Don’t Waste Ad Spend! Implement “Negative Targeting”

Jan 11 By Aziz Kamara

Negative Keywords

The vast majority of those advertising on POF will do “broad” targeting campaigns at one point or another.  I define broad targeting as targeting a relatively large group of people, who are probably very different from one another, but there is no way to distinguish between them in POF.  In other words, “broad” just means most of the traffic that isn’t easily partitioned into it’s own category.

Naturally, the targeting options that are commonly chosen for broad campaigns are gender and age.  Of course, everyone would choose a specific country, login count, etc., but that goes for every campaign.  This way of targeting seems logical, and you can and probably have made campaigns, such as targeting male and ages 18-30, profitable.

Negative Keywords in Search Marketing

For those of you familiar with search marketing, there is option to set a list of what is called “negative” keywords.  When you are targeting a broad keyword, such as “love”, for instance, you might get traffic from a specific keyword “Love in this Club”.  The person who searched “Love in this Club” is probably looking for the song by Usher and not your dating site.  So you might not want to continue paying for the traffic from this keyword.  You can choose to add this to a “negative” keywords list and AdCenter would know to exclude traffic from this keyword to your campaign.

Your Broad Campaigns Compete with Your Niche Campaigns

Apply similar logic to your POF targeting.  Everyone knows that niche traffic is more expensive.  That is, it’s more expensive to bid on traffic with the Jewish religion (I’m going to use Jewish as an example from now on) than not targeting a specific religion.  This is because those niches are better monetized with advertising that’s geared specifically to them.  Therefore, with your broad targeting, you will be competing with the niche targeting campaigns, and in that competition, you will receive a much higher session depth than your more generic traffic.  Said another way, targeting every religion except Jewish will earn you a lower session depth than targeting only Jewish, at the same CPM bid.

Exclude the Niches You Are Going to Tackle From Your Broad Campaigns

Therefore, you should leave Jewish out of your broad targeting campaigns if you want the best bang for your buck.  This is especially true if you are running campaigns in the Jewish niche, where your broad targeting, which encompasses the Jewish religion, would actually compete against your own Jewish specific campaigns.

Now, if you are never going to touch the Jewish niche, you might want to include that as part of your broad targeting just for more traffic.  However, as a serious marketer looking to monetize as much of POF as possible, you should cut POF into pieces and tackle each piece with the best offers and campaign angles to monetize each traffic stream.  That means, either target Caucasian and the non-niche targeting options (e.g. for religion it might be the Christian religions, “non-religious”, and “other”), or carve out a few “negative” targets.  What I mean by “negative” targeting is using the does not equal conditional in POF to specifically exclude niches that you’re going to target from your broad campaigns.  For example, you might want to do a BBW campaign, so then you would exclude the BBW body types from your broad targeting.  That way you’ll spend your advertising dollars more efficiently!

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