Behavioral Targeting

What is behavioral targeting?

Behavioral targeting is a marketing technique that involves using data collected about people’s online activities (i.e. their web browsing behavior) to display targeted advertising and other marketing messages.

How behavioral targeting works

Behavioral targeting relies on leveraging behavioral data to deliver relevant ads to online users.

It stands to reason, then, that the first step of behavioral targeting is collecting data. 

Behavioral data can come from several sources, including the previous pages that individuals have browsed on your website and previous purchases they’ve made. You can use marketing automation systems to perform this behavioral tracking.

Once you’ve built up a cache of behavioral data about your customers, you can split your overall target audience into smaller customer segments. Each segment of customers should have a behavioral characteristic in common. For instance, women who bought tea cups and individuals who bought trekking bikes would be two different customer segments.

With this data in hand, you can run personalized advertising campaigns that have relevant content for your well-defined customer segments. You can even use website personalization to change up your entire website depending on who’s viewing it.

Benefits of behavioral targeting

Behavioral targeting allows businesses to deliver targeted ads to their potential and existing customers. This has several advantages for both the advertiser and the consumer.

1. More click-throughs

Relevant ads lead to more click-throughs. Just think about it: most online advertising messages you see probably have nothing to do with your interests, so you promptly ignore them. Behavioral targeting puts marketing messages that people are actually interested in seeing in front of them.

The same goes for the content you see on most ecommerce websites. You can personalize your entire website using a marketing solution like OptiMonk, ensuring all the content on your site resonates with each individual web visitor.

2. Higher conversion rates

Targeted ads usually have high conversion rates because they’re relevant for users. When someone actually wants to learn more about the brand, product, or service that’s featured in an ad, they’re more likely to convert. And those conversions lead to more sales.

3. More user engagement

Behavioral targeting allows you to connect with users by leveraging data collection to understand what they care about. Addressing your customers on a personal level creates a more engaging environment and leads to openness and trust.

4. Better user experience

Behavioral targeting is not only about showing relevant content in online advertising. It’s also about smoothing out the user experience and creating a seamless, convenient customer journey. This reduces the amount of time it takes to move through the stages of the customer journey, so making a purchase is easier.

Types of behavioral targeting

There are two types of behavioral targeting, which are differentiated based on where the data used for the targeting comes from (and where the targeting happens).

1. Onsite behavioral targeting

As the name suggests, onsite behavioral targeting uses data collected from a particular website (usually an online store). The goal is to give each user a personalized website experience by displaying ads and relevant content based on their onsite behavior.

2. Network behavioral targeting

This type of targeting takes place on the internet more broadly, serving ads to customers on social networks, search engines, and other websites. Network behavioral targeting uses cookies, IP information, and device-specific IDs to track a user’s web activity, assign users to specific segments, and deliver tailored advertising.