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As consumers are utilizing multiple channels in their path to purchase, brands must look closely at the platforms on which they are advertising and the types of customers they are looking to prioritize. As the modern consumer journey begins with awareness, moves to interest and conversion and culminates with a purchase, ensuring that both a broad targeting approach and a granular targeting approach are used in order to make an impact is vital.
Below, we’ve outlined distinctions between advertising to an audience and advertising on a platform in order to ensure that you are not only reaching a large consumer pool, but reaching the best targets for your business or product.
Before launching an advertising campaign, the first step that is often over-looked is a thorough evaluation of both your current customer base as well as an assessment of your ideal customer. In order to be sure that you are targeting the right people and creating real value, understanding and gathering crucial information like personal demographics, geographic location, interests, browsing history and more is necessary.
As you are probably noticing already, while advertising to an audience is very much a granular approach, it sets the foundation for your overall marketing strategy. And while we know that thoroughly and accurately identifying your target audience can be a daunting task, there are resources to help your organization do so.
As the eighth largest company in terms of internet reach, Hearst has gone to great lengths to build out audiences through first-party data collected through different media properties nationally including television stations, magazines, newspaper and many more. The Times Union is able to leverage these audiences and the data behind these audiences to create an archetype of your ideal customer – a vital part to creating a model of your customer’s journey through the purchase process.
Hearst and the Times Union have made significant investments in resources to gather crucial information in order to place consumers into different groups. Our comprehensive process and our skilled data team helps you to choose which group is right for you. And as your consumers change and their needs change, our data can change with them. We are constantly revising our strategies to optimize campaigns to deliver the best results and ensure that your return on investment is optimized.
Now that you know who to target, next comes the how. Determining which advertising platform is right for your organization and your organization’s goals is generally a multi-step process – much like determining your target audience.
By definition, advertising platforms are the foundation on which organizations are able to build out their brand’s presence. Advertising platforms include the internet, mobile apps, social media sites and others too numerous to count. These platforms are comprised of unique channels that allow organizations to have a more stream-lined form of communication with consumers and generate revenue more effectively and efficiently.
In reality, there isn’t just a singular advertising platform that is perfect for a business. The correct platform(s) for your organization largely depends on the target audience you have defined, your brand’s message or the type of product sold and last, but not least, the goal of your campaign (i.e. increased membership, increased revenue, increased brand recognition, etc.).
News publications are one such advertising platform comprised of various channels to promote one’s business in order to achieve a multitude of organizational goals. Due to the pandemic, the election and other worldly happenings, news organizations have a heightened profile as citizens rely on them for the latest information and community updates. Organizations such as the Times Union are crafting stories on topics that are vital to communities and community members in order to provide increased value to advertisers. Stories that capture the attention of a reader keeps the reader on the page or site longer which means more time to be exposed to an organization’s ad and a higher likelihood of interaction with the ad.
In addition, to further leverage this engagement for our advertisers, we’ve recently upgraded our sites to make them more engaging and easier to navigate, we’ve created more vibrant ad formats and we’ve ensured that the campaigns that are running are driving the best possible results for businesses.
The distinction between advertising to an audience and advertising on a platform is invaluable knowledge to business owners looking to jump start a marketing campaign – particularly around the holiday shopping season. With these insights, organizations can reap greater rewards in an effective and efficient manner.