Custom audiences and Remarketing | Digital marketing for digital dinosaurs.
As introduced at the beginning of this conversations, one of the most important reasons behind the success of social media in advertising is the ability of those platforms to profile people for targeting purpose.
At the end the ultimate dream of each marketers is to be able to know the audience in details and potentially talk to them directly.
Social media gets very very close to this as we have seen; what they do is to collect an immense amount of data that is then used by us advertisers to direct the right message to the right people at the right time
Given the ability to profile people, as marketer we can also take another step in the different platforms: we can create clusters or segments of consumers on the basis of specific criteria we can decide.
Of course we can cluster them by demographic or interests and all the other dimensions we discussed before; but we can go a step further, we can also group them on the basis of the signals they have showed to us when they have been exposed to some of our marketing activity
Imagine this, we create a video ad that we broadcast on Facebook. We buy advertising and we show this ad to a certain amount of people.
Some of them are not interested at all, let’s say 40% for sake of argument, then a remaining 50% watched our ad until the end and 10% not only watched the ad till the end but also took some action, for example they commented or shared the ad.
The 3 groups are clearly signalling us something very different. The first group might not be interested in our ad for some reason which we should investigate; the second is interested and watched the whole video; the third was very interested up to the point to spend time in interacting with us.
Through data we get from the platform, we can separate the three groups and create custom audiences.
What will we do with the three custom audiences?
The three groups are crucial to optimise what we do next.
Let’s start from the first group: they didn’t want watch our ad for example they could have skipped it. Why was that?
Was the message right? Was the execution right? Was the placement right?
Can we try different messages to entice them? What would they be?
If they didn’t followed the ad in the first place, why should they do it if we try to communicate with them with the same message? Or perhaps we chose an audience that really wasn’t interested in our offer, what did we do wrong?
Let’s look at the second group
They watched the ad for a certain amount of time, which we can check, the signal is that the message was interesting for some reason. Now what’s next?
Should we try to hit them with the same message or a new one?
Maybe we should give them more info, more details, instead of repeating same story over and over.
Now let’s look at the third group, they shared our ad, or commented asking for info. What should we do?
We could interact with them one by one or using the custom audience to target them with a new ad.
We can assume that they are very interested in what we have to say, therefore why not trying to convert them from prospects into buyers, for example by giving them a discount coupon?
Let’s think about a real life example.
Let’s say we are promoting a deodorant that doesn’t leave stains on clothes.
Our key message is “the new deo from brand x that leaves no stain on t-shirts”
We broadcast our ad and first group we mentioned above skip the ad or watches for less than 3 sec.
Let’s investigate what happened here, problem with message, with placement, with media, with frequency of exposure?
What changes can we make to the target audience? Or should we change media?
Now let’s look at the second group, the group who have listened to the whole story so definitely they have showed some sign of interest. Now could be the time to give them some other information for example that the same product benefit can be delivered through different fragrances.
The third group might have interacted with the post, by asking for more info or sharing a link, they are definitely more interested, here we have an opportunity for being more hard selling, we could send them a discount coupon for trial or a sample for example
Main point here is this:
Through custom audiences we create groups that we can “remarket” or “retarget” with new communication and more precision, because we know already how they reacted to the first wave.
Introducing here the idea or re-marketing or retargeting as the opportunity that we have from digital platforms to communicate directly with clusters of customers that we create around a specific criteria
This activity massively optimises our media spending as it helps us creating meaningful messages for different people at different stages of the journey
What type of custom audiences we can think about?
Facebook defines A Custom Audience as an ad targeting option that lets you find your existing audiences among people who are on Facebook.
We can create those custom audiences from different sources such as customer lists, website or app traffic, or engagement on Facebook
The types of custom audiences we can create are:
1. Engagement Custom Audiences is a Custom Audience made up of people who have engaged with your content across the Facebook family of apps and services.
"Engagement" refers to actions such as spending time viewing your videos or opening your lead form or Canvas. Using Engagement Custom Audiences, you can target ads to people who've taken these actions.
Here are the engagement types available, broken down by Engagement Custom Audience type:
Video: You can create an Engagement Custom Audience based on people who saw your video on Facebook or Instagram. These include videos delivered to feed, stories and other eligible placements on Facebook and Instagram.
Instagram business profile
An interesting example of custom audience is Lookalike Audience: lists of people to target with advertising who are similar to (or 'look like') the people currently engaging with your business.
In this case the system will let you find people who are similar to those who've engaged with your Facebook content.
2. Website Custom Audiences: is a targeting option that matches people who visit your website with people on Facebook, using the Facebook pixel. You can then create an ad to show to that audience. For example, you can run a campaign to reach people who visited a product page but didn't complete a purchase to encourage them to go back to the website to do so. Or, you can create an audience of everyone who's visited your website in the past 30 days.
3. App activity Custom Audience
4. Customer list Custom Audience here we use lists we have internally to make a Custom Audience. FB matches this information with Facebook profiles. The information on a customer list is known as an "identifier" (such as email, phone number, address) and FB uses this to help you find the audiences that you want your ads to reach.
I have centred this part on FB but retargeting is a practice that is common to several different platforms.
The logic is exactly the same: you define a criteria for which you cluster a potential audience that has showed some signal based on some marketing activity, usually ads.
This audience becomes the target of a second wave of activities, this time more precise and tailor made.
In fact we can use the same approach in YouTube where we can target people on the basis of whether they watched a video or not.
In more details on YouTube you can retarget people who watched your organic YouTube videos and video ads by creating a custom audience consisting of views. Note that on YT a video view is after 30 sec whilst on FB is after 3 sec
Linkedin, Tiktok and other social media platforms allow creation of custom audiences that provide retargeting opportunities
Same logic in google where we can target people who visited our website or a specific page or stayed in our website for more than a certain amount of time.
We can even remarked people across platforms, at least until cookies will be allowed. I’m sure you have been exposed to this situation: you were searching a specific product on google and you suddenly see an ad of the same product appearing in your facebook page as well as in your favourite online news website…congratulations, you’ve been retargeted!
Last, to clarify some confusion, we use pretty much interchangeably two words: remarketing and retargeting. In a nutshell they are pretty much the same thing except that remarketing tends to refer to activities that happen through email marketing.
Sources: most of the content above on Facebook remarketing comes from their blog. If you want to learn more on this topic please check Facebook for business
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