09 August 2023

The power of optimised targeting for enhanced results

Target with arrow

In summary

  • Optimised targeting is a feature in DV360 that allow advertisers to reach new and relevant users based on predefined audiences
  • Optimised targeting can be beneficial in many ways including improving campaign performance and as alternate solutions to the deprecation of third-party cookies and similar audiences
  • Meta and Twitter have their own versions of optimised targeting, similar to Google’s DV360

What is optimised targeting?

Optimised targeting is a feature found in Display & Video 360 (DV360) that allows advertisers to expand their reach to new users that are relevant to their targeted audience list/s and those that have been identified to most likely convert. This feature primarily aims to improve campaign performance and return on investment (ROI) and can be enabled in YouTube, display, video and audio line items.

Benefits of optimised targeting

Improve campaign performance

Optimised targeting focuses on optimising towards relevant campaign KPIs and reaching users that are likely to convert. As a result, you may reach audiences that you may not have thought to previously target whilst maintaining cost efficiency. Optimised targeting will seek audiences who have similar behaviours, interests and look up the same or similar keywords.

Optimised targeting should be used for advertisers seeking to:

  • Scale their display, video or discovery campaign
  • Increase their conversion rate without increasing their bids or budget
  • Acquire new customers that will be responsive to their campaign

Alternate solution to reach audiences without third-party cookies

With the deprecation of third-party cookies restricting advertisers from collecting user data, optimised targeting can be an alternate solution for ad targeting as it relies on first-party and real-time conversion data to seek potential ad placements. First-party data is directly collected from customers who have given consent, enhancing brand trust and respecting the rise of user privacy concerns.

Use as a lookalike strategy

With the deprecation of similar audiences, optimised targeting can be considered similar to a lookalike strategy as this feature seeks new but related users. To only target audiences that are a result of optimised targeting, exclude your seed audience that you are also targeting.

Excluding seed audience list

How does optimised targeting work?

Optimised targeting seeks opportunities and potential customers that are most likely to convert, and thus may adjust the way your campaign serves ads if it finds better performing traffic. It utilises real-time data, such as clicks and conversions, in addition to audience lists to aid in the creation of a user profile that optimises towards campaign KPIs. As a result, you must have the following in your line item settings to enable optimised targeting:

  • Audience list: first-party, third-party or Google audience segments (e.g. affinity, in-market)
  • Automated bidding strategy / custom bidding strategy

Optimised targeting can be used in conjunction with custom bidding strategies which allow you to customise your campaign goals and improve your ROI.

How to turn on optimised targeting

Once you have implemented an audience list and are using either an automated or custom bidding strategy, the option to enable optimised targeting can be found in the ‘Targeting’ settings of your line item.

Turn on optimised targeting

Optimised targeting is automatically enabled for display, video and audio line items that use automated bidding and an eligible audience list. When creating a new YouTube line item that use audience lists for targeting in ad groups, optimised targeting will also be automatically turned on.

Reporting on optimised targeting

You can view which impressions have come from optimised targeting as opposed to your selected audience segment in offline reports on DV360. The optimised targeting dimension is compatible with the advertiser, insertion order, line item and date dimensions. The report will indicate with a ‘Yes’ to show that the impression came from optimised targeting, or a ‘No’ to show that the impression came from your selected audience segment.

Optimised targeting dimension reporting

Considerations when using optimised targeting

  • An automated or custom bidding strategy must be used for machine-learning algorithms to identify which audiences will most likely to positively respond to your ad/s.
  • Ads will be served to the best performing traffic which may mean reducing traffic to your manually targeted audience list.
  • When initially using optimised targeting, your average CPA may fluctuate as the feature slowly learns which targeting works best to enhance conversions but will become more consistent over time.

Optimised targeting on other platforms

Meta Advantage Detailed Targeting

Meta’s Advantage Detailed Targeting allow advertisers to reach a larger audience by targeting people who are likely to get you more or cheaper results and adjusts according to your campaign performance. This feature is similar to Google’s optimised targeting by requiring a predefined audience. It is automatically enabled and cannot be turned off if you are using a Conversions, Mobile App Installs or Message objectives. For other objectives, if the system finds that it could improve campaign performance, Advantage Detailed Targeting will be implemented with the option to opt out.

Twitter Optimised Targeting

Twitter’s Optimised Targeting seek to reach users beyond your target audience through the use of an engagement-based model. This involves leveraging on-platform signals and behaviour, such as the type of content users have previously interacted with, to determine if a user is likely to engage with an ad. As a result, this allows advertisers on Twitter to reach an opportunistic audience without the need to constantly tweak their targeting settings.

Next steps

Head over to DV360 to explore optimised targeting yourself! If you would like further insight and learn how you can get the best value out of optimised targeting, get in touch with the team at Louder.

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About Celine Wong

Celine is a digital advertising specialist. In her spare time, she enjoys doing nail art, shopping and trying new desserts.