Creepy or cool?: retargeting and why it should matter to you

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If you’ve been dabbling in internet marketing over the last few years, you’ve no doubt heard the term “retargeting.” You may have heard it called other things as well, such as “remarketing” or “behavioral advertising.” But what does that mean exactly? Retargeting can be defined as “the process of tagging website visitors so you can target them specifically, with ads tailored to their level of interest in your company [or product/service].” If that’s not completely clear, retargeting basically means that when a potential client visits your website or blog or clicks one of your display ads, you “drop a cookie,” and then your ads will follow them around the web. If you’re an online shopper, you probably know what I’m talking about. Have you ever been to looking at kitchen tools, and noticed later on that ads for those same kitchen tools are following you around the web? That is retargeting in a nutshell. But why should it matter to you?

Benefits of Retargeting

If you’ve read anything on our blog, you probably know that 92% of home buyers use the Internet during their search for a real estate agent and a new home, and that 66% of clients hire the first agent they interview (2013 NAR Buyers and Sellers Report). That is why we are so adamant when it comes to encouraging online marketing. It’s important to be where the customers are, and that’s the Internet.

When it comes to online marketing, it can be hard to compete with the distractions of the entire Internet. Someone can go to Google to search for a real estate agent, and find themselves on YouTube, two hours later, having watched 25 videos of cats doing cute things. It’s the curse of the digital age. This is one of the main reasons why retargeting is so important. Imagine someone found your name through a search and went to your website to see what you had to offer. Now, they are about to click on the link to your contact information to shoot you an email, but a friend sends them a link to a hilarious article they have to read. With that, they are gone from your page, possibly forever. If you’re a tech savvy agent who utilizes retargeting and awareness advertising, this prospect will not be lost to you. In the time they took to visit your page, a cookie will have been “dropped” on them, and your ads will now follow that prospect around the web.

AdWerx uses these same methods when following potential home buyers or sellers across the web. One thing that differs, however, is that we target consumers based on geography as well as their web history. If an agent purchases a zip code, their ads will then be targeted to people in that zipcode who’s browsing behavior has indicated that they are in the market for real estate. Our products take sophisticated marketing tactics and make them easy and accessible.


HubSpot also highlights some further benefits of retargeting which include “Increased brand recognition and recall, encouraging repeat site visits and boosted engagement,  [and] increasing effectiveness of SEO and content marketing tactics.” The key to and effective retargeting strategy is giving consumers what they want to see. If you are using this kind of marketing for your real estate business, you want to make sure that your display ads, such as the ones provided by AdWerx, include a professional looking photo and compelling copy with a clear call to action. Once you’ve given the potential client that much, you want to ensure that your site not only has easily accessible contact information, but also looks professional and consists of quality content that is not only relevant to the prospect, but is also helpful.

“But…that sounds creepy!”

“As a consumer, we are going to be served ads no matter what, so why not have those ads be something you’re interested in?”

— Ilana Bercovitz, “Turn Visitors into Buyers”

While the main premise of retargeting does sound a bit creepy, it’s actually pretty welcomed. Most people have accepted the fact that they will see ads online. It’s a part of life now. According to a recent study, “74% of respondents who find [ads] well targeted and relevant said they would be likely to act.” The same study states that seven out of ten people polled were “comfortable receiving ads and content crafted specifically for them.” The key is to make sure that your ads are relevant and provide something that the consumer will find useful. Show them that you as a real estate agent will provide them with a service that will benefit them immensely.

Retargeting combined with a good SEO strategy and great content marketing is the best way to maximize your return on investment. If you want to attract, convert, and retain customers, that combination is the way to do it.  Not only will this kind of strategy make you look like a master of technology and sophisticated marketing techniques, it will also make your job easier, giving you time to focus on more important things.

Real Estate Agents: What kind of marketing tools do you currently use? Have you tried retargeting? How did it work for you? Leave us your thoughts in the comments!



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