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Digital Advertising: Catching the Right Fish

Last month, we talked a little about digital advertising—true digital advertising, which is so important. It’s highly customizable and can be tailored to fit a wide range of budgets while still delivering results. Once you decide to take the plunge into digital, the first thing you have to do is pinpoint your target audience, but then, you have to figure out how to reach them.

To catch the right fish, you need the right bait, line, tackle and fishing hole. Sure, you can cast a line with a generic hook and a worm. You might even get a few bites, but there’s no telling what you’ll catch. Like fishing, digital advertising requires the right tools to reach the right fish.

Since digital advertising is so flexible, there are any number of tactics for targeting digital consumers. The two overarching targeting categories are: contextual targeting (which matches your ad to content) and audience targeting (which matches your ad to people). To help you choose the right tactic, we’ll talk about a few digital targeting mainstays.


Geo-targeting uses geolocation technology to target users in a specific geographic location based on interests, hobbies, demographics, etc. This is great for small and local businesses because you can target consumers in your area who are actually close enough to use your business, but geo-targeting is also great for large companies looking to hone in on a certain market. You can choose specific counties/parishes, cities or even zip codes to target consumers.


Geo-fencing is a like geo-targeting, except it only feeds ads to consumers within a specific geographic location (and only that location). You can choose a building, neighborhood or specific address. If your target is college students, all you have to do is choose a campus, and the students in that area can be targeted with your ad. You can even use geo-fencing to send consumers promotions as soon as they enter your store.

Demographic Targeting.

Demographic targeting is exactly like it sounds. With this strategy, you can target specific audience groups based on certain characteristics or qualities. If you are a home improvement business, you can decide to target homeowners who are, let’s say, over 30 (because they’re more likely to have some disposable income). Instead of reaching a young, 20-something with no disposable income, you will reach consumers who both want to and can hire you.

Daypart Targeting.

Daypart targeting lets you specify what time of day you want to reach your consumers, meaning you can decide just when you want your message heard. Depending on your reach goals or you target audience, certain dayparts are better than others for reaching certain groups. You want to make sure you’re talking to the right people at the right time.

Contextual Targeting.

Contextual targeting delivers your message to consumers who are reading a web page that contains certain, relevant keywords that match your ad. It focuses on content rather than the individual. If you’re a construction company, contextual targeting might allow you to place ads on web pages about topics like home improvement or DIY.

Behavioral Targeting.

Behavioral targeting uses cookies to track consumers as they navigate the web, creating a profile on those users based on the sites they visit. That data is used to make inferences about the consumer’s behavior and interests to determine which ads to show them. For example, a consumer shopping online for a new car is likelier to see more car-related digital ads on Facebook, news sites, etc.


Have you ever noticed that same, little ad that seems to follow you from website to website and then somehow randomly shows up on your phone? That happens because of what we call re-targeting. Basically, re-targeting uses cookies to target consumers based on their web behavior. Site re-targeting delivers your message to those who have recently visited your website, whereas search re-targeting seeks out consumers who recently searched online for relevant keywords. This is a powerful tool because it gets your message to people who already know who you are or who are interested in what you offer, increasing the likelihood that they will purchase your product.

The sea of digital advertising can seem like a daunting place when it comes to running a successful campaign, but with the proper tools and strategy, you can always catch the right fish.

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