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What is Retargeting Marketing?

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What is Retargeting Marketing?


Did you know that 97% of your website’s first-time visitors leave (without purchasing!) to never return? I know, that’s a huge number.

The reason for that is they want to get to know you first before purchasing. However, in the process of getting to know you, they could get distracted and end up just leaving to never come back.

Let’s say they were looking for Christmas lights and they end up on your website. Then as they are looking around, they get a phone call from work. They close your website.

There’s a good chance that is your last time to see them.

Did you know that there is a way to bring them back? In this blog post, you will learn all about retargeting marketing.

  1. What is retargeting marketing?
  2. Platforms to use for retargeting
  3. Effective retargeting strategies
  4. Key takeaway

What is retargeting marketing?

Retargeting marketing—or simply, retargeting—is the practice of using personalized ads to remind your past visitors to return to your website and check out your products and services or to complete their purchase.

According to LinkedIn, only 2% of visitors convert on their first visit to a website. By retargeting those who visited your website then left without purchasing, you entice them into coming back to your website and convert.

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For example, let’s say the person looking for Christmas lights earlier (let’s call them Alex) got a phone call from work and closed your website. If your company invests on retargeting marketing, they would be seeing ads of those Christmas lights even on other websites. That means they get to be more familiar with the brand and product of your company until they decide to check out your website again and eventually make a purchase.

Thing is, 49% of consumers need to visit your website 2-4 times before purchasing anything from you. So if they aren’t coming back after that initial visit, how will they make that purchase?

How effective is it? A 2018 statistic says that leads who see your retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert. And not just that, but those who abandon their carts are also more likely to come back and complete their purchase, with conversion rates rising to 26% from a measly 8% from non-retargeted leads.

Retargeting also has been found to increase branded search results by at least 500% and deliver a 700% increase in website visitors “due to improved ad exposure.”

What is the difference between retargeting and remarketing?

Yes, retargeting and remarketing are two different strategies.

Retargeting is when you “target” a customer based on their activity (and cookies) by showing them your ads even after they leave your website. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been “followed” by a certain brand or product that you’ve Googled once, that’s retargeting at work.

Remarketing is when you collect the information of your leads so you can send them sales and marketing emails. For example, check your “Promotions” tab in your email. You’ll see there are a couple of offers from various companies you’ve purchased from or signed up for before.

How does retargeting marketing work?

When your leads enter your website, they leave cookies. According to Google, “Cookies are files created by websites you visit. They make your online experience easier by saving browsing information.” Cookies basically give you the personalized experience you have on the internet.

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There are two kinds of cookies: first-party and third-party cookies.

The difference is that first-party cookies are the ones created by the site you’ve visiting. For example, if you sign in to my podcast website, The Leadership Stack Podcast, you can keep yourself signed in there because the site has created cookies.

Third-party cookies are created by other sites. For example, here’s the homepage of CNN:

CNN homepage

(I visited ReadyCloud to get statistics on retargeting, now I’m seeing their ad!)

To display their ads, third-party cookies are essential. What happens is that advertisers are using your first-party cookies with third-party cookies so they can retarget you even as you leave their website.

The interesting part is that support for third-party cookies were announced to be removed by Google by 2023. I won’t get into the alternatives here, but you can read this extremely useful blog post by Mateusz Rumiński on how retargeting will work without third party cookies.

When should you use a retargeting marketing campaign?

Simple—you use a retargeting campaign when you want your leads to come back to your website.

Whether it’s because they haven’t purchased anything yet, they abandoned their cart, or you have new products or bestsellers you think would catch their eye (and again, lead them back to your website), you should be retargeting your leads.

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Platforms to use for retargeting

There are three major platforms that you can use to retarget your leads and bring them back to your website.

Google Display Network

Google Display Network has a massive reach, so using this platform would be essential in successfully retargeting your leads.

Google Display Network

Image from WordStream

To use this platform for retargeting, what you need to do is to add a “pixel” or “tag” to your website for your visitors to get added to your retargeting audience through browser cookies.

Through the Google Display Network, you can show your past visitors ads as they visit the different Google partner sites. You can also create various lists for your leads so your retargeting campaigns will be more personalized and relevant.

Meta (Facebook)

We have all been followed by ads even on our social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. That is because Facebook also allows retargeting campaigns on its platform.

Facebook Retargeting

Same with Google, you just need to install a Facebook pixel that will enable you to track your visitors and their actions as they engage with your brand. You can also create lists for your leads so your campaigns can get more personal.

LinkedIn

Last but not the least, you can use LinkedIn for your retargeting campaigns as well.

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LinkedIn Retargeting

To use this platform, you need to install their LinkedIn Insight Tag to your website so you can retarget them using ads on LinkedIn. They also have demographic segments for more personalized retargeting marketing campaigns.

Effective retargeting strategies

Retargeting marketing, like any kind of marketing, also needs strategy to be effective. And as always, personalization is the name of the game.

Segment your audience

I cannot stress this enough. Audience segmentation is one of the main things you should be doing, whether it’s remarketing or retargeting. When you segment your audience, you are able to give them more relevant and personalized ads.

You can segment your audience by behavior, intent, or demographic. Then you can show them ads that are relevant to the lists you’re putting them in.

For example, you can show an ad to your past visitors who viewed your Christmas decorations but left before engaging anything. The ad you will be showing them will be different to those who added the decorations to their carts but left without purchasing, or those who are looking at non-Christmas-themed decorations instead.

Choose the right platform

The next question is, where is your target audience hanging out?

If your past visitors (whom you’ve segmented) prefer LinkedIn over Facebook, then it would not make much sense to invest on retargeting campaigns in Facebook. If they have no social media accounts, then Google Display Network would be the best platform for you to use.

This is why understanding your audience is a big deal. You don’t want to waste money creating retargeting campaigns that they won’t be seeing anyway.

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Another reason is that although 30% of recipients of targeted ads react positively to being targeted, bombarding your audience with targeted ads can seem… creepy, that’s why there are calls to ban targeted ads. So make sure you don’t overstep your boundaries. Remember, you still want to give your customers a good experience with your brand, and the goal is to entice them to come back, not to scare them away.

Have easily recognizable and pleasing ads

Your retargeting marketing campaigns will be useless if your ads look generic. Make sure your leads know it’s you at first glance, and make sure they look good.

You can opt to A/B test your ads as well. A/B testing is when you change certain aspects of your ad or email such as copy, titles, or graphics to gauge what works well with your audience. By knowing what your audience prefers, you get to run better, more effective retargeting campaigns.

Use tools for retargeting marketing

You can also opt to use tools for your retargeting marketing campaigns. One such tool you can use is AnyTrack. As we’ve mentioned before, “AnyTrack is a conversion tracking platform that consolidates all of your conversion data from your website, whether it’s organic, paid, or direct, and sends it over to the marketing and analytics platform that you use. All of these using a single line of code only.”

AnyTrack

This means that whatever your visitors do on your website, you get to know about it and you can make retargeting campaigns based on their behavior. You can sign up using my referral link here.

Key takeaway

Letting your past visitors leave without engaging your site and converting is a huge mistake. Running retargeting marketing campaigns is one of the most effective ways you can bring them back to your site, so it’s integral to do it and to do it right. There are strategies, platforms, and tools you can use to successfully convert your past visitors, so make sure you learn them and utilize them.

Did this guide help you? Let me know by commenting below!

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How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2022 (5 Steps)

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How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2022 (5 Steps)

If you do it right, affiliate marketing can make you money while you’re on the beach, in the mountains, or even taking a nap. I would know—I’ve been doing it for years.

I started my first affiliate marketing blog 10 years ago with just $40 and not a clue what I was doing. Now, it’s earning six figures, and I only have to work a few hours a week to run it.

In fact, that affiliate site receives over 100,000 visits per month from Google:

Google analytics for affiliate website

In this article, I’m going to teach you how to start affiliate marketing with (almost) no money. I’ll share how I did it and what you can do to get started today.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting someone else’s products or services and making a commission whenever someone buys after clicking your affiliate link.

For example, if you publish a blog post or a YouTube video sharing the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair and someone buys a product you recommend after clicking your affiliate link, you get paid a percentage of that sale.

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It’s a great business model because it has almost no overhead and you don’t have to manufacture, or ship products, or handle customer service. You get paid to promote cool stuff.

Can you really start affiliate marketing with “no” money?

The only way to start affiliate marketing with no money is to get an affiliate link and start sending it to people you know. While this is possible, it’s not scalable and won’t make you much money unless you’re constantly networking.

Instead, the most successful affiliate marketers create a website and social media channels in order to get traffic to their affiliate links. While social media accounts are free, a website does cost a few bucks.

Specifically, you need to purchase a domain name and website hosting. A domain costs you around $3–$7 for the first year, and hosting starts at $2.75 per month (paid annually, this is $33).

So you will need at least $36 to get started as of the time this post was published.

If you’re ready to make your website, I recommend following this YouTube video by WP Beginner. It walks you through how to get your hosting and domain name set up and how to use WordPress for complete beginners.

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How to start affiliate marketing with (almost) no money

If you’ve got the $36 and you want to give this business model a try, I’ve come up with five simple steps to get you started in affiliate marketing:

Step 1. Find a niche OR a good affiliate program

The first and most important step is figuring out what you want to talk about and promote—in other words, your niche.

Your niche can be almost anything, from a hobby, to an interest, to a lifestyle. Like dogs? That can be a niche. Interested in cryptocurrency? Niche potential. You get the idea.

Niche selection is one of the hardest parts of affiliate marketing. You need to pick something you won’t mind creating content about for years to come. It takes time to build the brand authority and awareness to turn this into a full-time business, so don’t be afraid to spend some time here.

Now, there are a few ways to choose your niche. You can either pick a niche you’re already interested in, OR you can look for good affiliate programs first and base your niche on those program(s).

Finding high-paying affiliate programs with quality companies can be difficult. Usually, you’ll either find good products with low commissions (2%–4%) or crappy products with high commissions (20%+).

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But every once in a while, you’ll find a high-quality product with a high commission rate. And if you do, it may be worth basing your niche around. It’s much better to get high-paying partners than just to promote Amazon products.

There’s nothing wrong with building an Amazon affiliate website. However, don’t expect to make a lot of money from this unless you’re able to get a huge amount of traffic and sales. 

Last year, I sent Amazon more than $1.2 million in sales… and only made $47,310.

Amazon affiliate income

So yeah—it’s worth looking for a better affiliate program. 

The best affiliate partnerships are made by creating a direct relationship with the brand you want to promote and working out a private deal.

So where do you find great affiliate partners?

Think about the things you already enjoy doing and look at your favorite products or services in those niches. See if any of those products have an existing affiliate program. If not, call a brand to get in touch with its marketing team or even the owner to try and work something out.

You can also find potential affiliate programs by searching for “[your niche] affiliate programs” on Google. You’ll often find lists of brands that have an affiliate program, as well as the details of the program.

Lastly, you can check popular affiliate marketing platforms like AvantLink, impact.com, ShareASale, and many more.

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Ready to look for a niche? Here are two guides to get you started:

Step 2. Decide on one traffic channel

One of the biggest mistakes I see beginners making (and have made myself) is focusing on creating content for too many traffic channels at once. They make accounts on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest, all while managing their blog—it’s too much.

Every single one of these channels takes months or years to learn and build engaged audiences on. And each of them can fill enough time to be a full-time job.

Instead, choose one or two main traffic sources—my favorites are YouTube and Google because they can bring recurring organic traffic—and get really good at them.

Yes, you can have an account on every channel. Sure, you can share your blog posts on them pretty easily. But keep the bulk of your content creation and attention on one channel, then use the others to support that channel.

At Ahrefs, we specialize in search engine optimization (SEO)—that is, creating and optimizing content to appear in search engines. 

Organic traffic from search engines like Google is one of the best ways to get recurring, passive affiliate revenue. It takes time to learn the skills and get to page #1 on Google. But SEO is worth learning in the long run because it brings you traffic every time someone makes a search and finds your content.

One of my sites received over 100,000 visits from Google in a single month without me creating or promoting a single piece of content during the entire month:

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Google analytics traffic overview

YouTube is similar because it’s also often used as a search engine, making it another great source of recurring visitors without the need for constantly creating and promoting new content.

Of course, which traffic channel you choose depends on your own preference and the niche you’re in. Some niches are much more competitive in search engines than others. 

You can use Ahrefs’ free keyword difficulty checker to quickly see if the keywords in your niche are hard to rank for or not. Think of keywords you may search for in the niche and type them in the tool to get more information.

For example, “best vacuum cleaners for pet hair” may be hard to rank for:

Ahrefs' free keyword difficulty checker

Our tool estimates you’d need backlinks (links to your page from another website) from ~45 websites to rank in the top 10 for this keyword. And you can see some of the competitors are big brands like NYMag and HGTV. 

The Keyword Difficulty (KD) score—35—is on a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 being easy and 100 being extremely difficult. It’s on a logarithmic scale, which means it gets exponentially harder to rank for a keyword as the number goes up.

For comparison, the keyword “car vacuum cleaner” has a KD of 27, and we estimate you’d need ~32 backlinks to rank in the top 10.

Medium-difficulty keyword example

If you find some low- to medium-difficulty keywords, it could be a sign Google is a great traffic source for you. Otherwise, you may want to consider a different traffic source to get started with.

Here are some guides to help you learn about different traffic channels:

Step 3. Create killer content

Regardless of the platform you choose to focus on, you will need one thing to succeed:

Great content.

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Your content should be so good, so interesting, so riveting that people are eager to consume and share it. Whether that’s videos, pictures, or blog posts, the only way to stand out in this saturated market is to make your content really damn good.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you need the highest-quality cameras or the best-looking website. In fact, what makes content great varies, depending on the niche and the platform.

But typically, your content needs to be good at one of two things:

  1. Entertaining
  2. Informing

If you can both inform AND entertain people, you’ll do well with affiliate marketing. That can mean excellent storytelling, deep research, or great presentation of information. 

Of course, capturing traffic from Google is going to be very different from Instagram or TikTok. The intention is different—one platform is used for learning, the others for entertaining.

Creating amazing content for Google involves a lot of research:

Then, you need to compile that research in a way that’s easy to understand, well written, and optimized for search engines. The goal is to create something that’s better than what’s already ranking on page #1 for your target keyword.

For example, a good article for Google may look something like this, which ranks #1 for “rv accessories”:

RV accessories article example

As you scroll down the article, you see recommended boxes that share product information quickly and easily; also, the products are recommended by people who have actually used them.

Affiliate product recommendations

The goal with social media is still the same—to create something that’s better than what’s already out there—but it’s done in a different way.

Instead of presenting the best research in the easiest-to-digest way, it’s often about creativity, storytelling, and unique perspectives.

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That can mean a low-quality, handheld video of yourself being real in a moment when life is super difficult. Or it can mean crisp, edited films with drone footage, awesome angles, and sound design.

For example, here’s a video I posted on TikTok that blew up and received over 1.7 million views:

Social media is a different beast—people want to be entertained, not just fed information.

This is why it’s hard to define what “great content” means for social media. But generally, it comes down to being good at informing and entertaining. If you can nail those skills, the rest will fall into place.

Here are a few guides to help you create better content:

Step 4. Promote like crazy

Remember how I said to focus on one channel for traffic?

What I really mean by that is to focus on creating content for only one channel—you can still utilize other channels to boost that content.

For example, if you decide to focus on SEO or YouTube, you can still share your content on Facebook and Pinterest even without a large following. 

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Social media cross-promotion

That doesn’t mean you have to dive deep into Facebook and Pinterest groups and spend hours every day on social media to grow your audience—just look at it as a small piece of a larger strategy. Share it and move on.

Other things you can do to promote your content without spending money include:

  • Engaging with others on forums.
  • Building relationships with others in your niche and similar niches.
  • Commenting on other people’s videos and content.
  • Doing cold email outreach.
  • And more.

Check out our complete guide to content promotion to learn how to get eyeballs on your content.

Step 5. Scale it up

Once you find a traffic channel that works, you can work to scale up your efforts. Double down on the content and promotion methods that are working and cut the ones that aren’t.

At this point, you can look into hiring a writer, video editor, or social media manager to help you maximize your time.

Places like UpWork and Fiverr can help you find an assistant for a relatively low cost. It may take multiple hires to find the right person. But once you do, they’ll save you time, making the hiring process worthwhile.

Finding freelance writers on Fiverr

To have the best possible chances at landing a high-quality worker, only choose people with good reviews. 

Don’t just look at a five-star review average and assume they’re good, though. Read a few of the recent reviews to make sure they’re not fake purchased reviews.

And there you have it—the five steps to start affiliate marketing with basically no money.

Final thoughts

Starting an affiliate marketing business with no money is possible, but it does have a big learning curve and requires being scrappy and thinking outside the box.

With enough determination, you can create a business that earns passive revenue while you spend your time on hobbies, relaxing, with family, or doing whatever you want to do.

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It requires a lot of learning and work, but it’s worth it. If you have questions or want to get in touch, feel free to ping me on Instagram.

If you’re ready to learn more about affiliate marketing and SEO, check out these other guides:



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