Why Online Ad Targeting Can Work, But Don’t Be Creepy
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Do you ever feel that you’re being stalked by online advertising? Well, chances are you probably are.
Targeted advertising has seen a sharp increase in popularity over the last few years and more and more companies are seeing the benefits of creating personal ads over and above a generic adverting campaign.
Yet for the intended viewer the knowledge that they have been specifically targeted can feel a little…creepy. Here’s how to run your targeted campaign without making anyone feel uncomfortable.
Don’t Stalk Your Target
Research shows that people who believe they have been targeted deliberately by advertisers, who have followed them around the internet are far less likely to respond to that company’s advertising.
When we feel our privacy has been intruded upon, that’s when the creep factor begins to set in. There is certainly a difference between targeted advertising and personal intrusion.
Avoid Making Assumptions
While researching your customer is the bread and butter of the advertising world, there are times when advertisers get it wrong and this can go especially badly in the world of targeted online adverts.
If you believe your customer is hoping to buy one product and bombard them with adverts for a rival, a brand they have a troubled history with, then your customer will quickly become irritated with the brand and your actions will have cemented their dislike rather than turn it around.
Real Life Rules Apply
Much like talking behind someone’s back, sneakily acquiring and using information about someone is not acceptable. In the same way this is true in real life, so it is true in our virtual lives. It’s perfectly acceptable to tell a friend that you’re trying to lose your baby weight; it’s not fine for them to tell you need to lose a few pounds. Again, applying these rules to online advertising will shield you from a lot of anger and hostile recipients of weight control emails.
Studies show that adverts that reveal a product is being recommended based on similar purchases or searches often yield better results. This move towards transparency makes the viewer feel their privacy is respected and that while they have had their search history noted, at least the advert admits this up front.
A transparent and honest approach takes out the creepiness factor and opens up the possibility of a two-way trusted relationship, a far more desirable outcome for most advertisers.
Establishing yourself as a trusted brand name is not just about the quality of your product and your customer care. If your advertising falls short of transparency and if you insist on using tactics that customers feel is an intrusion of their privacy, then your credibility is going to take a hit.
Instead strive to use creative rather overly personal methods. Adverts that appeal to a customer’s habits, rather than take advantage of their personal information have been shown to, not only annoy people less, but also have a greater impact on product sales. Take the creep factor out of advertising and stand head and shoulders above your peers.