INtelligent Direct: Strategic Digital Advertising Everyone Should Be Doing

Advertising is the least “direct” method to reach prospect customers, and a lot of money is wasted on serving ad impressions that go ignored, to the wrong audience or worse yet, to a non-human. Even so, marketers of established businesses still blast or attempt to cast the widest net hoping it will cover enough people to make a difference. I get it. Sometimes the cost to be more segmented and strategic to serve impressions is the same cost or more than casting the widest net. It doesn’t need to be though.

There are a few ways to be more strategic and serve ad impressions to a more qualified audience with minimal effort at the height of relevancy. All of these will net you higher ROI and higher click rates on your digital ad dollar.

Website Visitor Display Retargeting (Google Remarketing Pixel)

You can retarget or remarket to visitors of your website with a display ad that is served to the person when visiting other websites. This practice started originally with shopping cart abandonment marketing, but the same technology allows marketers of all business models to reach people who have already shown intent or interest by going to your website. You can simply add the remarketing pixel to your website’s code directly or add it to your tag management container. This allows the pixel to fire once it’s loaded on one or all of your web pages. Then visitors will be served your ad creative after their visit.

The fun part about this practice is that you can serve specific creative based on what web page they visited to be hyper relevant to their visit. This practice was previously considered “creepy” but not anymore. People understand how the technology works. 

Website Visitor Social Retargeting (Facebook Remarketing Pixel)

You can retarget website visitors with an ad in either their Facebook or Instagram feed after they have visited your website. Simply add the Facebook pixel to your website’s code directly or add it to your tag management container. This allows the pixel to fire once it’s loaded on one or all of your web pages. Then visitors will see your ad creative in their feed after their visit.

Of course, remarketing only works wonders if you have traffic going to your website. If you have very little traffic going to your website to learn more or converting into a customer, then driving traffic with advertising is a better spend.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Ad (Based on Google Search)

When someone is searching for the same keyword search terms that align with what you sell, you can use the Google Ad Network to serve your ad in the search results page. Like the example below, if searching with the keyword phrase “furnace repair,” you will see SEM ad results at the top and the bottom of the search results page.

YouTube Pre-Roll Ads (Based on Google Search)

YouTube pre-roll ads are based on Google Search queries as well, where you can run your video as an ad to people who were searching for your exact product or service on Google. For example, let’s say someone searches for “furnace repair Stillwater MN.” If you’re an HVAC company, you could run your video ad on YouTube to everyone who searches that term in Google – so anyone looking for furnace repair in Stillwater MN will see your video while they’re watching the latest show on their favorite YouTube channel.


Almost everything we’ve talked about above is using Google, and that is because, like it or not, they dominate the search engine space. Facebook still dominates the social space. As marketers, our goal is always to influence the next sale, and reaching the right people at the right time with the right message to influence the next sale can only be fueled by data. Google and Facebook have the data.

Jenny Lassi • December 4, 2019

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