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A Complete Guide To Cross-Channel Remarketing Campaigns

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A Complete Guide To Cross-Channel Remarketing Campaigns

In an ideal world, marketing would convert with just one touch. But this is the real world.

Whether it’s because they need more time to think about a purchase or their dog just started vomiting on the carpet, people abandon shopping carts all the time.

So, what do you do?

You’ve already optimized your campaigns for maximum brilliance, so you know your copy is on point, your design is perfect, and you’re targeting the right audience. But you’re still losing sales. What gives?

You need remarketing to maximize your results.

At first glance, it sounds like a cure-all. Of course, it’s not always so easy.

First of all, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are everywhere. That means there are more things competing for eyes and attention spans are shorter than ever.

On top of that, media consumption has been increasingly multi-layered.

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How do marketers and small businesses with correspondingly limited budgets give consumers a seamless experience across platforms?

Enter cross-channel remarketing.

What Is Cross-Channel Remarketing?

The keys to remarketing (i.e., what makes it work) are the twin foundations of cookies and tracking pixels.

Cookies are small pieces of data from a website that are stored on a visitor’s computer by a web browser.

The closely related tracking pixel, also known as a web beacon, is a transparent pixel-sized image that is embedded in webpages, emails, and banners to track website visits, impressions, and other statistics.

Cross-channel marketing uses these online activity trackers to go after audiences across a variety of devices and websites, providing a seamless experience and moving the target through the sales funnel.

For example, Allison’s cat won’t stop scratching her furniture. She reads on a blog how effective your anti-scratch spray is at protecting couches from claws.

Later that day, while using Facebook, she is shown a display ad for your product. She clicks on the ad and even goes so far as to add it to her shopping cart on your website, but she doesn’t complete the purchase.

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That evening, she receives a marketing email with a discount code for the spray.

Via a successful cross-channel marketing strategy, different channels have worked in conjunction to create a clear brand impression for an already interested audience, which is more likely to drive a conversion.

Are Multi-Channel And Cross-Channel Remarketing The Same?

Don’t let the phrasing similarity confuse you. Multi-channel and cross-channel are not the same thing, even though they are very similar.

Multi-channel means you’re targeting audiences across channels, for example, a campaign that targets both Google Display and YouTube.

While you’re using different channels, they all work independently with no communication between them.

Cross-channel is the next level above, where these channels are connected. This allows you to track and record interactions and better facilitate the customer’s purchasing journey.

There’s also something called omnichannel marketing, which brings together digital and in-person touchpoints using all available channels, but let’s not overcomplicate things.

The Benefits Of Cross-Channel

There are several advantages to using cross-channel remarketing.

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First, it lets you create and implement a more comprehensive and consistent message, which leads to more seamless brand impressions.

It breaks down silos between product, sales, and marketing, facilitating movement through the sales funnel while simultaneously building stronger connections.

And on top of this, it works. Cross-channel remarketing gives you measurable results, no matter what industry you’re in.

Developing Your Own Cross-Channel Remarketing Strategy

Like everything marketing, you don’t want to just wing it with your cross-channel strategy.

You need a carefully thought-out approach for creation and implementation that will help you get the results you need.

Let’s dive in:

1. Consider The Customer

This is Marketing 101. You can’t effectively sell anyone anything if you don’t understand the audience you’re trying to target.

But therein lies the further beauty of remarketing – you already know something about your audience.

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Because they’ve already visited your website, searched for a solution like yours, or signed up for an email newsletter, you know they’re at least a little interested in what you offer.

Or, maybe you’re going after lookalike audiences, using data from sites like Google and Facebook to target specific prospects who have similarities to existing website visitors or customer lists.

Once you have identified the targets most likely to convert, take a closer look at them.

Developing a deeper understanding of your consumers, their needs and their behavior is vital to cross-channel remarketing.

2. Know Where Your Target Audience Is

To get the conversions you want, you need to go where your targets are.

For example, a surfboard company that exclusively advertises in Nebraska probably isn’t going to make many sales.

The same is true of digital marketing.

A cross-channel marketing campaign promoting a new first-person shooter video game is going to waste a lot of money promoting its product on sewing websites and knitting YouTube videos.

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You need to identify which channels your consumers are interacting with.

What websites do they visit? Which mobile apps are they using? Which social media platforms are they on?

This last one is particularly important.

In 2021, Facebook had 2.89 billion monthly users.

YouTube had 2.29 billion; WhatsApp had 2.00 billion, and Instagram had 1.39 billion.

Even the fifteenth most popular social media site, Pinterest had 454 million monthly users.

That’s a big audience you can tap into.

And because most, if not all, these social sites are free to use, they earn their revenue through marketing and advertising.

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That’s good news for marketers everywhere, because not only does it allow new avenues for reaching audiences, but it can also provide ample information you can mine to target with laser-like precision.

Facebook and LinkedIn both let you customize retargeting on their platforms to reach exactly who you wanted to.

3. Streamline Your Content

Now that you know exactly who your target consumer is and where they live in the digital world, it’s time to customize your campaigns to match their habits.

Analyze their online behavior for contextually relevant clues.

For example, if you sell flowerpots, you’ll probably want to advertise your courses on home, family, and lifestyle websites.

Or, you may want to place it near relevant products and services to help your audience form the connection between their interests (in this case gardening) and your ads.

How To Get Better Cross-Channel Remarketing Results

You’ve done it. You’ve identified your target consumer, created personas, tracked them down on the internet like a crazy ex, and optimized your content to speak directly to their needs.

But you’re still not getting the kind of results you think you should be. What gives?

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Here are a few ways to improve your results across channels:

Use Offers To Drive Ad Clicks

The first rule of marketing is always to ask for a sale. Or download. Or email address. You get the point – you need a call to action (CTA). And a compelling one at that.

But sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you need to sweeten the pot a little.

Users are more likely to engage with an ad that contains a special deal they can redeem by clicking on it.

Just by creating more engaging ads, with better CTAs and/or special deals, you can improve your CTR and drive more conversions.

Use Fresh Creative

While there is something to be said for consistency in branding, people can become blind to your ad if they see the same creative in multiple places across the web, or even multiple times on your website over the course of their purchasing journey.

Keep them engaged by varying your ad units and formats, as well as swapping in new copy and design.

This will keep your campaign from going stale and can be done while maintaining your brand’s memorable attributes.

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Measure Your Conversions

Your boss wants to know how your cross-channel remarketing campaign is working.

What are you going to tell her? “Gee, uh, I feel like it’s going really well,” probably isn’t going to cut it.

You need metrics, measurables, and deliverables.

Luckily, technology exists that can show you exactly what’s working and help you gain a better understanding of why.

Some of the most common tools digital marketers use include:

Conversion Pixels

Used by sites like Facebook, conversion pixels let you track the actions of users who visit a page or interact with an ad.

These let you retarget, build custom audiences, measure conversions, and optimize your campaigns.

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Conversion Zones

Using location data from mobile devices, conversion zones use geofencing to identify and target customers.

They allow you to track visits from people who have seen or interacted with your ads, as well as identify conversion rates and cost per visit.

Website Cookies

Embedding small pieces of data on a visitor’s device lets you customize experiences for each user.

It can also provide a wealth of information about personal details (name, address, email, etc.), activities, and interests. This information can then be used for attribution, conversion reporting, and remarketing analysis.

Take A Holistic Approach

Cross-channel remarketing lets you create focused campaigns that effectively target the prospects you want, build a strong sense of brand identity, and connect with your customers in a more personalized and impactful way.

But, it’s important not to forget this is just one piece of a successful marketing mix.

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Cross-channel remarketing should be used as a complementary tactic that builds upon advertising that creates awareness and drives consumers to your business or website in the first place.

But by this point, it should be clear: If you want more bang for your buck and a good return on investment, cross-channel remarketing should be part of your customer outreach program.


Featured Image: PopTika/Shutterstock

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SEO

8 Pillar Page Examples to Get Inspired By

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8 Pillar Page Examples to Get Inspired By

Pillar pages are high-level introductions to a topic. They then link to other pages, which are usually more detailed guides about parts of the main topic.

Altogether, they form a content hub.

Example of a content hub

But not all pillar pages look the same. 

In this guide, we’ll look at eight examples of pillar pages to get your creative juices flowing.

Excerpt of beginner's guide to SEO by Ahrefs

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 1,200
Backlinks: 6,900
Referring domains: 899

Overview of Ahrefs' beginner's guide to SEO in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This is our very own pillar page, covering the broad topic of search engine optimization (SEO)

Why I like it

Besides the fact that I’m biased, I like the custom design we created for this page, which makes it different from the articles on our blog. 

Even though the design is custom, our pillar page is still a pretty classic “hub and spoke” style pillar page. We’ve broken the topic down neatly into six different chapters and internally linked to guides we’ve created about them. There are also custom animations when you hover over each chapter:

Examples of chapters in the SEO guide

We’ve also added a glossary section that comes with a custom illustration of the SERPs. We have explanations of what each element means, with internal links to more detailed content:

Custom illustration of the SERP

Finally, it links to another “pillar page”: our SEO glossary

Takeaway

Consider creating a custom design for your pillar page so that it stands out. 

Excerpt of Doctor Diet's ketogenic diet guide

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 92,200
Backlinks: 21,600
Referring domains: 1,700

Overview of Diet Doctor's ketogenic diet guide in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Diet Doctor is a health company focusing on low-carb diets. Its pillar page is a comprehensive guide on the keto diet. 

Why I like it

On the surface, it doesn’t exactly look like a pillar page; it looks like every other post on the Diet Doctor site. But that’s perfectly fine. It’s simply a different approach—you don’t have to call out the fact that it’s a pillar page. 

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Diet Doctor’s guide is split into 10 different sections with links to its own resources. The links bring you to different types of content (not just blog posts but videos too).

Video course about keto diet for beginners

Unlike the classic pillar page, Diet Doctor’s guide goes into enough detail for anyone who is casually researching the keto diet. But it also links to further resources for anyone who’s interested in doing additional research.

Takeaway

Pillar pages need not always just be text and links. Make it multimedia: You can add videos and images and even link to your own multimedia resources (e.g., a video course).

Excerpt of Wine Folly's beginner's guide to wine

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 5,600
Backlinks: 2,800
Referring domains: 247

Overview of Wine Folly's beginner's guide to wine in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Wine Folly is a content site devoted to wine knowledge and appreciation. Its pillar page, as expected, is about wine. 

Why I like it

Wine Folly’s pillar page is a classic example of a “hub and spoke” style pillar page—split into multiple sections, with some supporting text, and then internal links to other resources that support each subsection. 

Supporting text and links to other resources

This page doesn’t just serve as a pillar page for ranking purposes, though. Given that it ranks well and receives quite a significant amount of search traffic, the page also has a call to action (CTA) to Wine Folly’s book:

Short description of book; below that, CTA encouraging site visitor to purchase it

Takeaway

While most websites design pillar pages for ranking, you can also use them for other purposes: capture email addresses, sell a book, pitch your product, etc. 

Excerpt of A-Z directory of yoga poses

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 11,100
Backlinks: 3,400
Referring domains: 457

Overview of Yoga Journal's A-Z directory of yoga poses in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Yoga Journal is an online and offline magazine. Its pillar page is an A-Z directory of yoga poses.

Why I like it

Yoga Journal’s pillar page is straightforward and simple. List down all possible yoga poses (in both their English and Sanskrit names) in a table form and link to them. 

List of yoga poses in table form

Since it’s listed in alphabetical order, it’s useful for anyone who knows the name of a particular pose and is interested in learning more. 

What I also like is that Yoga Journal has added an extra column on the type of pose each yoga pose belongs to. If we click on any of the pose types, we’re directed to a category page where you can find similar kinds of poses: 

Examples of standing yoga poses (in grid format)

Takeaway

The A-Z format can be a good format for your pillar page if the broad topic you’re targeting fits the style (e.g., dance moves, freestyle football tricks, etc.).

Excerpt of Atlassian's guide to agile development

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 115,200
Backlinks: 3,200
Referring domains: 860

Overview of Atlassian's guide to agile development in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Atlassian is a software company. You’ve probably heard of its products: Jira, Confluence, Trello, etc. Its pillar page is on agile development.

Why I like it

Atlassian’s pillar page is split into different topics related to agile development. It then has internal links to each topic—both as a sticky table of contents and card-style widgets after the introduction: 

Sticky table of contents
Card-style widgets

I also like the “Up next” feature at the bottom of the pillar page, which makes it seem like an online book rather than a page. 

Example of "Up next" feature

Takeaway

Consider adding a table of contents to your pillar page. 

Excerpt of Muscle and Strength's workout routines database

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 114,400
Backlinks: 2,900
Referring domains: 592

Overview of Muscle and Strength's workout routines database in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Muscle and Strength’s pillar page is a massive database linking to various categories of workouts. 

Why I like it

Calling it a pillar page seems to be an understatement. Muscle and Strength’s free workouts page appears to be more like a website. 

When you open the page, you’ll see that it’s neatly split into multiple categories, such as “workouts for men,” “workouts for women,” “biceps,” “abs,” etc. 

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Workout categories (in grid format)

Clicking through to any of them leads us to a category page containing all sorts of workouts:

Types of workouts for men (in grid format)

Compared to the other pillar pages on this list, where they’re linking to other subpages, Muscle and Strength’s pillar page links to other category pages, which then link to their subpages, i.e., its massive archive of free workouts.

Takeaway

Content databases, such as the one above, are a huge undertaking for a pillar page but can be worth it if the broad topic you’re targeting fits a format like this. Ideally, the topic should be about something where the content for it is ever-growing (e.g., workout plans, recipes, email templates, etc.).

Excerpt of Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 39,100
Backlinks: 1,100
Referring domains: 308

Overview of Tofugu's guide to learning Japanese in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Tofugu is a site about learning Japanese. And its pillar page is about, well, learning Japanese.

Why I like it

This is an incredible (and yes, ridiculously good) guide to learning Japanese from scratch. It covers every stage you’ll go through as a complete beginner—from knowing no Japanese to having intermediate proficiency in the language. 

Unlike other pillar pages where information is usually scarce and simply links out to further resources, this page holds nothing back. Under each section, there is great detail about what that section is, why it’s important, how it works, and even an estimated time of how long that stage takes to complete. 

Another interesting aspect is how Tofugu has structured its internal links as active CTAs. Rather than “Learn more” or “Read more,” it’s all about encouraging users to do a task and completing that stage. 

CTA encouraging user to head to the next task of learning to read hiragana

Takeaway

Two takeaways here:

  • Pillar pages can be ridiculously comprehensive. It depends on the topic you’re targeting and how competitive it is.
  • CTAs can be more exciting than merely just “Read more.”
Excerpt of Zapier's guide to working remotely

Key stats

Estimated organic traffic: 890
Backlinks: 4,100
Referring domains: 1,100

Overview of Zapier's guide to working remotely in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Zapier allows users to connect multiple software products together via “zaps.” It’s a 100% remote company, and its pillar page is about remote work. 

Why I like it

Zapier’s pillar page is basically like Wine Folly’s pillar page. Break a topic into subsections, add a couple of links of text, and then add internal links to further resources. 

In the examples above, we’ve seen all sorts of execution for pillar pages. There are those with custom designs and others that are crazily comprehensive.

But sometimes, all a pillar page needs is a simple design with links. 

Takeaway

If you already have a bunch of existing content on your website, you can create a simple pillar page like this to organize your content for your readers. 

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Keep learning

Inspired by these examples and want to create your own pillar page? Learn how to successfully do so with these two guides:

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.  



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