Content Remarketing: Following Without Stalking

Google recently introduced a new form of advertising called Google Content Remarketing. The basic premise is that it allows you to remarket to visitors who have come to your site, looked around but did not complete a transaction or otherwise convert. Sound pretty cool? It is! How often have you wanted a second chance, to yell after a customer who just left your site “Hey, come back! You missed something” or “You left something in your cart!” Well, now you can.

While most things in Google are pretty easy to figure out, setting up a remarketing campaign was not the most intuitive thing in the world. For instance, You will need to set a new campaign. Let’s call it “Remarketing campaign” just to make it easy. Now, you will need to set up new ad groups for each of the target markets that you would like to market to. Each of these ad groups needs to have ads, but no keywords (I’ll explain this in a moment). The ads can be anything you want but should give them a very good reason to come back to your site.

Here is an example. Let’s say that you were shopping for golf clubs. You have been shopping around and one day you even go so far as to put the very golf clubs that you have been drooling over for months into a cart. You take out your wallet, hand shaking with anticipation. You just know that these clubs are going to change the game for you. But then you get cold feet. Didn’t you just see these clubs for less at another site? What happens if they go on sale tomorrow? What is the return policy. You leave the site. Clubs still in the basket abandoned and forgotten.

Several days later while reading some news online you suddenly catch yourself staring at the very clubs that you were so close to buying. You look more closely at what appears to be an ad and realize that it is the same website where you had almost ordered the clubs that fateful day. They are offering you a coupon for free shipping when you come  back and complete your order within 30 days. Too good to pass up, you click on the ad and complete your purchase.

Pretty cool huh? Yeah, I thought so, too. So now let me answer the question about why you don’t need any keywords. When a visitor lands on a targeted page, be it a landing page or otherwise, the visitor gets cookied. This cookie can stay with them for up to 540 days. If they leave your site without completing a transaction they will start to see your ads. However, if they do complete a transaction or conversion action then the cookie is removed and they will not become part of your remarketing campaign audience.

Several things to keep in mind when starting a remarketing campaign:

  • Don’t be creepy. Yeah, you can get people very nervous when you follow them, on the street or on the internet. It doesn’t seem to matter. So keep this in mind when creating your messaging.
  • You will want to have an account that can generate 500 unique users within a reasonable amount of time. Google won’t start your remarketing campaign until it reaches this magic number. You can stretch this out by creating a longer window for people to be included in the group, for instance 60 days instead of 30, but keep in mind that a lot can happen in 60 days and your product may no longer be relevant to their immediate needs. You can find out how many people have been counted (and to make sure that everything is working) by clicking on Control Panel and Library within the campaign tab of your Adwords account. Then click on Audiences.

In short, Google Content Remarketing is a great way to get a second chance to make a first impression and get people to revisit your site. For more information about content remarketing or how Point It can help you reach your customers more effectively give us a call.

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