One very useful tactic for enhancing online advertising, that’s often underused by B2B marketers, is the retargeting method (or remarketing as it’s sometimes known). If you’ve been surfing the web recently, then you’re likely to have seen it in action.
In simple terms, it means when somebody visits your website they will see your advertising on other sites they then go to. It’s available to set up through the Google Ad network and lets you show your ads to website visitors on any of the network’s partner sites, including Facebook.
The main advantage of this tactic is that you can continue marketing to those who haven’t yet converted. When used in tandem with intelligent software like Lead Forensics, you can create some seriously innovative and highly appealing advertising, to help you generate conversions and super-hot leads.
Here, we take a closer look at how retargeting works and the best strategy to follow when using it.
Digital advertising is here to stay
The budget that B2B marketers now dedicate to digital advertising is on the rise. One of the biggest advantages of this type of digital activity is that it produces data, which can then be used to inform future campaigns. This creates an upwards learning spiral, meaning campaigns just keep getting better and better.
Search advertising (placing ads alongside search results), the concept of mobile-first (designing your online experience for mobile before a desktop user) and social media are all here to stay, with even more innovations on the horizon. What they all provide is a clear breakdown of cost versus results, helping sales and marketing teams work together to fine-tune the sales funnel and maximize returns.
Retargeting is well known within the e-commerce world, with retailers such as Amazon and many airlines being particularly strong in this area. But can B2Bs also profit from it?
The answer is yes, and here’s why:
- It works particularly well with narrow, highly segmented audiences, which are usually exactly what you’re after in the B2B world
- You aren’t going to be working with some unknown audience mass but with a highly relevant one – people who have visited your website, so have some form of connection to you
- B2B sales cycles tend to be long and retargeting is an easy way to keep the nurturing going in an unobtrusive way, while you monitor for signals of intention
- It is a great tool to use for cross-selling and up-selling campaigns
- An added bonus for Lead Forensics users is being able to filter out unconverted users so you only retarget those people, you can narrow the audience even more and achieve much higher conversion rates, in tandem with knowing who they actually are.
Getting the most out of your B2B retargeting
To run successful retargeting campaigns, you firstly need to get your segmentation right. Retargeting generally works best with larger audiences and in some cases, you’ll be required to have a certain size of audience before it will kick in. On Facebook, for example, you need at least 50 website visitors before you can use Facebook Pixel to set up a retargeting campaign.
The beauty of it is that you can segment not only people who visit your website, but in greater detail – such as by the page they visited, or how long they stayed on the site. When this is matched with data held in your CRM or the insights you gain through your Lead Forensics portal, you will be able to pull out very specific lists.
The key is to know your audience and your buyer journey really well, in order to spot opportunities to reinforce your messages and convert leads with retargeting.
Also, don’t forget to consider your negative audiences as well, i.e. those audiences you want to exclude. For example, if you are running a retargeting campaign to convert people who have been on a specific page but haven’t become customers yet, you need to exclude customers! Ignoring negative groups is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, but even big companies forget it sometimes.
Every time you see an ad from a company showing you a product you’ve already purchased, you know they aren’t using negative audiences to exclude you. Instead, what you should be getting are retargeting ads that have been designed to cross-sell your other products.
Another point about segmentation is Facebook custom audiences. While this isn’t strictly speaking retargeting, it is a way to use audience segmentation to target groups. It gives you the option to upload an email list to Facebook. The platform will then check which of the emails listed have a specific Facebook profile. You won’t be given a list of individual names but you will be able to see what the match rate is. In the B2B world, the figures will be on the lower side, as most people don’t use their work email address to create a profile, but you’ll still get some hits.
By combining these audiences with standard retargeting ads on Facebook, you’ll be showing a highly targeted group your ads. It may only be a small group (remember, you do need to hit a certain figure for it to work) but the potential to then convert is incredibly high.
Another huge success factor when using retargeting as a B2B is to think hard about the creative you are going to use – from the wording to the imagery, landing pages and the offer itself.
Selling a product directly is not how B2Bs operate, you need to get into an educational mode with your ad campaigns. Teach and pass on information, rather than try to sell. Also, nobody is going to be interested in how many awards you’ve got. If you advertise something like that, your conversion rates will be tiny, probably under <1%.
If you have put together a really good whitepaper or ebook, which will be of value to the audience you want to target, then use that in your ads. With the right offer, packaged in the right way, your conversion rates could be upwards of 30%.
Do a lot of testing, to check you’ve chosen your strongest offer. Remember, you can put ads together that relate entirely to a specific page on your website. Think, if someone has visited that page, what could you offer them that would be highly relevant? If you run an e-commerce platform you can get even more creative and start segmenting towards specific products that have been looked at, or abandoned in shopping carts.
Overall, through this activity, you will be generating brand awareness, but don’t have that as your main objective. Instead, make the aim of any kind of marketing campaign you’re doing to be some sort of conversion. At the very least, go for an email address for a subscription.
Make sure you spread your ads across several different channels and use different messaging. Check what works well and what doesn’t, so you can keep fine-tuning. Then test again and repeat the process.
Something that’s increasingly important in today’s world of smartphones and tablets is to make sure your ads work on mobile devices. Many people visit websites via a mobile, so your ads, landing page, offer and website all need to look good and be user-friendly.
Traffic and size of the audience
If you are very narrow in your targeting and your website traffic levels are small, you may want to consider broadening your reach first, before using retargeting to filter out the correct traffic. You can use retargeting to run a top-of-funnel campaign that attracts traffic and then retarget those that didn’t convert with specific messages. That way you can continue to encourage those that need more info before they will convert on a download offer or newsletter subscription.
For B2Bs, sometimes all you need is one really good whitepaper or ebook. If you have one that’s working well to convert the right type of leads, then don’t worry about creating more. Use that one and instead focus on diversifying the tactics and methods you use to get it out there.
Whether it’s digital ads, retargeting, or any other type of campaign, there is a multitude of tactics you can use to attract people. What you need to ensure is that you then have a clear conversion path for them to follow and that all departments are on board with it, so you maximize every opportunity. Then, with a little time and effort to ensure you have the strongest possible offer, presented in the right way and to the right people, you’ll soon start to reap the rewards.