The many different ways of using ad targeting & ad optimization in marketing campaigns

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” ~ Leo Burnett

You create a product; advertising connects it with the masses. Without advertising, there's no awareness, no sales, and consequently, no revenue. Advertising, however, also needs to keep pace with the times. As consumer preferences evolve and technology progresses, traditional advertising methods must be supplanted by modern technology. Digital advertising emerges as the essential approach, however, it necessitates meticulous planning and strategic considerations due to the numerous available channels.

Ad targeting and ad optimisation are components of digital advertising strategies. They help deliver messages to the right audience. Let's explore them both in more detail.

Ad targeting

Ad targeting is about selecting a specific audience for an advertising campaign. The goal is to display ads to individuals who are most likely to be interested in the products or services being promoted. It involves the following key elements:

  1. Demographic targeting: Advertisers choose specific demographics such as age, gender, location, income level, and education to reach their ads to the intended audience.
  2. A luxury watch brand wants to target customers aged 21-60, with substantial income and at least a college degree. Their ad campaign needs demographic targeting.

  3. Behavioural targeting: This method tracks users' online behaviour to deliver ads that align with their browsing history and preferences.
  4. The ad campaign of an online fitness retailer is successful when it focuses on individuals who display an interest in fitness, such as those who have searched for gyms or are actively using fitness apps.

  5. Contextual targeting: Advertisers ensure ad relevance by placing their ads on content that aligns with their product's context or subject matter.
  6. As an adventure travel agency, launching an advertising campaign on a well-known adventure travel blog will capture the interest of readers reading articles about Himalayan treks or Costa Rica whitewater rafting.

  7. Geographic targeting: In this type, users are targeted based on their geographic location, down to specific cities or regions.
  8. Your neighbourhood coffee business is running a brief promotion for a new coffee mix. Your ad must target the people who live close to your coffee shop.

  9. Device targeting: Here, the criteria for targeting is the type of device people use — desktop, mobile, or tablet.
  10. Tailoring advertisements of your e-commerce clothing website to align with the screen size of users’ devices (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.) enhances their experience and boosts conversion rates.

  11. Retargeting (Remarketing): This involves displaying ads to users who have previously interacted with a brand's website or products. It's a way to re-engage potential customers who did not purchase initially.
  12. Interest-based targeting: Advertisers target internet users based on their interests, hobbies, or online activities.
  13. To market outdoor gear to hiking and camping enthusiasts, directing your ads to those who engage with hiking, camping, and adventure-related content online helps.

Ad optimisation

Ad optimisation refines ad campaigns to achieve better performance, higher click-through rates (CTR), and a higher return on investment (ROI). Optimisation techniques consist of:

  1. A/B testing: Advertisers create multiple variations of an ad (A and B), then test them to see which performs better.
  2. In an e-commerce shoe store's product page, the "Buy Now" button's colour is changed from green (A) to red (B). User interactions are compared, and the red button (B) shows higher click-through and conversion rates. Consequently, the red button is implemented.

  3. Keyword optimisation: Here, keywords are optimised so that the ads appear in relevant search results.
  4. A sci-fi and fantasy bookstore enhances its online presence and boosts search visibility by optimising for the keyword "best sci-fi books 2023".

  5. Bid management: Advertisers adjust their bidding strategy to achieve optimal placement while staying within budget.
  6. For example, a fashion retailer adjusts bids for high-performing keywords in their Google Ads campaign to boost conversions while reducing costs on underperforming ones.

  7. Ad copy optimisation: Ad copy is made more compelling, relevant, and enticing to the target audience.
  8. Landing page optimisation: The landing page – the page that people land on after clicking an advertisement – is designed to provide a smooth user experience and boost conversions.
  9. Ad scheduling: Determining the most effective time — when the target audience is most active — to display ads.
  10. Budget allocation: Allocating advertising budget strategically to high-performing campaigns or channels.

    Given the array of online advertising platforms available, including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Twitter Ads, it's essential to distribute the budget based on the past performance of each advertising channel in order to maximise the company's return on investment.

  11. Audience segmentation: Dividing the audience into segments based on various criteria and tailoring ad content to each segment.
  12. For example, for their new luxury SUV, a car manufacturer segments their audience by age, income, location, online behaviour, and previous customers to maximise audience engagement.

Ad targeting and ad optimisation are interconnected, fluid processes. They involve selecting the right ad formats (such as display ads, video ads, or native ads) and dynamically tailoring ads to suit the need of the hour.

They also facilitate the prevention of overexposure through frequency capping and the monitoring of essential metrics like clickthrough rate (CTR) and cost per acquisition (CPA), which help maintain audience engagement and reveal areas for enhancement.

Target right, achieve high

Businesses make products or render services. Advertising elucidates them. Successful advertising makes a lasting impression. By targeting the right audience and continually optimising ad campaigns, advertisers can improve their ad performance, reach their goals, and maximise the impact of their advertising investments.

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