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.