Retargeting. Everyone says they’re doing it. But try finding out what “it” actually means and you’re guaranteed to hear a few whoppers. Here’s all you need to know. It’s not magic.

It’s data. Data, gathered from your online browsing history combined with social profiles (think Facebook and Twitter). If you have a web-based email address, a social account and a computer that hasn’t had its cookies cleared in oh, let’s say ever, digital marketers know who you are and what you like.

Creepy right? Or incredibly powerful if you’re a digital marketer trying to get back those 98 percent of visitors who came to your site and said with a click of their back button, “Maybe later, but not right now.”

Selling Aviation Online-1

Conversions on an aviation website tend to be simple actions like fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter or request a quote. Sales cycles are long. Decisions are slow. Products are expensive. The good news is, none of that matters.

If you have a product or service and someone visits your website to learn more they’re usually interested in what you have to offer, even if they don’t take immediate action. Retargeting is simply reminding your visitor that you have what they want so they return.

Triple-Threat Tools

Use the trinity to bring your visitors back. A combination of digital advertising tools found within Google, Facebook and Twitter can help you achieve a level of stalkerdom never before seen in the world of aviation. Let’s break it down.

Google AdWords uses keywords and keyword phrases to target consumers searching for products and information matching your terms. AdWords is simple, easy to use and familiar to most digital marketers.

Don’t run an ad with the headline “Buy a new private jet” and target the keyword phrase “used jet for sale.” The goal is to drive interested parties back to your website. Remember, when you trick for a click, you’re the only one who pays.

Google Remarketing allows you to gather information about your visitors by placing a smart pixel on your website. This is a fancy way of saying “add a line of code to your website.” You can easily create and publish your digital ad within the Google Remarketing interface. Once a consumer visits your site, the digital ad follows your visitor to other websites that also participate in Google’s display network.

Mix It Up

Take advantage of Google’s multiple ad format options, including text, image, video and HTML5 for mobile. retargeting leads to a 400% boost in ad response

When it comes to Facebook, it’s all about the profile data. Actually it’s all about using profile data to place your ad in front of the right person at the right time. Through Facebook’s targeted ads you can target highly engaged people using location, demographics, interests, hobbies and device. Facebook, better known as Pocketbook in some circles, isn’t free. You have to pay to play, so pony up.

You can still pay to boost a Facebook post, promote your page or drive traffic to your website, but if you haven’t tried some of the platform’s latest advertising features such as raising attendance at your event or getting people to claim an offer you’re missing out.

If that last section left you yawning because you’re already a Facebook ad master, then maybe Facebook’s advanced advertising options will get your turbine engine running.

Have you ever scrolled down your Facebook newsfeed and passed an image that left you with that déjà vu kind of feeling? Congratulations, you’ve been advanced targeted. Facebook now offers digital marketers the ability to combine social profile data with customer knowledge to create one seriously mighty tool – custom audiences.

The premise behind custom audiences, according to Facebook, is that “it’s easier to sell to current customers than to look for new ones.” You can upload your customer data, such as name, email address and phone number. Facebook takes your data and compares it against its data providing you with a list of people you have already engaged with. 30% of people react positively to retargeting

Once you’ve developed a custom audience you can create a lookalike audience. Like a gremlin you fed after midnight, custom audiences can multiply allowing you to reach new people who have the same profile and buying behavior as your current customers. Try to use Facebook’s custom audiences sparingly. It may be the oogiest of all the retargeting tools out there.

Don’t forget about Twitter, even though most aviation companies still can’t figure out what exactly to do with it. “We’re on Twitter, but only because our media contacts use it.” Sound familiar?

Twitter can do more than you think. Last year, timeline keyword targeting launched allowing advertisers to inject their tweets into conversations about topics relevant to their business. In short, you can target your tweets to show up when specific terms, phrases and hashtags are mentioned.

Shows and events are one of the best ways to use targeted tweets. Let’s face it, that’s really when business aviation really uses Twitter anyway, so why not take advantage of it. Talk to your audience in real time by targeting your tweets using common hashtags such as #NBAA14 or #ABACE15.

There are also plenty of third-party retargeting tools out there such as AdRoll, Retargeter, Fetchback and Chango that charge a fee to help streamline your retargeting ad placements. Some even claim to have the capability to expand your ad reach through an extensive network of partner websites.

Regardless of the tool you choose, retargeting is worth the time, effort and expense. The numbers clearly speak for themselves.

This column ran in the December 11 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.