Online Advertising and User Intent: Part 4: 3rd Party Website Advertising

Many third party websites offer online advertising opportunities. These include professional organizations, online directories, blogs, newsletters, online magazines and journals, news sites, and a variety of informational sites. Online advertising programs for these types of websites are varied and may include banner only (i.e. graphics), text only, or a combination of media which may also allow for video.

In Part 4 of this series, Online Advertising and User Intent (see Part 1: Intro, Part 2: Social Media Advertising, and Part 3: Search Engine Advertising), I hope to show how to apply the concept of user intent to online advertising on third-party websites.

3rd-Party Website Advertising

Your understanding of the intent of your targeted audience groups, or the reason they visit these third-party sites in the first place, provides you with the information you need during your campaign selection, planning, and development process. With some programs, such as Google AdSense, the content network is so vast and diverse that your selection process for where your ads will appear is somewhat restricted. Nonetheless, it is imperative you evaluate each advertising option carefully to avoid wasting your budget and to ensure you meet your goals.

Just as you have profiled your targeted audience groups to identify the characteristics and interests that allow you to develop an impactful advertising message, you must also profile the third-party websites you are considering to ensure your message reaches your intended audiences.

During your evaluation process, here are a few questions to help you along:

  1. What does the website offer?
  2. Who would be interested in what it offers? (Look at the substance of the content presented.)
  3. What type, or types, of audiences are attracted to the content: consumers, business professionals, engineers, purchasing agents, etc?
  4. In what age range might visitors be?
  5. What may be the education level of visitors?
  6. Are they sophisticated readers, highly educated on the subjects offered, or new to the material?
  7. Does what you offer logically fit with the content on the site?
  8. Could the content detract from what you offer?
  9. What do visitors generally do at the site? (i.e. post comments, ask questions, research, relax, play games, etc.)
  10. Is there a particular page or type of content most likely to attract your targeted audiences?

By carefully evaluating these considerations you can make assumptions about the intent of site visitors who frequent the sites you want to place your ads on. With a profile of both the advertising venue and the intent of the visitors it attracts, you have the information you need to select the right sites and to develop your highly focused advertising message. Make sure you are clear about:

  • Whom you are addressing
  • What they will be doing while you are trying to attract their attention

To summarize, advertising on third-party websites follows the same logic as advertising on social media sites. In order to attract the attention of your targeted audience groups, you have to understand and respect why they came there in the first place. By making accurate assumptions, you can develop an effective ad that:

  • Addresses your target audience groups’ known interests
  • Addresses their assumed interests as they relate to their known interests (e.g. “You’re reading about kitchen and bathroom remodeling so you may be interested in the decorative glass I sell for cabinets.”)
  • Taps into their emotion as it relates to their known interests
  • Gets them to take the action you desire without having to abandon why they came to that site in the first place

Read posts in this Series:

Online Advertising and User Intent: Part 1: Intro

Online Advertising and User Intent: Part 2: Social Media Advertising

Online Advertising and User Intent: Part 3: Search Engine Advertising

Online Advertising and User Intent: Part 4: 3rd-Party Website Advertising


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