How to Properly Target Your Audience with Your Advertising Efforts

online advertising

Advertising is a tricky business, especially with all the debate about the effectiveness of advertising, its effects on your audience, and so on. 

However, it’s a necessary part of growing your business. You don’t want to waste your time or money on ads that won’t get you the kind of traffic you need — or worse, cause you to alienate prospective customers. 

There are so many ways to target your audience, but it’s important to know what you’re doing to make the most of your ad dollars.

The Internet has changed the way we shop, the way we communicate, and the way we do business. While it has opened a world of new opportunities, it can often feel like marketing and advertising is less about effective targeting and more about making random shots in the dark and simply hoping for a hit.

That doesn’t have to be the case.

By taking the time to learn how to target your audience, you can make the most of your ad dollars. You can make sure you are reaching the right people at the right time, and you can make sure your advertising is getting the results you want.

Now, before diving into the specifics of how to target your audience, it’s vital to understand some of the biggest mistakes that advertisers make.

The Biggest Mistakes Made When Developing Ads for the Internet

Trying to sell products and services on the internet is a tough job. It’s hard enough to simply get people to visit your site, but even if they do, you’re still competing with millions of other companies. 

People aren’t going to pay attention to your ads if they don’t feel like they’re speaking to them or if they come off as random or irrelevant.

Before you start developing your advertising strategy, it’s essential to understand what not to do, including: 

Targeting the Wrong Audience

One of the most common mistakes when developing internet ads is targeting the wrong audience. It’s easy to get so caught up in the excitement of putting together an ad that you don’t take the time to make sure it’s hitting the right people.

Unfortunately, this can have some rather unsettling side effects. For instance, a recent study by The Advertising Research Foundation found that 10-20% of the U.S. population feels that the ads they see are getting too redundant. However, another 20% of them thought they were a little too relevant.

A big part of the problem is that advertisers either don’t take the time to understand their audience, or they take things a little too far and start targeting them in ways that are a little too specific.

By taking the time to understand your audience and their preferences, you can avoid the mistakes of the past and develop ads that are more likely to be effective and meaningful.

Not Making Use of the Platforms Their Target Visits

Another common mistake online advertising teams make is attempting to utilize too many platforms simultaneously. Rather than making an effort to find the right approach, they end up trying to market on too many platforms, and as a result, they end up failing. 

It’s important to understand which platform will work best for your ad and which will give you the best bang for your buck. Don’t try to experiment with every single platform. 

Trying Too Many Approaches at Once

One of the most common mistakes made when developing ads for the internet is trying to experiment with too many different types of advertising to try to find the right one. 

While experimenting with different approaches is necessary to find the best one, when you try going in too many directions simultaneously, you waste a lot of money and time. You need to take a step back, evaluate each approach’s results, and decide which is the most effective.

Poor Targeting Practices Has Severe Consequences for Advertisers

Poor targeting practices are rampant in the digital advertising industry. This is due to the allure of targeting young audiences with sensationalized content. The problem is that this type of targeting is not only ineffective, but it also hurts your brand. 

Don’t believe it? Here are only a few examples of the negative consequences of poor targeting:

Wasted Ad Spend

Arguably one of the biggest consequences of poor audience targeting practices is that you end up wasting so many resources, including time and money. According to Marketing Evolution, approximately $37 billion is wasted in ad spend each and every year due to advertisements that fail to engage with a brand’s target audience. This is because the ads are irrelevant to the audience, resulting in a poor user experience. 

Damaged Reputation

Once consumers have had a poor user experience, they are less likely to engage with your brand in the future. Recent reports show that 63% of consumers said they have no problem walking away from a brand after one poor experience. This is a massive problem for brands because this can negatively impact their reputation — and once their reputation has been tarnished, it isn’t easy to recover.

Loss of Trust

Finally, poorly targeted ads lead to advertisements that aren’t informative, engaging, or otherwise entertaining, and that, coupled with a poor user experience, can cause consumers to lose trust in your brand. This is a big problem because trust is one of the most important factors in a consumer’s decision-making process. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

How to Properly Target Your Audience with Your Advertising Efforts in 5 Simple Steps

To reap the maximum benefits from your advertising efforts, you need to know your audience and position the right message in front of them at the right time. There are a lot of ways to do that, but here are five to ensure you get the results you want:

1. Do Your Research

The first thing you need to do when it comes to targeting your audience is to do your research. This doesn’t just mean finding some vague information on a website or listening to a webinar that doesn’t give you actionable information. 

You need to invest time and resources into thorough research, which means you need to spend time talking to people in your market who have experience with your target audience. This can be done in a variety of ways, including:

  • Talking to your current customers and prospects
  • Conducting focus groups
  • Investing in competitor/market research, etc. 

This will allow you to learn more about the market and your competitors, which will help you develop a better understanding of what is currently happening. 

2. Know Your Audience

While part of your research will help you determine who your audience is, you want to take the time to genuinely get to know them.

If you’ve been in business for a while, then you should be conducting regular conversations with your current customers. Whether that means talking to them on social media or sending out regular customer satisfaction surveys, you want to get to know them and learn more about their needs and wants. 

This will allow you to better understand what your audience wants and what they don’t want, all while showing them that you are invested in them and their needs.

3. Speak Their Language

When you’re conducting your research and getting to know your audience, you need to take the time to learn how to speak their language. 

Alexa Kilroy makes a valid point when they state that you should treat your ads like a language. This means that your copy and accompanying visuals should speak directly to your prospective customers. If they don’t, then your audience will ignore you, and your advertising platforms will think that your ideal audience isn’t your ideal audience! 

So, how do you make sure your ads are speaking their language? By taking these steps: 

  • Visualize your consumers — look at your data and identify their demographics and psychographics. You want to be able to physically visualize who your audience is, what they look like, what their hobbies are, etc. 
  • Visualize their environment — Imagine a day in your audience’s life. Then take it a step further and imagine how they would interact with your product or service.
  • Model your messaging accordingly — Use the information you gathered above to develop your messaging. You want to ensure that your messaging is clear and speaks to your audience in a way they understand. 

4. Put Your Ads Where They’ll Be Seen

With your ad copy and visuals ready, it’s time to put them where your audience will most likely see and engage with them. The best way to do this is to use the research that you’ve conducted to identify the channels where your ideal audience will be spending their time. 

For example, if your target audience is made up of millennials or Gen Zs, then you’ll want to target them on social media, as research shows that 70% of social media ad clickers fall into these two demographics.

5. Always Monitor and Measure Your Campaign Results

You would be surprised at how many teams get stuck on the idea of monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns. However, the truth is that it’s one of the most important things you need to do to ensure that your campaign is successful. 

You can only ensure that you stay on the right track through consistent monitoring and measurement. And with the right tools at your disposal, this task can be done automatically and in real-time.

Grow Your Reach with RevContent

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so does the world of digital advertising and marketing. Today, there are more tools, platforms, and strategies for growing your reach and targeting your ideal audience than ever. 

Through our platform and services, RevContent is committed to providing our partners with the best tools, strategies, and education to help them grow their businesses and reach their goals. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help you develop an effective advertising strategy that speaks to your target audience. 

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