Every ad tells your brand story

People tell each other stories to build trust in relationships. Advertising is no exception. Our ads tell our brand stories, and when we convey a message online that captures a user’s attention, there’s a click…

Recently, I was on a travel website searching for a trip to South America in February. After I left the site, I noticed the travel agency’s vacation ads appearing on third party sites.

Like 98% of web traffic, my visit had resulted in a bounce. In order to get me back on its website, the travel agency launched a retargeting campaign. The advertiser customized its ads according to the personal and preferential information it had gleaned from me while I was on its site.

Address people like you know them.

Retargeting works by planting tracking pixels on site pages. Companies can anonymously collect information on each visitor as she searches throughout the site. In my case, advertising could have referenced the weather, time of year etc. Since February is notorious for being the coldest month of year in Canada, an ad like, “Get out of the cold, and bask in the sun this Valentine’s Day. Venezuelan sands await you,” would have captured my attention.

Yuli Shumsky, Product Manager of Direct Response at Mediative notes the change in user behavior when a retargeted ad is clicked, “What we found is that people who are retargeted, that do respond to the ad, it’s not about the frequency of the response, it’s about what they do once they’re on your site. What we learned is people stay longer on the page. People jump off less. They will more than likely go deeper into the pages.”

Anonymous retargeting cookies are now in my browser and the travel agency can retarget ads in hopes of bringing me back to make a conversion. “Once you’ve completed the desired action, whatever it may be. It can be placed in the exclusion segment so that the retargeted ad is never shown again,” says Shumsky.

Retargeting continues your company’s brand story after a visitor has left your site without making a conversion. It’s an intelligent way of connecting with a visitor and uses the information you’ve tracked to gain valuable insight to create customizable retargeted ads. Companies can wisely spend ad dollars on visitors who have already shown an interest in their product or service.

What’s more, as a company, you can control which sites display your ads, and select to whom you show your ad.

In order for retargeting to be effective, time needs to be put into a retargeting marketing campaign strategy. Customized ads and landing pages with ongoing optimization are key ingredients to making a retargeting conversion. Use emotional marketing to tell your story and build that trusting relationship.

How much is too much?

Plan your media buys accordingly. Retargeting is most effective over time, for instance, 7-12 ads per month, at various times of the day over a 3-month period. You can change the brand message according to your visitors’ desire, and target ads with promotions that suit their interest.

Did the travel agency’s retargeting campaign work on me? They’ve certainly teased me with their promotions, and I’ve repeatedly gone back to its website. Sand and sun may soon be in my future.