Reaching the Right Eyeballs


How to Maximize Your Media Spend


Conversion rates prove it – potential customers marketers serve digital ads to want nothing to do with irrelevant information. When they see an ad that is unrelated to their life, they simply continue to scroll, “fat-finger click” or intentionally click on the ad out of sheer bewilderment. Regardless, these clicks cost money.

Crafting a clear target audience prior to activating any marketing tactic helps shorten ramp-up time, increases ROI and simplifies pivots in strategy. However, not all channels use audience targeting in the same manner. Additionally, media channels have different capabilities in how they can target the ideal customer. It’s important to identify these differences amongst the three most common digital channels today, Social Media, Programmatic Display and Video, and Search Engine Marketing.

Audience Targeting by Channel:

Social Media

Social media ads target users by purchasing audiences based on the social media platforms’ internal user data. The most commonly used channel, Facebook, allows you to layer audience bids based on their geographic location, demographics, interests and behavior. You can even create a ‘Lookalike Audience’ that’s made up of an audience that’s similar to users you’ve already targeted.

Programmatic Display and Video

Programmatic targeting is the most complicated of the three main channels but is the easiest to expand and attract more users in your conversion funnel. Programmatic ad buys involve a marketer purchasing audiences from a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) to serve ads across the entire web. The audiences available to programmatic ads are almost limitless, but there is a danger to this as well. Not all audiences and DSPs are created equal. You want to ensure that the agency you have hired to execute your programmatic ad buys has properly vetted the quality of the vendors they purchase their data from.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM audience targeting, in the strictest sense of the term, is much more of an optimization for further dedicating budget to specific user demographics and interests than it is an all-encompassing targeting strategy. SEM mostly involves targeting user intent via search query keyword bids and adjusting how much you are willing to pay for that user intent based on their geographic location, household income, interests, and recent actions.

The largest platform for SEM, Google Ads, has some of the most detailed user data that lets you target solely on audiences for display and video campaigns within the platform. Much like social media ads, the audiences here are created from internal data that Google has collected about the users of its many properties. These audience groups are a nice middle point between social media and programmatic targeting.

Crafting a clear target audience prior to activating any marketing tactic helps shorten ramp-up time, increases ROI and simplifies pivots in strategy.

Audience Targeting Research:

Knowing the kind of people that make up your current customer base is vital to a solid audience targeting strategy. This kind of information can be acquired by customer surveys, Google Analytics, social media follower lists, third-party aggregate data and CRMs. Allocating resources to formatting this information into a singular data set will increase its usability and impact. Lastly, segmenting data into categories based on where a user is in their purchasing journey or whether they’ve purchased a similar product before, will help you create a realistic timeline to determine the success of your audience targeting efforts.

If you are creating a new product or are a new company without this data, it’s important to be patient and simply make the most prudent decisions you can with the data you have available to you.

Audience Targeting Strategies:

Targeting the proper audience alone isn’t always going to move the needle. Presenting the right content for the audience is another crucial factor. The content a marketer pays to show to their ideal customer should speak to both who the customer is and why they should care about the brand.

When a product or service is essential enough that it’s used in an everyday manner, the ideal audience can easily become too encompassing for its own good. In cases like this, the content created can make all the difference when it comes to narrowing down targeting and lower interaction metrics like CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) or reach metrics like CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impression).

At Defero, we utilized this strategy to help lower the social CPM for a client looking to reach male consumers who are between 25 and 44 years old. The brand produced a lot of themed content centering around sports, music, and general lifestyle trends as these are topics that are generally appealing to men in the target age range.

We began to test running our Facebook and Instagram ads to interest-based audiences that corresponded with the contents’ creative themes. Month-over-month we saw a 23% decrease in CPM, and a 28% increase in total reach. We continued to utilize the audience optimization strategy throughout the remainder of the year and we were able to reach 126% more people as well as decrease CPM 29% year-over-year.


Audience Targeting Optimizations:

While audience targeting is often not the main targeting method of your standard SEM campaign, it can have an astronomical impact on your results with bid adjustments. One of Defero’s international clients recently entered the U.S. market, but lacked data on what their American customer base looked like. We took this as a fantastic opportunity to flex our cross-channel data sharing abilities.

Starting off, social media found the most success in terms of conversion volume and CPA. Our social media team transferred the most successful audience demographics to our SEM team and they were used to craft bid optimizations that were added to the Google Ads search campaigns. The graph shows conversions improved almost immediately. Conversions rates jumped from the starting point of 10.36% to an ending point of 19.06%. That’s nearly an 85% improvement!



A proper audience targeting strategy can be the difference between a marketing plan that treads water and one that opens the revenue generation flood gates. Understanding the path and time to conversion for people in a particular audience set is just as vital. Cutting off marketing efforts too soon can easily lead to potential customers becoming a paying customer of a competitor who was willing to wait. Lastly, make sure successful audience data is shared between channels while recognizing that each marketable platform is used in a different manner.

Contact us today to find out more about how Defero can support your paid media activations through our advanced targeting strategy.

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