What are targeting and targeted advertising

9 May 2019
Reading: 5 min

In this article, you’ll know what targeting and targeted advertising are, their general principles of operation, and stages of setting up this kind of advertising in advertising systems.

Currently, advertising based on targeting technologies is used almost everywhere. The main feature of such advertisements is that they are only shown to the target audience, that is, to users who match some criteria. Criteria can be a certain age, gender, and interests.

The task of targeted ads is to exclude all random and disinterested users. As a result, advertising costs decline, and the conversion rate increases. Accurate targeting allows you to efficiently use your advertising budget and maximize return on all traffic expenditures.

What are targeting and targeted advertising

Operating principles

The main and the most important principle for running such advertising is detailed information about the user. That is why targeted ads are most frequently used in social media as their users specify data about themselves. Targeted ads are actively placed on such social media as Facebook and Instagram. Ads can look differently: they can be banners, teaser blocks, and Flash images. On YouTube, for instance, the video content is distributed that encourages the maximum activity of the audience.

This type of advertising should be separated from paid search advertising. Paid search advertising looks for answers to specific queries of the users, whereas targeted ads find users who respond to the existing requests.

The following filtering options are used to set up targeted ads:

  • Socio-demographic factors. They are age, gender, marital status, education, and the audience’s level of income.
  • Geographic location. This is the location of users, usually a particular city or region.
  • Interests. These are subjects that users find interesting: beauty, health, particular products.
  • Behavior factors. These are visited websites, groups and communities on social media, search queries.
  • Technical characteristics. These are devices, operating systems, and browsers used by the audience.

Filtering criteria are individually chosen for each advertising campaign. The type of product or service is taken into account as well as its target audience (that is, a group of people the product is designed for).

What are targeting and targeted advertising

Types of targeting

The classification of targeted advertising is made taking into account the way of interaction with the audience. It also includes filtering methods used to set up advertisements. As a result, we get the following options:

  • Geographic targeting. Perhaps, this is the easiest way to define the target audience. In this case, advertisements are shown to users based on their location.
  • Time targeting. It suggests showing ads only at a certain time of day or week when the audience is the most receptive to their content.
  • Subject targeting. This option means showing ads taking into account the subject of a website or social media. It suggests that resource visitors are interested in a product.
  • Behavioral targeting (based on interests). This type of ads directly deals with the context. Search queries of a user are analyzed, and if there are certain keywords, a user will see a particular ad. In social media, the history of communities visited and the data specified in the user account are additionally analyzed.
  • Device targeting. This takes into account the technical parameters of a device of the target user. For instance, advertisements can be targeted only at PC users or users of smartphones running on a particular operating system. The type of Internet connection also matters when running ads on wapclick affiliate networks.
  • Context or search targeting. User interests are defined based on their search queries and visited websites. As a result, ads are shown to a user even on websites dedicated to different subjects.
  • Socio-demographic targeting. When setting up this kind of advertising, the personality and the social status of the potential customer are taken into account. Multiple parameters are used: gender, age, the scope and form of activity, marital status, education, average monthly income, etc. To set up this kind of targeted ads, you need to study your audience to define the target segment.

If you have a counter or a pixel on your website for remembering users, you can run a retargeting campaign. In that case, ads will be shown to users who visited your website but didn’t do the target action.

What are targeting and targeted advertising

Setting up stages

Sure, the setting up process of this advertising in different systems can vary, but there is a general pattern you should follow:

  1. Defining the target audience. Without this stage, your campaign will not be effective and cost-efficient, therefore you should pay huge attention to the analysis of users. You will need to gather statistics on users and analyze their behavior and interests.
  2. Creating advertisements. Start by creating text. Ideally, the advertisement’s header and text should be written taking into account the socio-demographic parameters (for instance, slang is often found in advertisements for teenagers). Be sure to use words that captivate attention. Choose high-quality images responding to the subject to make sure the targeted ads will work.
  3. Creating a landing page. Creating advertisements is half the battle; they need to lead users to a page responding to the specified parameters. Make sure that the message of your advertisement matches the website content and is simple and accessible for perception.

In general, targeted advertising is convenient, accurate, and modern. However, this type of advertising has its drawbacks. You can often go too far in setting up the targeting criteria of the target users and add too many parameters. As a result, your audience may be small, and it may happen that there will not be an audience at all. But, compared to other types of advertising, targeted advertising significantly outweighs paid search advertising thanks to the low cost per click, the variety of advertising formats and low competition.

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