Self-serve’s silver bullet: relevance in advertising

self-serve's silver bullet

What is self-serve’s silver bullet?

How many times have you been shown an advert and thought to yourself: “who do they think I am?”. When an advert is relevant, it can help us solve our health problems, find the perfect gift for a loved one, book a dream holiday, even try a new career. When an advert isn’t relevant to us, it’s a waste of our time – and a waste of money for the brand that paid to put it in front of us. It’s like being harassed by a pushy stall-owner touting goods that you have no intention of buying. 

Relevance = Attention

So for an advert to succeed it must be relevant and reach its intended audience. Marketers typically have a good idea of their ideal consumer, but they may not always have the tools necessary to reach their most relevant audiences. This maxim is particularly true for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Lacking the enormous advertising budgets of their corporate counterparts, smaller brands and companies are under even more pressure to get the maximum bang for their buck. 

Big Tech isn’t always Best Tech

It’s no secret that most SME advertising today is handled by a few vendors; Google and Facebook are the undisputed dominant forces in small-deal advertising. But a monopoly tends to benefit the seller more than the buyer as they increasingly exploit their dominant position in the market. According to an extensive survey by Weebly, 62 percent of small business owners say their paid ads on Facebook are missing the target. “One small business owner tells Weebly, “We very rarely have ever gotten sales through Facebook. We feel that ‘Friends’ on Facebook would rather interact than be sold to. Trying to sell via Facebook is like walking around at a party and passing out business cards trying to sell your products to friends who would rather be socializing than dealing with a sales attempt.””

Location, location, location

Again, the issue of relevance presents itself. When are your consumers in the right state of mind to be open towards buying your product? Is it when they’re scrolling Facebook and catching up with their friends? Perhaps. But say you’re advertising a watersports business in Barcelona; wouldn’t it be more relevant to target people looking for holiday activities in the region, on a site like Tripadvisor or Expedia?

Making sure your adverts are relevant is deeper than just identifying the correct demographics (age, gender, etc). You need to think about when and where you approach your prospect. Do you do it when they’re relaxing at home or do you do it when they’re specifically looking for solutions that you can provide? That when you need self-serve’s silver bullet: relevance. 

Set your sights beyond social

If you want to do the latter, you need to look beyond Facebook and Google. For travel and hospitality businesses, Tripadvisor Media Manager offers unparalleled access to an engaged and relevant audience (491 million of them). Likewise, the Expedia Group Ad Builder is a direct channel to trusted brands like Expedia,, and Travelocity. If you want your song to reach music lovers, the Soundcloud Promote tool serves up an audience ready to listen. For sports lovers, there’s the Barstool Audience Network.

Each of these platforms uses self-serve technology to sell ad space, in a model designed with SME success in mind. Self-serve combines the ease of use that advertisers have come to expect from Facebook and Google promotional tools with the unrivalled relevance of industry-leading publishing networks. For a crash course in self-serve advertising, check out our blog post: What is self-service advertising? Or you could always reach us directly – let’s talk!

About DanAds

We are the industry-leading provider of self-serve technology, supplying publishers with white-labelled and customisable self-serve ad platforms

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Sign up for our newsletter