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Behavioral Targeting and 10 Ways to Target Consumers

Posted by Love Hudson-Maggio on January 30, 2015 at 10:04 AM

Target consumers with behavioral targetingBehavioral targeting is a hot trend in digital marketing right now, and for good reason: data insights open up a whole new dimension for acquiring behavior-based insights. As opportunity-rich as it is, though, behavior isn't the only consideration that brands should be using to target consumers.

There are a multitude of ways to slice and dice a consumer base, and many are unique in how they single out consumers. Here are 10 winning methods for targeting your audience online:

1. Demographic

Demographic targeting is the most basic strategy for targeting. It shouldn't be used on its own because factors such as age and gender can be too broad. However, these facts are critical when targeting further within other, supplementary strategies.

2. Geographic

Geographic targeting has become much more valuable recently, thanks to mobile devices that make location information more accessible. If you're primarily concerned with consumers in a certain geographic area, this means of targeting ensures that you only spend ad dollars within that established region.

3. Industry

Industry is important to many online marketers. Targeting by industry, and then filtering down into subgroups within that industry, can weed out plenty of potential ad exposures that wouldn't be relevant to your brand and its offerings.

4. Purchase History

If you have a retail website where consumers have a shopping history, this background can be used to suggest products and market relevant items. Consider using this history to have your company become a smarter retailer that knows what its shoppers want.

5. Social

Social targeting is highly cost effective and very easy to accomplish. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks make a wide range of targeting filters available through these websites. The cost per click is extremely low, so it's becoming a must-use targeting tool.

6. Interests

Whether found through Facebook or interpreted through other means, a consumer's interests can be very revealing for marketers and expose whether they are a relevant ad exposure or not.

7. Behavioral

Behavioral targeting can be conducted across a number of platforms, including social media and your own retail website. This basically places consumers in the context of their online actions. Their shopping activity reads like a blueprint for their interests, and these behaviors can be used to predict future actions and interests.

8. Lifestyle

Think of lifestyle targeting as a more interpretive form of demographic targeting. This uses not only the basic demographics that define users, but also their income, household size, education and other data points to paint a portrait of that person's lifestyle — thereby creating a profile at which to direct your marketing.

9. Keyword

When pursuing consumers through online search, keyword targeting is a great, cost-effective way to find those shoppers. Developing keyword strategy takes time, but it's a great outlet for targeting on a budget and placing your brand among your competitors.

10. Seasonal

When you have products or a campaign angle that can cash in on various holiday seasons, seasonal targeting is a natural fit. The season itself makes it easy to seek out consumers based on relevance. If you're focused on Christmas sales, for example, seasonal targeting will bring you into contact with shoppers who are searching for Christmas buys.

Exploring these options and experimenting with new approaches can yield surprising and satisfying results.

How to Target Your Ideal Customer Online

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Digital Marketing Strategy, Reach Extension and Targeting

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