​Brands should focus on producing educational content for organic search, and minimize efforts on retargeting because it may not work.

​Marketers have a vested interest in building strategies that continuously put brand-name products in front of prospective customers. This desire birthed retargeting on the web – the practice of positioning display ads and clever online content in front of consumers who have previously visited ecommerce or branded sites in the past. In theory,​ ​resurfacing offers on third-party sites should further compel impressionable leads to convert.

Popular social networks Facebook and Twitter have also jumped on the retargeting bandwagon. In the past seven months, Facebook introduced a new featured called Custom Audiences, which helps marketers connect their email content creation efforts with their social media marketing ventures. Ideally, brands could initiate conversations with prospects via email, and follow up through custom content on Facebook. Twitter also recently introduced a retargeting option, after rumors suggested the microblogging site would investigate ways to put branded Tweets in front of users based on past queries.

Unfortunately, retargeting may not work at all, according to a new poll of 500 people, conducted by Adroit Digital. The data showed that 59 percent of people who noticed retargeted ads on the web felt neutral about them, but 11 percent felt negatively about the promotional pieces. However, the true revelation from the report is that 42 percent of consumers don’t notice retargeted ads in the first place, meaning brands are using the wrong channels to further establish rapport with new and existing customers.

Marketers looking to nurture leads should turn away from display and retargeting tactics, and focus on providing readers with web content that appeals to buyers’ needs when they’re in the mood to shop. Brands that produce enough educational content around the products they sell will find readers coming back to learn more about special offers or item details organically. With enough clever content, there is less of a need for ineffective retargeting campaigns.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.