Innovative Ways to Target Online Audiences


To ultimately be successful, digital marketing efforts have to stand out. It’s no longer enough to just create content or serve up static ads; you have to think through who your ideal customers are and what resonates best with them. Once you have that figured out you can find innovative ways to target those audience segments with dynamic and relevant messaging, tailored each individual.

By tailoring brand messaging to the right customers, you significantly increase the likelihood of getting them to convert on your owned channels. And the good news is that there are plenty of tools available to help you spend efficiently and optimize results. To prove it, here are three innovative ways you can target online audiences with digital campaigns.


Geofencing is a mobile GPS technology that creates a virtual geofence around a specific area or building. The mobile device ID is captured for everyone who enters the area, allowing your brand to reach those individuals with ads for up to 30 days. Brands that use this technique drive 2x the click-through-rate (CTR) of normal mobile marketing campaigns.

The great thing about geofencing is that it can be used in a variety of different ways. B2C companies can geofence their brick and mortar locations, and also competitors’ storefronts. B2B organizations can use it to target specific areas for tradeshows, conferences or events with a high concentration of prospects and customers. There are also plenty of opportunities to geofence festivals or local events with special offers or exclusive discounts.

Of course, to optimize results from geofencing it’s important to tailor messaging so it is relevant to the event or location. If you don’t, you risk turning people off with irrelevant messages that seemingly come out of nowhere.


Contextual Targeting

Contextual advertising targets ads based on website content, keyword targeting and user behavior. Google AdSense is one of the most well-known examples of contextual targeting. Native advertising is another common example of contextual ads. Native also works well because the ad content is relevant to the on-page content and isn’t as disruptive to the experience for users.

Most recently, behavioral advertising has emerged as the next big thing for contextual. Up until now, pre-defined preferences were the only way to target users; with this new technology, ads can be targeted based on user behavior, helping you be there with the right message at key moments in the buying journey. The earlier you start using behavioral targeting and other contextual tools, the more successful you’ll be as they continue to evolve.


Look-a-like Audiences

When it comes to paid advertising on search or social, look-a-like audiences are one of the best ways to reach your highest potential customers. Platforms like Facebook enable advertisers to use CRM data from existing customers to target new potential customers. This advertising technique has been proven to double or even triple the results of standard targeting for the reasons you would expect. When you target ads to people based on lookalike models, you are much more likely to drive the right people back to your website to convert.

This technology is currently available through Facebook and Google ad campaigns. If you haven’t already started testing look-a-like campaigns then it’s definitely a good idea to start. As is the case with any of the techniques listed here, you do want to make sure first that your CRM data is clean and up-to-date. The biggest hinderance to any targeted advertising is basing it off of incorrect or outdated customer data. Once you have the data segments ready to go, it’s a pretty straight-forward process to get started with lookalike audiences. Both Google and Facebook walk you through the steps on their websites.


Do you have experience using any of these innovative tactics for audience targeting? Are there other techniques you’ve had success with that weren’t included here? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

About the Author: Liz Farquhar

Liz Farquhar is the Content Marketing Manager at PureCars.


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