How to Use Targeting in a Media Buying Campaign


You know the Mobidea Academy is always making sure to stress out just how important it is for you to launch your campaigns correctly and to understand what is your campaign target audience before starting to play.

Indeed, letting one parameter become neglected is a huge media buying crime that deserves an excruciating punishment!

We see this stuff happen all the time in targeted direct mail campaigns and it just ain’t right!

By reading Mobidea Academy’s super informative articles, you’ve been able to understand that having a well-performing tracker is a hugely important step for you to always be up to date on the performance of your campaigns and the improvements that can be made.

Learn More: 8 Mobile Marketing Campaign Performance Facts to Know

We mentioned how crucial it is to find the right offers, pick the best-suited affiliate network and even the best traffic source.

Today, though, we’re gonna give you something different.

It’s all about Campaign Targeting in Affiliate Marketing!

Target advertising campaign.

How often have you read these words without knowing what it was all about?

No worries!

It’s time for you to find out how to create a target ad campaign like the best of them!

We’ll let you know what it’s all about, how important it is to your overall media buying strategy, and we’ll also give you some insights about this mighty crucial concept.

This is the most important aspect when it comes to creating media buying campaigns!

Related: How to Create Media Buying Campaigns Like a Pro

Media Buying targeting is all about who you’re showing your ad to.

There are targeted ads, targeted email campaigns, targeted marketing campaigns, and you can even create a target social media campaign to improve revenues!

Learn More: The 5 Best Alternatives to Facebook Ads

That’s right!

This is a big deal and part of the media buying 101 lesson!

This means it can either make or break your campaign!

Ready to learn more about campaign targeting and targeted campaigns?

Want a campaign targeting definition?

Let’s go!

What is Campaign Targeting and Why Use Campaign Targeting?

What is targeting in media buying?

In media buying, campaign targeting is the ability to target a specific group of people, GEO, Operating System or any other particular aspect you want to target.

Usually, media buyers target campaigns based on reliable data they analyze, which allows them to decide that a campaign will become more profitable if it becomes more targeted to a certain slice of the global audience.

Targeting is one of the most important concepts in affiliate marketing.

Got your targeting wrong in your media buying process?

You might as well be sending that cash out the window.

Why is it so important to have thorough online targeting settings?

When you target wrongly, you lose money.

When you target right but don’t see conversions, you gather data.

First scenario:

You’ll have data that doesn’t matter to you, because you can’t do anything with it.

Second scenario:

You’ll gather essential data to optimize later on.

This is why campaign targeting is so important in this game.

You make your decisions based on the data you gather, meaning that this is a fundamental parameter you need to think about at all times.

A well-performed campaign targeting can increase the conversion rates and the CTRs.

It can also make sure you get traffic of a higher quality; traffic which is more suitable to what you’re looking for.

And guess what?

Even if you don’t see any conversions at first, you know you’re gathering data to make better and wiser decisions.

Campaign Targeting in Affiliate Marketing: General Overview

Your media buying adventure will allow you to meet all sorts of affiliate marketing players.

You’ll come across a variety of ad networks, affiliate networks, offers, account managers, etc.

Related: What is an Ad Network and How to Effectively Use It

But there’s something common that you’ll find on all traffic sources that you’re buying traffic from.

What’s that?

Campaign Targeting.

Different networks will have different targeting campaigns and features.

When it comes down to it, though, they all lead to the same targeting parameters, i.e., country, operator, browser, operating system, etc.

Some networks will have shallow and basic targeting options, while other ad networks that you find in this business will have really detailed targeting options.

Experienced players usually like to work with detailed targeting options, while newbies are usually advised to start with wider and more general targeting campaign options.

But this is something that depends on the level of expertise and guidance you have.

Media Buying Campaigns: Basic Targeting

Basic targeting is the simplest and most common targeting you can find while creating your campaigns.


It usually allows you to select the category of your traffic, ad format and the country from where you want to buy traffic.

basic targeting

Media Buying Campaigns: Advanced Targeting

Advanced targeting is a kind of targeting in affiliate marketing which allows you to target an audience more precisely through such parameters as selecting the carrier, operating system, device, and the specific location of the users.


Operator targeting allows you to target your campaigns to users based on their mobile carriers.

How to select the operator?

First, you need to check which carriers are accepted by the offer you’re going to promote.

Second, you can count on your account manager to provide you with the information on performance for all the carriers and Wi-Fi.

Third, check the volumes and the bids on your ad network.


In general, Wi-Fi has huge volumes.

However, it’s also got a lower performance than Carrier traffic.

Learn More: 3G Traffic vs Wi-Fi Traffic: The Expert Point of View

This means that – if you’re a newbie – launching campaign for US Wi-Fi may not be the best idea.

Our advice?

Create a separate campaign per each carrier, so you can analyze it in more detail.

Operating Systems & Devices

That’s right!

Campaigns can be set to target specific operating systems and devices, which gives you greater control over the audience who actually see your ad.

There are a whole lotta operating systems.

Even so, we must highlight Android, iOS and Windows mobile.

Generally speaking, Android is the operating system with the biggest volumes.

However, you’ll also notice that users tend to use iOS in some countries (e.g United States, Canada, Australia.)

Taking this into consideration, you need to check the volumes and performance of each operating system to make the best choice for your campaign.

Users are using different devices to navigate the online world, but the majority of mobile users are connected via phones.

Don’t restrict your campaigns to phones only, though.


Because tablets, for instance, may have a decent performance in some GEOs.


Language targeting allows you to filter users based on their language.

This feature is particularly useful for countries which use several different languages.

Imagine you want to launch a campaign for Belgium.


This is a country in which people speak Dutch, French and German.

How to go about it?

In this case, you can create different campaigns separated by language and use creatives in the proper language, which will surely increase your conversion rates.

Moreover, there are some kinds of offers which are directed at a specific audience.

We’re referring to offers for Spanish-speaking users who live in the United States, for instance.

What does this mean?

That you can easily target language on the campaign settings.


Dayparting allows you to select the exact times of the day in which you want your campaigns to run and also in which specific time zone.

The results of your campaign may vary during the day, depending on the offer type.

Adult offers tend to perform better in the evening and at night.

What to do?

You can select the hours when the performance is awesome and target only those specific time periods, which will help you to effectively cut your costs.


Websites are some of the most important parameters of your campaigns.

Website targeting will give you the opportunity to promote your ads on the sites which showcase the best performance.

This will also allow you to create whitelists!

Want to know how to do it like a true pro?

Get ready to read because we’ve got a case study for you!

Some ad networks are quite open about producing info regarding websites and even corresponding zones.

exoclick website targeting

Example: website targeting on ExoClick

Other ad networks won’t give you the info on the website name, which means you’ll have source IDs.

stats per widget MGID

Example: stats per widget ID on MGID

What’s more important?

The opportunity to optimize your stats, based on the info provided, whether it be website name or source ID.


Some ad networks have keyword targeting.

This means you can pick words or phrases related to the offer you’re promoting in order to target relevant users.

Each keyword will gather traffic from several websites.

Want to make sure your ad has got the best exposure possible?

Then go ahead and use generic keywords.

There are many ad networks which have handy traffic estimators for keywords.

These show you the amount of traffic for each selected keyword in a specific country, device, or operating system.

traffic estimator zeropark

Example: traffic estimator by keywords on ZeroPark

Wondering how to come up with ideas for awesome keywords?

Nowadays, there are a lot of tools which can help you out.

We recommend you try SEMrush (Exclusive 30-day free trial) or Long Tail Pro, which gives you a huge variety of keywords connected to the one you’ve selected.

You can also use ubersuggest or WordStream!

Learn More: How to Write SEO-Friendly Content in 2017 (A Step by Step Guide)

IP Range targeting

Many affiliates collect their personal lists of IP addresses, which help them improve performance by addressing the ads to relevant users only.

Beware, though:

The performance of your IP list may vary.

It can be better or worse than targeting a specific carrier on an ad network.

What’s the advice?

Test both and compare the performance to choose the winner!

Where to get the IP ranges like a media buying veteran?

Have you been running your affiliate marketing campaign for a while now?

Then the easiest way of getting IPs is from your stats.

Just check your tracker’s stats for IP for the carrier you want.

You can also ask your affiliate manager for IP ranges.

Advertisers usually share the lists of IPs with the affiliate network.

This means your account manager will gladly give them to you.

You should get close with your account manager.


Because they can give you the IPs which have successfully converted on the whole network.

You can use third-party services and purchase data bases of IPs, such as Maxmind.


Not all IPs have a good performance, but you can always cut the ones that are damaging your overall results.

Regional targeting features

Remember basic targeting?

When we explained what geographic targeting was all about?

That’s right!

Geo targeting allows you to select the country from which you want to receive traffic.

Regional targeting is a more advanced feature.

Here, you can select regions, going inside each specific country.

This means you can target the state of Alabama directly, for example.

location targeting exoclick

Example: locations targeting on ExoClick

This parameter is widely used in the promotion of campaigns directed at a specific region, such as dating campaigns, sweepstakes and coupons/vouchers.


Retargeting is a form of targeted advertising, which is targeted at customers selected based on their previous online behavior.

This targeting option helps to make ads more personal and really create target advertising campaigns that get you some awesome conversions.

Want an example of this type of ad network targeting?

Imagine you’ve been searching for pills to lose weight online.

What’s gonna happen, thanks to mobile performance marketing and its amazing ability to be everywhere?

You’ll start seeing some ads for the amazing pills that match your interest.

How’s it even possible?

It can be easily explained by the cookies stored in your browser and their careful analysis.

By showing users an ad that matches their interest, retargeting helps to increase conversion rates.

That’s how specific it gets, bro!

Demographic targeting

With demographic targeting, you can reach a specific set of potential users, who’ll fall into a particular age range, gender, parental status, etc.

Imagine you want to promote beauty kits for girls.

This would be an example of targeting women on your campaign.

Demographic targeting helps you narrow your audience.

This means you need to set these settings for specific product promotions.

Otherwise, test it and see the results!

demographic targeting facebook

Example: demographic targeting on Facebook

User Interests

Targeting by user interests allows you to select the audience, based on their preference of product and services.

The range of interests varies depending on the ad network.

It covers such topics as entertainment, travel, computers, cars.

It then allows you to choose the one that’s best suited for you.

Interest targeting means that you’re targeting quite a large audience.

This means it’s always nice to use it in combination with other targeting parameters.

user interest targeting on adcash

Example: user interest targeting on Adcash

Top Targeting Strategies

Strategy Number One

Always check estimated volumes for the parameter of your targeting.

You don’t wanna end up with a campaign that’s not getting any traffic.

Strategy Number Two

What is digital media buying without correlations?


Remember that targeting parameters are correlated to one another.

You shouldn’t include Safari browser and cut iOS, for instance.


Don’t forget!

Strategy Number Three

Don’t be afraid of testing with a wide targeting.

Data is gold.

Without trying, you won’t know the result of your targeting optimization!

Be the one who’s eager to find new ways to play the media buying game and explore goldmines like a pro!

Related: Trail the Unexplored Path – Explore Gold Mines

Strategy Number Four

Maintain good relationships with you account managers on ad networks.

They’re the ones who can make magic happen.

They can effectively open more targeting options for you (such as carrier targeting), which are not visible to just anyone!


What is targeting in media buying?

Now you know, brother!

As you’ve been able to read in this awesome online media buying targeting article, there are several different targeting options you have at your disposal when you create an affiliate marketing campaign.

Targeting options are really important if you want to make it in this game.

We’ve seen the basics and the advanced settings that you can find when creating a campaign, so keep an eye on them and remember that minimal alterations to a parameter of your campaign can make or break your affiliate journey!

Remember that the targeting options are different from ad network to ad network, and that – sometimes – you may not find a setting that you’d find on another ad network.

Even so, there are ad networks with targeting capabilities are all over the place, ready for you to make it rain!

Ready to target like a master?

Go for it!



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