How To Create Targeted, Data-Driven Digital Ads

Despite a mature and well-established online advertising industry, we still haven’t hit the peak of digital ads for brands.

Last year, digital ad spending grew by over 20%. As it continues to rise, is your business ready to capitalize on the opportunities offered by targeted digital ads?

If you’re unsure of how you should answer that, we are here to help. Read on for a guide that will explain how to create targeted digital ads for your business, including top strategies and tips to get more for your marketing money. 

What Is a Targeted Data-Driven Ads? 

In the early days of the internet, you’d publish an ad – maybe a banner ad on a website – and hope for the best. You’d hope you had targeted the right website and audience and that your ad would get plenty of clicks.

Fortunately, technology has since moved on. Nowadays, artificial intelligence and sophisticated ad algorithms can use data to determine how to optimize your ad.

If it’s not performing as expected, the platform can shift that ad to a different targeted audience to see if it does any better. That is a continual feedback loop, which means you have a high chance of your ad getting to the right people. 

How to Create Your First Digital Ads

Although artificial intelligence can do a lot of the heavy lifting regarding your ad, it can only work with the information you provide. So putting together the right ad is essential. Here is how to create your ad. 

Choose Your Platform

You can advertise on one or many platforms. Your chosen platforms will largely depend on your product and the customer you want to target.

For example, do you demographic spend time on Facebook? An impulse purchase such as a diet product might do well on a social media news feed like Facebook or Instagram.

In contrast, if you sell something that requires plenty of prior planning and research, such as a mattress, you’ll probably find a search engine like Google the smarter option. 

Define Your Audience

The more intelligence you know about your target audience, the better. It means the optimization done by the ad platform will produce superior results for you as they’ll go from a much more accurate starting point.

You might need to do market research if your business is relatively new to put together a detailed demographic of your likely customer. 

If you are an established business, send out a survey to existing customers to learn more about who they are and why they buy from you. The more information you have, the more accurate will be your customer profile. 

This exercise will also give you an advantage if you want to experiment with lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are where you provide an ad platform with an audience list (say, your email list) and tell them to look for other people with a similar profile.

It’s a highly effective way to reach the right people and can also drive down your ad costs. 

Experiment With Your Creative Design

If you intend to run an ad with imagery or video, one of the best ways to boost your targeted ads is to experiment with different designs.

With video, this is a little trickier because of the high production cost, but it still works by testing out two videos for an ad if you can.

Sometimes you might be surprised to discover what image gets the best reaction from your target audience. It’s not always the same design that you may prefer.

That’s why you must have a range of creative designs when setting up your ad so you can test each one on your audience. 

Invest in Copywriting

The other factor that will make or break your targeted ad is the copy you use to grab your audience’s attention. If you don’t have copywriting expertise, this is worth outsourcing.

Either way, test different copy ideas on your audience when you start running an ad, particularly the headline and the link or call-to-action.

You may see a significant variation in click-through rates for different copy ideas. Testing this can positively impact your RoAS (return on ad spend). 

Top Tips for Optimizing Your Digital Ads

We’ve covered the fundamentals of how to set up a targeted ad. But there is a lot more to learn. Here are some further top tips you’ll need to know to get the most from your digital advertising strategy. 

Understand the Types of Ad Targeting Available

Targeting is about more than trying to reach the right customer. In technical terms, there are several methods to target an ad, including:

  • Location-based targeting (targeting based on location, such as only targeting people in one country)
  • Demographic-based targeting (targeting people who match a specific demographic such as age)
  • Context-based targeting (targeting based on website content, so your mattress ad appears in an article about sleep quality)
  • Behavior-based targeting (targeting people based on their online behavior, such as previous websites they’ve visited)

When you understand different types of targeting, you can see why researching your customer is helpful before launching an ad.

If you sell mattresses, for example, your ad can perform well if you know your target demographic and location.

However, go one step further and research your target customers’ online habits and interests (such as the articles they click on). You will have a far more effective marketing campaign.

Digital Ads: Know Your Numbers

Data-driven ads hint at how you’ll need to place on the data you capture in your campaigns. To do that, you’ll need some understanding of what this data is and the terminology:

  • CPC: cost per click – the cost to you each time someone clicks on your ad
  • RoI: the return on investment – the money you make in sales concerning what your ad costs, sometimes calculated as RoAS – return on ad spend
  • Impressions: the number of times each ad appears on someone’s screen
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of people who converted from your ad, i.e., took action such as signing up – compared to all those who saw it
  • Cost per conversion: the cost of each person who converted

All ad platforms track this data. However, most have sophisticated and custom ad reporting tools. You might need an ad expert (like us) to help you set these up if these metrics aren’t familiar to you. 

Are You Ready for Digital Ads? 

Digital ads should be a valuable asset in your marketing portfolio. But that doesn’t mean it’s always a straightforward path from ad spend to success, and that’s where we come in.

We can help you get more for your money and create a digital ad campaign that will reach those hungry to snap up what your business has to offer. Why not contact us today to start your consultation with one of our ad experts? 

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