Programmatic has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. But as the fastest growing digital channel - it’s set to grow 31% in 2017 alone - it’s ignored to the detriment of your marketing plan, particularly if you’re targeting a niche. By eschewing scale and being very targeted and specific, brands can retain control and reap the benefits of the channel. Here are the three key steps to take and the strategies brands should follow when targeting a specific audience.
Define your audience as clearly and robustly as possible
Programmatic allows any niche audience to be reached effectively; with so many options available it’s important to translate how this audience may be created and where the pressure points are.
Eligibility is a great place to start - for example, if your product or service requires qualification, say a minimum salary requirement, then you need to start with a quality offline match. Accuracy is a necessity at this stage and programmatic data can make this possible.
Contextual interest works well in demonstrating intent, but it needs to be married with recency and frequency where possible. For example knowing that a person has been reading around luxury watches (even specific brands) is great. As long as it wasn’t 4 years ago… And common sense tells you if someone is reading about something, again and again, you can infer they are much more likely to be genuinely interested, and even that they are further down the process of buying that product/service.
Be clear and realistic with what success looks like for you
Defining and communicating your indicators of success is fundamental. Digital display is a very effective awareness and nurture tool, but with niche audiences, you will need time and messaging which resonates with your precision-targeted audience.
Using multiple ad creatives - ideally sequentially targeted - really helps throughout the campaign and allow a minimum of 4-6 weeks to see results. Unless you are selling low-value products, that impulse purchase (see an ad, click on an ad, make a purchase) just won’t happen.
Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes
No one will know their niche audience better than you, so it’s worth putting yourself in their position. Will the audience trust your brand more if it’s seen on a reputable industry site with only a few ads on the page? Modern programmatic has incredible reach so you don’t need to lose sight of the environment.
To make an impact, use multiple ad sizes which work across all platforms, particularly mobile. Programmatic works across all devices. Having a holistic view of how your audience is engaging helps you control important levers like frequency. Get the message in front of them often enough to make the campaign work, but not so much they feel bombarded.
By Guy O’Brien, co-founder of Encore Digital Media