Branding vs. Targeting: 6 Steps to Online Branding

Before the internet, the options for advertising your practice, while still greatly varied, did not have the accuracy that internet advertising had.

You picked a TV channel at a certain time, or during certain show, and you hoped your market was watching. The same went for radio. Of course print mediums allowed you to put your name out there with slightly more accuracy of audience, you still couldn’t be 100% sure you were putting your name up in front of a hyper-targeted audience.

And getting hyper-targeted is what search advertising lets us do (that’s Adwords Search and Bing Search). We can pick the exact thing someone is thinking, and then show them what they want to see. They’ll click, and we’ll show them something else they want to see.

But that’s not all that the internet lets you do.


Facebook and Google also let you do branding (like TV or radio), and you can do it much cheaper than TV or radio. Here’s how:

1. We create display ads that market your practice. We can actually write the ad text the same as search advertising.

2. We create lookalike audiences. We use retargeting pixels or email lists to create an audience we know will like our ads, and then we use Facebook’s software to create a similar audience. That will be our jumping off point for branding.

3. We choose our targeting interests. These are broad categories that include hundreds of thousands (or millions, in some cases) of people with certain interests. Google and Facebook have similar options, but the platforms create some slightly varied results.

4. We run the ads. We start with this broad audience to see where we get bites. Certain interests will work better than others, and later we can optimize.

5. We optimize our targeting. This is when we narrow down the options. Perhaps one interest group is clicking a lot, but not buying or calling — those people obviously don’t want/need what we’re selling and it’s not worth our money to show them ads. Every time your run a test (optimally 10-15 days), narrow down the options a little bit.

6. We repeat steps 4 and 5. This is what we’re going to do over and over again. Occasionally we’ll also repeat step 1, and tweak the ads.

Ultimately, internet branding is very similar to TV or radio. You create something, somewhat randomly choose an audience, and test it for a little while. If it works, you stick with it. If it doesn’t you make a change.

Combining branding with target ads is fantastic, but start small. Branding is the easiest way to start throwing money at the wall without bringing any results. Remember to regiment you approach and follow the steps above.