A complete guide to targeted advertising

Updated: Mar 23

Have you ever been scrolling through your phone and come across an advertisement that looks suspiciously similar to something you were just googling?

If you have, there’s a good chance this was because of something called ‘Targeting Advertising’. With the internet changing the way that consumers can control what they view online, targeted advertising is becoming an increasingly popular way for marketers to expose, show and create awareness for their businesses through ads being shown to consumers who are likely to be interested in their products or services.

So, what exactly is targeted advertising?

Targeted advertising is a type of online advertising that allows your ad campaigns to target specific audiences based on demographics, location, interests, behaviour and buying history. When applied, you can choose exactly the sort of people who will be seeing your ads. For example, let’s say you’re selling eco-friendly water bottles, you could choose to target men and women, aged 20-45, that are living in specific locations you ship to and who try to live and lead sustainable lives and lifestyles. This allows you to show your advertisements to people who are much more likely to be interested in your product, rather than just showing it to anyone on the internet and hoping you get sales.

Cool, but how does it work?

Generally speaking, when you view a website the browser will keep track of information such as your search history and store it into a file called a cookie. This cookie is basically a small code that allows third-party advertising networks and sites to share information about what people have been looking at. For example, let’s say you go on to google and search for ‘sustainable water bottles’, later when you click on another website, ads that relate to sustainable water bottles will appear as a result of target advertising.

Types of targeted advertising

Now you’ve got an idea on what targeted advertising is, it’s time to cover the different types of targeted advertising. There are several types, but the following are the most common examples:

Social media advertising

Most social media platforms will place advertisements along the side of the page. These advertisements can change depending on who you follow, what sort of content you’ve been engaging with, what you’ve been searching on social media and what your friends/people you follow are doing.

Behavioural advertising

This type of advertising involves segmenting customers based on behaviour browsing such as what pages have been visited, search performed, and products purchased.

Search engine advertising

Search engines advertisements, such as Google ads, will target users by using keywords used in their search and match it with keywords used in their ads as well as showing ads based on your previous browsing history.

How to use targeted advertising

The concept of targeted advertising is a smart way for marketers to increase sales and reach, but it can easily come across as an invasion of privacy for consumers. This can be enough for people to be put off by the ad and stop them from returning to the site or purchasing the product they were looking at in the first place. If you’re going to use targeted advertising, it’s important to be transparent in the process. Let visitors know that you’re collecting their data and communicate that you are planning to use that data to target ads. Giving them a sense of safety and control is equally as important. Be sure to use services and platforms on your website that have safety features in order to protect individuals personal or payment information. Once visitors see that your site is protected by tools like this, it will put them at ease knowing their information is safe.

Why should you be using targeted advertising?

Targeted advertising is all about being in the right place at the right time. You might have an impressive new advertising campaign, that you’ve spent a ton of money and time on, but how can you expect to turn those ads into leads if the people seeing them have no interest in what you're offering? Targeted advertising allows you to reach your target audience, which in turn will lead to an increased number of click-throughs, and of course, sales. They will also allow you to personalise your ads which increases the chance of offering potential customers something that is relevant and interesting to them.

Want to know how you can use targeted advertising to reach new audiences and create new sales opportunities?

Silly question - of course, you do! If you are wanting to know more about targeted advertising and if it’s the right fit for you and your business, please reach out and book in here for a discovery call. During this 15 minutes free chat, we will discuss what is necessary to get you from Zero to Hero.

PSSST - When we say ad campaigns we are referring to paid advertising for your brand or business with a specific goal in mind. An Ad Campaign is not content that you are FREELY posting on social media (such as updating your status or sharing a photograph).

See you next time

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