Create the Best Native Ads by Knowing Your Audience

By Brax Team

man presenting the best native ads on stage-1

Drilling down into audience demographics will help you to create the best native ads, ensuring you spend every dollar accurately—not aimlessly.

Big Data has gotten some bad press (and a bad rap) lately. But in reality, the oceans of customer-specific information that come with it can be used by marketers in many positive ways.

One of the most compelling arguments for drilling down into demographic data involves understanding your audience: Who are they? Where do they live? What could your products or services do to meet their needs and eliminate their pain points? And how can you ensure these people help you meet your goals, from generating leads to driving transactions?

The best native ads succeed by understanding their audience and speaking directly to individuals rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. Below, we discuss three factors you need to keep in mind when you’re creating your next native ad campaign.

Bring your audience into focus

It’s rare that a national native advertising campaign can speak to all audiences and be equally effective across the board. Even if your products or services have comparable appeal in New York and Nevada, placing native ads in front of every audience demographic without assessing its relevance to those groups means you’re squandering your budget.

To ensure you don’t waste your money, you have to get to know the audience you’re trying to reach. For instance, if your business involves renting out designer prom dresses, your target audience will mainly comprise teenage girls and their moms. Advertising to over-65s or young professional males is unlikely to yield much in the way of results. Equally, if your dress rental business is based in one location, geotargeting will ensure your ads only display to people within a realistic driving distance.

The best native ad platforms all offer different ways to conduct audience segmentation. This guide by Outbrain explains how to create a custom audience for new campaigns and how to retarget existing users. Outbrain recommends creating audience segments of at least 30,000 users, which can be refined using various demographics including geotargeting, platform/operating system, and even whether people have installed ad-blocking software.

Visualize your consumers

One way to decide who to target is by creating a few fictional profiles. We recently explored how to develop these target personas. In the prom dress example, you might create two profiles—a style-conscious girl in senior year at a large school, and a forty-something mom with a comfortable financial status and a teenage daughter living at home. Both are likely to be reachable through Facebook-owned social media platforms, and both are more likely to respond to branded content than traditional advertising. Indeed, a study by Harvard Business Review reported consumers are often enthusiastic about engaging with the best native ads, provided that their personal information has been used in a respectful way.

Once you’ve established who you’re targeting, it’s much easier to determine when they’ll need your services and what obstacles might stand in the way of them completing a transaction. Teenage girls will almost exclusively be using mobile devices—which helps to narrow the focus of a native campaign—and they’re more likely to be connected via iOS than Android. They’ll be looking to create the perfect prom experience, so a native ad image showing a group of girls laughing while wearing designer dresses will appeal to their desire to look good and enjoy prom.

Run with the differences

It’s also important to recognize that a mom and daughter might react to the same ad in markedly different ways. The daughter might share a striking native ad with her friends to share the excitement of seeing a designer dress. Meanwhile, the mom is more likely to be interested in how much it costs, because she’ll probably be paying for it!

Building on this last point, it’s a good idea to develop multiple campaigns, each focusing on a different aspect of your business offer. The dress-wearing prom attendee will be focused on exclusivity and style, so native ads should lead with arresting images and appeals to the heart. A separate campaign targeting the parents could focus more on more practical matters, or incentives like free collection and delivery. That’s irrelevant to a teenager who can’t drive, but it’s a factor that’s potentially a deal-clincher (or deal-breaker) for a parent who’s strapped for time.

Solving problems one click at a time

The best native ads are tailored around an identified audience demographic or multiple demographics. They’ll resonate with the audience’s needs or resolve their pain points, whether in a new campaign or by retargeting existing campaign-clickers.

Find out more about how Brax can help you manage campaigns across multiple platforms like Taboola and Yahoo Gemini, achieving optimal results by designing and targeting the best native ads at relevant consumers.