Fancy Targeting Techniques (and when to use them)

I know Aaron is working on a post for you about Ad Serving and what it’s about, but in the meantime, let’s learn a little bit about the different targeting options you will often have when you advertise online.

For the most part, the biggest options you’ll find concern when and where your ad will appear.

Targeting your ad to a specific time or place can be a very useful tool for creating a successful campaign, but like most things in online advertising — it’s the way that you choose to use it that will determine whether or not it is effective (or worth it).

Geo-targeting: this when your ad is shown only in specific geographic locations.

This kind of targeting is the most intuitive for advertisers to understand. There are many circumstances when it is necessary to use geo-targeting.
• If you have a brick and mortar store with no on-line capabilities.
• If you are promoting a live event in a specific region.
• If you do on-line business and know that most of your customers come from a certain region or country (or you have shipping constraints).

Trap to avoid: over targeting. Many times people get a little too hung up on saying they ONLY want their ad to appear within a certain radius of their physical store because most of their sales happen in person.

Here are some things to think about before you put unnecessary constraints on your ability to generate revenue:

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So, tell me what you want (what you really, really want)


When you are first thinking about online advertising (and pretty frequently after you get started), you should begin by setting some clear goals for your campaign

Begin by asking yourself a few questions about WHY you want to advertise in the first place.

Are you advertising to:

  • To improve your sales?
  • To increase brand awareness?To sell one particular product or bring attention to a sale, event or opportunity?

When you’ve really thought about this, you’ve determined the purpose of your campaign. A good start!

Now, it’s time to get to some specifics:

  • What would a successful campaign look like for you? (How many clicks, sales, leads, etc.)
  • What is your time line for achieving this goal?
  • Is this a short term goal?
  • What would these goals look like in the long term?

Once you think about these goals and have an idea about what you would like to get out of your campaign, it’s important that you share them with the site(s) you plan on advertising with.

Help us help you! If we don’t know what you’re trying to do, we can’t make use of what we know to help you succeed.

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Learning the Lingo: The Basics

To get started with on-line advertising it helps to have a grasp of the lingo. There is a lot of insider vocab that may be thrown around willy-nilly but the first tip I am here to share is: ASK! You are definitely not the first person to question what a certain term might mean. Your ad sales team is prepared to help you. Even if you think you know what something might mean but aren’t 100% sure—ASK! It is okay and we would much rather you understand all of the intricacies before you get started.

I am going to give you a few of the basic terms to get started:

ABOVE THE FOLD: the highest placements on the page that can be seen without scrolling down the website.

CAMPAIGN: your ad sales strategy in order to bring more business to your company.

CLICK: when a viewer on a site clicks on your ad and is brought to your site (different from an impression or pageview when a viewer just views the ad and does not click on it).

CPM: Cost Per 1,000 pageviews. Ads are often sold in this way and often means that they will not appear on the page all of the time (unlike a flat-rate ad).

CREATIVE: your ad image.

CTR: Click Through Rate. During your campaign we can determine your CTR by dividing how many clicks your ad has received by how many pageviews you purchased. This number can give you an idea about how well your campaign/ad is doing and how the viewers are responding.

IMPRESSION: Each time the site is viewed on someone’s computer, the site is re-loaded or a different page of the site is viewed.

PAGEVIEW: For our purposes, this is the same as an impression.  (However, it is possible to have a pageview without an impression – if there is no ad on the page.)

VISIT: Each time a viewer looks at the site (different than a pageview because a viewer could look at multiple pages on the same site and it would be one visit but multiple pageviews).

I hope this helps you to get started and begins to decode a small part of online advertising for you!

Meet the Team: Felice

Hi everyone!

My name is Felice Cleveland, and I’m the Relationship Manager for the Design*Sponge Ad Sales Team.  It’s my job to make sure that our advertisers are taken care of when they do business with us. I answer questions, monitor campaign performance, and generally just do my best to make sure that everything for our advertisers is going smoothly.

In this post, I’d like to share a little peek into the sometimes mysterious and overwhelming world of online advertising. But first, I want to let you know that just a couple of years ago, I was the perfect example of an online advertising rookie.

Let me explain.

By day, I am a museum educator, a returned Peace Corps volunteer and an avid letter writer.

I am adept in the fine arts of pompoms, shrinky dinks, and exquisite corpses. All of which I love to share with students.

I train docents in the obscure knowledge behind visionary art.

I have degrees in Contemporary Art History and Art + Design Education.

I don’t have a blog.

I’m not on Facebook.

I am the exact opposite of anyone who you would imagine would work in Online Advertising.

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