Remarketing and Retargeting – What is the basic difference?

Many times, it is seen that PPC advertisers use remarketing and retargeting in the same sense. And as far as my experience is concerned, I see this mistake being made by major ad platforms like Google ads, Facebook ads etc. They are referring to remarketing and retargeting as the same strategy in the digital marketing industry. These strategies do have some similarities, but generally they use separate channels and they have completely different objectives. So, in this article, we’ll try to understand the basic difference between remarketing and retargeting.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting usually refers to running an ad campaign in such a way that you are targeting people who have interacted with your website but they haven’t converted. 

And, we all know that once a person has interacted with your website, they have become your warm audience. And it is easier to convert a warm audience as compared to a cold audience. So that is why retargeting ad campaigns were introduced by these ad platforms, where you can specifically show your ads to people who have shown some interest in your brand. Either they have clicked on your ad, visited one of your pages, watched one of your videos, or any particular action that they have taken related to your brand. 

Now these actions can be on site and off site. When I refer to on-site interactions, then it means that a person has come to your website and they have done some interaction on your website, so it can be clicking on a particular button on your website, adding an item into a shopping cart, watching a particular video that you have placed on the top of a particular landing page, or simply viewing two or three different pages on your website. All these actions are termed “on-site interactions”.

And when you are running ad campaigns, it becomes easier to track these people because we are living in the world of cookies. So now, when a person visits your website, their browser saves a cookie related to your brand. Now, using the information in that cookie, you can re-approach or re-target that particular person through a display ad campaign, a video ad campaign, or a simple search ad campaign. 

But suppose that same person has not come on your website and they have seen a post that you have made on your social media platforms or a video that you have posted on your YouTube channel. In this situation, they have shown some interest in your brand but now, they are not on your website. They’re on a third-party platform. So, how will you retarget them? This kind of interaction is often termed “off site interaction” because it is not on your website but on a third party website. So, there is a way out for this type of interaction also.

All major ad platforms provide a way to create custom audiences under which you can target users based on their interaction on their platforms and not your website.

So, if we sum up, then retargeting mainly focuses on the paid ads. 

What is remarketing? 

Remarketing is similar to retargeting in two approaches. The first thing is that it is also targeting audiences who are more likely to convert. That is a warm audience. And, the aim behind remarketing is to keep your brand at the top of the minds of your interested audience. So basically, you are increasing the recall value for your brand

Remarketing mostly employs a strategy to re-engage people who have already purchased from your company, so that means that they’re already your customers, and you’re trying to increase the lifetime value of a customer by giving them more offers, more deals, more discounts. You’re trying to make them a loyal customer for the long term. How can we do that? 

You can send them an email with a coupon code at a specific time of year, or you can give them a special offer on their birthday, or after they have made a purchase in your store, you can show them similar products that are available in your store. If you are a SaaS provider, then you can remind them to renew that subscription.

So by doing all these things, you’re trying to keep them engaged with your brand. You’re trying to motivate them to buy more and increase their lifetime value with your brand, which is called the LTV in the digital marketing industry.

Conclusion – Remarketing and Retargeting

If we see broadly, then when we remarket people, then we have got a very limited audience because we can remarket to only those who have already purchased a product or service. But when we retarget people, then we have got a wide range of people because they still haven’t made a purchase, they have just shown interest in your brand. 

So to summarize, we can see here that it is quite easy to use the terms in the same manner, but if you are aiming to become an expert in the digital marketing industry, then you must know the exact difference between both remarketing and retargeting concepts.

Do leave me a comment, If you liked reading this article. And I’ll try to bring more interesting topics related to the digital marketing industry.

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