Online Remarketing – Keeping Your Target Audience Engaged

February 27, 2015   |   Vol. 14   |   Issue 2
Online Remarketing – Keeping Your Target Audience EngagedAs recently as last year, when the topic of running remarketing campaigns on an association’s website was discussed, more often than not the feedback was, “we don’t want to stalk people,” or “that’s creepy,” or “our board won’t allow it.” But with the proliferation of all major online retailers like Amazon, Zappos, Best Buy, etc. following consumers around the internet with ads of items they were just shopping for, remarketing campaigns have become more commonplace and are a highly effective tool for engaging your association’s audience. What Exactly Is Remarketing? Remarketing is a feature that you set up to reach people that visit your association’s website, then you show them relevant ads as they travel across the Internet, to entice them to return to your association’s website. Two of the most popular options for utilizing a remarketing campaign are Google and Facebook.

This is accomplished by placing a snippet of HTML code across your entire website, which then in turn allows you to set up multiple remarketing campaigns, depending on the pages on your website that have been visited. It is always more advantageous to put the remarketing code across your entire website so that a) you can set up multiple remarketing campaigns depending on the website page(s) visited and also b) create additional remarketing campaigns very quickly because the remarketing code itself is already across your entire website.

When someone visits one of these pages on which your remarketing code resides, an ad server (Google or Facebook, for example) then loads a remarketing pixel and places a cookie on that person’s device (computer, tablet, cell phone, etc.) and then enables the remarketing campaign to show your ads across other websites. If you are using Google AdWords for your remarketing campaign, your ads will then show on websites that sell their advertising space to Google and if you are using Facebook for your remarketing campaign, your ads will be then shown to that person when they log into Facebook. Why Should You Do It? Most of the visitors to your association’s website typically will not make a purchase, donate, become a member, sign up for a conference, etc. on their first visit. Utilizing a remarketing campaign allows you to take advantage of this behavior to reengage your potential members/customers very cost-effectively and also increase your Return on Investment (ROI).

As an effective association marketer, chances are you’ve invested a lot of time and money into your online channels, like display advertising, email marketing and optimizing your association’s website. Remarketing provides you a very cost-effective platform in which you can continue to keep your audience engaged with your association once they disengage from the items above. Getting Started – What Do You Need To Plan For? The first thing you will most likely need to revisit is your association’s privacy policy. Particularly if you are to use Google AdWords for your remarketing campaign, there is very specific verbiage you will need to adhere to in your privacy policy. Here is the link for the “What to Include in Your Privacy Policy for Remarketing” page by Google. For Facebook, you do not have to update your association’s privacy policy as Facebook’s privacy policy with its users covers it.

You will also want to plan how you want to target your website visitors. Different parts of your website are designed for different actions. For example, it would make more sense to show specific conference ads to visitors of your conference pages as opposed to showing your conference ads to people that visit every page of your website. Think of how you can place your website visitors into different categories based on the pages they visit, and then set up specific remarketing campaigns accordingly. Results Tracking – How Will You Know Your Remarketing Program Was Effective? One very critical aspect to planning your remarketing campaign is the use of Conversion Code. Both Google AdWords and Facebook provide dedicated Conversion Code tools that you can utilize for individual actions. This is a snippet of HTML code that gets placed on the respective Thank You/Receipt Confirmation page that signifies that a successful transaction has occurred on your association’s website.

For example, you’ve decided to set up a remarketing campaign for your upcoming conference and you’ve defined your list of conference pages that you want to utilize for defining your target audience. You’ve placed your Google AdWords remarketing code across your entire website, uploaded your ads into Google AdWords, set your Destination Page to send your traffic to, but how will you measure success? By placing the Google AdWords Conversion Code on your thank-you page the visitor sees after successfully registering for the conference, this data then gets reported back to Google AdWords as a Conversion, and allows you to track what your Cost Per Conversion was for your campaign.

You can set up multiple Conversion Codes and name them as you see fit, so you will want to use one Conversion Code per campaign. For example you could have one Conversion Code named, “Association XYZ – 2015 Spring Conference Registration,” and “Association XYZ – Certification Registration,” and on and on so they tie back to your specific remarketing campaigns you have set up. Why Remarketing Makes Sense for Association Marketers. Remarketing campaigns can very cost-effectively generate a great deal of awareness for your association and your upcoming events. For example, it is not unheard of to be able to generate 500,000 ad impressions over the course of a month for an upcoming conference on a $500 media spend.

It is important to think of remarketing as a means to help you work your sales funnel and keep visitors coming back to your association’s website and reinforcing your value proposition.

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