Retargeting has been an advertiser’s best friend for over a decade now, and for good reason. If someone was just on your website vetting your product, there’s a very good chance they’re in the market for what you have to offer, or they wouldn’t have found & visited your site in the first place.
But the challenge with retargeting is as old as the practice itself: scale. There are only so many people visiting your website to retarget to, and assuming you want to grow your business faster than recycling through your existing visitors, you’re going to have to branch out.
Historically, advertisers have looked to lookalikes and tacking on additional ad networks to solve this, oftentimes at the expense of ROAS. But more recently, retargeting marketplaces like Repixel have started to emerge, connecting advertisers with the owners of other websites such as blogs and review websites, giving them the ability to retarget someone else’s website. In this article, we’ll go through some creative strategies on how to execute on this type of approach.
Idea #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Look Outside of Your Industry
While you’re at work, it’s tempting to keep blinders on and think about partners that you’ve heard of or have worked closely with, but sometimes the best retargeting opportunities are a bit outside of the box.
For example, if you sell children’s clothes, don’t feel like you only need to stay in the clothing industry. Keep in mind that your target market, parents, buy merchandise in lots of other places as well. For example, you could try retargeting Toys “R” Us, or websites for youth sports leagues, or online video game retailers, and so many others.
Idea #2: Go After Review Websites
The very last stage in most online purchases has become review websites. With that in mind, if you sell cybersecurity software, retargeting a website that ranks the 10 best cybersecurity platforms is sure to be valuable — every one of their visitors is likely to be in the market for your product, and likely on the verge of buying.
Idea #3: Match Specific Ads with Specific Site Owners
Your current ads are great, and the last 10 ad creative tests that you ran lost to your control. You’re just about ready to give up…we get it. But this time it’s different.
If you’re GNC and you’re retargeting people who have been to the weights section on Dick’s Sporting Good’s website, your ads will probably do great because your audience is aligned. But what if instead of using your standard ad creative you incorporated the fact that you know your audience is not only in the market for GNC, but they also like lifting weights. You could tweak your ads to be even more personalized and have your creative read “Elevate your next weights workout with GNC.” Then put a protein shake in the image and let the clicks roll in.
Idea #4: Team Up With Your Site Owner to Create Time-Sensitive Deals
If you have a retargeting partner that’s working, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and see if you can take your partnership to the next level!
Back to the GNC example, what if instead of Dick’s Sporting Goods (or in addition to) you decided to repixel Gold’s Gym. With their permission, you could use their brand name and come up with an ad that reads “Sign up for Gold’s Gym and bring in your receipt by June 1st to score 10% off anything storewide!”
This creates urgency to sign up for Gold’s Gym, and it’ll send a bucket of really qualified people your way as well. It’s a win-win.
Idea #5: Create Lookalikes Off Of Your Custom Audiences
While retargeting other sites allows you to scale far more than targeting just your own, you can scale even more by using the custom audiences you build to create lookalikes.
In case you didn’t know, on most major ad networks such as Facebook Ads, as your seed list audience updates with new visitors to your site owner’s pages, the lookalike will automatically recalibrate making it much more difficult to saturate your target market.
Idea #6: Don’t Forget About Exclusions
Retargeting other sites is a great way to find the right people to target with ads, but it’s also a great way to find people that you don’t want to see your ads.
For example, let’s say you own a health foods brand. Retargeting Whole Foods, Dr. Mercola, and Nutrisystem would be great picks to partner up with, but you might want to try to team up with companies that sell cigars and Twinkies as well. It’s probably fair to assume that people on these websites aren’t actively in the market for health foods, so if you can exclude them (and even a lookalike of them) for your campaigns you’re likely to see a boost in performance.
Idea #7: Take Advantage of Big Events
Keep an eye on your calendar for big events going on throughout the year. Websites for big events tend to generate a lot of traffic and a lot of enthusiasm — the perfect opportunity to make a lot of sales!
- Work in tech? Try retargeting visitors to the biggest tech conference of the year, CES.
- Work in sports entertainment. Retargeting visitors to the Olympics’ homepage or the NFL’s site during the Superbowl would be gold.
- Own a nightclub? Get a pixel shared from Mardi Gras related sites or big festivals throughout the year and target those people when they’re in your city with Facebook’s powerful location targeting.
Idea #8: Be Methodical. Test & Learn.
As with everything online advertising related, some partnerships will work and others will flop. Make sure you’re creating separate campaigns for each site that you retarget. This way if one of your site owners turns out to not be a good match, you can easily pause it before you burn through too much budget. And when you identify a site that’s performing incredibly well, you’ll know about it, and you’ll be able to scale it up, hopefully overshadowing your losses.