5 Audience Targeting Strategies From Digital Marketing Experts

No matter the industry, every business faces challenges from time to time. One of those challenges is competition and figuring out the right strategies to implement. Online businesses experience competition that comes from a variety of angles which can make it difficult for online companies to use the right messaging to reach their audience. As new business owners who are trying to navigate the web and use it to their advantage it’s essential to apply a variety of audience targeting strategies. Audience targeting allows businesses to learn more about an audience and ultimately make more money. We help online companies develop strategies that work well for them as well as offer helpful tips during our free webinar training. Below are 5 audience targeting strategies you can apply to your online business to increase your earning potential.

Define your audience and speak their language

Do you have a good idea of what type of audience you are targeting? According to Search Engine Land using a customer-centric view and gathering data about your audience will help you find out insights and segment your audiences.

Of the thousands of marketers I’ve spoken with about remarketing in the last year, very few started by documenting and defining their audiences. Instead, they start with a specific scenario they are trying to solve with a remarketing campaign, such as trying to re-engage cart abandoners, cross-selling products and services or re-engaging previous customers who might not understand their full business offering.

In my opinion, while this strategy does work, it’s not the most effective way to utilize remarketing. You’re starting with the problem and trying to build a solution instead of starting with a customer-centric view and with all of the possibilities that remarketing has to offer. It means that the remarketing solutions you come up with might be tainted by Maslow’s Law of the instrument:

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

Abraham Maslow

So then, where do I think you should start with developing your remarketing strategy? In my opinion, the art and science of remarketing come down to two things: questions and data.

I think that you should start with a set of questions to help you segment your audiences, and with access to data from your analytics platform and database/CRM to get transaction insights. Then, armed with data, you can look at the potential audience pools to determine if you have the minimum 1,000-cookie base to activate an audience list.

Using positive and negative bid modifiers on top of each audience segment, you can shape your campaigns and the flow through your website, helping customers throughout their decision journey.

To help you get started with your audience development, I’m sharing a set of carefully crafted questions I’m calling the “Ultimate Audience Development Questionnaire.” I’ve broken the checklist down into five sections based on the types of questions I explored when I was auditing and developing a remarketing strategy.

Big Commerce argues that if you want to speak your audience’s language, you’ll have to do a lot more than just converse with them. It’s up to you to find out what type of words and phrases they use by using the apps Big Commerce mentions below. After you have a good idea of what kind of “language” they use then it’s time to incorporate that into your campaigns.

You’ll never get through to Belieber tween girls if you’re using an extremely formal tone. And you’ll likely ostracize male boomer sports car fanatics with flowery prose and exclamation points. To relate to and connect with your audience, you need to speak their language. That means not only using the appropriate voice and tone, but also peppering in actual words and phrases they use.

Through an extensive ethnographic study for a woman’s apparel brand, our team learned that numerous customers used the term “darling” to describe their clothing products. We began using this term in advertising creative and social media conversations to better connect with their customers and immediately saw an increase in the campaign’s click-through rate.

You don’t need a large-scale and lengthy study like this to uncover these common phrases however. Simply using social media listening tools or manual monitoring of social media conversations can reveal your audience’s common dialect. We often use Tweetdeck and hop on the phone with customers regularly to hear them speak about their business and our product naturally –– and then incorporate that verbiage into specific campaigns.

Use LinkedIn for keyword research

Social media, as we know, is beneficial to businesses. Well, so is LinkedIn. Wordstream recommends using LinkedIn for keyword research and Mike Grill; an SEO strategist explains how to do that below:

Mike Grill, SEO strategist at search engine marketing agency Anvil Media, agreed social media platforms often offer the best and most expansive targeting for audiences, which he said Anvil can then transfer to the search engines that “don’t have quite the same data or features.”

One of the most effective strategies has been translating job title targeting to keyword research.

“We’ve gone through the profiles of different professionals with job titles that we have been targeting on LinkedIn and scraped the content on their LinkedIn profiles to come up with keyword lists that we have then used to make our search campaigns and audiences much more robust,” he said. “It’s a bit like looking at reviews on an ecomm website.”

Adam Smartschan, vice president of innovation and strategy at B2B marketing agency Altitude Marketing, too, advocated for “relatively pedestrian options” like LinkedIn sponsored content, native content and site-based display targeting.

“Too many marketers ignore networks like these because they’re considered pedestrian,” he added. “In reality, though, they’re great options for testing messaging, getting campaigns off the ground and reaching specific targets quickly and extremely cost-efficiently.”

Engage consumers with relevant messages

Continue to target your audience by making your messages consistent, as Think With Google recommends.

Engage Consumers With Relevant Messages Across the Web: Once you’ve created an audience targeting strategy, it can be deployed across Search, Display, YouTube and Gmail. You can target display ads based on a consumer’s interests, demographics and previous web browsing activity or optimise a search bid based on whether a prospect has previously interacted with you. 75% of online consumers have taken action after seeing a message from a company that is relevant to them. Audience targeting allows you to make your message as relevant as possible, no matter where consumers are online.

Be precise, yet flexible

As with any campaign, it’s vital to stay sharp and watchful to see how your audience responds to content, newsletters, and other ways you are targeting them. Forbes explains how a granular approach can help with that:

In any digital marketing campaign, audiences come in all shapes and sizes with differing objectives and changing expectations over time. As always, levels of segmentation should come with a giant asterisk, as the granularity will depend on volume. With a granular approach, you can test different creative, calls to action and content assets and measure what resonates best with each audience.

Keeping all of this in mind will better enable you to:

  • Leverage behavioral and demographic overlays to create a holistic audience-centric approach across digital channels, including search, display and social.
  • Build consumer profiles that constantly track audience interests, purchase behaviors and thousands of other interactions to effectively adjust messaging to match target audiences.
  • Move prospective customers through the purchase funnel while retaining and engaging them post-purchase.

Using these targeting strategies can help take your marketing to the next level. Implementing and fine-tuning granular targeting methods across channels and along the different stages of the buying process enables marketers to better connect with audiences, providing a competitive advantage that can lead to better brand awareness, engagement and ROI.

High-quality content

Readers are more likely to flock to high-quality content, which is why Lotame mentions using ads on content that you know people will want to read. Maintain creative content by telling stories through your writing and offer solutions to your readers.

Targeting your ads can significantly increase your chances of connecting with future customers, but you also need to produce high-quality content. Poorly designed campaigns and ads likely won’t spark much interest, even if you target them to the right people. The competition for people’s attention is fierce, so you need ad content that stands and delivers your message efficiently.

To make your ads more engaging, use storytelling. In the past, most ads focused on the product and urged customers to use it. Now, marketers more often concentrate on the customers and how the product will help them meet a need. Show how your product fits into your customer’s story. For example, will your product help your customers be their best selves by getting into shape? Will it help them save time and take control of their busy lives?

You should also focus on the solution your product provides, rather than the problem it solves. If you do this well, customers will understand immediately how your product will help improve their lives. For example, if you’re advertising a productivity tool, focus on how much more someone can get done by using your tool, not the fact that they’re wasting time.

Ads are also becoming more visual. In a recent survey of digital marketers, 69 percent said visuals were “very important” or an “absolute necessity” for their marketing strategies. That’s because visual content is engaging and helps quickly convey your message to customers. Try including pictures, videos and infographics in your content to boost engagement.

Ultimately, you want your consumers to not even realize your ad is an ad because it is so engaging and relevant to them. If you target your ads right, they’ll be excited to click on it. That’s when you know you’ve given the right person the message at the right time.

These 5 audience targeting strategies should get your business off the ground and provide you with future ideas on how you can continue to improve audience targeting. Join us during our free webinar training to learn more about how you can create a profitable and successful business and what techniques can help you get there.

Sources: Wordstream, Search Engine Land, Think with Google, Forbes, Big Commerce, Lotame

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