A beginners guide to video retargeting

May 21, 2019

Here’s an everyday situation: you’re browsing the internet and stumble upon a website that catches your interest. You click on it, browse through it, consider buying something and might even put something in your shopping basket. But then, all of a sudden, something else crosses your mind and you close the tab.

This, right at this moment, is where retargeting starts. Marketeers know the consumer is interested in their product or service but need an extra push to make the transaction. So, how do we do that? How can we remind them of what caught their interest?

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of marketing in which you target customers that have previously visited your website. It’s the opposite of mass-targeting. It’s a very powerful tactic within online advertising because you specifically target already identified users that are more keen to convert. It enables brands to push more relevant content in their direction.

How does retargeting work?

Retargeting works with pixels. A retargeting pixel is a small piece of JavaScript code embedded in specific sections of your website, or across the entire site. It’s a cookie-based technology. When consumers surf your website, your pixel will be placed in their browser; so once they leave your website and browse somewhere else on the web, the pixel will alert your retargeting provider to push ads in their direction.

Let’s look at an example:

You stumble upon a website that sells shoes, at which you're especially interested in the sneakers. You spent quite some time browsing through the sneakers they offer, but you're not sure which one you like most so you don’t complete the purchase and leave the page.

Because you have spent a certain amount of time and interacted in a certain way, the website has “
cookied” your browser ID and now sees you as a potential customer to retarget.

Where can you use retargeting?

There are many platforms that offer retargeting services, of which the most famous ones are Facebook Business Manager (for Facebook and Instagram) and of course, Google (display & Youtube). Both these platforms are extremely useful tools for advertising and branding purposes as it enables you to reach your target group right where you want them.

When you use Google Ads for retargeting you can use Search and Display and Youtube. It’s important to understand the difference between those ad types, as they serve different advertising purposes. Search ads are aimed at users who search for specific keywords and are looking for certain products, services, companies. These ads are text-based and very limited in size, meaning you can't use search ads for video retargeting.

However, Display ads can be placed in banners, sidebars and headers and can include text, images and video. Retargeting Display ads are shown to your target audience whenever they’re browsing the internet on pages with topics of your choice. See for instance how Brunel used video retargeting in which they personalized the video elements based on the search behavior of website visitors.

Next to Facebook & Google, there are many more platforms and place to use video retargeting, of which email is one of our favorites. An example of video retargeting in email can be found in KLM. The Dutch airline often has website visitors who select a flight but don't finalize their booking. By sending personalized emails they boost their conversions and lower the abandoned shopping cart rate. See here how they do that.

Why use video in retargeting?

“One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.” 

Video is a strong driver for marketing success for a couple of reasons. First of all, with video, brands can tell a lot more than with static images or text. Video enables you to inspire, create a desired feeling and become more trustworthy. Also, you can use video in every stage of the customer journey. Whether it's to create brand awareness, happy onboarding or if you're looking to boost your number of conversions.

The ultimate video retargeting strategy

You probably already know you can target videos to a specific audience and on specific pages and channels. But did you also know that you can even change the video based on the viewer? Meaning that instead of having one video for everyone you can create a unique video for every unique person. In each video you can showcase the product this website visitor looked at or give a customized call to action based on how deep they went into your website, add a voice-over in the consumer's own language or show the nearest location of your shops. Everything is possible.

Curious how video retargeting could work for your brand? Don't stay behind and get in touch.



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