5 Tips to Improve Your Retargeting Campaigns
Did you know that just a measly 2% of first-visit traffic converts to a sale? If marketers relied on this touchpoint alone, a lot of business owners would be changing careers, quickly.
Retargeting campaigns have done amazing things for the social media marketing world. What once took years of careful research, customer feedback, industry insight, a bit of educated guesswork, and understanding of buying behaviour can now be largely executed with a few clicks.
Of course, any Facebook ads marketer or online business owner knows that it’s not quite that simple. While the capabilities are certainly far more advanced, so too is an effective retargeting strategy. With the same tools available to everyone with an online presence, the competition for that all-important conversion is now fiercer than ever. In order to optimize retargeting campaigns on Facebook, you need to know your stuff.
The Ultimate Goal of Retargeting
Retargeting is, like most marketing, about hitting your customers with the right message, in the right place, at the exact right time. In this case, it’s most often about those either in the consideration stage (visited your website), or the intending to purchase stage (abandoned cart)—a point at which a staggering 69.57% of customers exit your site.
Of course, there are plenty of smaller and more specific touchpoints in between—and the most effective social media marketing campaigns will tailor journeys for each of them. These might be visits to specific pages, for example, or placing customers into tiered journeys according to how often they visit, or how long they spend looking.
For the purposes of this piece, I’ll look at generalised tips that you can carry across your retargeting strategy campaigns—however involved or top-level they may be.
1. Adapt Accordingly
This is a several-pronged point.
First of all, no one likes to get bombarded with the same static, boring ad over and over. If you are going to be aggressive with your tactics, at least add new messages, imagery, or other elements that maintain the interest (and keep frequency at bay). It could be as simple as updating your “you forgot something” line to “we’re still waiting…”, or “got an outfit for the weekend yet?”. Anticipate the reaction and make it slick. Remember, it is possible to turn your audience away with too much pestering. If you notice that a once high-performing ad is no longer delivering, turn it off—Facebook’s algorithm will look to redistribute the budget and find the most relevant ad from the rest of your creative.
Secondly, many marketers forget a crucial point in their retargeting campaigns: the moment people actually convert to purchase. Rather than just falling into the ether of ‘previous customers’, or worse still, receiving the same retargeting ads when they’re no longer relevant, there should be a post-purchase phase of your campaign. “Enjoy your purchase?” or “you’ve got great taste, so we thought you might enjoy this one too…” are great thought starters. Create audiences to segment out purchasers within different timeframes (for example, those who have purchased within 30 days and another of those who purchased 30–60 days ago) and tailor this retargeting messaging even further.
2. Delve Into Demographics
Facebook ads have remarkable retargeting capabilities beyond the most simple metrics. Your own insights into audience behaviour will determine what campaign objective for retargeting is best for your campaigns.
Let’s look at an example. You’re a travel agent looking to retarget people who have shown considerable interest in flights to Europe.
You’ve noticed that there’s a group of 30–45 year olds who’ve been looking at daily deals, clicking through from emails, searching your top keywords. It’s just ahead of school holidays, and they’re probably looking for the best deal for the family vacation. An excellent option for a deadline-driven tailored retargeting strategy—maybe with a discount for good measure.
Compare this to your younger audience whose email open rates are great, but they never click through. They’re fairly regular searchers, once a month or so. Perhaps they’re a student. Perhaps they’re a senior school student. For this group, they’re probably looking at a longer-term aspirational trip in the next 12 months—something to look forward to and save towards, rather than something they’re going to book tomorrow. You may want to hit this audience with messaging that speaks to payment plans or deals that can be secured with a deposit.
3. Trial New Timelines
I said it early on: timing is a third of the social media marketing puzzle. And different audiences will align with their own optimal schedules. Short Facebook ads campaigns might last just three days. Others, three months.
It’s useful to experiment, and make inferences about the ones that work. Use these to inform future campaigns, and see if you’re proven right. You’ll also want to play around with frequency capping—Retargeter recommends no more than 20 ads per user per month.
Don’t be tempted to use the maximum retargeting duration of 180 days unless there’s a reason to do so. That’s not to say I don’t recommend always-on retargeting ads; but you should be revisiting and refreshing this creative on a regular basis to keep it relevant.
4. Context is Key
We’re primed by what we’re doing at the moment we’re hit with a certain message. Are we in the right frame of mind to treat ourselves, invest in our future, or get a good deal on a necessity? Each of these is a totally different purchase and therefore relies on different context to be most effective.
Let’s say I’m buying an aspirational product. It’s a want, not a need. I might be more inclined to click through from Facebook—where I’m procrastinating or browsing for leisure—rather than from the sidebar of a site I’m visiting during my 9–5.
Consider this when looking at the schedule of your retargeting campaigns. There’s no point in showing your ads during the workday if you know this window doesn’t drive conversions. Save your coin for the times when you know your target market is online and ready to buy.
5. Invest in the High-ROI Leads
Particularly if you’ve got a luxury or high price point product, it’s worth spending a little more to make a lot more on those particularly warm leads. Exactly what constitutes high ROI will depend on your segmentation and your audience insight. For some, it may be past customers. For others, it’s those whose subscription is up for renewal, or who’ve visited your site 10+ times in the last month.
It’s worth noting here that Facebook will soon be switching its budget optimisation to the campaign level – so rather than sitting these leads within a separate ad set, split them out into their own dedicated campaign to ensure you can control the budget without cannibalising spend from your other audiences.
A/B test your messages and audiences to see the value that these warm leads can generate, and keep tweaking and measuring until you strike gold.
Facebook retargeting campaigns can involve a lot of trial and error. But by continually trying out new strategies and keeping track of what works, you’ll be rewarded with a solid revenue stream and a growing customer base to further develop your social media marketing strategy.