A Beginner’s Guide to Driving Sales with Targeting

If your business has been investing in digital marketing, chances are you’ve heard the word “targeting” come up several times.

Marketers have been interested in this concept for decades, but recent technology has made it available and affordable to everyone advertising online. Here’s a quick introduction to targeting and how you can (and should!) benefit from it.

So, what exactly is targeting?

When an advertiser sends a message to the people who are most likely to become customers, they are “targeting” their ideal audience. For example, wedding photographers might want to target newly engaged couples, retailers might be interested in reaching people close to their stores, and so on.

With traditional or “mass media” advertising, it can be hard to target effectively. Although some demographic data is available for TV, radio, and newspapers, you’re often taking your chances that the right person will happen upon your ad. When it comes to these mediums, the advertising process looks something like this:

Social media marketing is a very different game. Facebook gives you loads of options to fine-tune the audience who will receive your advertisements. The process looks a little more like this:

Understandably, this ability to send customized messages to a carefully selected audience can lead to some amazing results.

What different types of “targeting” exist for advertisers?

There are a few popular types of targeting used by most advertisers. These types of targeting often come with their own set of terms and strategies. Let’s dive into a few of them now.

Geotargeting is when you target people in a geographic area. This is often used by brick and mortar businesses to reach those in their vicinity. Professionals looking for exposure in a hot market nearby also benefit from this kind of targeting. Search engines like Google can use a searcher’s exact location serve up results nearby, while social media allows advertisers to target people by the area they live in and/or places they have visited recently. Outside of digital marketing, people wishing to geotarget may have luck with direct mail or local events.

Device Targeting is when you target people based on the device they are using to browse the internet. For example, you can choose for your ad to only be served up to people browsing from their mobile phones. Mobile applications often choose this method – why advertise to people browsing from their laptops if your product is only available as a phone app?

Targeting by audience profile is the ability to send your message to a group of people based on their age, interests, occupation, income, gender, and so on. For this kind of targeting, Facebook is king. Users share lots of information through their profiles and behaviour on the social network. Facebook advertisers can therefore send messages to exactly the right people for their product or service.

Retargeting is sending messages to people who have visited or interacted with your website in the past. You’ve probably seen it before: After casually visiting a website, a brand will suddenly start “following” you everywhere online with banner ads, social media, and search engine ads. These brands are trying their hand at retargeting or “remarketing”. Since you visited their website, they figure you have an interest in their product or service and are sending messages your way. The logic checks out – retargeting can boost ad response up to 400%.

How difficult is it to implement targeting?

As you can imagine, the power targeting gives to an advertiser is awesome. No more paying to show your ad to people outside of your target audience. No more creating generic (and boring) designs that appeal to no one.

Sure, this sounds great. But for new digital marketers, it also sounds complicated… and it is! That’s why we’re here.

Needls is designed to take the guesswork out of targeting. No confusing dashboards. No learning curve.  Just an affordable, automated method to help you target better online.

You can sign up here to get started!

 

Shauna Vert

Shauna is a data-driven storyteller and content marketing guru. A longtime blogger turned digital strategist, she believes marketing greatness comes from creative ideas, real connections, and giving buzzwords the boot. She can usually be found hanging out at the family farm or tucked away in a local coffee shop, reading about the latest digital trends.