As digital marketers, we have the ability to stay in front of the right audiences online. Innovations in ad technology allow for us to connect with past, current, and prospective customers in multiple ways across the web. The practice of retargeting, serving display ads to people who have previously engaged with your brand, is a highly effective marketing technique. However, it is easy to forget that retargeting serves as a valuable component of an integrated marketing strategy, and will be most successful when used in conjunction with other efforts.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is more than unified brand messaging and design consistency. Typically, an integrated marketing campaign centers around a particular event, promotion, or piece of content, and uses various channels to communicate that message.
For example, a company hosting a webinar may plan to promote it on their social networks, in an email newsletter to existing clients, on their website, and with PPC ads dedicated to the event. After the webinar, there can be a follow-up email with related upcoming events, a recording of the webinar, and related content that audience may find useful. Follow-up can be segmented by those who attended and those who registered but did not attend.
Today, digital marketers can close the communication loop. An integrated marketing approach not only ensures your brand stays top of mind, but it also provides marketers with more opportunities for engagement. Retargeting allows you to amplify your existing integrated marketing efforts. Heres how:
Retargeting and Email
Despite claims that email is dead, there were over 2.2 billion email users worldwide in 2012, and this number is projected to grow to 2.8 billion accounts by year-end 2016, according to the Radicati Group. While email isnt going away anytime soon, the way users interact with email has changed significantly with people spending less and less time opening and browsing marketing emails.
The ability to keep your email lists attention is more important than ever. Email retargeting serves ads to everyone who opens your emails, which gives you a second chance to re-engage users who arent heavily engaging with your emails.
Retargeting and Content
Content marketing is a great way to generate more leads. Producing valuable content (that isnt self-promotional) will drive traffic, build readership, and increase brand credibility and awareness. In addition to lead generation, however, content gives you a reason to stay in touch with customers who may be interested but are not yet ready to purchase.
With retargeting, you can continue to reach out to prospects who are just beginning their research and are very early in the buying decision process. This is especially useful for products with a long sales cycle. If we stick to the webinar example, relevant content gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your webinar attendees by serving them ads encouraging the download of a white paper on a similar topic. As you become recognized for good content, retargeting the people who read your content will increase brand recognition and help you stay top of mind throughout the funnel.
Retargeting and Events
Retargeting can drive awareness and increase ticket sales for your events. You can serve display ads promoting an upcoming event to people who have visited your website, opened your email, or even attended one of your events in the past. A display campaign will supplement your existing event marketing efforts and can re-engage past customers or site visitors by encouraging a registration or ticket purchase.
Retargeting for events isnt limited to pre-event promotions, however. You can also use retargeting to offer related promotions, deals, and discounts, and ultimately, keep engagement high even after an event has passed. Conferences will often use this technique to encourage event attendees to register early for the upcoming year or to boost awareness for a smaller, lesser-known event.
From Offline to Online
While retargeting is often used to reach customers who have engaged with your brand online, it can also be used to stay in front of your offline audience. CRM retargeting is a technology that enables you to serve display ads to people with nothing but an email or mailing address. Even if you are running various offline promotions, you can continue an integrated approach with display and serve ads aligned to the same relevant audience.
CRM retargeting provides a unique opportunity to market to users who may have never interacted with your brands online presence in the past. If you send out a mailer but wanted to make your mailing list aware of your upcoming webinar, CRM retargeting allows you to do just that. Bringing your database online will provide you with valuable data and allow you to target that audience with highly relevant messaging.
When used properly, retargeting can effectively enhance your existing email marketing, event marketing, content marketing, and even your offline activity. The sooner you begin considering retargeting as a tool that can be integrated across all of your marketing efforts and as part of a larger cross-channel marketing strategy, the more success you will have.