Picture this: you’re attending a wedding coming up this summer and you’re looking to buy a new pair of shoes to elevate your event day outfit. After scrolling a couple of stores online, you jump over to check what the weather will be like that day. Then, there it is. A loud, glaring ad on the side of the page calling out for your attention. And, who would have guessed what that ad is for? It’s an ad for shoes from that same store you were just browsing on!

This is no coincidence; this is remarketing in action. While we all love to joke that we think about something then we see an ad for it, it’s not quite that extreme yet. But, remarketing is both a very real and very powerful tool to have as part of your local marketing strategy.

what is remarketing - remarketing display ad example

Some examples of where remarketing ads might appear as you browse the web. 

In this post, we’ll explore all the details you need to know about remarketing for your small business, including:

  • What remarketing is.
  • How remarketing works.
  • Where you can use remarketing.
  • What you need to know before you add remarketing to your existing strategy.


Remarketing vs. Retargeting: What’s the Difference?

Remarketing and retargeting can be used interchangeably, so there’s not a real difference between the two. Remarketing or retargeting is the practice of showing your paid ads to users who have visited your website or a specific page on your website.

But, don’t just take our word for it, here’s Google’s official definition of remarketing:

“Remarketing is a way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. It allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites, thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase.”


So, How Does Remarketing Work?

Basically, every internet user is assigned a unique ID that allows websites to identify them as they move across the web. This is why you receive a notification when you visit a new website that asks you to accept the terms of use — you’re opting into websites collecting your unique ID.

what is remarketing - how does remarketing work

Cookies are used to collect third-party data

Therefore, the more website visitors you have, the larger your remarketing audience will be. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that remarketing isn’t a great fit for all businesses regardless of size! In fact, there are plenty of places where you can apply a remarketing audience to your marketing plan to fit your business’s unique individual needs.


The 3 Major Places You Should Use Remarketing

You can use remarketing as part of your PPC campaigns on Google and Microsoft Search, Google Shopping, display, and video as well as in all Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns.

1. Remarketing + PPC: How They Work Together for Better Targeting 

In PPC, you can point the ads in your campaign to only show to a certain group of people. This practice is called audience targeting. In short, remarketing in the PPC world is really just a form of audience targeting. This means you have a specified remarketing audience that you assign to your campaigns, and going forward those ads will only show to folks within that remarketing audience that came from your website or a specific page on your site.

Now, let’s take a moment for a deeper dive into when specifically your ads could show to a remarketing audience.

To understand if search remarketing could really be effective for your small business, you may ask yourself “What are the odds that someone who visited my site would then go back to the search engine to type in a keyword of mine that I will then show for and they will click on my ad?” For example, if I visit an e-commerce site looking for shoes to wear to a wedding, I’m likely to return to Google and search with a related keyword if I didn’t make a purchase.

what is remarketing - search remarketing example

While there’s no clear way to tell for sure when you’re seeing a remarketing ad as a viewer, you can assume some of the ads you see are remarketing ads based on your historical web interest patterns.

2. Remarketing for Google & Microsoft Display or Video Campaigns

Display ad or video remarketing is the most common campaign type we see leveraging a remarketing audience targeting strategy. Because display or video ads are shown passively on any web page on the platforms’ respective display networks, most business owners really want to reel in and refine their campaigns to avoid any wasted marketing budget or irrelevant traffic. Remarketing is a great way to achieve this because display or video ads are shown only to those who have previously interacted with your business, increasing the chances they would click your ad.

what is remarketing - remarketing display or video camapigns

Not only that, but the intent behind the clicks from someone in the remarketing audience is usually of much higher quality and value since they’re already familiar with your business.

We call this pattern of remarketing audience habits to be more “bottom of the marketing funnel” meaning they’re all that much closer to actually completing a conversion, or meaningful action, on your website. Display advertising campaigns are typically “top of the funnel” strategies meant to drive brand awareness since they can show on any display network web page regardless of who it’s showing to — unless you assign a remarketing audience, that is! In short, remarketing is a great strategy to turn a top-of-funnel display campaign into a bottom-of-funnel converting campaign.

what is remarketing - why remarketing works - move customers through sales funnel

3. Paid Social Ads & Remarketing

Remarketing audiences can be created within the Facebook platform as well and, therefore, is an available ad set targeting option for both Facebook placements as well as Instagram placements. Similar to display ad campaigns, since Facebook has such a high rate of users that passively see your ad, moving those viewers down our marketing funnel can be a challenge. Targeting users with remarketing is a great way to combat this by showing your Facebook or Instagram ads to potential customers already familiar with your business.

Remarketing on Facebook or Instagram can help you increase your ad reach and convert more customers from your paid social ads, especially when used as part of a wider Facebook advertising strategy. You can target general users with the targeting options on Facebook and then remarket that audience to get them to convert.

what is remarketing - facebook ad remarketing example

I’ve visited this web page from Google before, so this could be an example of a remarketed ad. 


3 Questions to Ask Before You Start Remarketing

So, we now know when and where we’d want to leverage remarketing. But, is it the right fit for your small business? Here are three questions to ask yourself before you dive into remarketing.

1. Is remarketing a good fit for my business?

Each ad platform has minimum requirements in order to use remarketing effectively, so you’ll want to make sure you get enough website visitors for this to be successful for your strategy. Feel free to consult your marketing partner to determine whether or not this is an ideal strategy for your business!

Audience Size Requirements by Platform:

  • Google Display: Minimum 100 active users within the last 30 days.
  • Search: Minimum 1000 active users within the last 30 days.
  • Video (YouTube): Minimum 1000 active users within the last 30 days.
  • Google Shopping: Minimum 1000 active users within the last 30 days.
  • Microsoft: Minimum 300 audience members across the board.
  • Facebook & Instagram: Minimum 1000 audience members across the board.

Remarketing audience size requirements by platform

2. Does remarketing complement my existing PPC efforts?

Another way to help amplify your remarketing efforts is to think about what other strategies you’re currently implementing on paid search and paid social platforms and how they can work together. For example, you can use PPC and Facebook advertising to grow your remarketing audience to make your campaigns even more successful.

3. Do I have the right strategy to support remarketing?

Take a moment to think about the people visiting your site who would be a part of your remarketing audience. They’re already familiar with your business, so you may want to rethink your ad copy with that in mind as that could necessitate different messaging. Along with that, in certain cases, you’ll be able to manage how frequently your ads show per day, per week, or per month. Therefore, it’s a best practice to be refreshing your remarketing ad copy every so often as well as taking a look at how often it’s being shown.


Is Remarketing Right For Your Small Business?

The good news is: yes! After careful evaluation of remarketing and how it interacts with other local marketing strategies like PPC advertising and Facebook ads, one can see that it can be used to help you reach your marketing goals.

Remarketing is a powerful tactic to take your advertising to the next level and move your potential customers closer to a meaningful, money-making action all that much faster. With the right platform and the right marketing strategy, your remarketing efforts can be the perfect solution to elevate your brand.

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