The 31st of October has come and gone, the ghouls have had their +midnight fun, but online advertisers are still intent on doing crazily scary things with their pay per click advertising campaigns.
The current online marketing climate and the incredible emphasis placed on online sales in almost every industry must learn to calm down a little or we might find ourselves in a situation where we simply scare our potential customers away. Well-focused, highly-targeted advertising is one thing. Online marketing stalking is quite another.
The many possibilities for lovers of online advertising optimization to explore
Anything which becomes an obsession in life has the potential to be bad and backfire in your face. For example, too much chocolate can lead to lots of spots or an increase in fatty blubber on your body. Too much sun can be seriously dangerous for the long-term health of your skin. Too much partying and not enough sleep can make you age terribly (even if you are having the time of your life).
Online advertising is just the same. Too much targeting and too high a focus on campaign optimization can lead to a loss of potential customers forever. The problem with online advertising at present is that there are so many ways in which to advertise and optimize that the obsessive advertisers out there can’t let things lie.
If an advertiser wants to, he or she can target a potential customer by:
- geographical location
- type of device being used
- type of Internet connection being used
- IP address information
- time of day
- cookies and whether or not a potential customer has already visited the advertiser’s website
- employing Google Remarketing techniques
- other retargeting techniques via the Facebook Ad Exchange system, for instance
- image, video or text-based advertisements
- other demographics which might include gender, age or nationality
Let’s look at the differences between being an online advertising high-flyer and a seedy online advertising stalker…
Scary, Stalk-like Online Advertising Strategies
When do we go too far? How does the online advertiser know when to stop even if he or she believes that they are acting in the best interests of the consumer, providing him or her with links and information to the products / services that they are likely to be most interested in?
In general, the best thing to do every now and then is to place ourselves in the shoes of the consumer. We are all consumers at some point in our lives. Most people are daily consumers on some level, therefore we know what it feels like to be irritatingly pursued by advertisers and we know what it feels like to feel like
our life / privacy is being invaded by someone who just wants us to cough up some cash.
So, tip number one to avoid being a stalk-like online advertiser is to play the role of the consumer for half an hour every week and reassess whether or not your advertising approach has become just a little too aggressive.
Tip number two is to set up frequency caps which will control and limit the amount of times a single potential customer will be presented with some kind of advertisement from one of the many campaigns you are using to target your audience.
For instance, you might already have been using keywords, geo-targeting, device targeting and some kind of remarketing campaign to track your potential customer and continue feeding him or her with advertisements about a particular product on offer and perhaps even a product that they had shown interest in via Facebook or another social platform.
If you use frequency caps to limit the number of times that single potential customer will see one of your adverts (let’s say a maximum of three advertisement views via each advertising channel) at least you can be sure that you aren’t going to scare anybody off. You can still play with all the kinds of advertising avenues and optimization choices that you wish to and your potential customer doesn’t need to feel threatened by your avid love of online advertising science.
The Healthy Advertiser
Those advertisers who know when they have or have not yet crossed the line are happy to see a steady rise in traffic and online sales. They are happy to let consumers keep the right to simply say “no” to a product, for whatever reason that might be.
These are the people who in-store DON’T follow you around and ask you if you need help every 15 seconds until you eventually feel so threatened that you run out of the door and never look back. These advertisers are the ones who see ROIs over long periods of time and build businesses that last.
The healthy advertiser has limits. He or she recognizes that even though they could target a potential customer even further, it is probably best to let nature take its course and let the prey walk into its own trap in its own time.
Remember what it is like to feel hunted as a consumer and avoid putting your potential clients through the ordeal. Place limits on your campaigns and keep this real. Advertise your products and services. Don’t force feed them.
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