Improving the accuracy of your online targeting, without breaking the bank really comes down to how much time you have to spend in-house on fine-tuning your content to your audience.

Targeted advertising or any online targeting aims to connect you with specific groups, so spending time at the outset of any campaign defining exactly who your Ideal Client Avatar (ICA) is will be critical to the success of the campaign.

  • Who do you want to reach?
  • What do you want to say to or share with them?
  • When and where do you want to share content with them?
  • What do you want them to do as a result?
  • What is your budget?

 What are the quick fixes I can implement straight away to increase online targeting? 

Review your website and online profiles to ensure they are all ‘joined up’; are they all ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ or are they not even part of the same choir?!

Does your LinkedIn company profile repeat the same over-arching message as your website and your Twitter bio? Do all the links work? Are all your keywords present and correct?

If you are selling direct to the public (B2C) or even B2B, all your online profiles should be in synch to give your potential customer reassurance that you are who you say you are and will deliver. Mismatched profile or inconsistent messaging will lead to confusion and may lose you potential business.

What’s the best way to engage with my online target audience without deep pockets?

If you don’t have a budget for Google AdWords, online advertising or digital targeting, then you need to get out and engage with your target audience yourself. Social media is an easy way to reach your ICA, engage with them and pull them into your e-commerce or bricks and mortar store.

If Facebook is a good platform for your business, you could try some Facebook advertising but, again, define your ICA and target your advertising accordingly. You may need to review and tweak as you go, but set an affordable budget and stick to it.

Is using multimedia a good way to increase my online targeting and what is the best platform to use?

On average your ICA will need to see your advert 7 times before they’ll make a purchase so if you can deliver a consistent message across multiple channels, chances are they’ll become familiar with your brand and want to find out more – if you’re targeting the right people.

Google ads can be delivered on desktop and mobile depending on the type of ad you go for and you can publish within apps, browser or search results.

Facebook has a whole raft of different advertising targeting options which will appear on desktop and mobile devices.

You could opt for mobile in-app ads via a mobile ad platform and there are lots of those to choose from – you can find out more about Mobile Ad Platforms here.

How will using Keywords help increase my online targeting and how do I get the right keywords?

If your ICA is searching on the internet for a company that does or sells what you do, how will they find you? What search term will they type into the Google search bar?

Are those keywords or phrases (long-tail keywords) used throughout your website?

If you type those search terms into the Google search do you or your competitors come up?

Google will crawl your website and index your web pages based on what it understands you do – so if you don’t mention the keywords your ICA is likely to use in a Google search, your website won’t come up in the search results. It’s as simple as that.

Is it best to use an agency to help with my targeting or are there tools available that allow me to do this myself?

In my opinion, it’s always better to use a specialist; yes we could probably try to service our own car or boiler if we watch some YouTube videos but is that the best use of our time, how effective is it, and would we achieve a better end result using a qualified mechanic or gas-safe engineer? Answer, yes definitely, but you have to weigh up the cost and likely ROI.

But if you’re thinking about how best to post to multiple social media channels, then Hootsuite and Buffer are your friends, helping you schedule content across all your channels from one intuitive dashboard. Or you might want to give MeetEdgar a go which will even track down and share old posts if you run out of scheduled content!

Regular email shots and social advertising can be designed and automated using platforms such as MailChimp.

If your website is on Wordpress, add the Yoast plugin to help optimise your content to appeal to the search engines.

There are literally hundreds of platforms and tools out there which could help you manage your own digital targeting, many of which have a free entry-level version which will keep costs down. But don't forget the time factor. If your time is better spent elsewhere, appoint an agency to take it on.

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About the author

Cheryl Dobson

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Having worked in the advertising, Customer Service and Serviced Office sectors I am passionate about ensuring high standards are met. Currently working for Smarttplay an exciting technology company developing software to help optimise marketing strategies.


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