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How to Maximize Audience Targeting: The Dos and Don'ts

Before you begin marketing your company, product, or service, it’s best to do a little research on the audience you intend to target. Who are they? What do they like? What can you offer them? These are all important questions to ask yourself before releasing any marketing materials. Marketing is about selling a product or service and in order for anyone to buy what you're selling; you need to know who your potential customers are and what will catch their attention. The right audience targeting strategies can have a great impact on your marketing success. If done correctly, it will help drive more traffic and conversions from your marketing efforts. But if not done correctly, it could have the exact opposite effect. So read on to discover the dos and don'ts of targeting audiences for successful marketing results from Content-1.

What Does Audience Targeting Mean?

With audience targeting, you select which groups of people you want to see your advertisement. This is done by choosing keywords that these specific groups of people are using to search for products or services. So, if you are targeting people who are searching for running shoes, you want those people to see your ad. If you are targeting people who are searching for basketball shoes, you don't want those people to see your ad. When you are choosing keywords, you want to be as specific as possible. For example, if you are selling running shoes, you might want to use the keywords “running shoes”. However, if you are selling cross-training shoes, you might want to use the keywords “cross training shoes”.

Don’t: Using broad keywords that everyone is targeting.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when targeting audiences is using broad keywords that many people are targeting. If you are trying to reach a large number of people, that’s great! It means you can reach more people and grow your business as a result. But if you are trying to reach everyone, you likely won’t be reaching many people at all. When it comes to audience targeting, the more specific you get, the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go super niche. However, you need to make sure you are targeting people that are genuinely interested in your products or services. Broad keywords are like fishing in a large pond. You’re going to catch a lot of different species but not necessarily the ones you’re after. By targeting a smaller, more specific pond, you’ll be able to reel in the fish that are actually interested in what you have to offer.

Do: Find the exact words your audience is using.

Another mistake that many companies make when attempting to target audiences is using keywords that are too broad. While less-specific keywords will help you reach more people, they will also result in fewer clicks and conversions. When targeting specific audiences, it’s important to find the keywords that they’re actually using to help reduce the amount of competition for your ads. There are a variety of different tools and websites that can help you find keywords for your advertisements. One of the most popular tools for this is Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner. This tool can help you discover the most popular keywords people are using, how much they’re spending on their ads, and how many clicks and conversions they’re receiving, or of course you can always work with the pros at Content-1 to help you plan your keywords as part of your overall strategy.

Do: Research and find the words your ideal customers are using.

As mentioned above, it’s important to find keywords that your customers are actually using. However, it’s also important to find keywords that your ideal customers are using. What does that mean? Well, let’s say you sell running shoes and you’re trying to reach marathon runners. You need to find out what those people are searching for. It’s likely they’re not searching for “running shoes”, they’re searching for “marathon training shoes” or something similar. The more specific your keywords are, the better. When your potential customers see your ads, they want to click on them. If they don’t click on your ad, it’s because they don’t find your ad appealing.

Don’t: Pick random keywords with little to no research behind them.

It’s important to understand that there are no quick, easy fixes when it comes to targeting audiences with keywords. If you begin targeting random keywords with little to no research behind them, your ads will likely perform poorly. This could result in reduced ad spend and lowered conversions. If you don’t know what your customers are searching for, how can you expect to generate conversions? You can’t! Choosing keywords that are trending, rather than ones that your customers are searching for, can lead to poor ad performance. This is because you’re likely to encounter a lot of competition for those keywords. When multiple companies are targeting the same keywords, it results in what’s called ad price wars. This means that companies are competing with one another to lower their ad price.

Do: Find niche ad groups with lots of search volume.

When choosing keywords, it’s important to find keywords that have a lot of searches per month. Why? Because the more searches per month a keyword has, the more potential customers there are using that keyword. You want to find keywords that have a lot of searches per month because they are likely to generate more conversions for your business. When targeting keywords with high search volume, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right ones. It’s also important to make sure that your ad is unique, enticing, and relevant to the keyword. If your ad is relevant and enticing, it’s more likely to appear at the top of the search results.

Don’t: Forget to constantly track and adjust based on data, not hunches or assumptions.

When it comes to successful targeting, it’s important to not only start with the right keywords, but also to constantly track and adjust based on the data. If your ad campaigns are generating a lot of clicks, but few conversions, it’s important to reevaluate your keywords based on the data. Maybe your keywords are too broad and aren’t converting because your audience isn’t seeing your ad. This is why it’s important to not just pick random keywords, but also to constantly track and adjust based on the data. If your ad campaigns are generating few clicks, but generating high conversions, it’s important to not get rid of those keywords. Instead, you need to find a way to make those keywords work harder. The data is telling you something and you have to figure out what that is.


Audience targeting is a critical part of any successful marketing strategy. If done incorrectly, it can lead to low engagement and few conversions. However, if done correctly, it can significantly increase the reach of your ad campaigns, engagement with your brand, and number of conversions. The most important thing to remember when targeting audiences is to be specific. This means choosing keywords that your customers are actually using, not just keywords that you think they should be using. By following these dos and don'ts, you can be sure that your audience targeting is on the right track for success. With the assistance of Content-1 Digital Advertising we can help you navigate the sometimes-intimidating world of audience targeting. Contact us today to schedule a meeting to discuss your goals and how we can work to meet and exceed them.

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