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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is based on collecting email addresses. The first reason you want to collect the email address is that you need the unique identifier. Name is not enough, because many people can have the same name. However, an email address will be unique. On top of that, email addresses are critical for retargeting.

Paid social media ads

Retargeting means reaching out to people already in your leads database and trying to convert them on paid social media platforms. For example, promoted LinkedIn posts, promoted tweets, promoted Facebook ads. Without this email list, you will not be able to do that. It will result in a better-paid experience because these contacts have already opted into hearing from you.

As you know, the main social media networks are pay-to-play spaces. If you want to effectively target people, no longer is posting on your own company’s profile enough. You’re going to have to use paid social in some form or another.

Having a good, healthy email address list is the best way to start with that. How retargeting works on Facebook and Twitter, for example, is with custom audiences and then lookalike audiences. Your custom audience is, basically, the email list that you uploaded. Lookalike audiences, on the other hand, are not necessarily in your database, but have characteristics similar to the list that you have uploaded, i.e. your custom audience. This is extremely powerful because it allows you to surface content to people who are not yet in your database that are highly likely to want to be in your database, that want to hear from you, that want to hear about your products and services, that you are solving for.

This shows you just how important not using bought lists are, why generating your own lists through content marketing and through inbound marketing is so important. If you start spending money on ads on Facebook and Twitter that are being directed to people with characteristics completely irrelevant to you, it’s going to fail and cost you a lot of money.

Banner ads

Another reason you want you to use retargeting is for banner ads. This is a more outbound technique that can also be effective for some businesses. You need to understand what a pixel and a cookie are. Banner ads run off of pixels. This is a snippet of JavaScript placed on the website browser, resulting in the same thing as a cookie. This means that when the contact is visiting other parts of the web, you can have agreements in place with content vendors to surface particular ads or particular pieces of content when they’re arriving.

Match rate

What you need to be careful of with banner ads is the match rate. The match rate means what is the quality of the leads you’re getting from people clicking on these ads? This is why custom audiences and lookalike audiences in the pay-to-play platforms are so good because they identify the characteristics so well and so specifically. Banner ads are quite the shot in the dark.

However, based on your analytics, you can decide if it’s the right move for you. If you do decide to use that route, remember, ad-blocking software is increasing and it may result in your banner ads rendered entirely useless.

Content syndication

Content syndication is the process of pushing your blog, your website, or your video content out into third-party sites, either as a full article, a snippet, a link, or a thumbnail. You need to have researched a target list of websites in order for this to work well. If you just let the content syndication partner advertise your content anywhere they like, that’s not going to be targeting where your persona is. You need to know where your persona goes and then inform the content syndication partner what you would like them to serve.

Tracking URLs

Use tracking URLs to make sure that you understand which content syndication partners and which websites are working best for you. This way, you can trim off the fat and make sure that you are targeting only the places that work for you. Examples are Outbrain and Taboola.

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Andrea Francis

Inbound marketing manager @ Poppulo

  • Inbound marketing manager in employee communications technology 
  • Worked at Relayr as a senior marketing manager, creating and implementing a global inbound marketing strategy
  • Worked with Hubspot as a marketing manager and funnel optimization specialist focusing on converting leads to qualified leads for the EMEA region
  • Content marketing and blogging with various SaaS startups at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

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