Decoding Your Digital Ad Strategy – Part One

There is a strong misconception around how much an organization has to spend on advertising to get results. With proper targeting and using the right channels, you can achieve success without overspending.

To effectively build an audience for your targeted digital advertising efforts, you must first understand three key pieces of information: 1) potential audience types, 2) what platforms offer the best opportunities to engage with your target personas and 3) potential ad objectives.

New to audience building?

You’ll want to start with a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a detailed description of a fictional person who embodies the traits of your potential customers and ideal audience. Your buyer persona is essentially the foundation of your ideal audience type and can also be the deciding factor in choosing which social media channels to advertise on. In creating a buyer persona, you further customize your ideal customer’s demographics, interests and behaviors. You’ll also have a better understanding of their goals, pain points and buying behaviors.

If you have several different customer groups you’d like to target, build multiple buyer personas to ensure you’re reaching each unique segment of your audience.

Where do I start?

Start by considering the many types of potential audiences available to you. No matter what platforms you’re using for your integrated campaigns, each service should offer resources explaining the audiences available for use and how they can be used for various types of campaigns.

For example, Facebook Ads can create an audience based on interests, demographics or behaviors. These segments can be useful for broader audiences, especially in today’s post-iOS 14.5 world. But when you need to focus on a more relevant group of users, it’s important to understand the additional types of audiences available to you.

One of the first questions to ask yourself or your client is, “Do we have first party data, and how can we use it?”

First-party data is extremely useful when developing an audience This is data you’ve collected directly from people who have interacted with your brand. It allows you to target existing customers and prospects and even build lookalike audiences that target users who share similar traits to your existing customers and prospects. If you’re working with a demand side platform, (DSP) a system for advertisers to purchase and manage ads from multiple sources in one space, or a programmatic vendor, which allows marketers and advertisers the ability to automate the media-buying and management process, you can also gain access to exclusive audience types and segments through various data sources. 

With some platforms, you can also create audiences that include characteristics such as geography, job titles, industries, keywords and level of education. There are also audience types based on browsing behaviors or website content, like contextual targeting. Contextual targeting displays ads in the proper context or with relevant content. A great example of this is a shoe ad on a website that sells shoes.

Last but not least when creating your audiences, don’t forget to retarget users who have already visited designated areas of your site. Just make sure you have your pixels placed!

Each platform has its own unique set of audiences as well, so having an understanding of what data is available by platform can make a huge difference in determining the right tactics to target your audience.

To learn next steps, including how to match your persona with business objectives and discovering the best platforms, check out our next blog.