Why You Can’t Target Everyone with Your Ads

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In the previous post, I discussed creating an avatar of your “ideal” customer, as well as how to spy on your competitors to find out what is and isn’t working in the marketplace.

Now it’s time to create a custom ad campaign to target this customer persona. As logical as this may sound, I can’t tell you how many companies mess this up. For this reason, you need to know who your ideal customer is before you do any advertising. Once you know this, you can then create the right type of ad for him/her.

The mistake so many companies make is they create one generic ad. They do this because they want to bring in many different types of customers from it. 

But, this doesn’t work.

Successful ads never resonate with everyone. You should create ads that will grab that ideal customer by the shirt, and not let go until they take the action you want them to. Think of your ad as bait. If you want to catch a particular type of fish, you need to use the right type of lure. If you want your ideal customer, you need the right ad… but that’s not all.

The Ubiquitous Fishing Analogy

Let’s say you’re on a fishing trip, and you’re out to catch some bass. (Full disclosure – I’m not a fisherman… at all. So please excuse any fishing mistakes I may make from this analogy.)

The bait you’ve decided to use is known to have brought in a lot of fish… so you’re feeling confident and excited to use it.

But, unbeknownst to you, that river you decided to cast your line into… isn’t known for excellent bass. It’s known for fantastic trout.

The point is, even if you have the right bait but the wrong pond, you’re not going to have success.

This is why we emphasize the importance of going through the ideal customer exercise. If you don’t do it, you’re going to struggle because you’ll be missing key data points: where he or she is online and what they’ll be searching for.

With all the online audience information out there among the different ad platforms, it’s easier than ever before to narrow in on the right audience and placements for targeting.

There are quite a few powerful things you can now do to find the exact audience you should be going after. For example, on Google, a lot of people are not familiar with all the changes that have occurred in audience targeting and the display network. 

You can advertise directly to your audience through

  • topics they care about
  • websites they’re visiting (you can place your ads on those sites)
  • important interests
  • relevant demographics (such as male or female, age, etc.)
  • and, of course, keywords.

All of this is incredibly powerful information available to you within seconds of typing it into the Google display planner tool.

Another useful platform that everyone is talking about it Facebook. We’ve generated quite a few leads on that platform, demonstrating the fact that EVERYONE is on there right now.

Facebook allows you to target very specific demographics and interests, which enable you to create relevant ads for branding and lead generation.

One great thing about Facebook is the ability to create “custom audiences.” One way you can do this is by uploading an existing customer list with emails and Facebook will not only target this list with ads, but it will build a list of people who are similar to those customers!

The algorithm they’ve developed is very smart and makes our lives as advertisers, much easier.

So, bottom line, make sure you’re creating ads that are specific for your ideal customer… not for all your potential customers. And use your competition to learn more about what is and isn’t working in your market. Your results will far exceed any type of generic advertising.

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