Ad Targeting

You may already be familiar with the correlation of Google Ads and SEO but what about income-based ad targeting? Even if a customer is otherwise a perfect match for one of your advertisements, there’s no guarantee they’re in the right income bracket. On the one hand, people at the lower end of the spectrum may be unable to afford your goods, especially if you’re a luxury brand. On the other, if you sell more affordable products, people with a higher household income may view your business as too “cheap” for their tastes.

What Is Income-Based Targeting?

That’s where income targeting comes in. A tool provided by both Google and Facebook for their advertising platforms, income targeting is closely tied to geotargeting. It combines a range of third-party data, including purchase history, user interests, publicly-available IRS reports, and demographic information to suss out rough estimates of each individual user’s household income level, and the average income of a particular region or neighborhood.

Although the basics are the same, the specific manner in which Google and Facebook tackle income targeting differs. On Facebook, your targeting focuses on income ranges which grow gradually broader as you move down the scale. Facebook also allows you to target ads based on net worth. Although it’s unlikely you’ll be able to use it because it’s so granular.

Google, meanwhile, focuses on income percentiles.

What I mean by that is that Google parses the average income level of an area based on its collected data, and assigns each household to a specific bracket. You can then target your ads based on these brackets, which range from bottom 50 percent to top 10 percent. It’s important to note here that Google will also prioritize granular targeting variables such as location or age range over income.

When Should You Use Income-Based Targeting?

Ultimately, income is just like any other targeting option. It’s useful when you know for a fact that your ideal audience falls into a specific bracket. Otherwise, using it runs the risk of diluting your audience to too great an extent to be worthwhile.

Businesses that may directly benefit from income targeting on the higher end may include five-star restaurants, wealth management firms, luxury goods & services, and high-end electronics.

While any of these might appeal to customers in a lower income bracket, this audience will, on average, lack the purchasing power to actually become qualified leads. Conversely, if your brand sells mostly discounted or low-end goods, you may choose to exclude high-income individuals.

In the case of the former, audiences may see your ads and click on them, but they lack the purchasing power for those clicks to translate to sales. In the case of the latter,  it’s unlikely they’ll be particularly interested in your brand.

Basically, in both cases, income is just another means of ensuring your ads get before people they’re likeliest to resonate with.