Five Online Retargeting Mistakes to Avoid for Event Marketers

May 03

Five Online Retargeting Mistakes to Avoid for Event Marketers

Based on our experience running tens of millions of retargeting ads around the world for exhibitions and events, we share some common issues that can negatively impact your results.  Plus we offer some tips to maximize success.

Overkill frequency.  Blasting as many ads as you can to as many people as possible that you have “cookied” can waste ad spend, accelerate ad fatigue and annoy potential attendees.  In addition, delivering too many ads to some may mean not delivering enough to others and missing some people all together.  There is no magic frequency for maximizing attendance, what works best for your show will depend on a number of factors so test, analyze and optimize for your specific situation.

Lack of segmentation. We recently visited a website and were retargeted with an exhibitor ad i.e. promoting booth space.  The problem is that we did not visit any exhibitor/sales pages.  Serving exhibitor ads to attendees, or vice versa, is certainly not productive.  Basic URL segmentation can help you avoid this, while more advanced targeting strategies will enable more fine grain messaging, for example, serving different ads to visitors in different stages of the purchase funnel.

Running the same ad.  We have seen plenty of attendee retargeting campaigns which use one ad for the entire flight window.  This type of strategy can lead to ad fatigue, which occurs when people are consistently exposed to the same ad over and over.  Overexposure occurs that much quicker with high-frequency retargeting campaigns.  After a while, people may simply tune out and ignore your ads.  One way to deal with ad fatigue is through rotation of creative assets.

Single bid strategy: Many event marketers bid the same for their entire audience pool but that doesn’t reflect the realities of attendee acquisition.  For example, higher-intent visitors i.e. people who visited multiple pages on your website, made it to the registration/ticket purchase page, etc. are more valuable than people  who only visited your home page.  Employing differential bidding based on depth of engagement, purchase page abandonment, recency or other audience data will help you maximize results.

Limited ad inventory: If you are only retargeting with traditional banner ads, you may be missing out on reach and frequency.  There are so many more choices today.  The more ad inventory sources you employ, the better chance you have of finding your attendees across the web.  Consider all supply opportunities i.e. display, mobile, video, social and email.  Plus leverage CRM data, such as email lists, in addition to cookies as that will enable you to sync more of your audience with ad inventory.

Hopefully the above points make it clear that retargeting is about much more than placing a pixel and buying ads against cookied visitors.

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