A Friendly Reminder on Retargeting Ads


Retargeting ads can be part of a great inbound marketing strategy. Yet, most retargeting ads are missing the mark. Retargeting ads are not like traditional banner ads because they “target” prospects that have already been to your website through cookies. I won’t go into the how to set up retargeting. I’ll let Hubspot’s awesome blog post do that for you.

However, I do have some experience with retargeting in a B2B setting. Most retargeting ads are B2C. Example, you are online shopping and view several pages and maybe even put something in a cart but don’t checkout. A retargeting ad may pop up on the next site you view with an offer of 20% off your next purchase. The ad is attempting to convert you to a sale.

B2B retargeting can also offer some of the same things – an offer of free trial or demo. But when I was using retargeting, I used the ad to promote a content piece that aligned with whatever previous interaction the prospect had with the website. For instance, if they had been viewing information on the volunteer platform then the retargeting ad offered an ebook on that topic.

In my opinion, this is the way to use retargeting, but I rarely see this. In fact, most of the offers for B2B or even B2C (with the exception of retailers) drive you straight to a landing page to sign up for the service. Wait, I’m not ready! These brands are clearly not taking into account the buyer’s journey. Or even worse, the ads don’t lead you to a landing page at all; just a page from the website. How can you measure this if there’s no call to action? This could also inflate bounce rates tremendously on that page.

But one of the biggest fails of retargeting ads that I continue to see is not suppressing internal IP addresses. Employees often visit your website – of course they do because either they need information or just want to see what’s new. But then to retarget them later after they leave is a huge fail, and it’s costing you real money.

If you are going to use retargeting, which I highly recommend over traditional banner ads, then determine the objective and goals of your strategy. Then optimize the design and the offer attached to the ad to drive goal conversion. Otherwise you are allowing precious marketing dollars to fly out the window with no hope of a return. It’s amazing how some of the largest companies with huge budgets and layers and layers of marketing employees forget the little things. So consider this your friendly reminder!

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