With the use of retargeting, companies can address users who are interested in their product or service in a targeted way.
How does retargeting work?
There are basically three players in the retargeting game:
1. The advertiser, who would like to broadcast advertising for their website
2. A retargeting service provider, who provides the technology (AdServer) which enables the website to mark the user and recognise them at a later time
3. A publisher, who provides one or several ad spaces. Many publishers today are also the retargeting service provider at the same time.
In terms of technology, retargeting tags the user on the advertiser’s website. To achieve this, it places a cookie on the website in the form of a short code (also known as a pixel). This is not visible to the website’s visitor and cannot hinder the performance of the website. With the use of this cookie, other websites within the publisher’s network can recognise the user and broadcast targeted ads.
Retargeting is worthwhile for broad target groups and when a large enough data set is available. Large enough means a data set of about 100 to 1,000 cookies, and these should not be older than 150 to 560 days. Otherwise, too few or too many users will be targeted, which, in turn, would mean that the campaign would come to nothing or would burn through a lot of money in just a short time.
Note: Please be aware that cookies – and thus pixels – are relevant in terms of the EU GDPR.
The benefits of retargeting
With the use of retargeting, companies can address users in a targeted way – and only those who have already shown interest in a brand, a product or a service. By precisely determining the target group, the click rates and the conversion rates of a campaign can be noticeably increased. The advertising capital is therefore used very efficiently.
Retargeting campaigns for B2B
Especially within the B2B segment, where the target group’s decision-making cycle is often more complex and longer than in the B2C segment, retargeting offers a good opportunity to support the target group when it comes to making decisions along their entire customer journey. Thus, it lets companies remain present among potential customers. In this way, an excellent return on investment can generally be achieved.
Retargeting and traditional banner advertising: what’s the difference?
But was that not always the case already with banner advertising? No. That’s because traditional banner advertising is not steered toward specific user profiles, based on jobs, interests or demographic parameters – such as age, gender, place of residency. The advantage of retargeting is that users can be addressed in a much more specific way and thus advertising budgets can be leveraged more efficiently.
An example: Women in their late 20s receive, based on their gender and age, traditional banner advertising featuring, perhaps, wedding ads or ads for baby products, even if they have never visited such websites. However, if a woman in the same target group receives advertising for 3D printers after visiting a certain product website for her job, or after viewing the relevant company profile on online marketplaces such as EUROPAGES or “Wer liefert was”, then this is retargeting.
What kinds of retargeting publishers are there?
Once the cookies have been placed for a website visitor, the advertising is then broadcasted. There are various options for this:
Retargeting with display publishers like Google
Very popular among advertisers are so-called display publishers. Companies which work with a display publisher do not have to choose a certain platform themselves, but instead can rely on the fact that the network broadcasts the ads to the right users at the right location. A big display publisher, for instance, is the Google display network. Google has advertising space on most of the relevant websites and can thus reach, according to Google, up to 90 per cent of all Internet users worldwide. Whether purely text-based or elaborately designed ads, the range of the advertising formats is huge.
Retargeting on YouTube
YouTube, too, offers an entire line-up of various video ad formats with which potential customers on YouTube and on the websites of video partners can be addressed in different ways – for instance skippable or non-skippable ads before or during the video. The large range of advertising options caters to every budget and offers a good, individual solution for every product.
Retargeting with Facebook
The broadcasting of ad campaigns on Facebook is also popular. The visitor is tagged on the customer’s website with the Facebook pixel, is then tracked and receives the matching advertising at a later time on Facebook. If the visitor clicks on this advertising, they are directed to the customer’s website where, in best case, a purchase is made.
What does retargeting cost?
Depending on the retargeting service provider, there are many different price models. An all-round valid statement on the costs of retargeting cannot be made so easily. But generally speaking, retargeting is relatively affordable compared to other measures for winning over new customers.
The invoicing is frequently based on the cost-per-click model, whereby each successful click on the ad costs a pre-defined sum to be paid to the website operator. This method is nearly risk-free, as the advertiser only pays when the interested person actually visits the website.
An example to give you an idea: According to data from the social media management platform Hootsuite, the costs per click (CPC) on Facebook are between about 18 and 27 euro cents. A remarketing ad in the Google network can amount to between 22 and 55 euro cents per click. The prices, however, can vary massively from industry to industry.
Other standard invoicing models are CPO (cost per order), CPM (cost per mille, cost per thousand impressions) or, for YouTube, CPV (cost per view).