Targeted Digital Advertising
What is it? Does it work?

I am sure most of you have been approached by your various media outlets with a "Targeted Digital Advertising" proposal. The methods used and the effectiveness of this new advertising opportunity can be very confusing. What is it? Does it work? Is it worth the dollars? Let me try to clear it up for you.

Targeted Digital Advertising uses the internet in a similar way you would use the traditional TV or Radio spot with the additional advantage of providing an increased ability to reach a specific targeted potential customer. Your display ad or video is shown to a specific targeted audience.

With targeted digital advertising you can target a potential customer looking for a specific item or manufacturer, target those searching for a more general item based on their tracked internet browser searches, target potential customers based on demographics and geographic location, and target customers shopping at a competitor's store, restaurants, or country club that meet the demographic of your potential customer. Of course you can combine all the criteria to really narrow down your target. As you can see, when combined, there are an infinite number of options. It becomes a real science as to how pick the criteria and the digital advertising method or combination of methods that will best give you a return on your advertising dollars.

Most Common Targeting Methods

Contextual Targeting
Through contextual targeting, your ads will be targeted to specific page level content based on the browser searches of your potential customer. Contextually targeted ads offer useful information to readers and attract an audience interested in your message.

Contextual Keyword Targeting
Through contextual keyword targeting, your ads will reach potential customers based on an indidualized keyword list that guarantees ads reach your audience as they search for and read related content.

Geo-fencing puts a "electronic fence" around a competitor's location, restaurant, country club or any other location your targeted customer might shop or visit.

Site Retargeting
Site retargeting helps you to recapture the interest of potential customers after they leave your website. When potential customers visit your site a retargeting "cookie" is placed in their browser. The cookie identifies your potential customers and enables you to serve them tailored ads that relate to the content they viewed on your website.

Search Retargeting
Search retargeting helps you reach and attract new customers who have never been to your website. This solution gives you the efficiency of search engine marketing with the reach of a display ad. You can target in-market customers who are conducting specific searches on your keyword lists across major search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo!

How does it work? What is the Cost?

The media outlets will approach you with a proposal based on ad impressions. Depending on the media outlet and the service provider they use, I have found the pricing to be $1000-$1400 per 100,000 impressions per month.

To get the best return on your advertising dollar it is key to provide them with specific information to target the customers you want to reach. It is then up to the service provider to effectively setup the system to reach these customers.

If you decide to the try targeted digital advertising, I would suggest some sort of coupon or special discount just for the customers that click on your advertising link. JGi Internet Marketing can create a webpage that can only be reached through this link. This will provide a way to track the effectiveness of your ad and its ability to bring customers into your store or business.

Your media outlet will provide you with detailed reports as to who is seeing your ads and clicking through to your website. Of course, these reports don't mean a thing unless you are seeing these new customers coming through your doors and making a purchase.

Do I recommend Targeted Digital Marketing?

Unfortunately there is not a long track record as to the success of of this new form of advertising. When you look at it logically, it should be more effective than a TV, radio, or newspaper ad because of the ability to target a specific audience.

To provide you with a little background... In contrast, we have had clients try paid search listing advertising with Google and other search providers. The goal of the paid search listing was to get your business located at the top of a website search. We found that the visits to a client's website would go way up however the visits didn't prove to be quality visits and they never translated into additional customers coming into the store or business. The advertising was not cheap and became a waste of advertising dollars. My guess was that the customers clicking on the paid Google searches were looking for places to shop online rather than a store to visit. A more valuable place to be for a local retail location is at the top of the organic or free search listings. You get to the top of the free listings by having a great website and having links to your business located in as many of the free search listings services as possible as well as on most of the major social media sites. If you need help or have questions how to set these up, please contact us.

If you have the extra advertising dollars to spend or can steal some dollars from a media source that isn't being productive, I would recommend trying targeted digital marketing for at least three months. Make sure you have a way of tracking the business through a coupon or some other form of customer incentive. You might also try to target a specific geographic area you currently aren't reaching with your traditional forms of advertising. Make sure to provide some way of measuring the effectiveness of these ads.

We currently have clients using targeted digital marketing and will follow up with them so we can pass along their experience. If you decide to try it, please let us know your experience.  Of course if you have questions or need advice, you are always welcome to respond to this article or call me personally at 800-827-9242.

by Jack Gilberg
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