Marketing Strategy Blog

You Can Use Audience Targeting To Show Your Ads To Your Potential Customer: Here’s How

In recent years there has been a lot of discussion around display advertising, but this blanket term actually refers to several different digital advertising options small businesses can use to promote their brand.

Display advertising is a type of online advertising that relies on images, video, or audio to get the message across. Within this general advertising type there are several sub-sets.

 Targeted display advertising is a form of digital advertising that directly targets users by certain traits or actions. This means that you can use audience targeting to show your ads to your target audience on content they are actively viewing and on websites they already visit.

This post will discuss the differences of each type of targeted advertising, targeted advertising strategies available to advertisers, and how you can use a blend of each in your next campaign to see improved success.

Targeting Options:

The different types of targeting that make up targeted display are geographic, demographic, and behavioral. Using a good blend of each of these in your campaign can be very beneficial.

Geographic Targeting

Geographic targeting is used to target specific users in a specific area, usually by zip code, city, county, or state. When used with other targeting tactics, this would allow businesses to reach users in specific areas where there is more potential interest in their products and services.

As an example, if a hospital in Denver, Colorado is running a campaign around breast cancer awareness, they may choose to target those living in the Denver-metro area with their message. They could also extend to the other Front Range locations to truly maximize their reach. This technology can also be used to help a business target users who might be outside of their local area, but still a potential customer.

Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting is used to target users by sex, race, age, and marital status. This type of targeting enables a business to show their ads to a more specific audience. Demographic targeting can be blended with other forms of targeting to reach an even more refined audience.

If we use the same hospital example from above, the hospital could get even more refined with their audience by targeting women between the ages of 30-65. Now, this campaign is targeting a gender that is commonly affected by the disease in a high risk age.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting is used to target users who exhibit certain behaviors online such as a user’s online search activity and the content they’ve been reading. Behavioral targeting is powerful-targeting based on a user's behavior helps to ensure that we are reaching someone who is displaying a specific intent.

The hospital from above could use behavioral targeting to find users who search for topics related to breast cancer, or even services the hospital provides for breast cancer care. Coupled with the targets above this is a powerful segment of active individuals.


Geofencing places a virtual “fence” around a physical location, such as a grocery store or local sports arena, then captures data about the people who visit that location. This can be an extremely effective tactic for reaching people who visit specific locations with a targeted message.

Strategic Targeting Adds Up!

When all methods of targeting are combined correctly, the end result is a powerful campaign that reaches a segmented audience. Why? Adding more attributes will narrow down a wide audience into a refined group that fit all criteria selected. When the message displayed is extremely relevant to the user, they are more likely to take action!

So, if the Denver hospital combines all three targets above they would have have a targeted campaign that includes individuals living along the Front Range, women who are between the ages of 30-65, and individuals who show a behavior of searching topics related to breast cancer.

When combining targets it’s also important to ensure that you don’t target too much or else you could narrow your audience too much. But, with the right mix of targeting you could deliver a very successful campaign.

Where are Targeted Display Ads Delivered?

Now that you understand how you can target the right audience, it’s time to find the best places to advertise online. Ad delivery options help to ensure ads are shown to users wherever they are across the internet, engaging in different online activities.


People spend a lot of time online engaging in wide variety of activities like reading articles and shopping. An effective targeted display campaign will use ad networks to serve ads on many different websites to ensure you find the right audience wherever they are.

Mobile Apps

More than ever, mobile devices are the primary way that people connect to the internet. Delivering ads on mobile apps ensures that they show up while people are checking the weather or sports scores on their mobile devices.


Targeted display can also be delivered via video. A targeted video ad plays along with video content like news videos on various sites across the web.

The complexities of targeted display advertising can be difficult to understand. If you’re having trouble understanding how to tap into these advertising options, we can help! Contact us today to learn more about the targeted display options we can offer you.

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