In an ideal world, marketing would convert with just one touch. But this is the real world.
Whether it’s because they need more time to think about a purchase or their dog just started vomiting on the carpet, people abandon shopping carts all the time.
So, what do you do?
You’ve already optimized your campaigns for maximum brilliance, so you know your copy is on point, your design is perfect, and you’re targeting the right audience. But you’re still losing sales. What gives?
You need remarketing to maximize your results.
At first glance, it sounds like a cure-all. Of course, it’s not always so easy.
First of all, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are everywhere. That means there are more things competing for eyes and attention spans are shorter than ever.
On top of that, media consumption has been increasingly multi-layered.
How do marketers and small businesses with correspondingly limited budgets give consumers a seamless experience across platforms?
Enter cross-channel remarketing.
What Is Cross-Channel Remarketing?
The keys to remarketing (i.e., what makes it work) are the twin foundations of cookies and tracking pixels.
Cookies are small pieces of data from a website that are stored on a visitor’s computer by a web browser.
The closely related tracking pixel, also known as a web beacon, is a transparent pixel-sized image that is embedded in webpages, emails, and banners to track website visits, impressions, and other statistics.
Cross-channel marketing uses these online activity trackers to go after audiences across a variety of devices and websites, providing a seamless experience and moving the target through the sales funnel.
For example, Allison’s cat won’t stop scratching her furniture. She reads on a blog how effective your anti-scratch spray is at protecting couches from claws.
Later that day, while using Facebook, she is shown a display ad for your product. She clicks on the ad and even goes so far as to add it to her shopping cart on your website, but she doesn’t complete the purchase.
That evening, she receives a marketing email with a discount code for the spray.
Via a successful cross-channel marketing strategy, different channels have worked in conjunction to create a clear brand impression for an already interested audience, which is more likely to drive a conversion.
Are Multi-Channel And Cross-Channel Remarketing The Same?
Don’t let the phrasing similarity confuse you. Multi-channel and cross-channel are not the same thing, even though they are very similar.
Multi-channel means you’re targeting audiences across channels, for example, a campaign that targets both Google Display and YouTube.
While you’re using different channels, they all work independently with no communication between them.
Cross-channel is the next level above, where these channels are connected. This allows you to track and record interactions and better facilitate the customer’s purchasing journey.
There’s also something called omnichannel marketing, which brings together digital and in-person touchpoints using all available channels, but let’s not overcomplicate things.
The Benefits Of Cross-Channel
There are several advantages to using cross-channel remarketing.
First, it lets you create and implement a more comprehensive and consistent message, which leads to more seamless brand impressions.
It breaks down silos between product, sales, and marketing, facilitating movement through the sales funnel while simultaneously building stronger connections.
And on top of this, it works. Cross-channel remarketing gives you measurable results, no matter what industry you’re in.
Developing Your Own Cross-Channel Remarketing Strategy
Like everything marketing, you don’t want to just wing it with your cross-channel strategy.
You need a carefully thought-out approach for creation and implementation that will help you get the results you need.
Let’s dive in:
1. Consider The Customer
This is Marketing 101. You can’t effectively sell anyone anything if you don’t understand the audience you’re trying to target.
But therein lies the further beauty of remarketing – you already know something about your audience.
Because they’ve already visited your website, searched for a solution like yours, or signed up for an email newsletter, you know they’re at least a little interested in what you offer.
Or, maybe you’re going after lookalike audiences, using data from sites like Google and Facebook to target specific prospects who have similarities to existing website visitors or customer lists.
Once you have identified the targets most likely to convert, take a closer look at them.
Developing a deeper understanding of your consumers, their needs and their behavior is vital to cross-channel remarketing.
2. Know Where Your Target Audience Is
To get the conversions you want, you need to go where your targets are.
For example, a surfboard company that exclusively advertises in Nebraska probably isn’t going to make many sales.
The same is true of digital marketing.
A cross-channel marketing campaign promoting a new first-person shooter video game is going to waste a lot of money promoting its product on sewing websites and knitting YouTube videos.
You need to identify which channels your consumers are interacting with.
What websites do they visit? Which mobile apps are they using? Which social media platforms are they on?
This last one is particularly important.
In 2021, Facebook had 2.89 billion monthly users.
YouTube had 2.29 billion; WhatsApp had 2.00 billion, and Instagram had 1.39 billion.
Even the fifteenth most popular social media site, Pinterest had 454 million monthly users.
That’s a big audience you can tap into.
And because most, if not all, these social sites are free to use, they earn their revenue through marketing and advertising.
That’s good news for marketers everywhere, because not only does it allow new avenues for reaching audiences, but it can also provide ample information you can mine to target with laser-like precision.
Facebook and LinkedIn both let you customize retargeting on their platforms to reach exactly who you wanted to.
3. Streamline Your Content
Now that you know exactly who your target consumer is and where they live in the digital world, it’s time to customize your campaigns to match their habits.
Analyze their online behavior for contextually relevant clues.
For example, if you sell flowerpots, you’ll probably want to advertise your courses on home, family, and lifestyle websites.
Or, you may want to place it near relevant products and services to help your audience form the connection between their interests (in this case gardening) and your ads.
How To Get Better Cross-Channel Remarketing Results
You’ve done it. You’ve identified your target consumer, created personas, tracked them down on the internet like a crazy ex, and optimized your content to speak directly to their needs.
But you’re still not getting the kind of results you think you should be. What gives?
Here are a few ways to improve your results across channels:
Use Offers To Drive Ad Clicks
The first rule of marketing is always to ask for a sale. Or download. Or email address. You get the point – you need a call to action (CTA). And a compelling one at that.
But sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you need to sweeten the pot a little.
Users are more likely to engage with an ad that contains a special deal they can redeem by clicking on it.
Just by creating more engaging ads, with better CTAs and/or special deals, you can improve your CTR and drive more conversions.
Use Fresh Creative
While there is something to be said for consistency in branding, people can become blind to your ad if they see the same creative in multiple places across the web, or even multiple times on your website over the course of their purchasing journey.
Keep them engaged by varying your ad units and formats, as well as swapping in new copy and design.
This will keep your campaign from going stale and can be done while maintaining your brand’s memorable attributes.
Measure Your Conversions
Your boss wants to know how your cross-channel remarketing campaign is working.
What are you going to tell her? “Gee, uh, I feel like it’s going really well,” probably isn’t going to cut it.
You need metrics, measurables, and deliverables.
Luckily, technology exists that can show you exactly what’s working and help you gain a better understanding of why.
Some of the most common tools digital marketers use include:
Used by sites like Facebook, conversion pixels let you track the actions of users who visit a page or interact with an ad.
These let you retarget, build custom audiences, measure conversions, and optimize your campaigns.
Using location data from mobile devices, conversion zones use geofencing to identify and target customers.
They allow you to track visits from people who have seen or interacted with your ads, as well as identify conversion rates and cost per visit.
Embedding small pieces of data on a visitor’s device lets you customize experiences for each user.
It can also provide a wealth of information about personal details (name, address, email, etc.), activities, and interests. This information can then be used for attribution, conversion reporting, and remarketing analysis.
Take A Holistic Approach
Cross-channel remarketing lets you create focused campaigns that effectively target the prospects you want, build a strong sense of brand identity, and connect with your customers in a more personalized and impactful way.
But, it’s important not to forget this is just one piece of a successful marketing mix.
Cross-channel remarketing should be used as a complementary tactic that builds upon advertising that creates awareness and drives consumers to your business or website in the first place.
But by this point, it should be clear: If you want more bang for your buck and a good return on investment, cross-channel remarketing should be part of your customer outreach program.
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