Audience Retargeting: Drive More Business With Content

Audience Retargeting: Drive More Business With Content

For the last few years, I’ve been consulting as a senior content marketer for a performance marketing agency. There was a constant pressure to prove the return on investment of content strategies and tactics deployed for our clients. I’m only figuring out that, all this time, while trying to defend the poor business value of our top-of-funnel content, we might have been barking up the wrong tree.

Indeed, proving the rentability of content strategies and measuring the income directly generated by a piece of content has always been one of the most significant challenges for B2C marketers: once in a blue moon, a customer books a hotel in Italian Alps, right after she read a blog post about travelling the Dolomites. In fact, according to a Forrester Research¹, 96% of shoppers won’t purchase at their first visit to a site.

Therefore, content is still a significantly underrated asset among performance marketing professionals. Allegedly, content can eventually drive visits (think SEO, referral and social media traffic) but it’s very rarely meant to convert.

This mistrust in content worthiness has its origin in a widely accepted convention, defining content as organically inspirational and informational, by opposition to advertising – paid by nature – and intended to drive sales.

However, while combining owned and paid channels through retargeting tactics, I recently discovered that it becomes possible to track, very precisely, the business generated by content assets such as your blog posts or your funny cat videos (at the important condition, if you operate within the EU, that you are compliant to GDRP). Isn’t this great?

Retargeting your readers with paid campaigns

Retargeting will consist in tracking the behaviours of your visitors to better address them, offsite, with paid campaigns. Assuming that content published on your website or blog already drives traffic.

It means you can retarget visitors that engaged with your content – your audience – to promote your product or service through Google Ads or Facebook Ads (these two companies capture the most significant share of the online advertising market, while Amazon climbs fast behind). At the condicio sine qua non that they are relevant to your content.

Depending on your strategy, you’ll prefer to retarget visitors based:

  • On their search intend, with Google Ads;
  • On their social interests, with Facebook Ads.

Let’s walk together through the two variants.

Google Remarketing

In Google Ads (previously named Adwords), retargeting is instead referred as remarketing and can be used with Search ads (text ads, shown in Google Search) or Display ads (banners, placed on third-party websites).

Google Analytics, the software widely adopted to track website traffic grants you access to traffic and audience data, thus, allowing anonymous segmentation of visitors that engaged with content in some extent: by viewing a specific page, by spending some time on your article or video, by completing a preset goal*.

Once this audience has been isolated, it is possible to target it with Google Ads, cross-devices, with specific advertising aimed at product purchase or goal completion:

  • through Search channels, ads are displayed when user pursue her search journey on Google;
  • through Display channel, ads are displayed when user pursues her journey on third-party websites, affiliated to Google Display Network.

Google Ads Remarketing

Facebook Retargeting

At Facebook, the equivalent of Google Analytics tracker is called Facebook Pixel. Like its Google counterpart, this little piece of code records the behaviour of your website visitors: pages visited, session duration, actions and goal completion*.

Thanks to this data, you can create Custom Audiences that will be later retargeted: people that played your video, women that visited more than one page of your site or friends of people that read your blog post.

After your target group has been isolated in Facebook Ads, you can target it, on desktop and mobile, with specific campaigns, designed and optimised for conversion:

  • through Facebook, ads are displayed in various placements of the user’s newsfeed, depending on the tactic you’ve chosen;
  • through Instagram, ads are displayed in the feed or stories of your targeted audience.

Facebook Ads Retargeting

Attribution Model

The performance of your retargeting campaigns, supposedly higher than classic search and display campaigns, relay now, for a big part, on content.

However, once the campaigns are over, to prove the efficiency of content when it comes to sales, the Return on Investment must be calculated following an attribution model. Wich one?

I would suggest the following:

A Content Model Attribution

  • where A, is the average conversion rate of classic campaigns ;
  • where B, is the average conversion rate of remarketed campaigns ;
  • where C, is the differential performance of remarketed campaigns conversion rate.

Once the conversion rate’s uplift has been determined, it becomes easy to calculate, precisely, the business generated by content and the ROI.

That’s it for the theory. I’ll come back to this article with more data and insights as soon as I can apply this model to a case. If you’ve already implemented these content marketing tactics and can share your feedback, it would be great to read your comments!

* It is also always possible to detach a specific population using conventional socio-demographic criteria (gender, age, location…).

¹Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment, Forrester Research, May 2010

Grégory is a student at Grenoble Ecole de Management and editor of Content Marketer, a French blog dedicated to content marketing

Photo credits: GD

Audience Retargeting: Drive More Business With Content

How do bloggers influence consumer behavior?

For years, we have been facing the emergence of social networks in our daily life. This is due to the constant development of new technologies such as tablets, smartphones and computers.

We live today in a connected society that likes to remain informed about the latest trends. Indeed, thanks to the news technology and digital communication platforms, the consumer can stay informed whenever he wishes, in real time and without moving from home. Each consumer can follow the brands and influencers of his choice in order to create his own opinion regarding a product or a service.

“The web has become the reference tool for searching information”.

Internet users love it because it’s a participative way to publish content, participate in conversations and speak easily. These are facts that bloggers have grasped. A blogger is a person who regularly publishes content on a digital platform. Most of the time, the bloggers not only post on their blogs, but also publish on social networks, and especially Instagram. This technique allows them to have a wider visibility of their communities. An influencer can be a famous person or a lambda person who loves writing, photography and has a feature that differentiates him from others and makes consumers want to follow him.

Many brands are seeing this concept grow, and they are more and more interested in it. An lot of brands are ready to spend less on advertising campaigns and invest more in partnerships with bloggers. They see in this concept the opportunity to promote their products through another person who has no basic relationship with the brand. Some consumers have more confidence in what is said by a blogger than what is said directly by the brand via an advertisement.


Audience Retargeting: Drive More Business With Content

WOM, disclosure and ethics – Interview with Andy Sernovitz

Here is a DMU exclusive interview with Andy Sernovitz writer of the best-selling book Word of Mouth marketing. Andy is also CEO of GasPedal ( and Health) and teaches at Northwestern University.

First of all, thank you very much Andy for your time and support.

Would you mind telling the readers your path to becoming the “Guru of Word of Mouth Marketing”? How did you end up here?

“Word of mouth is an old concept: Earn the respect of your customer and they will tell everyone. The idea of a formal marketing practice around it is what’s new. I was deeply involved in permission marketing when I was asked to start the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Permission marketing has the same root concept – get people to want to talk to you and about you. The book came later.”

But what is Word of Mouth Marketing exactly?

“Okay. Here’s the quick version. Everything you wanted to know about word of mouth marketing but were afraid to ask.  It all comes down to this: Happy customers are your best advertisers. If people like you and like what you do, they will tell their friends.

The definition: Word of Mouth Marketing is a) giving people a reason to talk about you and b) making it easier for the conversation to take place.

It’s C to C Marketing—when a consumer tells a consumer about you. Actually, it’s B to C to C. When it comes out of the mouth of a marketer, it’s marketing. When a real person repeats it, it’s word of mouth.”


Audience Retargeting: Drive More Business With Content

5 Steps to a Killing Product Description

[Picture: copyright: Florian Klauer]

Why are product descriptions so important? And why should you spend your precious time on copywriting for your products?

Here’s why: product pages will be your number one traffic driver for your website. But it’s not enough to lead the customer to your website. The product page also needs to contain information of real value in order for the customer to make a purchase decision. First of all, you need a product description that will be found on Google. This will bring highly interested users to your website. And secondly, you need your killer description to convince the user to click the ‘buy now’ button. So far so good.

Now that we all agree that product descriptions are crucial – how do you optimize them?

Here are 5 steps to improve the quality of your descriptions:

[Picture: copyright:]


How to combine online and offline techniques for a better customer journey?

90% of purchases are made offline. According to the Wall Street Journal, eventhough visits in store have decreased, stores revenue is higher by 15% in 2016 in comparison to 2012. However, this fact does not mean that digital is not important in retail: the online searches prior to store visit have increased by 7% between 2012 and 2016. As soon as the customer enters the store, he knows what and why he wants to buy. For that purpose, the Multichannel strategies are emerging. The customers are doing some research on the internet before going into a store. Today, “banking, retail, and other sectors are still struggling to devise the perfect cross-channel experiences for their customers—experiences that take advantage of digitization to provide customers with targeted, just-in-time product or service information in an effective and seamless way” (Article from Mckinsey in June 2014).

Source: ShopperTrack data for November/December 2015 as cited in Wall Street Journal