How to reach the right audience with Display Advertising

Reaching the right audience with the right display advertising strategy

1 Overview

The challenge

The success of display advertising relies on targeting the right audience with the right message.

Your aim

To research and incorporate how your display advertising strategy needs to change in order to find the right audience and message when expanding to other US states.

How to go about it

Google Ads has two main networks: Search and Display. The Search Network reaches people when they’re already searching for specific goods or services they want to buy. The Display Network helps you capture someone's attention earlier in the buying cycle, with a variety of ad formats across the digital universe. This network spans over two million websites reaching over 90% of people on the Internet. It’s designed to help you find the right audience across millions of websites in the United States and globally. It lets you be strategic and put your message in front of potential customers at the right place and right time.

Let's look at what you need to consider when you are planning a Display campaign to reach a new audience in other US states.

2 Research and planning

Do your research

It pays dividends to allocate time to research and understand in-depth exactly who your buyer is. Everything else, from targeting to ad creation, is based on that knowledge.

Remember that a product that’s popular at home might not reach those same stratospheric heights elsewhere. Take into account cultural and geographic differences such as socio-economy, climate and seasonality, politics, even history. For instance, say you are looking for states with high popularity of beverages as potential market for your instant coffee. However, all the states listed in high beverage popularity may not be your target market. According to Walmart 2017 sales data, sparkling cider was a popular beverage in Florida, instant coffee in Indiana and orange juice in South Dakota.

Plan your campaign

Begin to plan your display ad campaign well in advance, particularly as you determine the logistics involved.

Your considerations:

  • What do you want to achieve?
    • Sell more products or services?
    • Build customer loyalty?
    • Engage with customers?
    • Increase brand awareness?
  • What do you want to say?
  • Are you offering a deal or discount?
  • How should your ads look?
  • Which payment methods are preferred in your target markets?
  • What are the technical requirements?
  • What are the production lead times?

Localizing the campaign

Multicultural consumers account for more than 120 million people collectively and, in 2018, had a spending power of $4.1 trillion dollars. [source] Out of this impressive number, the buying power of the U.S. Hispanic population was $1.539 trillion, while African and Asian Americans spent $1.3 and $1.013 trillion respectively. [source] Over the past decade, multicultural shoppers drove 75% of expenditures growth. [source]

According to a study by Magna Global, 84% of bilingual Hispanics and 79% of second-generation Hispanics say that their culture impacts who they are today. Approximately 75% of African Americans are more likely to consider a brand that reflects their culture positively. Considering the above-mentioned facts you may want to assess the need to localize or adapt your campaign to the cultural preferences of multicultural consumers in different states of the US.

Reach the right audience

Google Ads location targeting allows your ads to appear in the geographic locations you choose: countries, areas within a country, a radius around a location, or location groups. It helps you focus your advertising on the areas where you'll find the right customers, and restrict it in areas where you won't. Once you’ve found your perfect audience, it’s time to consider how you want to reach them.

By placements

Within the Display Network, you can select types of pages or specific websites for your ads, as well as audiences to show your ads to. With these manual placements, you can show your ad on specific web pages, online videos, games, RSS feeds and mobile sites and apps that you select. You can even block your ads from websites that you don't think are relevant.

By audience

Here are the ways you can target your ads to reach specific groups of people:


Depending on your advertising goals, you can choose the audience that best matches your customers.

  • To drive brand awareness, use affinity audiences to reach broad TV-like audiences
  • To reach as many potential customers as possible with an affinity for a specific product area, use custom affinity audiences
  • To reach specific audiences actively shopping for a product or service, use in-market audiences instead

You can also use keywords to reach audiences researching products or services like yours. Audience keywords allow your ads to reach people likely to be interested in certain terms, based on their current and past browsing behavior


This option can help you reach people who have previously visited your website while they visit other sites on the Google Display Network. You’ll find remarketing alongside interest categories in your account.


This option allows you to reach people who are likely to be within the age, gender, and parental status demographic group that you choose. With audiences, you don't manually select places to show your ads. In this case, the sites or apps where your ads appear based on these methods are labeled ‘automatic placements’ in your statistics table on the Placements tab.

Consider your competition

Understand who your competition is in your new market, and what they’re doing. This can help you determine how to pitch your display advertising, decide on your reach, frequency, and CPM costs. It pays dividends to have realistic expectations on what to expect for each new market you enter.