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Understand the Funnel: Use Remarketing

This is perhaps one of the most essential modern day tactics in a social media strategy. You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about “the funnel.” To make it simple, you just need to understand that not all of your buyers are at the same stage. Some of them don’t know who you are yet, some of them know who you are but aren’t ready to buy, some of them know who you are and are ready to buy but are looking at their different options.

The point is is that you cannot treat every prospective buyer the same way. And you shouldn’t market to every prospective buyer the same way. The information that someone needs when they’re first getting to know who you are is different than the information they need once they’re ready to start their buying decision.

This is why remarketing is such a valuable tool in a modern marketers talk it. What remarketing does is give you the ability to get back in front of someone you’ve already established a touch point with. It should come as no shock that you’re going to have a higher likelihood of success when marketing to and trying to sell to someone who’s already interacted with you then someone who is brand new and doesn’t know who you are. Virtually every social media site gives you the opportunity through advertising to put an ad in front of a group of people that you’ve had a previous interaction with.

The most common way of this is doing website retargeting. This involves putting a tiny snippet of code generally in the head of your website code. This opens up the opportunity for you to show an advertisement to someone who is visited your website. When the code is the price applied properly you can target people based upon the pages that they visited on your website, or just having visited the website at all. Typically this can be narrowed by a certain time frame. For example you should be able to target people who have visited your site within the last seven days, that is a different audience and the people who have visited your site in the last 180 days.

Strategically deploying how you use remarketing website visitors can help you to generate more leads by getting in front of people who you’ve already interacted with.

Another method of retargeting is using something known as the custom audience. Many social sites allow you to upload an email list of existing customers, people who have opted into your newsletter, list of phone numbers, and other data that can be used to build a list for advertising targeting. Obviously the terms of service on all of these sites encourage you and require you to use ethically sourced lists. That is, list of customers, or people who have explicitly opted in to receive your email communications. But there is no doubt that there are plenty who use this capability outside of the terms of service.

Another means of remarketing to people who have had a prior interaction with you is relatively new. On Facebook Instagram and YouTube you can show ads to people who have engaged with your content on those social media sites. These are commonly referred to as engagement remarketing.

For example on Facebook, you can show an advertisement encouraging people to buy one of your online courses based upon their previously having watched 50% of one of your video ads.

Engagement remarketing opens up a wide variety of opportunities to build a true funnel. You can show a video add to a large group of people. Then people who have watched a certain percentage of that video can be shown a second advertisement that gives them additional context and reasons to buy. Then people who visited the website based upon that second advertisement can then be encouraged to come back to the website and buy or fill out a contact/lead form. This is a fairly standard funnel on Facebook.

The final component of remarketing to discuss is what’s known as a look-alike audience. All of the social media sites have large swaths of data on everyone of its users. They know what we’ve clicked on, what we’ve liked, what we’ve shared, and who we follow.

Because they have so much data on so many people, they also have the ability to draw similarities between different users. For instance if your customer list or website remarketing data shows that men between 30 – 35 year olds, who like NASCAR, and live in the Northeast, are the ones most likely to purchase your product and visit your site, social media sites can often find you additional users who are not on your list that share similar characteristics. The data that these sites have runs very deep, well beyond gender, age, location, and basic interests. These lookalike audiences can be quite complex, and are worth using when trying to expand the reach of your ads to similar audiences as those you already have access to.

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