Retargeting is the next best thing after sliced bread, the wheel, and the fire. Ok, you can add “The Internet” too.
Retargeting is so good, so profitable, and so awesome that it almost hurts to “not” deploy a campaign when you could. Larry Kim, founder of Wordstream, wrote about a few surprising benefits of retargeting in 2014.
What was surprising then is no longer surprising now. What’s surprising is the numerous businesses that don’t use retargeting when they could and should.
A website visitor who’s retargeted with a display ad is 70% more likely to convert.
More than 72% of online shoppers abandon shopping carts. Only 8% of them ever return to complete their purchase. (retargeting is the only way to get those people back, and retargeting helps bring at least 26% of those lost customers back).
A ComScore study reveals that retargeting ads led to a whopping, wait for it, +1046% increase in branded search (a sign of more brand awareness and recall).
Retargeting leads to a 147% higher conversion rate over time.
There’s a reason why: If you do it right, retargeting is almost always profitable. There’s just no mistaking the fact that retargeting helps bring your average CPC down, gets you more customers, boost your brand, and gets you more conversions.
Regardless of what kind of digital marketing you do, retargeting should be a part of your marketing mix.
While you are at it, here are a few cardinal rules for retargeting that you shouldn’t ever miss:
Have a Strategy in place
If you’d just pick a couple of banners and think that you’d win with retargeting, you won’t. Just like you’d have a plan in place before you start doing content marketing or paid advertising, think of how Retargeting adds value to your complete marketing plan.
Don’t mistake retargeting to be a standalone channel (like most people do with SEO or PPC).
Retargeting works great when it’s used as another channel along with the rest of the effort you’d put in for digital marketing.
Let’s say you get about 1000 visitors a day to your blog. Your PPC campaigns add another 200-300 visitors to your landing pages and/or websites.
When you add retargeting to the mix now, those 1200-1300 people visiting your web properties each month make for a great starting point for your retargeting campaigns.
Define Your audience Right
You’d need the aforementioned plan to answer this question right. Plus, the answer is different for every business.
A small business with a contact form might want to retarget everyone who visits the “contact us” page.
An online business that sells services would want to retarget anyone who visits their “services page” or even a particular “service”.
Bloggers would want to launch retargeting campaigns to their regular blog readers.
Ecommerce store owners would want to target all those shoppers who “abandoned” their “shopping carts”.
Businesses can use retargeting for cross-selling or up-selling too.
The possibilities are limitless. Who are you going to retarget?
Build an Audience From the Start
You might or might not actually launch a retargeting campaign right away. However, building an audience off visitors to your landing pages, websites, etc., is a no-brainer.
You are directly spending money with PPC advertising or putting in the effort (which is still money in terms of opportunity cost and time) indirectly with content marketing, blogging, social media and email marketing.
After all the hard work (and money, or both), you wouldn’t want to let go of smart ways to “retarget” these visitors and turn them into potential customers.
Watch this video to learn how to Build retargeting Audiences on Adroll and make it work with WordPress:
Since retargeting audiences take time to build, a few simple steps will ensure that you’d build specific audiences whether or not you’d chose to launch campaigns.
Use Special Landing Pages for Retargeting
If you are using landing pages at all, you are doing better than 90% of advertisers or businesses all over the world.
If you’d like to go one notch up and make your marketing count, use specially designed landing pages for your retargeting campaigns:
For instance, let’s say you were promoting a simple $500 gift card. Also, assume that I am using Google Adwords to run this campaign.
This is how your landing page might look like:
The two versions are for A/B testing.
When you run the campaign long enough, you’d get data to help determine whether version A works better or Version B.
For the audience that’ll build on this landing page — that is, for all the visitors of this landing page, I’d launch a retargeting campaign on the Google Display Network.
This time, however, this is how the landing page will look like:
Note that this is a variation of the main landing pages, and it’s custom-built knowing that the targeted visitors have already visited the page.
Make Special Offers
Your ads and Landing pages used for retargeting might have:
An acknowledgement that it’s a returning visitor, with something like, “Welcome Back, We’ve Been Waiting For You” or “Glad to have you back”
Actually name your returning visitor like: “Hey John, God knows You’ve been Missed”
Make a special offer. “Your are special. Get 30% Off, Exclusive for you”
Why, you ask? Because if you want your visitors to come back, you got to have something more than your original offer was about.
Run the Campaigns Long Enough To Get Data
Too many campaigns die early. You’d need to gather as much data as possible to gather enough of a sample size to help make the right decisions (see point below). You’d also need enough time to experiment, test campaigns, test out ads, and test out landing pages. You’d need to let the campaign run for a while to allow for impressions, clicks, and conversions.
This is also one of the reasons why you’d always start with a low budget (per day) to allow for this period of time that your retargeting campaign runs.
If you are not ready to spend, don’t start the campaign.
Make Data-based Decisions
Is the offer you are making good enough? Is the campaign working for you? Are the landing pages converting well? How are the ads performing? What changes should you make to optimize your retargeting campaigns?
The answers to those questions have nothing to do with what you “think”. The only thing that matters is what is the data telling you?
Out of the two banner ads on Google Display Network, which one performed better?
Out of the two versions of your landing page, which one converts more, and with what degree of confidence?
How do you determine which of your Sendroll email campaigns (by Adroll) are clicked open more? If you can determine the winner, why did it win?
Make notes of what the data tells you. As you go along, make changes and introduce new champions (ads, landing pages, subject lines) to make your retargeting work for you.
How are your retargeting campaigns going? Tell me all about it.
I have a great respect for entrepreneurs and all of my writing elsewhere (apart from this blog) dwells on that respect for the sacrifices they make, the time their put in, the energy they come with, and the incredible value they add to the world and the community they are a part of.
In a rather surprisingly popular post I wrote on LinkedIn once, I had mentioned what it takes to be a real entrepreneur but how often the community also attracts complete idiots who are dreamers, the “know-it-all types”, the pretenders, and the misers.
Running my agency is just like running any other business. There are some good days and a few other days you’d like to just give up. You have idiots as potential clients and some clients are sent down as a perfect match from the heaven.
I deal with many clients already and more than half of my day goes into talking to potential clients. It’s almost always a smooth ride, until it isn’t.
Regardless, I saw a pattern.
I realised that there are common patterns in thinking and believing that are specific to digital marketing and it worries me.
I started to think that digital marketing feels like “cricket” or “soccer” — almost everyone seems to be an expert on it. But they are not, and there’s more to it.
Certainly, what most potential clients, business owners, and even other “digital marketers” think and do has nothing to do with what digital marketing really is:
Digital Marketing Is, Well, Just Marketing
Unfortunately, there’s that thing called “buzz”.
Somehow, once a phrase or a word gets off the ground, it’s impossible not to use it. There was marketing and now there is content marketing, Search engine marketing, Social media marketing, Paid marketing, retargeting, and more.
Every channel became a marketing engine by itself and some people stick to one channel more than they’d do with the rest.
Once they decide, it’s only that channel that they’ll dwell on. It’s like sticking to the middle right section of 3rd page of the newspaper — and nothing else. How ridiculous is that?
Digital marketing is the entire process of working to build up trust in the eyes of the customer. It’s everything you do to:
Let your potential customers know how awesome your business/product/service is.
Let your existing customers know how right they were when they bought into your idea and parted with their cash.
Allow the world to know that you exist, and that you are cool.
Arm your potential customers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.
That’s what digital marketing is. So, it’s not SEO and it’s not Social Media. Those are channels. Like Newspaper is one and a magazine is another.
Digital Marketing is Easy
I’ve had nightmares trying to educate customers why they shouldn’t ever be deluded into thinking that digital marketing is easy.
Writing 1000 – 4000 word blog posts, 3 times a week, again and again, week after week, month after month, year after year — that’s certainly not easy (even for fast prolific writers).
Social media takes time and real smarts. That time, you see, has a value attached to it.
Then, there’s email marketing, auto responders, and paid marketing along with landing pages. Because you have to make sense of what you are doing, you’d need analytics and tracking.
Since decision-making should be based on data and not emotions, you’d need A/B testing. As marketing certainly isn’t a “set it and forget it” affair, it’s not a one-time thing.
To manage all this together, you’d often have to work with a bunch of tools to get some of that work done.
Tie this together and you truly have a monstrosity that’s really digital marketing.
This and That
“I am looking for SEO experts”
“Any bloggers that can help?”
“We need PPC experts to manage our campaigns”
“Need someone to help with social media”
What’s the common thread with all those statements? They are all looking for one kind of help, with a specific channel.
Nothing wrong with it “only” if the rest of “everything” else that digital marketing demands is covered.
More often than not, nothing else is covered.
PPC needs money and shows your ads up quickly. Behind the ads, however, there’s no brand. There’s no context. If a customer wants to check you out, you have nothing else going for you.
If you just do blogging, social media, and email marketing, you’ll take a long time to cut through the crap that your competition already polluted the Internet with.
If you are looking for “SEO help” like tons of people are, you aren’t doing justice to the power of digital marketing really.
If you have a budget, split it up. Try to fire up all the cylinders.
Digital Marketing is Cheap
Facebook Ads and Google Adwords allow you to start advertising with any budget. If you can write, you’ll be able to blog.
A few hours on social media with the right strategy can help you cover your social presence. Automate and setup a few emails and you’ve covered most of your tracks.
If you can do it right, you can very well do it yourself.
But, you are busy running a business. There are just way too many moving parts in digital marketing and you are likely to overlook critical elements of the chain.
First, paid advertising requires “pay”. You have to have a budget. Google and Facebook aren’t going to give you anything for free.
Moreover, “Good” digital marketers can write, design, go social, send out emails, develop strategies to execute them, and they have a thing for numbers. Good marketers don’t let emotions kick in while making decisions.
Plus, they have years of experience you can never match.
Also, since time is money, they have a monetary value attached to every hour they spend marketing your business.
In one word: digital marketing not cheap.
Anyone can do digital marketing
Because “digital marketing” is “digital” and not like picking up bricks in the hot sun, it just “appears easy”.
Only a few people can really put their hands on their hearts and say that they do digital marketing well.
How do you define “well”?
Do more than what the client signs up for.
Digital Marketing Freelancers and agencies go out of their way to do what’s right for clients.
The solution is always complete. For instance, doing Google Adwords without landing pages is a crime. Yet, that’s what you’d get if you go shopping right now.
Good digital marketing is never “done” and “done”. There’s always something new, there are new tools that sprout up, and there’s a ton to learn each day.
Not everyone can do digital marketing well. Period.
What do you think digital marketing is? Do you respect it or are you going about wasting your time, ad spend, and all the opportunity you have at your disposal?
Do you really need social media tools? Oh yes, you do.
Social media is big but we all know how it sucks time out of your already busy schedule.
Organic marketing doesn’t directly contribute to your ROI (but it does so indirectly and is one of the major parts of the what I call as the digital marketing spectrum).
You can’t really put your finger on how social media contributes directly to your bottomline, and get that.
No one ever said that everything you do in business has to directly put cash on the table. Blogging, social media, and email marketing also help boost your brand value and help maintain authority in the niche your business operates in.
That’s what it does. It’s a new way to build your branding.
When you send that Tweet out, people notice you even if that tweet lasts for just about an hour. Your Facebook posts still get views, and so do your videos.
But you do want social media to work for you and contribute in some way, don’t you?
Here’s how you make it work for your business with a few of these tools:
Google’s UTM Generator Tool
Wondering what a regular Google UTM (Urchin Tracking Mode) is doing on a list that was supposed to be dedicated social media tools?
You wouldn’t want to put out a single social update or a link anywhere without the UTM URLs. Google’s UTM generator helps you churn out a specific URL that helps track where the traffic is coming from.
While you’d still get to track sources and mediums that generate traffic for your website by directly looking into your Google Analytics data, you’d not want to take a chance. Instead, you can stay in control by taking that little effort upfront and track your sources.
Go here, bookmark the Google URL Generator and use it for every medium or source you use to generate traffic.
Snip.ly has been around for a while and I’ve always advocated using Snip.ly while you post updates on social media so as to lead traffic to specific pages or landing pages you’d want them to visit.
Snip.ly helps with a dedicated bar (with a CTA) at the bottom (or top) of every page that you’d share on social media even if what you are sharing isn’t really your content.
Now, consider this:
For all our clients, we advocate the 50:30:20 principle to follow on social media. What this means is that:
Out of 10 updates on social media (all networks), you’d share, post or update this way:
50% (Or 5 out of 10) updates from all other non-competing sources of information with links on social profiles. In our case, we’d be sharing anything about digital marketing from online sources like moz.com.
30% (or 3 out of 10) updates with content from our own blog or other content marketing pieces we publish elsewhere (including Youtube videos or SlideShare slides)
20% (2 out of 10) updates are strictly related to engagement, casual talk, connecting with others, etc.
In this typical scenario, you are posting/sharing/publishing at least 50% of all the updates that are not your own. Which means that if you use snip.ly for every external piece of content you share, you’d have that much chance of getting traffic from all of those updates daily.
HootSuite Or Buffer
Social media might be big and important. If you don’t focus and be careful, you’ll find that it can suck all the time and productivity out of your busy schedule.
You can’t afford to log in and out of your social networks all day long. Plus, given that an average social media update’s life is just about an hour, you’d have to post many updates just to be visible and generate enough impressions to make an impact or be known or become popular.
That’s why, you’d need to use Hootsuite or Buffer to help schedule posts in advance. This frees up your time for all the other things you’d need to do.
If you marginally popular, you’d start seeing people mention your brand. They’d often discuss about your brand and there might be full-fledged communities around your brand. Plus, there are also random mentions about your business or brand that you’d miss if you are not monitoring your social presence all the time.
As if social media itself wasn’t a major time suck by itself, monitoring every single conversation around your brand will potentially wipe out days and weeks off your calendar.
But there’s a smarter way to monitor your brand. Use Brand24 and make your job a wee bit easier. Brand24 allows you to monitor all your social channels, mentions, conversations, and more.
Adroll is a popular tool to help you setup, launch, and manage retargeting campaigns across the web. Since more people now use WordPress, it makes sense to figure out how to use Adroll with WordPress.
But, before that…
Now, the trick is to build an audience on adroll, whether or not you choose to launch retargeting campaigns right away. Because, when you actually choose to launch campaigns, whenever that is going to be, your audience is ready for you.
This helps you two ways:
1. when you do want to launch a campaign, your audience is ready and waiting for you. This saves you from the trouble of starting from scratch.
2. It’s your audience, you worked hard to get these visitors to your website. Audience building on adroll is the least you could do to keep track of those visitors.
Ideally, you should have started building your audiences the day you launch your website or when you use landing pages for any sort of a digital marketing campaign.
To setup and activate your adroll account, create an account and login to adroll. Give your account an easy name to remember and typically your brand name or website name.
If you have multiple brands or websites that you’d manage, click on the little gear icon on the top right corner to add other brands or websites.
Adroll calls these as “advertiser profiles”.
To setup adroll with your website, you’d look for this prompt the moment you sign in. Click on the link given and the pixel will pop up.
Copy the pixel.
Now, head out to your WordPress website. Login, look for appearances, editor, and then look for the “header file” of whatever wordpress theme you might be using.
Inside the template header file, go to this section within the “head” section of the code. Copy and paste the adroll pixel here.
By doing this, you are essentially tracking every page on your WordPress website.
If you are not using WordPress and if you are using say, Wix, Weebly, the process is similar, except that you might have to copy and paste the pixel multiple times on each page (this is true for straight forward HTML websites).
It’d take about 24 hours for Adroll to detect that the pixel is working.
Once you know it’s working, it’s time for your lovely audience to build up.
When you are ready, you can launch retargeting campaigns to specific audiences that you’d build up.
Hope this helps. Please subscribe to our channel and let us know how your retargeting campaigns work for you.
Once you get used to it, doing videos is faster than writing a blog post, creating a whitepaper, or trudging up the hill to write your next PDF giveaway.
That’s good news because you’d need video for lead generation, branding, awareness, and more. Starting 2017 and beyond, video is going to be bigger than ever.
But video is hard, I hear you say. I know I was there (and I still am). I waited on the sidelines and never bothered with video for my business.
As for using video for lead generation itself, I always knew it was incredibly important as a marketing tool, as a storytelling platform, and as a lead generation machine.
I explored video when I got the idea to do online courses. No matter what I explore, how much I read about it, and regardless of the number of Youtube videos I watch, I come around to stop exactly at the point where I free and I just let that pass.
In the end, I wouldn’t create anything.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can start creating videos with what you have: your face, your voice, and your camera.
If you are still not in the mood to move out of your comfort zone yet, here are a few incredibly smart tools to help you make your videos fast and easy:
Michael, cofounder of Snip.ly, reached out to me with a single email showing me how they’ve used a blog post to make a quick video using their own, brand new, Lumen5.
By the time I watched the video, I created another one just to see how it goes.
Here’s the completed 1.06 minute clip I made, completely on my own.
No face, no stress, no need for any fancy equipment. Lumen uses artificial intelligence to pick up what’s important from a blog post or any other web-based link that you’d feed into it.
It then whips out scenes based on that content. You have the choice of editing how those scenes play out. Also, take the time out to create your into and outro for the video, pick music (they have tracks you can choose), and also choose the right colors for your brand.
Say hello to Sezion. Create videos for any (or more) of the following use cases:
— Stay engaged with your customers
— Create videos that your social media followers will love.
— Engage with your email list.
— Send out personalized thank you emails for every lead registered on your website.
— Personalize videos for your eCommerce store.
What are you going to do?
Animoto For Simple Business Videos
Animoto has been around for quite a while. It was a simple way to create videos by mashing your family vacation photos or the entire series of chosen photos while your kid was growing up.
It wasn’t until Animoto for business [https://animoto.com/business] was created that it piqued my interest.
Animoto comes equipped with a marketing video builder and this quickly helps you create social worthy videos from a few images.
The marketing builder is a complete drag-and-drop interface giving you control over voice-over, text, and how the video finally turns out.
As such, Vizia has been built from the ground up by educators, for educators. Since video is also an incredibly powerful educational tool, it’s the number one choice for people who are involved with online educational courses, academia, and corporations that focus on training.
Using Vizia, you can incorporate multi-choice quizzes, collect feedback, and ask questions. More important, from a marketing standpoint, you can turn your passive viewers into active participants and also open up a dual channel for communications and improve your content by using the feedback you receive.
Vizia gives you simple –but powerful – tools to generate leads from your video content. You can use embeddable CTAs from within your videos and make your content share-worthy.
Vizia helps you turn your viewers into leads. It’s another thing that it was built for course creators. As a marketer, you are only limited by your imagination to generate leads for your business with video.
VideoScribe For Explainer Videos
Not all videos have to be the same. You can, in fact, bring back the love for explainer videos without doling out cash by the kilo.
Head off to VideoScribe and use the tool to make as many videos as you like. Go ahead and explain concepts, ideas, thoughts, and even convert the content of your blog post or whitepaper into another explainer video.
VideoScribe gives you everything you’d really need (including pre-built templates), royalty-free music tracks, royalty-free images, andfull functionality to customize your masterpiece the way you want it for your business.