How to Use Retargeting Ads to Increase Brand Awareness

Post By Marketing 360 | Scott Yoder April 13, 2017 



Retargeting Ads are a powerful brand marketing tactic businesses often overlook.  Here are some tips to get the most out of retargeting campaigns.



  1. A consumer has a need for a product or service.
  2. They search and evaluate options online.
  3. They choose a business offer they like and convert on the website.

In fact, the steps towards a conversion are rarely this direct.  Instead what happens is:

  1.  A consumer has a need for a product or service.
  2. They search and evaluate options online.
  3. They hesitate and take no action.
  4. They continue to research, weigh options, and narrow things down to options they trust.
  5. They go back to the brand they favor and convert.

That extra step – #4 – is the piece many businesses miss.  They fail to realize that the most common initial reaction consumers have when deciding to part with their hard earned cash is to hesitate.  Neither “yes” or “no” is the most common response when deciding to buy.  It’s “maybe later”.

The difference between marketing campaigns that maximize conversion opportunities and those that flounder is how they follow up in response to this hesitation.

Retargeting Ad(d) Touches

Retargeting is an advertising tactic that uses snippets of codes (called cookies or pixels) to automate ad exposure to people who previously visited your website.  You’ve seen these appear as you surf online and in your Facebook News Feed after you visited a website.

Most businesses think of these as a type of sales persistence that drives more conversions – and they do work in that way.  For example, a retargeting banner might remind a shopper of a free shipping offer:

retargeting banner

Or you retarget to motivate action with a special offer:

retargeting sale

These can be effective ways to retarget shoppers, and most businesses consider them to be the main strategy behind this tactic.  But in fact, there is one that’s even more important.

Brand Bias

Advertisers have long understood the power of repetition.  Consumers wonder why some “annoying” commercial keep pestering them, drilling into their memory by appearing over and over.

What they don’t realize (because it’s happening at a subconscious level) is that in the course of that repetition they are becoming biased.  When a brand consistently makes its presence known, it biases people.  They get a sense that “these guys are everywhere”, and therefore they must be good.

It’s human nature to have a trust bias towards things and people we are familiar with.  We trust people we’ve met before.  And we trust brands we’re more familiar with.

This is the great secret of retargeting.  Your goal is not necessarily to drive direct response conversions, especially on Facebook, where buying intent tends to be low.

Instead, it’s to keep your brand presence in front of people.  To remind them to finish what they started.  Your banner might look more like this:

brand retargeting

There is no direct response call to action here.  It’s mainly a brand level message with a low-risk call to action.

Yet during that period of buyer hesitation, as this retargeting banner shows up across a lead’s digital life, an impression is made.  Trust is engendered.   A bias is created.

Now, when they need to “take control of printing costs”, they’ll remember Monster Technology.  Oh yeah, they provide reliable office solutions.

Often, the lead won’t even click on the retargeting ad.  After seeing the retargeting banner multiple times, they’ll remember the brand name and use it in their search query when they hit that critical moment when they must take action.  Hesitation is no longer an option.

Who will they look up?  Somebody they don’t know or somebody they feel a sense of familiarity and trust for?

You know who.

Influencing that decision is where retargeting delivers exceptional value.

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