Hitting your target

So you have this great company, and a great product or service to offer, and you even know who needs to hear about and purchase your products and services.   The next step is finding a way to reach your target audience, and internet advertising provides the perfect way to get your message in front of exactly the right people.

Targeting online visitors is a process that places online ads on websites in order to reach a specific set of consumers or audience, based on different variables like visitor demographics (gender, age, location, etc.), purchasing history and online behavior.  And don’t forget, advertisers can see their impact on website visitors in real-time, which allows them the immediate flexibility to adjust their ads.  As a result, successful audience targeting increases the effectiveness of advertising campaigns by showing information and ad content that is interesting and relevant to each website visitor.

There are a variety of options for targeting specific audiences and audience segments including, but not limited to, the following:

Geotargeting:
Displays advertising to website visitors based on information such as country, state, region, postal code, city or IP address.  This is beneficial for language appropriate information, regional campaigns, or local events.

Behavioral Targeting:
Displays content to website visitors based on their past online behavior, which can include things like what terms they’ve searched for or what websites they’ve visited.  This type of targeting is helpful in displaying ads to visitors who may be interested in a company’s products and services, even though they’ve not been to the company’s website.

Contextual Targeting:
Displays advertising content that is related to the content of a webpage.  For example, companies place ads on search engine result pages (like Google and Yahoo) based on search terms entered by the site visitor.  This has become so intelligent that search engines use not only the ad content, but also the exact content and the implied content on the advertiser’s website.

The beauty of online advertising is that it can be as sophisticated or as simple as advertisers want, especially when they know who they’re going after.  If you want a fun way to learn about hitting your target, you should get to know Undine Spragg in Edith Wharton’s “Custom of the Country”.  She’s a real paradigm — have a read and see if you agree with me!

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