Remarketing vs Retargeting: A Beginner’s Guide for 2023

Learn about remarketing vs retargeting and how these ad strategies can help turn browsers into buyers!

How many people visit your website and wind up clicking the “Back” button over the “Buy”? Your paid ads are drawing in the traffic, but you’re consistently seeing abandoned carts and endless swells of new users. So, how do you stop users from leaving your site – never to be seen again? It starts with understanding the differences between remarketing vs retargeting in your social media and PPC campaigns.

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In this article, we’re going to break down remarketing vs retargeting. Then we’ll give you some tips on how to use both to drive more traffic and conversions to your website.

Let’s get started by looking at the difference between these two strategies.

Remarketing vs Retargeting

Both remarketing and retargeting are aimed to help convert website visitors that have previously engaged with your businesses but left without buying anything. 

Although the two are often used interchangeably and have a similar goal, they have various differences that you need to understand to utilize each strategy. 

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is a broad term that describes different strategies that entail marketing to the same people repeatedly. Some common types of remarketing include retargeting, social media, phone, and email marketing.

A remarketing campaign will typically use email to send ad messages to individuals who have previously interacted with your business. It can include existing customers and people that have shown interest but left without buying anything.

What is Retargeting?

A retargeting campaign targets web traffic, and it is a subset of remarketing. Although it might sound a little complex if you are new to the concept, it is simply a process of running a paid remarketing ad that focuses on people that are already familiar with your business.

The retargeting marketing strategy serves ads to prospective customers based on cookies. Therefore, the people who receive the ads have already visited your website before. The targeted customers are also a lead or contact in your database in some instances.

How Remarketing Works for Your Website

Remarketing will work by placing cookies on the devices of your website visitors that meet certain criteria. For example, you might want to target visitors to a specific landing page that do not end up buying anything.

Each cookie ID from these visitors will automatically be added to your remarketing list. This lets you know the specific customers to target for your remarketing campaigns. When these 

Serve Targeted Ads to Previous Visitors

The main goal of remarketing is to serve targeted ads to previous visitors to your website. These previous visitors can be existing customers you already converted or potential ones yet to buy anything. 

Here are the basic steps to follow to create campaigns for your business remarketing:

  1. Create remarketing tags on your Google Adwords account
  2. Create your remarketing list and make sure it is rule-based and that you select your audience
  3. Build your marketing campaign by choosing the remarketing list to use, campaign name, objective, and ad network
  4. Create retargeting ads copy, which is just the same as creating ad copy for other marketing campaigns
  5. Run remarketing campaigns to convert the potential customers

What Are Remarketing Pixel Tags?

A remarketing pixel tag is a tiny tool (snippet of a code) added to your website or marketing emails. These marketing actions are meant to help you track customer data for more personalized digital marketing.

Remarketing pixel tags will help you create more dynamic ads as they allow you to gather important customer information. Using these tags means you can serve ads specifically to your website visitors and focus more on their particular interests based on what they engage with on your website.

You can use remarketing pixel tags on Google Adwords and on popular social media platforms where remarketing is prominent such as Facebook and Twitter. They are instrumental in ensuring that you always display ads relevant to your remarketing list.

What Is a Remarketing List?

A remarketing list is a file that contains information on people that previously visited your site that you intend to target for your remarketing campaign.

Remarketing tags help create these lists by dropping a cookie every time a new person visits your page. The cookie ID is then used to add them to a remarketing list. Existing customers are not assigned new cookie IDs, so they will only be added to a specific remarketing list once.

Remarketing lists are rule-based, and you can have several of them for different kinds of customers. For example, you can have a general remarketing list for all visitors that do not convert and another one for those that engage with a specific page on your website.

Benefits of Retargeting Campaigns

A retargeting campaign can be beneficial for any business as it will help you reach a huge percentage of customers that go without buying anything or signing up. But, there are many other benefits besides this, including the following 4.

1. Customized Audience List

Retargeting allows you to market to individuals who visited your website and already have some interest in what you are offering. Creating this customized audience list will significantly increase your chances of conversion. Since the audience already has some interest, a little nudge is all it takes to convert them.

2. Increased Brand Recall

Retargeting reduces the time it takes to build brand awareness and recall. Keeping in touch with your potential customers even when they are not visiting your site or converting immediately increases the chances of a conversion since the customers get familiar with your brand.

3. Increased Sales

Increasing sales is the primary purpose of retargeting and perhaps one of its main benefits. Since you can concentrate on warm leads instead of using a broad-based marketing approach, retargeting will lead to a higher conversion rate, increasing your sales.

4. Gives you Better Marketing Insight

Unlike other conversion campaigns that focus on bringing in more customers, retargeting also helps you gain better insight. Analytics from your retargeting campaigns will help you get a better insight into customers’ shopping and purchasing behaviors. With this information, you can come up with a laser-focused marketing campaign.

Types of Remarketing

There are several remarketing types you can use for your website. Although the best ones depend on the specific remarketing platform you are using, here is an overview of the most common ones.

Display Remarketing

Display remarketing is one of the simplest types of remarketing. Here you only need to serve a display ad to the customer on another site after they visit yours. This type requires you to use display ad networks like Google and Bing.

Search Retargeting ads

Search retargeting ads entail showing network ads to individuals who have previously visited your site. These ads typically target people on your remarketing list.

Email Remarketing

With email remarketing, you have to upload emails of people that previously visited your site. Your remarketing ads will then be shown to them every time they log in to platforms that require them to use their emails, such as Google accounts and Youtube.

Social media retargeting

This retargeting type focuses on social media platforms. Your retargeting ads will be shown to your potential customers on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

Platforms for Remarketing Campaigns

Social media ads are now one of the most popular and successful platforms for online advertising and running remarketing campaigns. 

Facebook Remarketing

Facebook is one of the most powerful platforms for remarketing and retargeting campaigns. Besides offering one of the broadest audiences among all social media channels, it also has various tools to support your campaign. 

These tools include their Facebook for Business and Facebook Dynamic Product Ads. Moreover, you can use the tools to serve ads on Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

Instagram Retargeting

You can use Facebook marketing tools to serve ads for your Instagram audiences. However, it is also possible to retarget your Instagram ads. 

You will first need to link your Instagram advertising account with Business Manager and then create a custom audience that your campaign should target.

Next, you only need to choose a URL and data collection time before measuring your users and launching the campaign.

TikTok Remarketing

Remarketing on TikTok will start with the creation of a custom targeted audience. However, you will also need to give the TikTok pixel enough time to collect the required data. Also, if you plan to do retargeting based on web traffic, the platform requires you to have an audience size of at least 1,000 users.

YouTube Retargeting

YouTube videos will be the next evolution for remarketing as advertising becomes a more interactive experience. With YouTube remarketing, you can get an immediate connection with your audience and get a better way of grabbing the attention of the target people to explain why they should buy your products.

You can do YouTube retargeting from the video campaign section on Google Ads. The rest of the process will be similar to setting up any other remarketing campaign on Google Adwords as it will entail things like choosing your targets and remarketing lists.

Final Word: Remarketing vs Retargeting

Remarketing is vital for any business that wants to increase conversion rates more quickly and cost-effectively. When done correctly, remarketing campaigns can also be very effective at increasing brand awareness and reducing the cost of acquiring new customers.

Do you agree? How would you feel about remarketing ads in your search results? You can join the conversation and share your thoughts by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. If you’re a small business owner and want to learn more about how to use remarketing, or if you’d like to learn more about PPC trends, then contact TheeDigital and we’ll help you evaluate how you can increase revenue with remarketing.

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