The multi-channel remarketing approach
I happen to ride a motorbike. In the last year there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of people riding with small LED fairing lights attached to the side panels of the bike.
These lights are only small, but at a distance the three lights (headlight plus two fairing lights) look like one big light coming towards you. The overall effect is greater than the sum of the parts.
Extending your remarketing strategy to multiple platforms has a similar effect. You might spend more on one particular platform (e.g. Google), but each additional network adds another light. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these additional networks for people to notice you.
If somebody visits your website and for a time sees your remarketing ads on Google Display, Facebook and YouTube, that creates a powerful combined effect. To that person you look like you’re everywhere, spending tremendous amounts of dosh. Which of course you aren’t, because you’re only advertising to a few thousand people at a time.
All of which is great in principle, but there are some nuances to this.
As we discussed last time, you need to limit your risk by targeting small audiences of recently active contacts. You’re adding SMALL fairing lights to your bike, not big expensive ones. You’re advertising in a risk-averse manner by targeting short audience durations.
The next nuance to contend with is your own media preferences and biases. Some of my clients bristle at the idea of running Facebook ads, either because they don’t like Facebook, have never run ads successfully, or simply believe it isn’t a business tool. All of which is irrelevant – the real question is whether you can profitably engage potential customers there.
Each Network is Different
There are services (such as Adroll) that will propagate your remarketing ads across Google and Facebook from a single campaign. As tempting as that might sound, I don’t suggest you do that. Each platform is different in nature. The right remarketing strategy on Google might not be the right strategy on Facebook.
People spend time in different places online for different reasons. A remarketing ad that works well on Google Display won’t necessarily work that well on Facebook.
As a very broad rule of thumb, I find Facebook to be a better nurturing platform, and Google a better conversions platform. I’ve seen examples where a client has turned off their Facebook remarketing ads (believing them to be unprofitable), only for the Google conversions to dry up. In hindsight it appeared that people were noticing the Facebook ad but converting later through the Google ad.
Why is Facebook a better nurturing platform? For at least a few seconds you have someone’s complete attention as they scroll past in their news feed. Many people will stop to watch a 1-2 minute video, often with the sound off if you have captions enabled. It’s hard to sell at that point, because there are a million other posts to scroll through. But it’s a great way to build trust or communicate an idea.
Where To Start…
To begin with, focus your remarketing efforts on Facebook and the Google Display Network. You can replicate your audience strategy across these two networks, but adjust your ads to play to the strengths of each medium. Nurture and engage more on Facebook. Sell in your Google Ads, or push your main conversion action.
If you have a high traffic website (say with more than 10,000 visitors per month) you’ll then want to expand to YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. YouTube uses the same audiences as Google Display, which is convenient because all you then need to do is create one or two decent videos.
If you sell B2B or to a corporate audience, you’ll want to introduce LinkedIn much sooner. Although bear in mind that on LinkedIn you can currently only create a 30 day audience (i.e. you can’t limit your risk so much with a 1 or 2 day audience), and you’ll need a minimum of 300 people in your audience before your ads will run. LinkedIn require you to put more skin in the game before you can play.
Messaging ads on LinkedIn can be highly effective, especially if you’re sending LinkedIn messages to people who have visited your website. LinkedIn is a higher cost strategy, but the results can be worth it.
We’ll talk more about how to measure the effectiveness of your remarketing strategy tomorrow.