blog post | marketing

A Marketer’s Abbreviated Guide to Social Network Retargeting

Thinking about adding social retargeting to your marketing strategy? Need to know what it is and how it works?

After responding to dozens of inquiries about social retargeting, we decided that it was time to publish a resource on the topic. We compiled this guide to social network retargeting with hope that it answers any and all questions you may have.

With this post, you can figure out exactly:

  • what social network retargeting is,
  • how social retargeting works, and
  • whether or not to add social network retargeting to your advertising budget (hint: you should).

Ready? Here we go!

First things first — What is social network retargeting?

Retargeting (or “remarketing” in some circles) is a way to advertise to anyone who previously viewed your retargeting with pinpoint accuracy

The channels you can advertise on include:

  • other websites, (site retargeting)
  • search engines (search retargeting)
  • social networks like facebook (social network retargeting).

Retargeting, in essence, allows you to to target your ads on individuals who have already qualified their interest. This gives you a second chance at winning that customer over (and offers significantly cheaper costs per click than less targeted ad campaigns).

How does social network retargeting work?

Retargeting uses browser cookies that anonymously follow your visitors throughout the web. Whenever a new visitor drops in on your site, the code fires and drops a cookie on them.

After the cookied user leaves your website and continues browsing, the cookie will tell your retargeting provider when to serve up advertisements in real time.

The settings for your campaigns and cookies will determine how often the advertisements show up.

For example, enterprise software purchases may play out over several months. For that, you can use cookies that follow the user around for 4 or more weeks. On the contrary, if purchasing decision happens quickly then you may want your cookies to expire in 7 days or less.

Is social network retargeting effective?

Yes! Social network retargeting is incredibly effective compared to most forms of digital advertising. In fact, Facebook’s retargeted ads have been shown to deliver up to 4 times the ROI than traditional ads.

Retargeting is so effective because you are only serving ads to those who have expressed some level of interest in your company. Social retargeting is a superb tool for gathering qualified leads and nudging them towards the purchase funnel.

Another reason social retargeting is so effective is the behavior of social media users. Social media browsers tend to be some of the most engaged on the web. Facebook users spend an average of 18 minutes liking photos, scrolling through their news feed, and interacting with content each time they visit. Engagement and time spent per visit means your advertisements will be noticed and interacted with by large portions of users.

The combination of prequalifying who your ads are shown too, and only showing them too highly engaged web browsers, equals high digital marketing ROI for your brand.

Is social retargeting right for me?

If you have any funding allocated for digital marketing then social retargeting is right for you. Retargeting is a mainstream marketing tactic being implemented by companies across the board due to the high ROI of the campaigns. If you aren’t looking to increase ad spend particularly for retargeting, it can help generate more revenue with the same marketing budget.

Whether you have a large digital advertising budget or a small one, retargeting is an efficient way to generate brand exposure and bring interested parties back to your website.

I’m ready to add retargeting to my social network marketing strategy

Awesome! There are a number of vendors and unique platforms out there to get you started. Here a few of our favorites.

  • AdRoll – AdRoll works with partners like Facebook Exchange, Google, Microsoft, and Bing, enabling your ads to reach a whopping ninety eight percent of sites on the Internet (including social networks). Adroll can be a bit pricey but its general ease of use and reach make it a worthy investment and a leader in this space.
  • Retargeter – Retargeter is a full service retargeting platform offering search, social, email, and site retargeting. Retargeter specializes in sites with comparatively large audiences (30,000 plus unique vistors per month). Retargeter has a number of unique offering and solutions for those with a formidable marketing spend.
  • Perfect Audience – The people at Perfect Audience pride themselves on simplicity. They’re quick set up and flexibility is an ideal solution for small business looking to recapture lost site browsers without making a major investment.

Each of these platforms are tried and true providers of retargeting services. All you need to do now is choose one, install a few lines of code, create some ads and get going. If you need help, we can do the heavy lifting for you, so contact us! (you knew a plug was coming sooner or later).

4 social network retargeting best practices

Now that we have some social network marketing strategy basics down, lets take a look at some social retargeting best practices. Leveraging the highest possible ROI is important to your business; these tips will help ensure that happens.

Segment your audience into retargeting pools
All visitors are not created equal. Well…all visitors don’t have the exact same interests. Displaying the same ad to all of your web visitors is not only ineffective, but it costs you money. In order to segment your audience divide your website based on areas of interest (think products and services) then create unique ads accordingly.
Avoid over saturation
Highly visible advertisements are a good thing. Pesky ads that show up over and over and over again result in brand overexposure (and giving people the creeps). Set up a frequency cap to limit the number of times a user will see your ads.
Remove irrelevant users
Don’t waste precious ad spend on users who’ve already converted. Burn pixels are tiny snippets of code placed on post-transaction pages. You can use them to remove a lead-turned-customer from the retargeting pool.
Split test ads
Split testing can have a profound impact on your digital marketing ROI. Split testing headlines, banner appearance, and call to action buttons provide actionable insight into the way users engage with your ads.

Well there you have it. Now you know all about social retargeting and how it can be a major boost in ROI for your social network marketing strategy.

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About the writer
Ethan Reese
Ethan Reese
Ethan does a little bit of everything at WebMechanix but has a special affection for technical SEO and the development process. In his spare time you can find him playing rugby, drinking coffee, and tinkering with web code.

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