Yesterday, I was searching for hotels in New Orleans when I noticed something peculiar pop up about an hour later when I watched a YouTube video.

 

The ad at the beginning of the video was a tourism spot for-guess who-New Orleans! Not long after I was searching for hotels in New Orleans did I start to get bombarded with videos and Facebook ads for trips to New Orleans.

 

It wasn’t a coincidence, it was retargeting.

 

You know that old saying how when you want something, you see advertisements for it, but once you buy it the advertisements go away? That’s coincidental. On the internet and social media, it’s retargeting. If you’ve ever searched for an item on Amazon, you’ll likely see ads for it blazoned across your Facebook or on banner ads on the side of a website you frequent.

 

Using keywords and cookies, retargeting is a strategy propped up by digital marketing agencies to get your brand out there to anyone who has searched your brand, or even just items that are closely related to what you’re selling.

 

It’s a constant reminder to your targeted audience to buy without badgering. Unlike traditional social media outlets, a target of your audience can just unlike or unfollow your account and be done with the constant product push.

 

With retargeting, however, there are always subtle reminders to the side of your website, before YouTube videos, or scrolling down your news feed.

 

This is a great method for start-ups to employ. Nowadays, it’s difficult for a start-up on social media to compete with the big companies. Those companies are now allocating more funds of their marketing department to social media. An organic post that used to achieve a reach in the thousands a few years ago will be lucky to break triple digits today.

 

Retargeting puts your brand name everywhere if you target it correctly. Here’s an example that crawled across my Facebook feed as I was doing research for copy that I was writing earlier this week:

 

paypal-mobile-facebook-ad-example

 

Well, isn’t that quite the coincidence! A few days after researching mobile computing and payments for an account, I am bombarded with articles about those subjects, which I had never been interested in prior to the research.

 

That’s the power of retargeting. Sometimes it takes a few days, sometimes a few hours, but your brand’s retargeting ad will be featured on some form of social media or website.