Targeted Ads in Social Networks: Types and Features for Entrepreneurs


Targeting is one of the most accurate and advertising formats. It allows you to avoid non-targeted ad impressions and really effectively optimize advertising budgets.

Targeted Ads in Social Networks - Types and Features for Entrepreneurs

Let’s find out how targeting advertising works, what its main advantages and disadvantages are, which business it’s suitable for and how to use it on different platforms.

What is Targeted Advertising

Targeted advertising is a specific advertising format in social networks which is seen only by users who match the parameters you specified: gender, age, geolocation, list of interests etc. You set the parameters and then the targeting algorithms determine the appropriate users and show your ads to them.

How Targeting Works

Targeted advertising in social networks works according to a fairly simple scheme:

  1. You configure the audience parameters for displays in the selected social network: gender, age, geolocation, marital status, etc.
  2. Create an ad, fill it with text, graphics and other information.
  3. Set a suitable budget and run ads.

This is the easiest explanation of how targeted advertising works. In fact, everything is a little more complicated.

How Targeting Advertising Differs From Contextual Advertising

Understanding what targeting is, it’s easy to guess the difference between these ads from contextual advertising:

  • Targeted ads are shown on social networks based on target audience data.
  • Contextual ads are shown in search results for relevant keywords.

In contextual advertising, the individual parameters of the audience go into the background. Here in the first place are the search queries. Contextual ads are aimed more at the “warm” audience, and targeting – and “warm” and “cold”.

You can’t say that targeting is better than contextual advertising. These are two very different formats that complement but do not replace each other. Keep in mind that, all other things being equal, the cost of contextual advertising will be higher.

Goals and Objectives of Targeting Advertising

You need to determine whether this format is suitable for your business, what exactly you can use it for. The main objectives which can be achieved thanks to targeting are the following:

  • Getting leads, increasing the number of visitors on the site.
  • Increase in the number of subscribers in social networks.
  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Attracting people from online to offline.
  • Increase in sales of goods and services on the site.

Targeting is a universal promotion format with huge potential. Especially if you take an integrated approach to its setup.

What Are the Types of Targeting Advertising?

There are 5 main types of targeting:

  • Geographical.
  • Behavioral.
  • On the interests.
  • Timing.
  • Socio-demographic.

Effective advertising campaigns and geofencing marketing are only possible if you know how to combine and combine different types of targeting.

Pros and Cons

There is no perfect advertising format. Don’t believe those who prove otherwise. Targeting also has both strengths and weaknesses.

The advantages of targeting advertising:

  • Flexible adjustment of the parameters of the target audience. You can take into account the list of interests, marital status, and the presence of children. You can even tie the display of ads to a person’s birthday.
  • Creative presentation. You can add headlines, pictures and text to your targeted ads. This gives you a huge opportunity for creativity, to attract attention.
  • Easy and intuitive setup targeting ads. Technically, launching a targeting ad is a matter of a couple of minutes. You don’t need any specific skills and knowledge to do it. The only question is whether you can configure the targeting correctly, specify the optimal parameters of the target audience.

Disadvantages of targeting advertising:

  • Less clickability than search ads. The conversion is noticeably lower than the same contextual advertising. But targeting works great for brand recognition.
  • The inability to set up targeting correctly without a fine analysis of your audience. Therefore, studying the target audience usually takes much more time and effort than directly launching an advertising campaign.
  • Specific requirements of different platforms. For example, on Facebook, ads where the text takes up more than 20% of the image area are rejected. There is also a big list of goods and services that cannot be advertised. Each site and its requirements have to be studied individually.

Who Should Choose Targeting Advertising

Targeted advertising in social networks is a universal tool for promotion in almost any area of business. It has proven itself especially well in the promotion of online stores, seminars, coaches, public institutions, sports facilities, organizations of the beauty industry, etc. You can even get new audiences for Hellspin Casino or other similar platforms thanks to targeted ads.

Various types of targeting are actively used by bloggers and opinion leaders to promote their accounts. And, you have to admit, the results are impressive.

Targeting is less effective in the promotion of B2B products, as well as highly specialized products. You can determine a simple pattern: the smaller your audience, the less effective targeting will be. This rule also works in reverse order: the larger the audience, the more effective the targeting.

How to Determine the Effectiveness of Targeting Advertising

Track the statistics of impressions and clicks can be directly in the advertising offices of social networks. They don’t provide very comprehensive information about the results of the advertising campaign, but some basic information:

  • The number and cost of clicks to the site or social network profile.
  • The number of leads attracted by the advertising campaign.
  • General coverage statistics.
  • The growth of the audience in the social network, etc.

You can and should analyze the effectiveness of targeting. This will help to change the format and content of ads, more accurately adjust individual audience parameters, and optimize advertising budgets when necessary.


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