Social Media Retargeting: Touch Base Again

Turn window shoppers into paying customers

30 October 2022

5 minutes

Anam Jalil

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All of us see ads on our social media platforms.

Mark Zuckerberg famously said to the American Senator who was confused about how Facebook remained free, " Senator, we run ads." That's why social media exists and that's how it makes money.

Mark Zuckerberg

I guess that Senator was not on Facebook, but most of us are, and we are also on other social networks: Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.

When you see an ad campaign featuring a product, brand, or business offering something of value, on these well-known platforms, it is likely to arouse interest.

But if you are scrolling in between your jog or in between a boring university class, you might not be in the frame of mind to purchase, though you may be a potential customer down the line. For example, you see a campaign for home furniture - you may be interested, but just not now.

Also Read: Customer Lifetime Value for SaaS

In the same way, you may have visited a website after searching for something on Google and bounced after a few seconds - mainly because you were too busy or your purchase intent isn't immediate.

That ad disappears sometimes and you never see it again or you forget all about that website - out of sight, out of mind principle.

According to HubSpot, 96% of people leave a website without taking the action that the marketer is hoping they will take. So, do you just give up? NO!

This is where we talk about retargeting.

Social media retargeting campaigns explained

Social media retargeting campaigns are a form of digital marketing where you can serve specific ads to custom audiences based on their expressed interest in your products/services.

We just love the way HubSpot explains it, "remarketing or retargeting is the process of tagging your site visitors and targeting them with content after they leave your site in an effort to re-engage them and bring them back to your website."

For example, if someone previously clicked on a baby cot ad you published or a person views a particular page on your website, you can show them ads on social media to re-engage them with your brand and move them along the buyer's journey.

Ads can be shown to past, existing, or potential customers based on the custom audience you select.

Usually, your target audience is people who are likely to purchase from you in the future because they were previously website visitors or app users.

These ads are then shown to them on social platforms, popping up in between their everyday scrolling and reminding them of a product/service they previously seemed to be interested in, would be interested in again, or are likely to be interested in.

Your remarking campaign can have several purposes:

  • Generate awareness and enhance brand recall

  • Target people who were in the process of purchasing a product/service or inquired about it

  • Target specific audiences that are in a certain stage of your sales funnel to move on to the next step

  • Create lookalike audiences on Facebook to target potential customers with the same characteristics as your existing customers.

  • Create a custom audience based on what shoppers browse on social channels

  • Gather data of potential or past customers to retarget them on a more personal level later

Let's explore in depth how social media retargeting works.

How social media retargeting works

Let's imagine a girl named Marie who is interested in lipstick shades. She types in "buy lipsticks online" in Google and finds your website. She checks out a couple of pages of lipstick and then she realises she has a meeting and clicks out of the site.

If you have pixels installed, you can create a retargeted ad for your website visitor on a social network showing them more from the specific pages they viewed or the items they have shown interest in.

Marie will then see an ad for your lipsticks again when she is browsing Facebook or Insta and perhaps then she will be free and have more purchase intent. Therefore, she will be likely to purchase.

This is how conversion rates spike. A social media retargeting campaign encourages users to take action while they are idly scrolling through social media.

This is how retargeting works but let's go into a little more depth and see which factors you need to consider when setting up your retargeting campaign.

Factors to consider for social retargeting

So you have your ad networks chosen and you have a limited ad spend. You need to show these ads to a perfect audience - with minimum wastage. Where should your retargeting efforts be focused?

  • Neil Patel makes a valid point when he mentions that you shouldn't cast too wide a net. Running a pixel-based ad on everyone who visited your website in the past 30 days won't be as effective as if you narrowed down the audience.

  • Create retargeting ads based on actions that people have taken on your website. If someone has already downloaded the lead magnet and your ad provides a lead magnet, they don't need it. If someone has read a blog post but has not given their contact details, your re-marketing campaign can be about giving them a discount if they provide those details. Be specific in serving ads on social media.

  • You can also set a frequency cap on your audience. For example, some people may be coming to your site often and reading your content but not purchasing your product. You can retarget them on social media and they probably only need a small nudge to go ahead and purchase now.

  • You can retarget existing customers to upsell them something new you are offering. They may already be on your email list but they may have become unresponsive and now social media is the ideal place to show them an unobtrusive piece and encourage them to give you more business.

  • Lead-generation ads based on page engagement can really spike up your revenue. If a visitor is on your page for 4-5 minutes but does not purchase or has been reading your blog regularly, you can base your retargeting on offering them a lead magnet so they give you their contact details and add themselves to your contact list. You can ask for email addresses, names, phone numbers, or any other information you need. Try to keep the form short though.

So, this gives you a general insight into retargeting ads on a social media platform, but is that the only place you can retarget visitors to your site?

Other forms of retargeting

We have talked about retargeting ads but you can't always show users ads and what if some of them are not as active on certain platforms? How do you reach them on a more personal level?

Remarketing is when you target visitors on your website who have left their email addresses but have not completed the required action and you do this through email.

Email is a cheaper form of marketing and it provides a more personalised experience for customers or potential customers, plus there are companies that are getting an ROI above 1000% with email marketing.

Email marketing allows you to serve your customers with bite-sized content, and personal discounts, and make them more familiar with your brand by turning up in their inboxes from time to time.

The only factor you need to ensure in email marketing is that your emails reach the recipient - land in their Priority inbox. You need to warm-up your email domain and be conscious of your sender reputation - and Pribox can definitely help you there!

We will talk more about retargeting ads via email campaigns in the future. Meanwhile, start warming up your domains!