Audience targeting has been a crucial tool in an advertiser’s arsenal for a long time. You can use audience targeting to show your ads to the exact people you’re targeting.
What’s more, you can show it to them at the exact time you want.
As advertisers, we believe that this is one of the core elements of modern-day digital advertising.
To a beginner with a small business, however, using audience targeting to show your ads online may seem like a daunting task.
But that’s exactly why we’re here.
Read on to see just how you can use audience targeting to show your ads to your precise target audience.
Audience Targeting: What is it?
Have you ever Googled a product only to find every webpage you visit showing you ads about the exact services you were seeking? Or maybe even the exact same product?
Well, you were just a part of the phenomena called “audience targeting.”
In a nutshell, audience targeting is all about targeting exactly those people who will be seeing your ads.
You want to aim specifically for people in your target audience.
For example, as a seller of baby clothes and children’s accessories, what good would it be if your ad appeared to 13-21-year-olds who probably don’t have children?
Even if you didn’t invest in audience targeting strategies, the fact is that it simply isn’t worth the risk.
If twenty-five people who don’t need your services see an ad for your product, that’s twenty-five less potential consumers, and twenty-five less potential purchases.
And I’ll let you in on something.
Every little bit of revenue counts.
This is precisely why any marketing strategy worth its salt will be utilizing audience targeting strategies.
The way you create your advertisements, which websites they are displayed on, what kind of advertising copy you use; it all depends on your goals and your target audience.
Your aim is to create an ad which will appeal to the people who should be utilizing your services and buying your product.
In fact, audience targeting on social media has become incredibly useful for advertisers who use your search history to deliver extremely targeted ads and relevant material.
Why you Need Audience Targeting to Show Your Ads Online
Think back to the early 2000s.
Remember way back then advertisers used to put up tacky, flashing internet banner ads?
But it wasn’t just the quality of these ads that was the problem. It was the content.
It didn’t matter whether or not you gardened or had never before even touched soil in your life. You would still be bombarded with ads for the latest spade or a high-grade sort of soil.
Safe to say we’ve come a long way since then. Like we’ve said before, the days of advertisers speaking at a person instead of to them are long gone. Advertise to your target market; people that actually care about your services.
Does this digital revolution mean the death of the advertising industry?
Of course not.
It just means a change in strategy, a fight for adaptation, and a constant struggle to evolve with the ever-growing technologies being employed by the growing competitive market.
Today, advertisers have to make a concerted effort to invest their resources in a way that benefits them.
Now, it would be ridiculous to target ads for a product to a person who wants absolutely nothing to do with it, simply because they won’t have any use for it.
The advertising industry knows better than that by now.
So should you.
You’re probably wondering how you can advertise to your target market
It isn’t as hard as you probably think it is.
Keywords that people enter in search engines or a website’s internal search bar are one of the most crucial players in the game to figure out what your audience wants to see.
These words are a sign of what your audience’s demands are, and will help you advertise only to your target market.
Keyword traffic measurement and analysis provide helpful insights into a consumer’s online behavior and what they’re interested in.
While there is some doubt cast on the efficacy of keywords as a helpful audience targeting strategy, it can still play a massive role in the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
This is also where “cookies” come into play.
You’ve probably heard of these before, even if you are not an advertiser.
Most websites ask for permission before they can use them.
Cookies can be a useful tool in audience targeting.
Cookies make it possible for web servers to track your searches and the webpages you’re visiting so that they can offer you a more specific, customized user experience the next time you revisit the page.
However, their use is very limited, and the fact is that they’re still a small drop in the bucket of audience targeting strategies.
What are some of the other strategies for using audience targeting to show your ads online?
Let’s get to them.
Audience Targeting Techniques
You might want to listen to this.
I’m about to tell you the big secret of audience targeting.
It’s all about knowing user intent.
The only reason we target a particular audience is based on what their intent is, what they’re hoping to find, and how you can cater to their intent.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to do that and advertise to your target market.
Other than the keywords and cookies mentioned above, there are different ways you can go about targeting your audience to show your ads.
Target them by Tracking their Site Visits
This method mainly involves monitoring people using their behavior on your website. It’s about measuring their bounce rate and what items they are considering purchasing.
The benefit of this is that you can derive a lot of insight into the browsing and purchasing methods of your customers, as well as knowing how and what items are most or least popular.
If done correctly, this can be as beneficial as monitoring your site’s comments section, because you’ll have a deep understanding of the expectations and demands of your audience.
Couple this with keyword monitoring, and you’ll see what exactly each person is thinking; are your site visitors interested in buying, or are they just browsing? Have they been on your website before or is this their first time?
The answers to such questions will help you design your advertisements in a more targeted way.
You know that people buy from your make-up brand because it’s ethically sourced. They buy it because it’s organic and eco-friendly with no harmful additives.
This is your USP.
Obviously, you’ll be targeting people that care about the environment or have a moral conscience.
From the keywords people use (e.g., organic, natural, eco-friendly) you’ll have a pretty good idea about which person would be interested in your products.
The more you know about their lifestyle and interests, the more this will help you in advertising to your target market based on psychographics.
Other factors that they’re interested in (like price or shipping time) can be determined through a thorough measurement of the keywords used.
Social Media Engagement Behaviors
Social media is everywhere.
So much of who we are and what we like is located in the way we act online.
Advertisers can gauge social media engagement through the likes, retweets, shares, and reactions to posts throughout social media.
However, due to the enormous volume of material available online, we know that people may interact with things that they might not necessarily be interested in or even care that much about.
Just because someone watches a cooking video does not mean they are interested in buying cookware or groceries online.
Geographically Based Targeting
People living in a common geographical area usually have the same interests and demands.
However, sometimes it’s best to be careful about such targeting because making overall generalizations about people based on their locality does more harm than good for a brand.
Regardless, if your business is located in a particular locality, it would be in your best interest to advertise to that particular target market specifically.
Demographic data may have the same problem as geographical targeting; the mass generalization about people based on their one, singular commonality could lead to problems.
It simply isn’t enough to assume that a specific group of people, say 13-18-year-olds, will have the same interests and demands.
More specific targeting and segmenting is needed to make assumptions about what each set of people in one particular demographic wants.
Re-messaging your Consumers
One of the most important things you can do while targeting your audience is tracking who is visiting your website and interacting with your ads.
That part’s pretty obvious.
Once you do that, you do something called “re-messaging.”
What is this exactly?
It’s pretty simple.
You target that same person again with another ad on another webpage.
Essentially, you advertise to members of your target market several times.
Gently remind them of your message and your products while they’re browsing around on the internet.
See? Pretty simple!
There’s a lot to be said about the different kinds of targeting. We’ve discussed contextual targeting vs. behavioral targeting in detail as well.
So now you know a lot of the basics of using audience targeting to show your ads online.
Which method did you like the most?
Is there something we forgot to add?
Let us know in the comments below!
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