Paid media opportunities in the B2B world are endless. LinkedIn ads, Google search ads, display ads, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, sponsored content, traditional media. We could talk for hours about all the possibilities and different ways for startups to leverage them.

In this mile-long list lies an often overlooked opportunity to get more bang for your buck: Remarketing.

The Remarketing Basics

As the name implies, remarketing means targeting audiences that already have some familiarity with your brand. Maybe they’ve visited your website, downloaded a whitepaper, or followed you on social media. No matter how they’ve engaged with your brand, there’s an existing interest. They’re in a different stage of their journey than people who have never heard of you. By targeting them in your ad campaigns, you get an invaluable chance to continue the conversation and keep your brand top of mind.

Instead of trying to drum up interest with a completely cold audience, remarketing is an opportunity to further educate and warm your existing audience — with the ultimate goal of converting them faster and more cost-effectively.

The Familiarity Effect

Unconsciously, people prefer things they’re familiar with; it’s a psychological phenomenon called The Familiarity Effect or The Mere Exposure Effect. Evolution has taught us to be careful around new things because they could pose a threat. While this makes a bit more sense in the context of a wooly mammoth, the same principle still applies today. People are flooded with ads from brands they don’t know, touting products they don’t know if they can trust. But if something familiar pops up, they feel less uncertain and, thus, more positive about it. In fact, repeated exposure to something can actually make people like it more.

That’s why remarketing is one of the most efficient ways to drive leads. Since these audiences already have some familiarity with your brand, they’re significantly more likely to engage and ultimately convert. Even better, they convert at a significantly lower cost compared to cold audiences. 

The Numbers Tell the Story

The Why behind remarketing becomes even more apparent when you look at the data that supports it:

For example, if a B2B startup wanted HR professionals to register for its annual event. They would try running LinkedIn ads to cold audiences, but the campaign quickly proved to be expensive and ineffective.

Instead of trying to combine brand awareness with event conversions, they could try building a new campaign audience made up of people who had previously visited the client’s website – which instantly created a warmer group of people to target. When compared to the cold campaign, these remarketing ads had a 118% higher click through rate, and the cost per conversion was 84% lower.

In another example, a B2B startup – this one targeting marketing professionals – used LinkedIn to encourage cold audiences to download a free report. Unsurprisingly, these audiences were slow to convert and far exceeded the client’s target cost per lead.

Again, they could turn to remarketing. By combining LinkedIn ads with Google Display ads, the client’s new campaigns had a 102% higher conversion rate and a 94% lower cost per conversion

The Lowest-Hanging Fruit in a Budget-Conscious World

B2B buyers are always cognizant of budget, but they pay even closer attention in Q4. For many of them, it’s spend-it-or-lose-it time. It’s always critical to keep your brand top of mind with warm (or even lukewarm) leads, but it’s even more vital when they’re finalizing budgets for the next calendar year.

Because of their existing brand knowledge, remarketing audiences are the lowest-hanging fruit. By targeting your paid media to them, you’re getting them ready for an especially meaningful conversation when they’re ready to reach out to sales. Just like that, you’ve maximized the efficiency of your sales team!

Paid media is an incredibly impactful tool. The key, though, is to have a clear understanding of who you should be talking to and what you should be saying. While generating brand awareness with new leads is always important, maximizing warm audiences with retargeting creates fast, efficient results. In spite of that, it’s something many B2B startups overlook. Don’t be one of them.

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