How Content Marketing Improves An Ad Retargeting Program

Most marketers are familiar with online advertisements. You visit a webpage, and somewhere on the webpage is an image ad for some type of product or service. You may also have noticed that often these advertisements are based on products or services you recently searched for. For example, if you did a Google Search for “Las Vegas hotels,” you’re more likely to see advertisements for various Las Vegas hotels. Companies use cookies and search history to market advertisements based on your searches and your perceived needs.

Some companies have taken this a step further. They use what is known as “ad retargeting.” Ad retargeting is a style of image advertisement that shows only when someone has visited your site already. Normally a small percentage of users convert into sales. Ad retargeting is designed to attract those that leave back to your site.

Why Ad Retargeting Works

Ad retargeting is based on the principles of branding and familiarity. First, by showing advertisements for a website/company the person has already seen, ad retargeting drills that brand into the mind of the visitor. It ensures that the visitor will continue to remember the website long after they’ve left, and will act as a brand reinforcer even if the person never clicks on the advertisement again.

Second, marketing studies have consistently shown that customers are more likely to purchase a product from a brand they’ve seen before, even if they have little memory of seeing it. Studies have been conducted that briefly show faces and brands to subjects and then ask them to pick from a larger number of photos to find the people or brands they find most comfortable. Often they pick out the faces or brands that they were shown briefly, even though they have no memory of viewing them. We see familiarity used often:

  • A celebrity’s voice is used as a background for an advertisement.
  • A brand pays for their brand to be shown briefly on screen even though there is no sales pitch.

These are brief examples of marketers trying to use the principles of familiarity, and it works.

Ad retargeting also allows you to tailor advertisements based on what you think will attract the visitor back, including discounts and various sales language. It also gives you one final chance to make sure your product appears more attractive than others, so that even if they don’t come back to your website and make the purchase they should be more attracted to your company or service in the future.

Using Content Marketing With Your Ad Retargeting Program

Now, the goal if this is not to promote ad retargeting. The goal of this article is to explain how content marketing can actually improve the effectiveness of your ad retargeting strategy.

First and foremost, ad retargeting requires that a customer first find your website. Content marketing is the best way to attract new visitors, customers, and clients. The more you engage in content marketing, the more visitors you receive, and the more chances you have to use ad retargeting strategies. It’s simple math.

But beyond that, content marketing can also make it possible to run more interesting and detailed campaigns. For example, you can create content that is based on some type of question that a customer may have – such as comparing your product to a similar product from a competitor. After the individual visits your website, you can run advertisements that specifically address the question the customer asked. You’re essentially attracting a very specific subset of potential visitors with your content, and then generating a more advanced and specific advertisement to encourage them to come back to your website.

You can also use articles and blog posts to get these visitors more interesting in staying on your site in the future – giving them something worth coming back to beyond the products or service. You can also test new landing pages and find out if there are broader questions that visitors need answers based on the range of articles that visitors are finding and reading. You may even be able to test what messages work based on which blog posts or web pages receive the most time on page or conversions, and use that information to create new ad retargeting campaigns.

Combining Ad Retargeting and Content Marketing

Many websites are taking advantage of image ads and pay per click marketing. Ad retargeting is a more advanced style of that type of service, and more likely to generate results than simply popping random ads on the pages of your favorite websites. But content marketing has the potential to improve your ad retargeting campaign drastically, in addition to being one of the most valuable tools for improving your search engine rank.

Content Great Leap Studios to learn more about content marketing, and let us know if you’ve had any experience combining the two marketing strategies in the comments.


  • Micah Abraham

    Micah Abraham is the owner and lead content writer at Great Leap Studios ( and High Volt Digital (
    Micah has over 15 years of content writing and digital marketing experience, and has owned and operated Great Leap Studios since 2013 and High Volt since 2022.
    He has a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, and has researched and written content on a wide range of topics in the medical and health fields, home services, tech, and beyond.
    Micah lives with his family in California.

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