Retargeter Blog

A Guide to Contextual ReTargeting – Advanced Audience Extension

While looking for a way to direct bounced website visitors back to your site, you’ve probably explored the idea of retargeting. By advertising on sites that your bounced traffic visits, you’re more likely to pull them back to your site while increasing the odds of your desired outcome: a conversion or brand recognition.

However, what many descriptions of retargeting fail to mention is that retargeting can take on a variety of forms. From search retargeting to email and engagement retargeting, the options for deliberate online advertising with a specific end goal are endless.

One form of retargeting that has grown in popularity due to its more precise methodology and strategy is contextual retargeting. New to the idea? Want to learn if this is a solid option for drawing traffic back to your site? Keep reading.

Audience Extension: a Background

The idea of audience extension is not new. In fact, ReTargeter has covered it in the past and offers it to its advertisers — its base idea is the premise behind contextual retargeting.

From a simple standpoint, audience extension is the technology that allows digital publishers – those who facilitate online advertising – to help advertisers and brands reach a target market by tracking website visitors and serving ads to those visitors on other sites once they have left the target site.

The process is made possible by cookie technology that records each website visitor’s online activity. By placing a few lines of HTML code into the back end of the target website, each visitor is tagged with a cookie that is activated when another site – from which the original HTML code was produced – is visited by the original visitor. Taken even further, audience extension can target individuals from specific areas and demographics, allowing for a level of preciseness that cannot be found through other online or offline advertising techniques.

For example, let’s say that you sell Mustang brakes. To reach an extended audience, you might partner with online publishers and blogs that focus on hot rods and tinkering with cars. When these readers visit your partner sites, they are marked as someone who might be interested in your product with a cookie – and they’ll start seeing your ads on the sites they visit.

Contextual Retargeting: the Next Level

Basic retargeting has been used successfully by multiple brands looking to increase their online reach– it’s used by many advertisers across a variety of verticals. However, it can, and in most cases should, be taken one step further.

This is where contextual retargeting comes into place. The practice allows sites – outside of large social networks and advertising sites – that share similar customers and interests to exchange pixels or cookies. This means that if a visitor to one site leaves and lands upon the other, the advertisement for the original site is displayed to that sites audience. Think of it as a win-win situation for brands looking to reach specific audiences without paying a tremendous amount for highly targeted ads.

Contextual retargeting works because sites work together to offer different products to the same audience. For instance, an individual looking for a collector’s edition Spiderman figure on one site may visit another for a specific comic book. Each of these sites could benefit by advertising against each other’s audience. The process makes it more likely that conversions will happen for each advertiser than if each individually targeted visitors to a large social network or search engine; it’s interest-based and more demographically secure.

Partner Sites:  the Key to Successful Contextual Retargeting

The key to a successful contextual retargeting campaign is finding partner sites on which to advertise. While many sites and services exist that offer big results, it’s important to consider your goals for your new marketing tactic and to look into your options before making any decisions. Working with a proven service that understands the need for reaching beyond traditional retargeting options is essential for success.

Partner sites are sites that target the market you are trying to reach for a similar, yet different, purpose. These sites could be companies, online sellers, blogs or any other type of website that allows for advertising of one kind or another. Think of partner sites as the glue that holds a contextual retargeting campaign together.

Retargeting is one of the most effective methods for online prospect targeting. In fact, it’s 270 percent more effective than other forms of online advertising, and for this reason, should be taken seriously. Also known as “creative” retargeting or “fourth-party tagging,” contextual retargeting takes the practice further and has seen notable success in recent history.

Adrienne Erin is a blogger and internet marketer who helps all kinds of businesses succeed, from local businesses to inbound marketing companies. She spends most of her time writing, but when she’s not, you might find her brushing up on her French or cooking.

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