Personalized Advertising 101: Best Practices For Creating Ads That Suit Your Audience

Advertising can sometimes get a bad rap, but don’t be fooled. In 2020, personalized advertising is more relevant and necessary than ever. Especially when your audience can’t have that 1:1 trade show conversation or up-close-and-personal field event dinner. Right now, it’s all digital, all the time. 

It’s just that these days, customers expect you to do advertising differently. Customers want ads that recommend products and services that will benefit them and improve their lives -- they just don’t want them to feel like ads.

You know you’ve gotten your advertising right when customers don’t even realize that they’re ads. Instead of distracting the customer from their daily activities, you’re anticipating their needs and meeting them right where they’re at. 

So how do you create personalized advertising that speaks to your ideal customer and doesn’t feel like an ad? That’s exactly what this article will explore.

6 Personalized Advertising Best Practices

Customers don’t want to be interrupted by your ads -- especially not ads claiming that your product or service is the best. Instead, customers want to be informed and they want ads that show up as things they want to see in their newsfeed.

Here are six best practices you can use to create personalized advertising for your customers.

1. Implement audience targeting

Effective advertising always starts with knowing who your audience is and how to effectively target them. Targeting ensures that your message cuts through the noise online and shows up in front of the right people.

To identify your target audience, you need to start by defining their firmographics and technographics. This should inform your ideal customer profile (ICP), which is used across your marketing activities. You can either get running with an ad campaign based on your ICP, or go one step further and build a set of target accounts that you go after directly. Either way, you need to be clear on the audience you set up and make sure its best for your business based on segmentation. 

It also helps to identify what is motivating your target audience. What are their values, ambitions, lifestyle, and behavior? Knowing these things will help your narrow in on the right audience and connect with why your product is perfectly suited for them. This is more of a ‘persona’ exercise and will help you inform the ad copy and CTA. 

2. Utilize storytelling

Storytelling has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years, but the importance of it cannot be overstated. Buyers resonate with stories, not product descriptions.

Storytelling is one of the best ways to ensure your ad stands out among all of the other content vying for a prospect’s attention. When you implement storytelling in your advertising, you’re showing potential customers the transformation that’s possible for them.

Just make sure that you utilize storytelling as a way to solve a problem and create trust with your audience. If you resort to fear-based tactics or gimmicks, you’ll end up doing more harm than good. 

3. Include testimonials

This point really goes hand-in-hand with the previous point about storytelling. The best way to show your customers what’s possible for them is by sharing testimonials in your advertising.

Instead of you claiming that your product or service is the best thing out there, why not let your customers do it for you? Many business owners overlook the importance of testimonials, but they are truly the best form of advertising you have.

Testimonials provide a form of social proof that your solution works and provide a clear value proposition to B2B buyers. 

4. Provide value first

When you’re spending money on ads, it’s only natural to want to see a return on your investment. But be careful not to push the call-to-actions too hard.

Your prospects don’t want to see a sales pitch, they want to see valuable information that will solve a problem for them. So you should always focus on giving first before asking customers to buy from you.

A great way to do this is by advertising your content. Hopefully, you’re regularly producing blog posts, case studies, and other helpful content. 

Advertising your content is a great way to encourage people to sign up for your email list. From there, you can nurture the relationship until they are ready to make a purchase.

5. Include a lot of visual content

It’s interesting to see how social media has changed over the past decade. For instance, when Facebook first began most people shared written content and status updates. 

Today, the platform is much more visually appealing, and it’s unlikely a written status update would garner much attention on its own. If you want your ads to stand out, then it can help to focus on creating compelling visual content. 

6. Use retargeting campaigns

And finally, if you want to make the most out of your advertising efforts, you need to incorporate retargeting ads. It takes time for people to know you and trust that you have their best interests in mind. 

Many people will see your ad, come visit your website, and then get distracted by something else and leave. Retargeting ads allow you to advertise to customers that have already interacted with your brand in some way. 

It helps you re-engage with people who have already looked at your website or other content. Retargeting ads are one of the best ways to build awareness for your brand and encourage your customers to move to the next step in the conversion process.

Bottom Line

In many ways, your ads are no different than any other type of online content you’re creating. The goal is to provide value to your audience and continue to nurture the relationship until that person becomes a customer.

Implementing personalized advertising will allow you to create ads that no longer feel like ads.
To learn more about how to engage your audience and turn followers into clients, be sure to check out RollWorks’ account-based platform

About the Author

Jesse Miller, Head of Digital

Leading Digital Marketing @ RollWorks

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