Four Reasons to Use Behavioral Ad Retargeting

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When someone opens a new website, they ignore most of the advertisements. The banner ad for a leather jacket? Not interested. The auto-play ad showing off a new pair of shoes? Stopped and ignored. The pop-up for an upcoming sale on all sweaters? Blocked by a Firefox add-on.

Why do people ignore these ads? Because they aren’t showing any products the customer finds interesting. Most websites take the shotgun advertising approach – advertise whatever they have on sale and hope the majority of people are intrigued enough to click on the ad. This approach is the equivalent to standing in the middle of the street and yelling about your jacket sale. Will some people be interested? Sure. But most won’t – that’s where behavioral ad retargeting comes in.

Behavioral ad retargeting works by advertising products to customers that are already interested in them. It uses cookies to keep track of what they looked at, how long they looked at it for, and whether the view translated to a sale or not. Think of it like this: instead of standing in the street and yelling about your jacket sale, you only talk about your jacket sale to people who have previously expressed interest in your jackets – but didn’t buy one. You get a second chance.

Here are four reasons you should use behavioral ad retargeting:

1. Relevance

People are more likely to click on ads they feel are relevant to them. If you’re looking for horror movies, are you going to click on the banner announcing a horror movie sale, or the one that’s offering drawing supplies?

2. Capture Missed Sales

The vast majority of people need to see a product a few times before they’ll buy it. If they see something, but don’t put it on a wish list or create a reminder, chances are they’ll forget about it. Behavioral ad retargeting lets you remind them, thus increasing your chances of making a sale.

3. Cheaper

If you don’t know what your customers want, you’ll spend your entire advertising budget mentioning products to people who don’t care about them. Contrast this with spending less money to tell people about products they’re predisposed to be interested in.

4. Customers First

Many people feel banner ads are a waste of time – they never see anything that they want. Since they can’t eliminate the ads completely, they start to ignore them. Anything that isn’t contributing to your customer’s experience is distracting from it. Adding relevant banner ads is good business for you and improves the experience for your customer.

Behavioral ad retargeting is the future of Internet marketing. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping that people are interested in the product you advertise, you’ll know they’re interested.

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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