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B2B Marketing

Tips for Online Ad Targeting

Unless you have found a sure-fire cure for the common cold, the target market for your product or service is probably not everyone on the planet Earth. Online advertising does have the capability of reaching everyone, but it is smarter and much more efficient to determine your best market and target your advertising there.

There are so many possibilities and options available today; the choices can be overwhelming and frustrating. Following are some tips to make online ad targeting a little easier and a lot more effective.

Interest Based:

  • You want to target your online advertising to people who are interested in, or who need, what you have to offer.
  • Keyword-related search ads (such as Google Ads) place advertisements in front of people who are looking for related information.

Demographic Based:

  • This is based on more personal information—gender, age, occupations, education, etc.
  • Through websites such as Facebook, AOL and Yahoo large amounts of personal data are collected and recorded. This data is used to allow advertisers to target people with specific interests or qualifications.

Geographically Based:

  • For local businesses with a storefront location, it is impractical to advertise outside of  their immediate geographic area.
  • Facebook, Google and numerous other online advertising networks will work with clients to target geographic markets.

Using these guidelines, your first step to successful online target marketing is to identify your ideal customer.

  • Are there geographic limitations to what you have to offer?
  • What is their age or gender?
  • What about economic considerations?
  • What are common interests or specific needs?
  • What keywords or phrases would potential customers would use to search for information?

Once you are able to focus on your target market, the next step is to determine the best method for reaching that audience.

  • You may want to utilize contextual targeting which matches the central theme of a webpage to your ad through keywords and phrases.
  • Do you may prefer behavioral targeting, which matches your ad to an individual based on the subjects of the websites that person visits.
  • Both types of targeting have advantages, and you may opt to use a combination.

The next step is research and developing a strategy to engage your target audience.

  • Which websites do your current customers visit online for information? What websites do you use to find relevant information?
  • Follow online discussions that relate to your product or service. Where are the most popular discussions? Which are the most animated? What specific topics are being discussed? What websites address these topics?
  • Investigate groups on websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Which groups are closely related to your industry? What questions are people asking and what are their comments?
  • Determine what type of online contact receives the most response from your target market. Does your ideal customer respond to (or post) video? Are downloaded whitepapers the most requested? Do blog postings generate a lot of comments?

Utilizing the tips listed above, you have a good start for identifying your target market and for focusing your online advertising in the areas that will bring you the best results.


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