The Beginner’s Guide to 6 Types of Ad Targeting

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
August 28, 2019

Whether you’re working with a B2B or B2C advertiser, a campaign should contribute towards an overall marketing strategy. In digital advertising, how you target campaign delivery plays a big part in aligning a campaign with a strategic goal. Targeting capabilities vary based on the type of digital tactic. Understanding the different approaches to ad targeting and optimizing gives you a powerful base to discuss and recommend an impactful campaign strategy for your clients. 

There are many different types of ad targeting. Here are six of the most popular approaches. 


Audience Targeting

Audience targeting is one of the most popular ways for marketers and advertisers to reach their potential consumers with precision and scale based on the audience’s previous online and offline behaviors, interests, intent, location, and demographic information. 

This tactic involves serving ads to a specific audience segment based on demographic or behavioral characteristics such as gender, household income, age group, education level, relationship status, browsing trends, purchase history, and much more.


Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting positions your digital display ad or digital video ad to connect with highly engaged consumers on sites and apps that index high for words and phrases related to your business or service or that you may have defined as relevant to your campaign.


Geotargeting and Geofencing

Geotargeting and geofencing are targeting methods that customize ad delivery based on a specific geographic area right down to the zip code level. 

Geotargeting, sometimes called zoning, delivers specific content based on a user’s location.

Geofencing is a digital advertising strategy that defines a targeted area around a building or a region of interest to serve mobile ads with messages that acknowledge the user's location.

Depending on the nature of your campaign, localized digital advertising can provide better results than reaching out to a broad audience because your promotional efforts are specifically targeted at people who are likely to buy from you. This is especially true for localized businesses.

Learn more about the difference between the two types of location-based targeting in this blog.


Lookalike Targeting

Lookalike targeting uses existing data to identify prospects and target users who are similar to leads that have previously been successful (i.e., existing clients or sales-qualified leads). This tactic extends your campaign’s reach and optimizes your spend to help you get in front of audiences that are most likely to convert.



Retargeting keeps your brand in front of viewers who have already shown interest in a brand or product offering. 

The advertiser installs a pixel on its site that logs when a user visits the site within a certain time frame. Using this data, the advertiser can run a campaign targeted to these visitors to remind them of a product or offer for which they’ve shown an interest.

Here’s an example: A man browses for a jacket online and maybe even checks out a particular style that he likes, but doesn’t purchase the item. The brand that makes the jacket has a vested interest in following up with this shopper because he looked at a specific item that he likely intends to purchase. The brand then later serves him an ad for the product on his desktop or mobile device.


IP Targeting

IP targeting delivers digital ads to a mobile or desktop device based on its physical location, which is determined using the address associated with an Internet Protocol (IP) address. 

IP targeting is often used in conjunction with direct mail campaigns.

At ZypMedia, we power our partners with efficient DSP technology and relationships designed to connect advertisers with the right premium, high-quality audiences using the right targeting strategy. 

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Picture of Amrita Hemdev

Amrita Hemdev

Amrita is an inbound marketer. She studied marketing and project management at UC Berkeley and proceeded to work in a fast-paced, digital advertising tech startup, with a goal of increasing brand awareness. She is currently the Content Marketing Specialist at ZypMedia. Passionate about digital marketing and having six years of experience in this field, she also started her digital marketing and creative agency, Sociato, based in India.