6 Types of Retargeting Ads That Can Boost Your Campaigns

April 4, 2024

If you asked any digital marketer about which advertising tactic you aren’t using but should, they’d tell you without flinching an eye: retargeting.

The reason for this is simple: retargeting ads worksAccording to a study by AdRoll, retargeting can increase ad response by up to 400% and lead to a 147% increase in average conversion rates.

When building an effective retargeting ad campaign, however, you need to rotate your ads frequently. If you don’t, your audience will ignore your ads, lowering their effectiveness and increasing their costs.

If you feel like you are running out of creative ad ideas to use, we have you covered. In this article, you’ll discover six examples of retargeting ads you can try in your next digital campaign. 

Retargeting ad type #1: Events

Events are a fantastic way to engage your accounts. Not only does it show a large commitment from the account’s stakeholders, events also allow you to develop a stronger relationship with them.

One way to run retargeting ads is by encouraging FOMO (fear of missing out). This type of ad is targeted at people who want to be part of or equal to their peer group and it works very well because they encourage high-performers to join other high-performers.

Read more about how event ads performed well for Outreach and their annual conference.

Retargeting ad type #2: Promote the feature

If your solution offers a wide variety of features, you may want to segment one of them and promote it alone. Personalizing your ad campaign by company type, size, or industry can make your ads more effective, as they speak to the one group that needs that particular feature.

Intercom is a company that offers customer messaging, lifecycle marketing management, and more. By making their ad all about improving the timing of a marketing message, they are speaking to their target audience that needs that specific solution: product marketers.

Retargeting ad type #3: Offer middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content

If you have a well-developed account-based marketing strategy, you probably have guides, checklists, and other kinds of middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content. Content is a very effective way to keep your accounts engaged and learn about the value you provide.

Here’s a good example of a MOFU content retargeting ad in which Pardot promotes an ebook about B2B email marketing. After you’ve downloaded the ebook, they continue the conversation through an email nurture campaign that leads to an offer for their marketing automation software.

Retargeting ad type #4: Offer bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content

While the MOFU content strives to keep your target accounts active, your bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content is focused on getting the account closer to conversion, which can be a sale, a consultation, or a trial account. Some examples of BOFU content include webinars and case studies, which have a higher buying intent.

Here you can see a good example of a BOFU retargeting ad in which we use a case study quote to show proof points of the RollWorks platform. These ads should only be run to an audience that is already familiar with your brand because they lead to bottom-of-funnel content.

Retargeting ad type #5: Drive the conversion

While MOFU and BOFU content drive target accounts closer to the final conversion, the final action — like the actual sign-up for a trial or a demo — may not happen if you don’t follow up with the right message.

That’s where a conversion-focused retargeting ad can help you close the loop. After an account has downloaded your BOFU content, you can assume they’re ready for your offer. Your ad then should be focused on the final action to take, nothing more.

In the case of ZipRecruiter, you can see how they use a simple retargeting ad focused exclusively on the desired action: getting a free sign-up.

Retargeting ad type #6: Upsell and cross-sell

Veteran marketers know that even after you have closed an account you should still be using retargeting ads because you can continue to expand on the value you deliver. In other words, you can upsell your accounts to upgrade to further product features.

Soundcloud is a popular platform for music producers and podcast listeners. While their platform is free to use, they still have a paid account that offers music producers better tools to connect with their fans. After a user has uploaded any kind of audio file to their platform, they start retargeting those users with an upsell for their pro account:

Showing the customer additional material on how to make the most of your platform is crucial to helping them understand the benefits they can get from upgrading. Using marketing to educate them helps set up a successful conversation for the account manager once they feel that the customer is a good fit for an upgrade.

Takeaways & Next Steps

As you rework your retargeting ad campaign, try to take inventory of how often you rotate your ads. A big reason that retargeting is considered “annoying” by most people is simply because the ads are set on repeat and become stale.

If you want your retargeting campaigns to be successful, check the “Frequency” metric in your retargeting dashboard and see if you are using the same ad over and over.

If you see you are getting a high frequency and high CPM, try using some of the ideas we highlighted here to increase the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns.

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