Advertisers have a variety of choices to make when putting together a native ad campaign. Among these choices are the title, copy, image, ad placement, budget, duration, and more. However, none of these items will help your campaign succeed if you’re not effectively engaging with your audience.
To get a clear idea of the right combination of messaging and images that will resonate with customers to drive action (clicks and sales), it’s essential to know your key audience inside out. After all, how can you expect someone to care about your product if you don’t know what makes them tick?
With this in mind, here are our best practices for engaging with your target audience on your native ad campaign.
The Buyer Persona
Outside of the filtering options available on ad platforms (such as geo-targeting), the most effective way to engage with your target audience is by establishing buyer personas. Buyer personas should leverage as much demographic information as you have at your disposal. This could include dimensions such as gender, race, age, employment, education, income, relationship status and physical location. Along with this, you’ll want to identify your audience’s psychographics — their values, affinities, motivations, opinions, attitudes, and lifestyles. What are their needs and wants? What problems do they have in their life that you can solve?
With all of this in mind, the personas of your ideal audience will start to take shape. You could even go so far as to create a hypothetical person with a name that embodies your target buyer persona. This will come in handy if you have a few different audience personas, so that you can easily distinguish between them.
This process might feel very tedious and time-consuming, but once you know everything about who you are trying to reach, you will have a much easier time creating the rest of your campaign materials.
Don’t Recreate the Wheel — Learn from Your Competition
More likely than not, you’re not the only company in your vertical. There are competitors within your space vying for the attention of your target consumers, working to solve the same issues and address the same needs.
By conducting an analysis of your competitors’ marketing efforts, you can gain a sense of what resonates with your common audience, and what does not. This will help you avoid your competitors’ mistakes, learn from their successes, and ultimately create an improved campaign based on your findings.
By identifying industry best practices, you can avoid costly mistakes and set your campaign up for success from the get-go.
Personalize All Aspects of Placement and Content
Once you’ve identified your buyer personas and have learned a thing or two from the competition, then you’ll want to know what kind of content your audience enjoys consuming and which websites they frequent, such as news sites like MSN. You’ll also want to decide on your traffic source – desktop, mobile or both.
After narrowing down your traffic options, then it’s time to decide on placement. Does the publisher offer native ad inventory, or only display? What specific ad sizes are available, and where do they appear on the website? All of these things will influence your CTR – and of course, your CPC.
Retargeting the One That Got Away
If someone visits your site but leaves without converting, it might mean they’re not interested – but it could also simply mean that the timing wasn’t right. Perhaps they were in a hurry, wanted to think about it a bit more, or were certain that they liked the product but had reservations about the specifics, like the color, size, price, shipping costs, or return policy. Regardless of their reason, they made it to your site once – which is a victory that can be built upon through retargeting.
Retargeting shows your ads to prospects who have previously visited your site, serving as an avenue to convince them to reconsider a purchase. Since this audience has already shown interest once, the chances of conversion are higher. Done correctly, retargeting is a cost-effective marketing strategy that should always be in your marketing tool belt.
Learn From Your Campaign Metrics
Despite all your best efforts to create a buyer persona, learn from the market, personalize, and retarget your ads, there’s always room for improvement. Advertisers need to keep an eye on their campaigns’ performance and continuously learn from and iterate on the trends in their campaign metrics. Audiences have ever-evolving needs and interests, so it’s crucial to pay close attention to the messaging and content that resonates with them.
We hope these tips for reaching the perfect audience help you during your next native ad campaign!