How to Connect with Consumers Online

Posted on Apr 23, 2021


By Megan McKoy-Noe, CCC, and Tina Potter

Are you leveraging digital advertising technology to get targeted, relevant messages to your consumers?

We partner with utilities to engage consumers with targeted digital advertising. Every utility is different. Advertising tactics depend on the audience, how you’re trying to target them and utility goals.

Before you start your next advertising campaign, take a moment to learn about targeting options and how new technology can boost your reach.

Our eBook, “Seven Ways to Keep Digital Ads on Target, helps you target digital advertising efforts.

Get the eBook:

Here are highlights from the eBook, including targeting options and three of our favorite digital advertising tactics.

 

Targeting Options

Tired of paying for people who can’t use your services to see your ads? Digital advertising technology makes it easier than ever to reach the people who matter most to your utility.

Show your ad to targeted audiences based on:

  • Demographics
  • Online behavior
  • Offline behavior: Where people have been recently with a mobile phone (location, business, store).
  • Location: Address list or people who visit specific spots.
  • Search Terms: Keywords related to your message.
  • Contextual: Ads placed on websites related to a campaign. Target up to 500 keywords.
  • Artificial intelligence: Based on who already interacts from you, what other like-minded people might be interested in your message?
  • Retargeting: When someone visits your website but does not finish an action, ads follow them on other websites.

Every targeting strategy is not available for all types of digital ads. We highlight which pairs well with each advertising option below.

 

Three New Advertising Tactics

Banner ads are still alive and well, but have you tried embedding your content inside regional news stories? Native advertising, social mirroring and mobile conquesting top the list of ways you can connect with consumers online.

1. Native Ads
Native ads let you embed your message on a website. Instead of an image or video set apart from a website’s content, native ads are dynamically created to match the website they’re on. The ad’s color, font and format change to fit any page. Native ads can be a traditional display ad or videos. The power of this tool is that they go across all devices, matching the look and feel of each website. They allow you to place an ad and make it look like it fits within the content.
Target by: Location, Behavioral, Contextual, Retargeting, Artificial Intelligence

 

2. Social Mirroring
If it looks like a social media post and can be clicked like a social media post, is it really an ad? Meet social mirroring. These advertisements look just like a post, but instead of being on one social platform, we’re able to apply the ad to other websites and apps. To create a social mirroring ad, start with original content: an organic post on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest or SnapChat channel.
Target by: Location, Behavioral, Contextual, Retargeting, Artificial Intelligence

 

3. Mobile Conquesting
Tired of paying to advertise to people who can’t use your services? Try mobile conquesting. This concept — serving display ads or video ads on mobile devices based on where someone lives — helps cut wasteful ad spending for utilities who only want to talk to their consumers, not the general public. Use a consumer service territory (ZIP codes) or a service list. No names or phone numbers are needed to protect privacy.
Target by: Location, Behavioral (on and offline)

 

Ready to Target Your Advertising?

Successful digital advertising helps your messages hit home while limiting your reach to the people you want to engage (and who are interested in you, too).

Start developing your strategy by setting a budget. We created a chart with average retail digital rates based on cost per thousand impressions (CPM).

A chart listing the average retail rates for digital advertising as of March 2021.

The chart gives you an idea of how much investment you should budget for each tactic. Keep in mind when you work with Pioneer, we negotiate lower prices.

Depending on your budget, we can layer more advertising platforms and more behavioral or keyword targeting. If you have a shoestring budget, divide and conquer. Start with a smaller geotarget focus, saturate them with your message for a period of time, then move on to the next area.

Don’t spread yourself so thin across a large geotarget that you don’t get to use as many platforms to share your message.

To explore all of the new digital advertising options available to utility communicators, download Pioneer Utility Resources eBook, “Seven Ways to Keep Digital Ads on Target.”

Get the eBook:

 

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