As a marketer, we have many avenues to use to get our brand out there. In the world of Google and Microsoft Ads, we have several different channels at our disposal, from Search ads and Shopping ads to the almost neglected Display ads (known as Microsoft Audience Network Ads – MSAN – on Microsoft). Display ads is a platform which I feel very strongly about – and more specifically with remarketing; this is a way to continue to stay top of mind with potential leads or purchasers. With that being said, where do you get started? Let’s dive in to talk about two of those places and who they are best suited for.
But first: what is remarketing? Have you ever gone to a website, and then magically, that site seems to follow you around the internet? We’ve all seen these ads! I am 100% guilty of clicking on many Display ads because the products are of things I am interested in, or they remind me to complete my purchase. And based on the results we see for our clients, they really do work, not just on me, but on lots of people.
There are two types of remarketing: Standard and Dynamic.
Standard remarketing is perfect for any type of company with a website, whether a service company, ecommerce store, informational site, and more.
For Google, each ad type has its own pros and cons, but they are still effective. If you are looking for more control over how the ad looks, choose banner ads. Want the flexibility of providing 10-15 image assets to fit in many more ad spaces to reach a wider audience? Choose responsive ads.
So why is standard remarketing important? Again, you get to keep your brand top of mind to those users who are already familiar with your brand. Your ad is only going to show to users who have been to your website, so you can have specific messaging tailored to speak to them. A common practice is to offer some sort of offer or discount to hopefully close the lead or get that purchase.
Standard remarketing requires some minimal coding to be added on the website – whether from Google Ads’ remarketing tag and Microsoft Advertising’s UET tag added directly to all pages of the site or tags added via Google Tag Manager, or audiences created in Google Analytics (which will work for Google Ads but not Microsoft).
Have you ever looked at a pair of shoes, and then that specific pair of shoes follow you around online? This is dynamic remarketing magic at its best!
Dynamic remarketing works for accounts with feed-based data, like web stores that sell physical products (on both Google and Microsoft) or sites that sell things like airplane tickets, hotel rooms, cars, or even job listing companies (only available on Google). While more complex to get set up, dynamic remarketing ads tend to be a much better performer because the ads are more relevant to the viewer.
Dynamic ads are not created in the same way as standard remarketing ads. Instead, Google and Microsoft create the ads on the fly – dynamically – to show the product or service based on what the viewer looked at on the website. You’ll also need to create a feed that includes the products or services and that includes details about those items. (Shopping-based feeds are loaded to Google and Microsoft Merchant Center, while Service-based feeds are loaded to Business data within Google Ads.)
What makes dynamic remarketing more complex? You need to take your Remarketing tags a step further from just a simple page visit to also include custom parameters that help Google and Microsoft know the unique IDs of the feed items someone viewed. This item ID on your website’s schema also must match the item ID provided in the feed – if this does not match, Google and Microsoft will not know which product that user was looking at and will show something else (whether relevant or not).
The setup does vary by website platform, but once this is set up, you will be able to leverage the power of dynamic remarketing.
So why is dynamic remarketing important? Once again, we are continuing to keep your brand top of mind, but now we are adding the element of showing the exact item someone is interested in. It is almost like we are speaking to that person through the ad.
Ecommerce companies, in particular, are perfect for dynamic remarketing. You can expect to see direct sales from this campaign – in my experience, dynamic remarketing tends to outperform standard remarketing from a purchase standpoint, while standard remarketing is great at driving view-through conversions (this is where someone sees your ad, does not click, and then returns to your site to purchase).
For both Standard and Dynamic Remarketing, it’s important to consider if you want to be showing ads to someone who has already performed the action you wanted them to. If that’s the case, exclude those who have already converted on your site. No need to advertise that pair of shoes to someone who has already purchased from you!
Another use for remarketing is to share news about your company, new products or services you might have launched, companion products that go with something they’ve purchased, or to remind past purchasers to buy again – here, you might specifically target your purchaser list, instead of excluding them.
Remarketing campaigns are a powerful way of communicating with your site visitors – whether helping move them to perform an action you’d like them to take or sharing new information. The results won’t be the same as your Search or Shopping campaigns, but they shouldn’t be judged the same way, considering people aren’t in search mode at the time. Looking at overall company business results and making sure to consider view-through conversions is all part of the evaluation process on whether remarketing works for you.