How I create laser targeted online ads

By now, we have all heard that print is a dying format.  While that may or may not be true – and we will probably know how accurate this sentiment is soon enough – it is pretty much a given that if you want to have an effective marketing campaign, you better have a stellar online ad campaign lined up and ready to go.  If you don’t, you stand to hide yourself from scores of potential young or tech savvy eyeballs whose concept of reading something that isn’t pulled up on a computer, tablet, or mobile device is a distant memory.

The only problem with this is, since online advertising is still somewhat in its infancy, a lot of us haven’t quite figured out how to maximize the medium’s potential.  We may know how to put ads online, but we may not know how to get those ads in front of the people we want.  In order to solve this critical piece of the puzzle, you need to understand the mindset and the personality of the potential customers you desire most.  Fortunately, this task isn’t as daunting as you might think.

Quality over Quantity

 In order to build a successful ultra targeted ad campaign online, you need to realize that getting your ad in front of people just for the sake of generating attractive CTR numbers is an empty pursuit.  It’s far more important that your online ad campaign attracts people that would want to buy your product as opposed to a bunch of people that click your ad out of curiosity.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and get your CTR as high as possible; it just means that you need to make sure the lion’s share of those clicks have actual purpose behind them.

Why are they on the Web?

 Since your quest to create ultra targeted ads online should focus on reeling in potential customers that will buy your product, you should first realize why they may be looking your way in the first place.  Essentially, your potential customer is going to be in one of three mindsets:

  • Surfing Mode – This person is going to be looking for information regarding your product in generalized terms.  In this stage, the person who ends up buying an eight-cup food processor with an extra large feed tube and a stainless steel slicing disc will merely do a search for “Food Processor” to start figuring out what they want.
  • Comparison/Review Mode – This person has a general idea of what they want, and is now in the process of performing due diligence.  This would include things like checking out product reviews, customer opinions, and taking a closer look at a product’s whistles and bells.
  • Buying Mode – This person knows what they’re going to purchase, and is looking for the best deal possible.  Because an online component is involved, this not only includes the price tag, but other benefits than can be offered, like shipping.

 You can figure out what kind of mode your target audience is in by tracking the kind of words that brings them to your site in the first place.  If people come your way via basic terms, they’re just window shopping.   If they drop in through hyper-focused searches, they are ready to reach for their credit card.

 A Matter of Personality

The rules of ultra targeted online ads don’t stop at where a person is at in the buying process.  Their personality plays a big factor into their buying habits, which is something that any online ad campaign worth its salt should be mindful of.

There are four types of buyer personalities that you have to deal with.  The first personality is the methodical buyer, and they are marked by a lack of speed.  They will dig through all of a product’s specs and get familiar with every last detail before they actually pull the trigger on a deal.  On the other end of the spectrum is the spontaneous buyer.  This buyer is driven by immediacy in more ways than one.  Things that drive expediency like free overnight shipping or discounts will lure this type of shopper in, but so will visuals that will suggest a positive experience with the product, such as a large number of on-site reviews.   In between these two personalities lay the humanistic and the competitive shopper; the former tends to carry a slower pace based on researching other customer experiences, while the latter appreciates reviewing product data, just as long as they don’t have to dig too deeply for the info.

Putting it All Together

Of course, it is entirely up to you in order to figure out what type of mindset and personality will be most attracted to your ad – and subsequently, your product.  Some of this detective work can be pretty obvious, solely based on the demographic that your product is typically associated with.  If you are in the business of selling home security systems, you won’t exactly make a mint by targeting your ad toward the spontaneous crowd.  Apart from that, the best course of action is to test the waters.  You can accomplish this by creating four different ad campaigns designed to target the four different personalities, with each campaign containing unique ads that hone in on a person’s various mindsets.  Once they’re created, let them run, collect the resultant data, and make a final determination as to what works best.

It may seem a bit labor intensive, but it’s worth it for two reasons.  First off, it will help you figure out exactly what your target audience should be.  Secondly, it will allow that target audience that you desire to instantly see what you want them to see in a way that they want it to be packaged.  And ultimately, that’s the whole point of putting together an ad campaign.  It was true when the alleged dinosaur that is print media ruled the scene, and it is arguably even truer in this day of online marketing.

Nathan Prescott

Author Nathan Prescott

Technologist, Search Experience Optimizer, Internet Marketer and Conversion Ninja with experience in Finance, Consulting and Media Buying.

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