What retargeting and remarketing allows you to do is take cold traffic, people who’ve never heard of you, don’t know who you are and never done business with you before.

It allows you to take them, get them to engage with your content someway through your website, your videos or blog posts and then retarget them with highly targeted and really specific promotions to people who already engage with you and already know who you are.

Obviously, this is incredibly powerful. So now that we’ve decided that retargeting is a really good strategy to use in your business, well what platforms allows you to do this, and can you leverage them across different platforms using cross channel or multichannel promotion?

Well, the answer to that is yes and no, so let’s dive in. First off, the big players in the retargeting space are obviously Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google. These guys all give you a pixel, which is a piece of code.

Understanding The Pixel

Actually, let’s talk about what a pixel is real quick. A pixel is simply a small line of code that you install on your website, that’s really it. And what it allows you to do then is to track the visitors to your website so that you can retarget them on different platforms.

Now at risk of getting a little complicated here, we can do in platform retargeting without the use of a pixel meaning that if we want someone to engage with our content say on Facebook.

Well, we can retarget them directly in Facebook without needing the pixel because we don’t need them to go off Facebook to get pixeled, so we retarget them later. Oh, that’s confusing, isn’t it?

Let me say that another way. Within each platform meaning within Facebook, Instagram, YouTube as long as we’re targeting people who stay inside the platform, we can retarget them without them needing to go to our website and get pixeled. Because they’ve got a built in pixeling system right in the platform.

Where a pixel comes in handy however is when we want to multichannel or cross promote by getting them to our website first, and then targeting them on other platforms but we’ll talk about that in just a second.

Understanding The Platforms

All right, so back to the topic at hand, retargeting and which platforms allow it. Well obviously, as we’ve just covered there, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google. These are the big ones.

Now, each of them are gonna give you a pixel, and because Facebook owns Instagram and because Google owns YouTube, well there’s really only two pixels that you need to deal with. The Facebook, Instagram pixel and Google and YouTube pixel.

This is beautiful because whether you’re planning on running retargeting ads now or later, well, it still make sense to go out there and if you haven’t already, get these two pixels, and get them installed in your website so you can start to build up these audiences today.

So obviously, the ability to retarget somebody right within Facebook or right within Instagram or right within YouTube is incredibly powerful on its own but where things really get interesting is when we start talking about multichannel and cross retargeting promotion.

This is a little more advance but still relatively simple to use if you’ve got those two pixels set up, so let’s dive into that strategy right now.

Your Retargeting Strategy

So the first thing that we have to do is really list out our four main retargeting and remarketing platforms that we wanna use initially in order to get traffic from. In this case, we’re gonna be talking about Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google.

Now here’s the beauty is that when we’re talking about these platforms, we don’t need to use them all in that initial stage. In fact, what’s wise is to first identify the exact channel that’s gonna be perfect for your ideal target market and then really focus your efforts there.

So in this case, let’s say that we first decided to start all of our marketing and really focus our main drive there on Facebook, and possibly even Instagram. Well, this is where things get interesting.

If we start building up and audience on Facebook and on Instagram, we can then take that audience and retarget them on YouTube and on Google later as well of course as on Facebook and Instagram.

Here’s how this works. So the very first step as we just talked about is to build up that audience on these main channels and main platforms. This is where we’re gonna get our traffic initially whether it’s organically or using paid mediums like advertising.

Regardless, we wanna use these channels to drive traffic to a website ideally a place that you own and you control and that you’ve got that little pixel installed on, and when you do that, a cool thing happens.

Your traffic becomes pixeled which means you can then retarget them not only on Facebook and Instagram but also on YouTube and Google+ because you’re going to have taken that pixel and then install it on your website as well.

And that’s where things get really powerful, you can take traffic from Facebook or from Instagram and you can then start to retarget them on all these different platforms. And the same thing applies if we’re driving traffic from say YouTube to our website.

Well, if traditionally, we’re just gonna be running traffic on YouTube, obviously, can only retarget them and remarket them directly on YouTube because we don’t have that cross over to other platforms.

But if we can get traffic from YouTube to our website it opens up a world of possibilities because we’re gonna obviously have the YouTube and Google pixel installed on our website but we’re also gonna have the Facebook and Instagram pixel installed on our website.

Retargeting Means People Will See You Everywhere

Meaning we can retarget visitors no matter where they come from on all the different platforms. Again, opening up this spider web like approach really allowing you to stay omnipresent and multichannel yourself across all of the different networks and really doubling down on your advertising investment.

Just to make this point a little more obvious about how powerful it is, we’ll have them for Instagram and Google too. Essentially, we’re taking traffic from whatever source possible and getting them to our website and then we’re able to retarget them across all these other networks.

And one final important point, we did talk about these four channels as a place to drive traffic too but we’re not just limited to these channels. In fact, one of the beauties of retargeting and remarketing is it doesn’t matter where they come from initially.

In fact, these could be replaced with the newspaper or the radio or a billboard or direct mail or any means really necessary as long as you’re driving them to your website because that’s where the pixeling happens, and that’s the very beginning of the retargeting strategy.

What Is Retargeting – Conclusion

All right, so there you have it. Retargeting, remarketing whatever you wanna call it, an incredibly valuable strategy to use in your business.

So let me know in the comments below, have you used retargeting, were you aware that you could use it across multiple different channels and if so, what are the best tips or ideas that you’ve come across or how are you gonna use it in your business?

For more great marketing strategies, tools, tips, tricks and tactics, make sure to check out some of my other articles. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you’ve learned what is retargeting and how you can use it effectively.

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