As a marketer, you already know that the key to reaching your customers is making sure your message is relevant and feels personal to the audience. But how do you ensure that your ads are being shown to the right people? Audience targeting is perhaps the most powerful tool in any marketer’s arsenal. It lets you reach potential buyers at the right time in their decision-making, with messaging and content they relate with. Your campaign can be placed across our programmatic network(s), targeting your exact audience across thousands of sites or apps, and/or can be placed directly onto our owned and operated sites (MLive.com), reaching a large, engaged audience.

A programmatic buy ensures that you’re reaching the right person at the right time in the right place, targeting the PERSON, not the CONTENT of the site. Your ads appear where that audience member on whatever sites your prospective customer visits. When you relinquish control of the placements, your ads are free to follow the audience member wherever he or she travels online. (There are, of course, safety precautions in place to ensure your ads only serve on brand-safe websites.)

What is Audience Targeting?

Audience targeting is a powerful part of your digital marketing strategy that allows you to reach the right people with the right message. When deployed properly, it increases engagement, sales and revenue, as well as builds brand awareness and customer loyalty.

When ads are served to “just any audience,” they may not feel relevant to the recipient, driving disinterest.  Audience targeting increases brand awareness by reaching potential customers who are already interested in your product or service. It also encourages repeat purchases by driving recurring transactions with existing customers who have purchased from you before.

Said differently, great targeting means fewer wasted ad dollars spent on non-converting leads.

It Takes a Powerful Tech Stack

A sophisticated tech stack is necessary to fuel the science behind an effective audience targeting strategy. The benefit of these relationships and expertise is not only for establishing an effective audience targeting strategy, but for providing the most detailed and advanced reporting, so that we can communicate the effectiveness of your campaign.

Great Targeting Can Happen on Our Websites or Across the Internet, Wherever your Audience May Be

The most important aspect of audience targeting is making sure that your content is relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. But second to that, you want to drive deep engagement with your brand. If you know that the audience of a particular website aligns well with your own (or, as in the case with our website, you can target your specific audience within ours), then a portion of your budget should be used with this placement. But the healthiest of campaigns are a blend of both direct and programmatic impressions, reaching your audience among content they trust, as well as across the internet, wherever they go. Together, these placements can generate the right number of repetitive impressions to drive brand awareness, recall, and conversions.

Direct Buy

You can go to any website provider that serves ads within its content, and purchase ads. A direct buy of impressions will have a more costly CPM (cost per thousand impressions), but you’ll have more control over where your ads appear on the website, access to premium positions or fixed placements, and the ability to appear within certain themes or content areas (contextual targeting). Ads purchased through a direct buy on sites like MLive.com or cleveland.com are managed by a professional account executive that can identify the size of your audience on those websites, and narrow the audience size to match your desired frequency, audience penetration, geography and other characteristics of the reader. And remember, impressions purchased direct on trusted publisher sites result in advertising messages that are more trusted, because the reader has a relationship with the content provider.

Programmatic

A programmatic impressions buy means only that you are following the audience with your preferred characteristics, rather than deciding where your ads appear. Your ads appear where that audience member goes, wherever they go. Less expensive than direct buys, the CPMs for programmatic ads are often half the price. When you relinquish control of the placements, your ads are free to follow the audience member wherever he or she travels online. (There are, of course, safety precautions in place to ensure your ads only serve on brand-safe websites.)

NEXT STEPS

When ads are served to everyone, everywhere, they lose their power. The wasted spend grows. And they drive active disinterest in your brand. Quality audience targeting, performed by professional strategists that understand the best ways to reach your intended audience is invaluable.

If you are using just one type of audience, talk to those responsible for your campaign. You may be missing a valuable part of your audience or the right frequency to drive them to action.

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