Is stalking part of your marketing mix?

What advertising styles are you employing?

Lessons learned from entrepreneur by Yield Software
April 9, 2010
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I'm Stalking YouEvery marketer knows there are a number of ways to deliver a message, and most employ a good mix to achieve a campaign’s objectives.

Do you interrupt?  You know: the old traditional advertising form that says, “Excuse me? I said HEY YOU! Have you checked out my amazing offering?”  This includes traditional forms such as television commercials and magazine ads.

Do you go for response? Search advertising falls into this category – this is the style of advertising where the ad appears in response to a directly expressed interest, such as a search query.  “I have what you want – get it from me.”

And how about stalking?  Yes, that’s right: stalking.   As in, “Hey – remember me?  We went out once.  I’d really like a second date, so I’m going to follow you all over the internet!  Here I am.  Look, me again! Yep, me again!  Yep, me – still here – I’m everywhere!”

Some advertisers still get results from interruption-style advertising.  And most of us have found great benefit from direct response advertising – mostly because of its relevancy, affordability, traceability and even the decline it precipitated of the dreaded branding campaign.

Incorporating stalking-style advertising can also have many benefits.  You work hard and spend valuable dollars on interrupting and generating a response to drive visitors to your site, so once you’ve been able to capture someone’s initial interest, why not remind them about you?  It’s akin to the old idea about how much less expensive it is to keep an existing customer than attracting a new one.  You want to capitalize on the investment you’ve made to get that initial visit to your site.

When we say “stalking” we are referring to re-targeting.  This technique is well-known to display advertisers, but Google recently made it generally available and super easy for anyone with a website to use.  Here’s the gist of it:  When someone visits your site, Google cookies them.  Then, later, as that visitor is cruising around the internet, your ads appear to that visitor as they visit different sites that are part of Google’s Content Network.

Some benefits of re-targeting include:

a) Reminding past visitors about you after they’ve left your site, and encouraging repeat visits;

b) Establishing more credibility by instilling in the visitor the perception that you have a strong presence across the Web; and

c) Monitoring where your visitors spend their time after leaving your site.

How do you get started?

1) Create a Google campaign targeted to the Content Network.

2) Set up some ads.

3) Create an audience (think in terms of your website – you segment audiences by pages they visited).

4) Add the code to the applicable pages of your website.

Some tips to help you be successful:

Create Ad Groups: If you have several different offerings, make ad groups specific to product offerings – use ads related to those products and create an audience based on visitors to those specific product pages.

Add Keyword Themes: If you want to stay on-topic you can combine keyword themes along with your audiences, so that they only see your ads on topical or relevant sites.

Target Known Sites: If you already know of great sites that your visitors frequent, add them in as designated placements.

Regularly Monitor Performance: As with any placement campaign, review the placements where your ads are appearing and monitor performance.  Bid higher on great placements and exclude any that just don’t produce.

While Google’s Content Network isn’t exactly analogous to AdWords, it’s a great companion to PPC campaigns you may be running.  By reminding visitors to your site – especially those that arrived after clicking on a PPC ad – about your products, services or special offers after leaving your site, you’re reinforcing that initial investment.  And you’re increasing the chance of a conversion on a return visit.

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Yield Software, Inc.
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