the_fear_of_failureIf you know how to use it, advertisement retargeting can be a valuable and powerful resource in drawing consumers back to your website if they weren't ready to buy the first time they visited. Usually, people like to click around different websites and do some comparison shopping before they make a final decision about their purchase, and retargeting helps to increase the chance that when your potential customers are ready to buy - it's you that they'll come back to.

Retargeting campaigns rely on browser cookies to work, allowing them to create an anonymous list of the people that visit your website so that they can be targeted with ads as they move through their online experience. Because retargeting ensures you only deliver advertisements to people who have already visited your site, you can usually save money, and ensure your brand remains fresh in the minds of your prospects.

Unfortunately, not everyone will find that their retargeting campaign is an instant success. There are plenty of reasons why your strategy may fail to hit its mark, leaving you to wonder where all of those conversions have gone. If your retargeting campaign just hasn't worked out the way you had hoped - the following four reasons may explain why.

1. You Only Used a Single Banner Ad

Many websites that are created to help you develop a retargeting campaign will allow you to make anywhere up to five free ads for your initial campaign. If you start paying for your advertisements, then you'll be able to make as many as you like - so why would you even think about limiting yourself to a single option? Setting up multiple different advertisement options will allow you to do some crucial A/B testing, and find out which colors, phrases, and fonts work best for your customers. On average, you should be using around 4 to 5 different ads for your Facebook righthand sidebar advertisements and web campaigns, and between 2-3 different ads for Facebook news feed campaigns.

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2. You Refuse to Ditch Underperforming Ads

As you try and test different ad solutions, it's crucial to keep an eye on what works and what doesn't. Analyzing each and every metric available to you might seem like a time-consuming and frustrating detail - but the more attention you pay to your ads, the more your campaign performance is likely to improve. Similarly, it's crucial to make sure that your ads remain fresh and up-to-date. This might mean replacing an advertisement with something new every seven to ten days if you feel that they aren't performing as well as they could be. Just like any form of advertising, A/B testing is an important part of finding the right approach for your marketing strategy, and your audience. You might find that you make dozens of tiny changes in your ads over time before you find the one that works the best for you.

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3. Your Advertisement Sounds Too Generic

Although the idea behind retargeting is to improve conversions and turn leads into customers, it's important to make sure that you don't sound like just another advertiser. Try to be as creative as possible with the copy that you use throughout your ad, and the headline that you write to catch your audiences' attention. For ads that are to be displayed on news feeds, your copy should stay short and sweet - as no-one likes being presented with a huge block of text when they're trying to relax and browse the Internet. If you're advertising on Facebook, then the ad should sound like something a regular user would post - just with your particular brand voice attached. At the same time, try to make sure that your ads remain socially relevant, as social-themed ads around events and holidays can offer a fantastic retargeting boost if you time them properly.

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4. Don't Let Your Ad Creative Go Stale

Creating a truly amazing retargeting campaign means taking a number of steps in delivering the perfect marketing punch for your brand. First of all, you'll need to devote yourself to finding an effective call-to-action that encourages your customers to get involved with your brand and take the next step on the buying journey, but you'll also have to make sure that you lure them in with an exciting and engaging creative too. Changing your creatives regularly is a good idea, alongside using dynamic ads to ensure that your campaign stays fresh and active for longer. Research has shown that over time, click-through rates for retargeting campaigns can fall by as much as 50% after they've stayed the same for five months or more. Frequently rotating your content ensures you'll avoid seeing too much of a huge dip in performance. 

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Topics: Banner Ads, retargeting, Dynamic Ads, Dynamic Retargeting, Ad Creative

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.