Ben Young
Ben Young
March 10, 2023

Content retargeting is serving content ads to people who have already read your content. It’s a new tool in the content marketers toolkit and allows you to manage your content funnel more effectively. Matching content to the buyers journey.

For example:

  • Someone reads your thought leadership piece.
  • You then retarget a summary of your industry research.
  • For those that read that research you retarget some of your latest case studies or customer interviews.
  • The intention being to shift someone closer to being ready to buy.

Treat it as a way to share content with your prospects. Rather than another banner ad, you can give them content which is helpful and gets them closer to buying.

Imagine the perfect buyers journey, this helps you to do that.

If you are new to Content Retargeting, these posts might be of help:


This post includes:


Does Content Retargeting work?

Here’s an example on the Nudge website. We took the our end of year summary, The Branded Content of 2022 and served them up as content units to those who had visited our site.

The result?

Retargeted users spent twice as long on the content as new prospects”

The content hadn’t changed but our audience had, this is a good reminder:

  • People who have already visited, and then click again, are more qualified than first time visitors.
  • People are familiar with your site, layout and what they’re expecting.
  • Just because someone visited once, doesn’t mean they got all your bangers. So help get it in front of them.

Further it’s a smart strategy to leverage your paid content. Bring people in, add them to your retargeting audiences and move them down the funnel. Native is all about getting your content and your content funnel in front of fresh eyeballs.

Hollie-Blue Allum shared how this could be done using a Time Inc Lex Luthor execution.


Retargeting vs Remarketing

Many wonder if retargeting and remarketing are the same thing. Initially Retargeting was referred to as Remarketing. However over time Retargeting has grown to refer to this tactic, using advertising. And remarketing, is more messaging/emails to those that have prior engaged. In spirit they are the same thing. It’s just the medium differs.

Many brands will adopt a dual strategy of implementing both, to achieve the same goal. Engage customers who have prior showed interest.


What are the Content Retargeting Platforms?

Most native ad platforms have some sort of audience building option, where you can tag your content and then target ads to that audience.

However there are a few with specialized offerings:

  • Google Ads
  • OutBrain
  • RevContent
  • Yahoo Gemini
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

How it works

You put a tracking pixel or piece of javascript on a grouping of content.
You can then build a regular campaign targeting people that read that content.


  • Leverage Nudge to understand which distribution is driving the best quality traffic.
  • Add several steps to your funnel to ensure you’re moving people closer to conversion.
  • Pace them out to match your typical purchase cycle, utilize frequency caps where possible so you aren’t over doing it.
  • Track down-stream conversions.
  • Alternate different creative.


Why is content retargeting important?

Content retargeting is important as it helps provide more utility to the potential customer in their journey. Rather than targeting with another ‘ad’, serving more content which may be helpful can be a more effective tactic.

This leverages your sales team knowledge, of what content, customers may need. When done well, remarketing should reduce your time to sale. Because the customer has had access to all the information they needed.

Think about the ideal customer journey, what things should they know and when. What should they do next. Content retargeting should help nudge them along that journey. It does take work though, like any advertising initiative, takes maintenance and attention to continue to drive performance.


Is this for B2B advertisers?

B2B purchasing can involve interacting with as many as 30 pieces of content. So Content Retargeting is a valuable tool for helping expose prospects to this content. And it’s their choice if they want to engage further. Retargeting serves a dual purpose, of keeping your brand top of mind during the purchase cycle. Even if prospects do not engage in the ads themselves.


What metrics should you optimize to?

The metrics you should consider optimizing to, are:

  • Attention, how many seconds per click.
  • Bounce rate, are people staying, but use a bounce rate that captures if people leave even without clicking a link. Like Nudge does.
  • Conversion rate, if possible, to see how folks are converting.

More on Content Marketing Analytics, which includes content distribution metrics.

Nudge data has found that attention is correlated to conversion rate. So optimizing to Attention at each step of the process, helps drive the most amount of sales for your budget.


Nudge Conversion Dashboard
Example of a metrics dashboard for optimizing retargeting

Nudge provides an analytics tool for content that helps advertisers with content retargeting. They can identify what content they should retarget, and optimize the paid traffic sources as well.


How does retargeting drive ROI?

Retargeting is primed to drive return on investment, because:

  1. Prior visitors have already qualified themselves.
  2. The cost to serve ads, relevant to them, is cheaper than the general target market.
  3. They are already familiar with your website, general proposition.

This means that retargeting can be the highest converting media buy. Of course, it can only do that, because of all the hard work prior done by the team.


What is the most effective content format for content retargeting?

The most effective content format for prospects to click into is article + video together. Nudge data has uncovered that this creates the most engagement for brands. And the reason is, it gives the customer choice, choice to read at their own speed, or to watch and learn. Or both.

Maximizing choice for the customer, means they can engage as much as they want, and increased engagement leads to higher conversion rates.


Great Content Retargeting needs a smart strategy behind it

An effective Content Retargeting Strategy is only as good as the strategy behind it. Read up on our guide to Content Marketing.

For best practices in content retargeting, consider:

  1. Make the ad creative specific, direct and relevant.
  2. Ensure the content it is promoting, is effective.
  3. Work with sales, to make sure the right content is served at the right stage.
  4. Pair with remarketing efforts where possible.
  5. Optimize to post-click quality metrics, to make the budget work hard.
  6. Continue to improve the content, to squeeze the most out of the investment.
  7. Get smart about time of day, frequency, device targeting, sequence of content.
  8. Have an ethos of continual improvement.


This is part of our Guide to Content Marketing