Audience Targeting: Why Your Business Needs It and How to Do It

Audience Targeting: Why Your Business Needs It and How to Do It

Audience Targeting: Why Your Business Needs It and How to Do It

Advertising has always been targeted, to some extent. Marketers choose television stations and broadcasting times carefully when airing advertisements, and you’ll only find billboards advertising products and services that are available in the local neighborhood.

Have you ever noticed that there are a lot more commercials promoting legal services on daytime television compared to prime time? Or maybe you’ve noticed that there always seems to be a fast-food billboard placed near one of its competitors?

That’s audience targeting in action.

Digital marketing has taken this idea of targeting your audience to a whole new level. It’s what’s at work when you get an ad on social media for a profile you clicked on earlier, or you get new suggestions for things to watch on Netflix.

It makes you feel like your favorite brands really get you. That makes targeted advertising a powerful thing. It can increase your bottom line, and it can even shape consumer beliefs and self-perceptions.

But it isn’t easy. If audience targeting was a walk in the park, three-quarters of marketers wouldn’t be failing to use behavioral data for online ad targeting.

So, how can you count yourself among the one-quarter of marketers who are using audience targeting to your advantage?

Here’s how.

Strategies for Targeting Your Audience

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to targeting your audience. Which strategy you choose will depend on your particular business, the habits of your target audience, and your goals. The best marketing plans utilize multiple strategies, and those strategies change often, depending on what’s successful and what isn’t.

A few strategies for targeting your audience include:

  • Pre-targeting
  • Keyword and category targeting
  • Site retargeting
  • Competitive targeting
  • Contextual targeting
  • Demo targeting
  • Geo-fencing


Pre-targeting precedes traditional ad campaigns with the goal of generating awareness. Using cookie data from popular ad networks, it enables you to show ads to people who are searching for solutions that your company provides, even though they have never visited your website.

Pre-targeting campaigns are frequently paired with direct response marketing tactics that encourage the user to take action immediately.

Keyword and category targeting

Keyword and category targeting enables you to target users based on just that, keywords and categories. Using keywords specific to your product or service on your website and in ad copy will help your business reach potential customers. Instead of relying on traditional search engine marketing, you can determine the frequency and time frame of ad placement based on the keywords and categories that users are searching for.

Site retargeting

Site retargeting targets people who have been to your website already. They have already shown an obvious interest in what you have to offer, but for whatever reason, they left your website before taking action. A retargeting campaign ensures that a person sees advertisements for your product or service on other sites.

Search retargeting is a similar strategy, where you target customers more broadly based on their search history. For example, a person searching for furniture may see an ad for a furniture retailer, even if they have never heard of that retailer before.

Competitive targeting

Competitor targeting involves the process of identifying your competitors. Then, you create ads that target their customers. Since those users have already shown interest in a similar product or service, you can be fairly certain that at least some of them will be interested in your product or service too. It’s an efficient way to get a better cost per thousand (CPM) compared to other advertising models.

Contextual targeting

Contextual targeting is all about getting in front of the right audience by advertising your products or services on related websites. For example, an ad for dishware could be placed on a recipe website, while a makeup ad would be right at home on a women’s lifestyle blog.

Demographic targeting

Demographic targeting, which is also sometimes referred to as demo targeting, involves targeting users based on things like age, gender, ethnicity, household income, and other factors. For example, male customers might be shown an advertisement for a sale on jeans, or a 50-year-old woman may be shown an advertisement for an anti-aging cream.

This method of audience targeting is often combined with others, giving you a more efficient CPM compared to running just one strategy alone.


Geo-fencing is a great option for local businesses that have brick-and-mortar operations. It allows you to connect with smartphone users in a designated geographic area. Users only receive that advertisement if they are within the invisible geographic fence.

How far your geofence extends is up to you. At Sierra Productions, we can geofence up to 50 miles! It’s important to note, geo-fencing is best used when combined with other tactics mentioned above.

Engaging Your Audience

Deciding on the targeting method you want to use is only half the story. The other half involves knowing how to engage your audience.

Using the strategies on this list, you can create a targeted display. Each display is specifically created with your target audience in mind. That means you might create different targeted displays depending on whether you’re targeting a certain age group, visitors to your website, or customers in your area. These displays can be static images or targeted videos.

Although there is still a place for static displays in advertising, video is definitely the most effective way to engage your audience. Videos are shared 1,200% more than text and links combined, not to mention, viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it presented in a video as compared to just 10% when reading text.

Contact Sierra Productions for a Free Consultation!

See a strategy for targeting your audience that you would like to try? Contact us today for a free consultation!

Not only do we offer comprehensive marketing solutions for all of the strategies on this list, we also offer a complete range of digital advertising and online solutions. We even do video and audio production, so don’t worry if your ads aren’t created yet! With 25+ years of experience under our belts, we can help you craft an advertising strategy that really works for your business.


Don’t let your competition get ahead of you – contact Sierra Productions today!

Contact Us:



Phone: New York (212)-359-9497 | Dallas (469)-661-1411

Book a meeting and let’s discuss your business needs!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top