The ability to target an audience based on a variety of factors is why businesses find digital advertising attractive. Getting the right people to view and interact with their ads improves campaign performance and return on ad spend (ROAS). Your local advertisers may have some knowledge of this practice, but you can explain to them all the elements of advanced audience targeting.

Sharing the opportunities and how they differ across ad products helps you build an omnichannel campaign to reach the right people.

What Is Advanced Audience Targeting?

Advanced audience targeting describes the ability to define the characteristics that align with an advertiser’s ideal customer. What makes it “advanced” is that it goes deeper into the interests and behaviors of a user. Thus, it’s more detailed than targeting based on location or standard demographics.

Advanced Audience Targeting: Interests and Behaviors

Depending on the type of digital ad and the platform you use to create a target audience, there are various options.

  • Interests: This segment includes a wide array of elements to narrow an audience, including hobbies, preferences, products and activities.
  • Behaviors: This area of targeting represents defining audiences who have previously interacted with the brand in a digital way (e.g., clicks, website visits).

When you target audiences based on these areas, you take a large potential group and taper it down so those seeing the ads find them relevant.

Audience Targeting Options for Different Tactics

Many tactics involve audience targeting, and not all have the same capabilities. Here’s a quick review for your reference.

  • Social media advertising: Most platforms have a robust list of interests to help define an audience. They revolve primarily around what topics people like and follow as a social media user. Many will be valuable. For example, local yoga studies can target people interested in yoga, meditation, physical exercise and physical fitness.
  • Display ads (static or video): Display ad advanced targeting falls under some general and industry-specific interests. Examples include people who enjoy pastimes like cooking and travel to those interested in financial planning.
  • OTT/CTV: Ads running during streaming also have behavior and interest targeting capabilities to ensure those viewing could find it useful. It’s more than just targeting based on viewing habits. There are also many interest-related categories and subcategories. For example, combined audience targeting for a healthy eatery could include those interested in food, drinks, health and beauty.

Help Your Advertisers Target Smarter

The ability to segment an audience accurately for your advertisers requires:

  • An ideal customer profile, which you and your customer can define together
  • A robust digital advertising ad ops platform that makes choosing target criteria quick and easy

As you run more campaigns for specific audiences and review their results, you can communicate to advertisers if the targeting is on point. You should evolve this as you learn more and as a business adds to its offerings or seeks to attract new customers. Encourage your clients to expand their thinking about their customers beyond stereotypes. They already have first-party data that can be valuable in targeting.

For more insights on targeting, check out these resources:

Targeting Baby Boomers: Why Local Advertisers Should Rethink Their Approach
Audience Targeting vs. Site Targeting: How to Educate Advertisers