6 Ways to Target Using Programmatic Advertising

| By Maggie Swift
6 Ways to Target Using Programmatic Advertising

It’s no surprise that programmatic advertising technology has come a long way. Targeting capabilities have advanced quickly with the growing practice of huge companies selling data, and the even larger practice of consumers giving huge companies their data (ahem, Facebook). 

Programmatic advertising is the automated system of buying and selling digital advertising space through real-time bidding. It combines machine learning with human optimizations in an attempt to push banner ads out to internet users who have high purchase intent for a product or service. 

In other words, programmatic advertising provides businesses with the ability to precisely target their customers and it provides consumers a curated advertising experience online.  Targeting can be set up for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business campaigns. 

Targeting tactics used in programmatic can be layered on top of each for more granular options. However, some businesses need a broader reach and may strategically choose only a handful to use. Here are 6 common tactics used for targeting in programmatic advertising:

1. Geotargeting

Geotargeting is usually included in a programmatic buying strategy and targets users by geographic location. You can choose zip codes, cities, counties or entire countries. One thing to keep in mind is that areas with a higher population will always require a larger budget in order to saturate a market and build frequency. 

2. Demographic Targeting

Widely used for targeting specific household incomes, gender, family dynamics and age groups, demographic targeting helps to narrow down audience segments. In doing so, content can be produced that is specific to the demographic of the audience segment. For example, messaging users that are over 65 is way different than trying to connect with millennials! Additionally, it’s good practice to make sure your targeted household income aligns with your product. The super-wealthy don’t care to see cheap car ads and those that make less than $45,000/year don’t need to be delivered expensive vacation packages.

3. Interests Targeting

What types of interests do your buyers have? This is where we can really hone in on users with higher purchase intent. Just because someone has a higher income, it, doesn’t mean they are in the market for a new house. The number of interests is seemingly endless, from interests in ski homes to interests in pets or human resources—programmatic really covers it all. One thing to note is that targeted interests should not be too obscure, but instead specific to your products/services. 

4. Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting focuses on what a person does online. Specific actions on a website, including filling out forms, making purchases and what pages are viewed, can tell us whether a person is in the market for a product or service.  Behavioral targeting is essentially user-generated, meaning a person has to complete an action in order for the machine to call that person a prospect. 

5. Content Targeting

Also known as contextual targeting, content targeting works by targeting users who are reading content that relates to a certain topic. Arts & Entertainment, Technology, Sports, Fashion, Education, Real Estate, Parenting, Business – all opportunities to reach engaged users who are yearning for more information. Additionally, you can target categories and topics on the web page level to get even more granular. Lastly, make sure that whoever is managing your programmatic ads have brand safety measures in place and are only placing content on top-tier publishers, It could be disastrous if your ad shows up next to offensive content that doesn’t align with your brand. 

6. Retargeting

Commonly referred to as remarketing, retargeting can be broken down into two tactics: site retargeting and search retargeting. You can also set up retargeting on other platforms including Facebook and Instagram. Site retargeting tracks users who have visited your website and pushes banner ads out to them after they leave. Remember that jacket from REI that followed you everywhere after you decided to wait on making the purchase? That is site retargeting. 

Search retargeting is targeting users who type in specific keywords into a search engine. Not to be confused with Search Engine Marketing, these ads are still banner ads and can be seen on various websites the user visits. 

Retargeting is one of the most important tactics to include in your digital marketing strategy. It helps build frequency in front of users and pushes them to go back to your site to learn more. In fancy digital marketing language, it drives conversions

Pro Tip! – Native Advertising

A screenshot from the AD website showing a native ad on the right hand side

Native advertising uses programmatic technology to deliver content-driven ads onto publisher’s sites. These ad creatives dynamically adapt to reflect the website’s look and feel and look similar to native editorial. Native advertising is perfect for brands with a story to tell. 

How To Play

Are you now wondering how to get started with programmatic advertising? The best approach is to hire a digital marketing agency to manage your campaigns. Programmatic campaigns should be optimized frequently to ensure everything is running as effectively as possible. A good digital agency will keep a watchful eye over each campaign on a weekly basis. 

Have more questions about how Programmatic Advertising can find you customers? Click here.

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