OCTO – The Key to an Effective Digital Advertising Strategy

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Krista Neher

Dec 20 2022

Digital Advertising Strategy

When running a digital advertising strategy, the key to success is matching your Objective, Content, and Target, then Optimizing, which we refer to as OCTO. Many ad campaigns are often not effective because one or more of these elements is poorly defined or executed.


The first step is to clearly define the objective of your ad. Each ad can have only one objective, so you must choose wisely.

What is an Objective?

The ad objective is what you want the ad to do for you.  In digital marketing, you have to choose one objective and optimize for it.

Choosing the right ad objective is important because once that decision has been made, the other parts of the ad will be pre-defined based on it.  The most common ad objectives are Awareness, Traffic, Engagement, Leads, Conversions, and App Installs. 

Each ad network provides slightly different choices for ad objectives, and they frequently add new options. Stay on top of the updates by taking our digital marketing training courses

Each ad objective may also have different content. For example, the content that you would use to generate clicks would be different from the content aimed at building awareness.

Building ad content that specifically matches your business objective will give you the best probability of success.


Great content is critical in digital ads. Businesses sometimes get so lost in the technical elements of running ads that they don’t prioritize the creative. This can make or break your ad. 

Your ad content should be designed to achieve your business objective and be as relevant as possible to your target audience. In addition, you’ll want to incorporate best practices to give your content the best chance possible of standing out.

Here’s a takeaway:

If you want to know if your content is standing out, look at your quality score or relevance score. In as little as 500 impressions, an ad network can tell you if your ad is relevant to the audience that you are sending it.


Once your ad objective is selected, you can choose your target audience. Many businesses don’t take full advantage of the targeting options available.

To target, define your audience as specifically as possible, and don’t be afraid to create multiple ads aimed at multiple target audiences. You can segment your audience into smaller targets to reach each one effectively.

For example, if I am a restaurant owner and I want to reach people 20–50, I can segment them into groups: 20–30, 30–40, and 40-50 and send different ads to each one. I am still reaching the same broad audience, but by segmenting, each audience can receive an ad that is best tailored to them.

Depending on your business and your objective, this may be more effective than trying to reach everyone with the same content.


Optimization is vital to the success of your digital advertising strategy and is one of the things that make digital ads such a powerful marketing tool.

Once you have created and started running your ad, you aren’t locked into anything. You can still make changes to any element of your ad based on how it’s performing. Many businesses do the work upfront to create a great ad, but then let the ad run without checking in on it.

There is a famous saying in marketing – “I know half of my ad spend is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”

Not anymore.

We can know if we take the time.

When getting started, you’ll want to check in regularly, to see how things are performing and make changes. As you gain experience and once you’ve done some initial optimizations, you may check in and optimize weekly.

Big Idea:

If you have an agency executing your digital advertising strategy, ask them what their optimization plan is. Make sure that they are checking your ads regularly and optimizing your budget to maximize your return on investment.

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