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Combine Content Marketing with Retargeting to Boost “INTENT”

May 31, 2016

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Just writing that header gave me a headache, so bare with me.

Are you constantly putting out content that doesn’t convert? Well, don’t think that you’re the only one. Most brands, from small to large are creating mass amounts of content that are pretty ineffective.

Only a few years back a business could simply pump out low quality content that was completely focused on SEO and still gain huge amounts of traffic thanks to their search engine ranking. These days, this type of practice is quickly picked up on by search engines and readers alike and doesn’t lead to a favorable outcome for your traffic or business.

Furthermore, people don’t want to spend their valuable time reading content that provides little to no value to them. Quality content has become the new buzz word as more and more businesses have realized that interesting content trumps churned out SEO garbage when it comes to getting more quality traffic to their website and converting readers to leads or clients.

The problem is that now that businesses are taking all of these steps, such as blogging, engaging in content marketing and social marketing, there is increased competition for the eyes of readers. And if you have a busy schedule, juggling between work and family like me, there is only so much time in a day that you can spend consuming content before work or pleasure gets in the way.

This means that you need to make your content standout from the rest and make sure it delivers results – And if you can’t do it the first time round, then maybe you’ll hit it the second time.

Is Your Content Putting People to ZZZ?

Content Marketing Boring

If you are creating what you THINK is quality content, but find that it is getting lost in the thousands of similar blog articles that are being pumped out there, then you might need to step your game and becoming smarter with your marketing strategies.

It’s not just about creating quality content, but what you are doing with it.

Unfortunately, most companies who are conducting content marketing are not maximizing the potential of their content. When a person clicks on your blog post that they have discovered somewhere, your goal is to keep them focused for as long as possible and persuade them to take action. That action can be anything, from liking your article to even signing up to learn more about your product. The problem is that more than 80% of your readers will bounce off your content the first time round and won’t give you the time of day.

WAIT…that doesn’t mean your content isn’t interesting…

There are thousands of reasons why people will click into an article but only glance through it before moving onto something else. Real life gets in the way of consuming content. Your online audience is always going to be easily distracted. There could be a screaming baby that needs to be looked after, an urgent email that needs a response or they may have reached their tolerance for content consumption for the day.

Just because the reader doesn’t have time for your product or has bounced off your page, doesn’t mean that they are not interested. It just means that you weren’t approaching them at the best time. If you can understand this, then you’ve taken your first step towards creating an effective content retargeting campaign.

So… What is Retargeting?

Content Retargeting

Retargeting is a way of advertising your brand or product to bounced or exit traffic after they have left your website or article. Do you know that in specific industries only 2% of web traffic will convert on their initial visit? Retargeting provides you with the means to reach out and convert that remaining 98% of visitors.

You’ve probably even been retargeted yourself and are unaware of it. Ever noticed that when you pay a visit to a certain website, you will constantly see advertisements for that site’s product on others sites that you frequently visit?

The reason for this growing trend is due to the fact that advertisers now understand that the chance for converting traffic and generating a decent ROI will probably happen the second time round, if their readers are more aware of your product and have a much higher level of “Intent” – and this tends to happen the more the user is exposed to your content.

How Does Retargeting work?

Retargeting is based on cookie-technology and NOT the delicious chocolate cookies you have stored in the cupboard.

Cookie technology for retargeting

Basically, you place a small piece of code on your site or article page, also known as a pixel. Every time a new reader lands on your page, the code plants an anonymous browser cookie. It basically marks that user, so that you can recognize him at a later stage.

Later, when that user visits another site, the cookie lets you spot him through retargeting providers and can allow you to present him with different or similar content.

Now comes the interesting part…

Marking Users According to Content Engagement Factors

Content marketing performance

While using retargeting to get visitors to return to your website is a great way to get more conversions, you should also take those extra steps to make sure you are aware of the quality of traffic you are retargeting.

A great way to do this is by marking your users according to engagement factors. If you are tech savvy then the sky is the limit, but if not then Google Analytics can provide a great way to accurately segment your traffic by using the Custom Segment option.

There are many different ways in which you can do this including; number of visits, session duration, page depth and certain goal completion.

You will need to do your own research to determine which metrics are more relevant for you and will lead to the best conversions from your retargeted marketing efforts.

So for example, if you have seen that people who have come to your site a number of times and spent a significant amount of time reading your content are more likely to convert into a sale, you will then create your own custom segment that will specifically target these kinds of people with your ads on your retargeting provider.

The most important thing to try to figure out is your user’s level of “Intent”. Which metrics should you combine to segment your audience, that will drive the best conversion (people that are really interested in your product) ? You can even combine different metrics to create your own ”Intent” metric.

Content Marketing Strategies That Can Hint Towards High Intent

Just like with any type of marketing, there are going to be different strategies that are better suited to different target audiences and different products. Horses for courses is the name of the game. With that in mind, here are some of the more common strategies used today:

1) Market to Previous Conversions

This is a more obvious one, but still needs to be mentioned.
If you have already sold to a person and they enjoyed the experience, there is a good chance that they would be open to buying from you again. You can use content retargeting to market to those who have already bought from you or signed up for your email list by generating targeted content and retargeting them again with some type of special offer that will draw them back in.

Remember, they already have trust in your brand, which is often one of the biggest barriers to making a sale, so their level of Intent should be high.

2) Effectively Increase Brand Awareness For a New Site

When you are trying to build up your reputation and brand awareness, after launching a new site, content retargeting will help you to become relevant and memorable as the same ad will be displayed to all of those previous visitors to your site. The thing is you don’t just want to retarget everyone that landed on your website. Try to segment users that viewed a few pages, users that didn’t just bounce off your site or article. You can even retarget users that stayed on your site for over 1 minute. The main idea is to increase your brands awareness in people that you assume will have more of a chance of purchasing something from you in the future.

3) Understand Your Effective Costs to Calculate True Content Value

Ok, this is a tough one, but if you do it successfully, then it can be quite rewarding. When conducting your content marketing campaigns, you will most probably be leading your traffic to a landing page or article that has a form or some other type of goal on it. Traffic that doesn’t immediately convert should be marked according to relevant engagement factors and then priced into your costs when you retarget that user. So your Cost-per-Acquisition won’t only take into consideration your initial marketing costs, but also price in the retargeting cost. This way you can measure the true effectiveness of your content, through your effective costs.

Final Thoughts

Don’t just create content for the sake of creating it. Do it properly and always create a content market strategy. Make sure you measure everything and don’t worry if your content doesn’t convert. The important thing is to know what to do WHEN it doesn’t work and how you can optimize your content to boost your traffic’s level of Intent.

Oh… if you got all the way down here, then check out this article. It might interest you.

You MUST Break the Laws of “Content Punctuation” to Drive Conversion

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About the Author
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Adam Perl
Adam Perl is VP Marketing at TechSors, a digital agency that specialises in Content marketing and Web Development. Adam's work experience spans 10+ years of strategic marketing & planning for online international companies in the financial, gaming, eCommerce and the travel industry.