5 things to make your targeted advertising better

July 15, 2015

Targeted advertising can help you sell more. 

Targeted advertising represents an evolution in marketing, where companies are now able to send their customers relevant ads about products and services they care about. Gone are the days when companies would send endless emails and print countless brochures to entice customers to buy from them. Targeted advertising uses customer transaction history and search data to give the consumer what he or she is most interested in. It is likely you have looked at products online, only to find them featured in your News Feed on Facebook later on. Companies today use advanced methods to always deliver ad content you have already expressed an interest in. If you are thinking about using targeted advertising, consider these 5 points:

“Instead of focusing on ads, you want to think content.”

1. Maintain a presence on social media
If you want to make targeted advertising work for you, you should already be posting on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Instead of focusing on ads, you want to think content. Post articles about recent trends in your industry, new product offerings and life hacks that may be interesting to your customer audience. People who are interested in what you post will give your page a Like and your content will appear more regularly in their feeds. Your posts should always have a link to your company’s website, to maximize the chances of potential customers checking your store out or buying from you. Remember the “social” aspect of social media, so keep things fun. What you don’t want to do is bore people with product specs. Instead, show them how products can be used in everyday life and what they look like. This will help your posts gain more attention.

2. Keep your website functional
A big part of targeted advertising is having a good website. You should have clearly defined product pages, a blog and a form where customers can ask questions or request information. It is important to use responsive site design, so your pages are easily viewed on mobile device as well as desktop computer. Allow your customers to make comments on your product pages, write reviews and provide feedback. A good way to start a dialogue with potential customers is to blog consistently. This will not only establish you as a thought leader in your particular industry, but it will dramatically increase your SEO potential. The more you publish about your products and services, the more likely your site will turn up in Google searches.

3. Use surveys and data analytics
Once you have a presence on social media and a fully functioning website, you want to devote a significant amount of time to data analytics. Companies like Facebook and Twitter are experts at this, since their sites are essentially huge repositories of customer information. You should analyze buying trends, examine customer demographics and keep track of who visits your site and when. If people submit their personal information, whether through purchase or an online form, keep that contact information and use it. Send those individuals promotional materials, discount offers and other deals to reel them in. You also want to analyze your web traffic to see how long customers spend on certain pages, which pages get more visits than others, and which months have had the highest traffic. Figure out whether seasonality affects your business, or if a particular age group visits your site more than others. Using this information, you can effectively create better targeted ads to send to existing and potential clients. As such, you can send emails, text messages, flyers and branded materials to potential customers to show them you know what they want.

Show your customers you know what they want. Use targeted advertising to communicate with customers.

4. Update your point of sale devices
Not everything that has to do with targeted advertising is found online. A lot of what you do in-store matters as well. Accordingly, you should make sure you upgrade your point of sale devices. The newer models are near field communications enabled, work with customer loyalty cards and can be programmed to keep track of customer information. You can even ask certain questions at checkout to make sure you have all the relevant data required to guide your marketing strategies going forward.

5. Accept mobile payments
With the right point of sale terminals, you can allow customers to pay with their mobile devices. This is a huge plus as the trend for mobile payments continues to grow. Products like Apple Pay are popular with consumers for several reasons. Apple Pay offers customers added security over traditional cards, thanks to tokenization and TouchID. Also, paying with a mobile phone means a customer doesn’t have to walk around with a bulky wallet all the time – you might get a sale from someone on the go. Using targeted advertising, you can create marketing campaigns specifically for iPhone and Apple Watch users who are eager to make purchases with their devices. Apple Pay is also great for in-app purchases, since payment information is already stored on the device, and doesn’t have to be manually entered in. You will be able to collect a greater amount of information if you make mobile payments a part of your sales strategy.

Ultimately, targeted advertising is here to stay. Some customers don’t like that their favorite retailers keep tabs on what they buy, but the vast majority of consumers enjoy that their prefer?red e-commerce catalogs and stores know who they are when they visit. It’s nice being remembered and that is essentially what targeted advertising is all about. You are saying to your customers: “I remember you. I know what you want. Come buy from me.”

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