How to Make The Best Use of Ad Targeting

Ad targeting is a form of online advertising where people see ads as per their shopping traits and interests. Here you utilize behavioral data and segment the consumer base as per demographics, geographical location, digital viewing habits and shopping choices. You can then use this to design personalized ads.

When it comes to ad targeting, the problem is not the availability of the digital advertising platforms or the right audience, but how to best use this tool. Keep reading to learn more.

How does Ad Targeting work?

First, let’s refresh your memory on how ad targeting works at a basic level. Let’s assume that Max searches for a smartphone on a shopping site, adds it to his cart, and then closes the tab. To keep track of his visit, the website stores this information via a cookie. Later, when he is reading the news, he may be retargeted with ads based on the information stored by the cookie. In this case, it could be similar smartphones or even smartphone accessories. Ad targeting could also involve using Max’s social media browsing history and search engine history effectively.

Targeting not only improves a customer’s overall experience, but also saves your valuable time and resources. However, a thing to keep in mind is that many individuals view ad targeting as an invasion of their privacy and misuse of their data. As a result, it’s always important to seek a customer’s permission before storing their information.

Ad Targeting Strategies

As an advertiser, you can target through various ways. Here are a few options.

  1. Ad source: Track the ads that a person clicks on and then show similar ads. The ad source can be tracked using UTM parameters in the page URL.

  2. Location: Display ads specific to the viewer’s location. The ad would be effective if it addresses, or is pertaining to, a customer’s current location.

  3. Device type: You can determine what device a particular customer is logging in from and then show ads suitable to the device. The ad has to be platform and operating-system-specific.

  4. Referral source: Show customers ads based on where they first browsed for a particular item.

  5. Preferred language: Improve user experience by showing ads that match with the customer’s web browser’s default language.

  6. Purchase journey: Display ads based on a prospective customer’s journey within the sales funnel.

Smarter Ad Targeting

For digital marketers, ad targeting can be a clever way to cut through the clutter, drive engagement and conversions. To this end, here are some ways through which you can improve ad targeting.

  1. Target existing customers: In addition to new customers, target your existing consumer base as well. The idea is that these customers already like your product or service and have been loyal to you so far. So, they are more likely to make a repeat purchase.

  2. Split testing: Conduct a split test amongst your loyal audience to find the most effective ad strategy. For best results, change only one feature at a time and note down the results. When you have an established customer base, they are more likely to give you honest feedback.

  3. Avoid over-zealous targeting: Overzealous targeting can actually drive away potential customers. Instead of bombarding your audience with high-frequency ads, broaden your outlook and target different sets at different periods. Too much communication can be off-putting, after all!

  4. Target lower stages of the sales funnel: Design your advertisements to target people at the lower stage of the sales funnel. This segment carries a higher likelihood of conversion.

  5. Address look-alike audiences: Search engines and social media pages are continually improving their algorithms to suggest look-alike audiences. As a business, you can implement your strategy on look-alike audiences to widen your reach and exponentially increase the number of prospective clients.

Ad targeting is all about creating a smoother, better browsing experience for your potential customer by tailoring ads to align with their needs and interests. However, you have to walk a fine line. To make sure that you get the most from this tool, be careful about the information you use to target, where you get it from, and how you use it. As a business investing in ad targeting, the goal is to always seem helpful and intuitive, and never manipulative.

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