How to Enhance Targeting and Boost Performance

The simple answer is one word: Relevance. In fact, the only reason to even bother enhancing and fine-tuning your targeting strategy is to be able to speak to a specific audience with a relevant message of interest to them.

Without relevance, performance will suffer. Showing a generic advertisement to a specific group of male car enthusiasts in the Midwest, between the ages of 18 and 25, who have demonstrated behavior of being in the market for your product seems like a waste of an opportunity. Why target so specifically unless you're going to customize an offer for them that is relevant to their location, age, gender, and interests?

Best Practices for Top Targeting Methods

The general rule is: The more targeted the audience, the more relevant and specific the message. Here's some good ideas or best practices for targeting at different levels.

  • Standard Targeting - If it's high level and loose, keep the message more generic and add dynamic fields for varying information. With targeting by gender only, for example, you might separate the messages and/ or offers by gender. For gender, inventory, and geo targeting, you can create dynamic fields for place and keyword and/ or interest by site. In general, standard targeting should always be used and some variation in the messaging for relevance should as well.
  • Behavioral Targeting - Configure offers relevant to the specific user behaviors you are targeting. For example, if you are advertising to home improvers who have looked at three or more resources for roofing materials in the past 30 days, you can offer them a sale on ladders or nails, or materials, or a how-to guide, or whatever relevant product or service you have to sell. Address the user specifically with a relevant headline such as, "Looking to improve your roof?"
  • Retargeting - In retargeting messages, be sure to address the consumer's future intention, motivation and action. And plan out at which levels of engagement you want to address them. Is it enough that a user just visited a page? Does there need to be some level of interaction as well? Retargeting works best when consumers are still in the consideration phase for a purchase, so recency is an important consideration. Customize the message for retargeted users, perhaps using a new or better offer to motivate them to return and convert.

Depending on your delivery goals and the sample size, you can also layer on additional standard targeting criteria when it's relevant on top of BT and Retargeting. For example, you can send one message to men in a retargeting group and another to women in the same group.

What's The Point?

The point is, relevance is the sole purpose of targeting and it will be what drives performance. Be strategic about your creative and your messaging at every contact point through the funnel. Take advantage of the new technologies available that make targeting so robust and accessible by using it properly with relevance.

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