How to successfully target your audience with online advertising

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 9:00 am

Scrolling through the depths of Tumblr, amongst GIFs of cats and memes, there was one post in particular that struck me:  the text post called out Tumblr saying that the website had not heard of target advertising. Many college and high school students will see an ad for a luxury car in-between two posts: one being a joke about student debt and the other being a video of an alien riding a skateboard. The truth is both hilarious and devastating, as the owners of these advertisements clearly don’t understand the Tumblr demographic. While this example is obvious, many other companies have failed at target advertising. Placing a teen clothing store advertisement on LinkedIn is just as bad as an advertisement for retirement plans on Snapchat. Choosing the correct website to advertise your business is crucial to seeing revenue from these ads.

Here’s an easy guide to choosing the right website for your online advertising.

The cost of advertising:

$ – Inexpensive

$$ – Moderately Priced

$$$ – Expensive

$$$$ – Big Business Bucks



Facebook ( $)

Facebook is a platform that is quite flexible for most companies. The Facebook demographic is broad, and hosts the largest percentage of the population. That being said, most businesses can benefit from Facebook ads if they are targeting general consumers. The technology used in Facebook advertising helps you line up your arrow to hit your target audience in every ad. The flexibility of these advertisements has made Facebook the leading website in gaining business ad revenue. It’s very rare to meet someone who doesn’t use Facebook so this makes it a safe site to advertise on. Whether you groom dogs or own a candle company, Facebook is a good choice.


Instagram ($)

Who runs Instagram? Girls. Second to Pinterest, Instagram is the largest female dominated site making this demographic much pickier. Advertisements for typically male used products do not see a large success rate on this site. Small to medium businesses can truly benefit if they are marketing a product women love. An ad for a company that creates Mermaid Crowns will see a higher conversion rate compared to an ad for NBA shoes. Creating a visual ad that draws in users is crucial for Instagram advertisements, and once mastered, you can expect great success at a small cost.



YouTube ($)

Much like Facebook, YouTube hosts a broad demographic. There is something for everyone to love on YouTube. However YouTube shares a key ingredient with Instagram – visuals. A simple YouTube banner ad must be creative and intriguing to gain clicks. A YouTube video advertisement is a whole other ballpark as it involves audio and visuals. To avoid the dreaded “Skip Ad” button be sure to give your viewers something they can benefit from. Mystery and comedy are the best ways to keep viewers interested as both provide a sense of intrigue and entertainment. Although, be warned that long YouTube advertisements or pesky pop-up ads can harm your brand more than it can help.  If your brand is associated with annoyance you are likely to push customers away.


LinkedIn ($$)

Two words: business professionals. While it may be possible to sell retail items on LinkedIn, it’s not the smartest plan. Services that benefit business professionals are the most successful advertisements on LinkedIn. Think twice before setting up an ad for custom bejewelled cat carriers on this platform.


Twitter ($$ – $$$$)

Twitter is popular with a younger audience. While the gender difference is fairly small, with men taking the lead, it is clear that predominantly 20-40 year olds use Twitter. This age group has a variety of interests so Twitter, much like Facebook, is hard to get off target with. The price varies, as there are different ways to advertise. From the least expensive to the most, Twitter offers promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends. Choosing the appropriate advertisement that matches your budget is key to seeing conversions.


Snapchat ($$$$)

Are you the CEO of a major corporation? Does everyone, ranging from the man who delivers your newspaper to the lady who does your taxes, know about your business? Didn’t think so. Wait a minute, you are? They do? Well, great news: you can afford to advertise on Snapchat. Try to choose advertisements for a young demographic ranging from 14-28. If you’re a small business, however, you may not be able to afford Snapchat’s ridiculously expensive ads. This is great news for Snapchat users as they are not nearly as bombarded with sales pitches as users on other social media networks. I decided to throw this one in here because Snapchat is planning on decreasing advertisement costs, but until then we can only use the multi thousand-dollar filters Snapchat’s advertisers deliver to us.

Trends Mobile and Web Solutions connects businesses with customers, and customers with the businesses they love through mobile websites, mobile apps and social media services. Our focus is small business – be seen, be connected, be profitable.