Connected Retargeting Defining , refining , and aligning your social audience BY TODD JUNEAU
While the conventional method
of using interests and behaviors to segment an audience still exists in large scale , the more recent tactic of connection-based targeting is quickly picking up traction because of its versatility and effectiveness . This intersection is where connected retargeting flourishes , and the robust options available to use this approach in marketing efforts are always increasing .
The traditional notion of retargeting is straightforward : define a group of people who have shown an affinity toward your brand , product , or service and leverage them to maximize campaign efforts . Affinity can be classified in many ways , but it is most commonly associated with a specific web action taken by the user . That action — a website visit , an e- commerce purchase , or even a newsletter signup — is often tracked by a small snippet of code ( called a pixel or tag ) that is placed on the website . Although these tactics have helped marketers qualify their audiences for more than a decade , they only begin to tap into the potential that connected retargeting can have for a business .
The next step is to think about sustaining a retargeting audience over time , and that is where connected retargeting comes in . What happens when we exhaust our retargeting audience , or are not finding success with it ? Do we wait until more people visit our website to replenish or refine our retargeting pool ? The answer , at least when using social platforms , is that it doesn ’ t just stop there .
The great thing about social media is that it provides its own ecosystem that remains active both before and after an ad is served . Users can see an ad and come back to it later , or even share it with their friends and followers . This dynamic interaction is what makes social media such a unique medium — and brings in two very important factors of social strategy : audience sourcing and audience expanding .
Sourcing a connected retargeting audience on social media is actually pretty exciting . While the options vary between each platform , the general concept ( largely pioneered by Facebook ) is fairly consistent because , frankly , it works .
The easiest ( and arguably the most important ) audience to source is our followers — the people who have already made a commitment to a brand and are likely to support it . The problem , though , is that this is usually the smallest audience available to us , which makes other follower sources favorable too . Platforms like Twitter allow you to target followers of other pages , which is a great option for competitor conquesting . For brands looking to target influencers and advocates , it ’ s possible to set a threshold so that only users who have larger followings are targeted . While these are effective methods for maximizing follower support , there are ways to source an audience that do not rely on followers .
Imagine being able to create a historical index of all users who have seen a brand ; to be able to control what they see , when they see it , and how often that interaction occurs . Page retargeting , which enables us to target any user who has interacted with a page within the past year , brings that concept closer to a reality . We can even take it a step further , with methods that allow us to target users who have not just seen a brand but also have engaged with it . Using engager retargeting , we can target users who have liked , commented , shared , or watched — basically any action that required someone to click .
Expanding a connected retargeting audience may not be as exciting as sourcing , but it is equally worthwhile . With so many sources , it ’ s crucial to deploy strategies that will empower you to maximize the potential of each audience segment . One of these strategies involves the ability to target users who are similar to an existing list of users . This similarity can be tiered from 99 percent similarity down to 90 percent , which enables marketers to significantly expand their initial audience source . Another technique allows you to leverage connections between users and target the friends of people who follow a page . For brands that operate in tight-knit communities or genres , these connection-based insights can be invaluable .
Connected retargeting tactics are revolutionizing how we define , refine , and align our audiences on social media . By capitalizing on connections , rather than website actions , we are taking a necessary step toward fortifying our target audience and the approaches we use to reach them . Once those retargeting audiences are sourced , we must continue to implement methods that expand and magnify them so that we can sustain our social marketing efforts each quarter .
Social media is an ever-changing digital landscape , and the way we reach our target audience on social platforms continues to evolve . Franchisors and franchisees need to stay on course with the changes or face playing catch-up at a cost . ■
Todd Juneau is managing director at Mindstream Interactive in San Diego . To learn more , call 858-777-5007 or email tjuneau @ mindstreaminteractive . com .