Are you personalizing your display ads?

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A lot of brands create ads and put them out there on all ad networks and the placements they offer. Personalization is a lot of effort and benefits are not always clear. Showing ads with products or services based on pages visited on your website is not personalization either.

Prospecting is tricky. When you are creating a display campaign, your click through rates determine your overall cost and ad networks give preference to campaigns with high click through rates. Relevant advertising is a key focus area for ad networks as they grapple with ad blockers.

How can personalization help you improve click through rates?

Human beings like talking to other human beings. Put your consumer hat on and think of the number of messages from different brands you get every day. You see them on tv, in the paper, from your apps, any websites you visit, your social media channels, in your email, on outdoor media when you go out. There’s just an insane amount of messaging being thrown at you every day.

To get through this clutter, a message needs to be different. The more differentiated it is, the higher is the likelihood of it getting through.

How do you differentiate your ads to make them more clickable?

1. Make them visually very attractive – high contrast images with potentially moving elements and less text

2. Have an interesting call to action – deals and discounts work only if they are very attractive

3. Personalize as much as you can – make the user feel like you’re talking to him directly

Personalized ads

Personalized ads

How do you personalize your ads?

To personalize your ads, you need to look at what you know about the consumer and how you’re reaching out to him:

1. Segmentation used to target the user – demographic, interest, behaviour are some of the targeting you can use to personalize your ads. For example, if one of your segments is frequent fliers and you’re selling bags then you can create ads with variations of the message – “Bags you can travel the world with”. You can create a number of segments for bags including new mothers, college students, working professionals (segmented by gender), kids and so on. You can segment by age and show young designs to young people and more sober designs to older people.

2. Context based on where he is seeing the adAd networks allow you to show your ads on particular sites, pages, interest criteria and pages with certain keywords. For example, if you are showing an investment specific ad on CNBC, you could create an ad with the messaging “High return investments you wont find on CNBC today” or something else that refers his interest in that page. This adds personalization based on his current action and piques his interest.

3. Behavioral retargeting – This essentially involves segmenting your website visitors based on your knowledge of their purchase habits and works especially well for e-commerce stores but can be applied by others as well. For example, if someone visits largely shops for low ticket sizes in particular categories related to impulse purchases, then those are the sort of ads that should be shown to a user.

Personalized ads should lead to personalized landing pages with if possible, personalized offers. The more you personalize, the harder it is for someone to not answer back with interest. Its almost like coming across someone on the street and saying something to him specifically. Whether his reply is helpful or not, you are very likely to get his reply which shouting something generic on the street corner is not likely to achieve.

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About Author

Anuraj is an IIM Lucknow alumni with over 10 years of experience in marketing and strategy. He has set up multiple business units for startups and scaled them to sales of over $15 million a year. He is also a marketing expert who has led large marketing teams and handled budgets of over $3 million a year.

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