Skip to the main content.

3 min read

List-Based Ad Retargeting Using AdRoll: An Affordable Tactic to Grow B2B Brand Awareness

Featured Image

When you market a service or product, particularly as a startup, you have much to communicate including building your brand. One strategy we’ve found consistently effective and affordable for startups seeking to buy brand advertising is list-based retargeting with AdRoll

Here is the startup challenge: you need your prospects to become familiar with your:

  • Company name
  • Logo
  • Look, feel, and tone
  • Company values
  • Expertise and thought leadership

in order to be comfortable giving you thousands of dollars. Here’s how you can leverage a high-end display advertising platform like AdRoll to build your brand without breaking the bank. You can run a good retargeting campaign for about $500-600 a month.

What kind of targeting to use?

AdRoll places your ads across various exchanges such as Google, AppNexus, AOL, Yahoo, and Taboola.

With retargeting, you’ll show your ads to people who have previously interacted with your website and who have shown some level of interest in your company

Two main approaches can be used for retargeting – pixel-based and list-based. We focus on list-based retargeting, which targets your contacts based on where they are in their buyer's journey—be it the awareness, consideration, or decision phase. Pixel-based retargeting can target anyone that has visited your website, or certain pages within it, providing a bigger audience at the expense of segmentation. 

Staying in front of prospects during all stages of the buying cycle increases brand awareness, especially if the message shown matches their stage in the process. Here are a ton of B2B retargeting statistics that prove our case. Most notably:

"As a result of re-engaging customers, brand awareness objectives are at 71%, customer retention rates at 59%, social engagement at 58%, sales drive at 55%, and lead generation at 39%. With 29% of lead nurture coverage, the benefits of retargeting are multifold."

What we do know, anecdotally from our clients, is when sales reps reach out to prospects who have seen brand advertising via retargeting, they have higher response rates to cold emails.

Creating Your Lists

HubSpot has an AdRoll integration, making it easy to create targeting audiences from HubSpot lists.

We typically set up three lists for AdRoll, segmented by funnel stage. These are uploaded to AdRoll to create audiences for campaigns. The lists should incorporate something like this:

  1. Lifecycle stage = Leads/subscriber: Top of the Funnel (TOFU) - this can include your cold prospects in the US, where rules for opting in to this kind of advertising are more flexible.
  2. Lifecycle stage = MQL: Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) - this stage should include prospects who have interacted with you but have not yet engaged in a real sales conversation to help guide them into the next step.
  3. Lifecycle stage = SQLs/and or Opportunities: Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) - Include your deals in progress to show them reasons they are making the right decision if they buy from you.

As long as the integration remains connected, these audiences will automatically update in AdRoll when new contacts are added to each list or move down the funnel.

What ads do you need to create?

When running AdRoll campaigns, you need to have around a dozen different sizes of the same ad created to show appropriately on the various web pages and apps. Below is an example - and feel free to download our AdRoll Template to learn the exact sizes you will require. Below is a snapshot of ads you'll need to create. 

List-Based Ad Retargeting Using AdRoll: An Affordable Tactic to Grow B2B Brand Awareness

The best practice is to create a targeted ad for each lifecycle stage. For example:

List-Based Ad Retargeting Using AdRoll: An Affordable Tactic to Grow B2B Brand Awareness

This ad and list segmentation allows you eventually benefit from showing a case study to your bottom-of-funnel audience while showing an ebook to your top- and middle-of-funnel targets. 

We suggest refreshing your AdRoll at a minimum of quarterly, with a new content offer to push, be it a white paper, guide, blog post, checklist, etc. You can learn more about the content creation side of things in our post: Keyword Strategies No Longer Work for SEO. Here's What You Should Do Instead. 

What’s the advantage of AdRoll over Google’s display ads?

We use AdRoll's integrated list targeting to avoid click fraud and focus your budget on YOUR prospects. AdRoll is an excellent value as we see increased traffic and hear sales reps report having positive calls with leads warmed up by the ads.

How to Measure Success

Our list-based retargeting strategy means AdRoll won’t drive leads since it targets leads already in your database. It's better to think of an AdRoll campaign as sales support as the goal is to maintain brand presence and build brand awareness, it's better to think of your AdRoll campaign as sales support. 

As your sales team works leads, AdRoll will add those contact emails to your audiences, keeping those leads warm and getting them used to your brand.

How to Get Started with AdRoll

  1. You can get started with AdRoll as soon as you have a piece of downloadable content that you can promote! 
  2. Then, set up an AdRoll account – you’ll find some instructions on how to do that here
  3. The next step will be to create ads in each of the necessary sizes and for each funnel stage. Because you need several dozen different ads, we made our AdRoll Template to provide a complete list of the ad sizes you need for successful AdRoll campaigns.
And let 'er rip! You are now executing brand advertising (like the Fortune 500). 

Download AdRoll Graphic Request Form