Targeted Advertising: Setting Up the Basics

An effective ad targeting campaign benefits both consumers and businesses

As *creepy* as it can be when Google serves you hyper-specific advertisements, the search engine’s ability to target users to this degree is what’s helping businesses to succeed in the 21st century. Companies need to spread their messaging in front of the right audience, and consumers need relevant ads and search results that meet their expectations. While targeted advertising sometimes gets a bad rap for its use of personal information, the ability for advertisers to tailor their ads so they suit a specific audience actually benefits both businesses and consumers. 

“Having the ability to target based on users behavior and interests is going to lead to an expected user experience, which would lead to a higher probability to convert, ultimately leading to a positive ROI,” says Chris Mueller, Yakkety Yak’s senior digital analyst (and resident ad expert!).

Creating a targeted ad campaign on platforms like Google and Facebook is key to providing benefits for both businesses and consumers. Here, we’ll break down what makes a targeted ad campaign effective, why brands and their users both need it, and why we think its (sometimes) bad rap is undeserved. 

Setting up Your Targeted Ad 

Creating a targeted advertising campaign that is best tailored to your audience and business goals depends on which platform the ad will appear on. 

For example, with Google AdWords, advertisers are bidding for keyword and search term rankings—meaning they are competing against other businesses and advertisers so their targeted ads rank higher in a consumer’s search results. With Facebook ad targeting, marketers can utilize thousands of facets of data about users, such as a consumer’s likes, buying habits and what kind of online content they’re most likely to engage with. This information can be used to create hyper-tailored ads.

In general, for your targeted advertising campaign to be successful, you’ll need to know as much about your audience as possible in order to make sure your ad is being seen by the right people. Who are your customers now, and who do you want them to be? Get into their mindset, and your targeted ad is more likely to get onto their screens.

Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook ad targeting is prolific in today’s digital landscape, and it makes sense why. Not only does Facebook collect data on nearly everything about its users, but it’s also a social platform where people share, comment and build community—meaning there is huge potential for organic growth. By tapping into your target audience with an effective ad, businesses can harness the powerful trove of user information to make extremely targeted ads based on consumers’ attributes. Each targeted ad on Facebook should consider key demographics such as an audience’s age, gender and geography, as well as their personal likes and dislikes.

“It’s about finding your consumers’ interests and then matching your targeted advertisement to that audience,” Chris says. 

Other factors to consider from the marketer’s standpoint include where you want your ad to be seen (just the Facebook news feed, or on Instagram, too?), as well as how long you want to run the ad, and what your budget will be. As you create your ad, ask yourself, “Does this align with my audience’s needs and wants, and does it align with the goal of our ad?”

Google Advertising

With Google AdWords, targeted advertising campaigns hinge less on social dynamics and rely more on user experiences. Using the headache example we mentioned earlier, a well-executed targeted ad campaign would have shown the user results for health and pain-related information and products, such as a link to WebMD or an advertisement for Tylenol. From a business perspective, you want those first results to show your company or product.

This requires research into who your audience is and what terms they’re using to search for specific information online. If you know your audience is Googling the phrase “headache pain tips” more than “head pain management,” then you’ll want to put more effort into bidding on the first phrase, since more people are using it to search. Advertisers can use multiple variations of copy to measure which ad generates the most leads, and can even be geo-targeted so people within a designated city or region see your posts. With Google AdWords, marketers can target keywords with customized ad copy, improving search engine results across a wide range of topics.

Want to create a targeted advertising campaign like a pro? Contact us and we’ll get you started.

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