The game is over! Cheering fans spill out of the stadium into the surrounding streets. You lose sight of your friend, and given he is your ride home you really need to find him!
What do you do?
Do you walk through the crowd yelling his name? Or do you just message him?
Think of all those fans as people on the internet, your friend as the customer you are trying to target, and your targeting strategy as the message you send.
If you just put out general content and messaging, you aren’t going to stand out from the crowd.
Audience targeting strategies are the key to cutting through to your customers. These are the 6 you NEED to be using.
1. Channel Targeting
Channel targeting should be one of the first audience targeting strategies you consider because it could save you a lot of time and money.
Certain channels can be especially effective, or ineffective, at influencing the demand of certain audiences. Social media is the best example for this because it can be extremely successful, but if you aren’t going to use it right you may as well not use it at all.
Let’s consider two different businesses with a similar concept – a platform for young up-and-coming musicians to collaborate, and a platform for business professionals to share referrals. The goal is the same, to facilitate collaboration between like minded people.
For the music platform, TikTok would be perfect. It is dedicated to video content and used predominantly by young people. This is where young artists would be promoting themselves, so it’s the best place to market to them. LinkedIn, on the other hand, would be irrelevant, as your consumers are amateur musicians and wouldn’t be using it.
For the business referral platform TikTok would be a waste of your time and money. Your target audience wouldn’t be engaging with it enough, if at all. LinkedIn would be, by far, the best way to target business professionals. It is the social media platform most relevant to their occupations, and is likely a part of how they are already connecting.
This same logic should be applied to each channel, not just social media. Consider how your customer is most likely to engage with you and focus your efforts on those channels.
2. Demographic Targeting
Demographics are audience groups that can be sorted into segments based on their common characteristics. The number of demographics that can be targeted is almost endless, but the most common ones are:
- Relationship Status
- Job Title
- Job Industry
With enough time you could further segment these, for example relationship status could be further broken down into de facto or married, length of relationship, hetero or same-sex relationship etc.
The reason segmenting demographics is one of the most popular audience targeting strategies is because it allows you to understand who people are so that you can tailor your marketing to them and maximise customer engagement.
For example, if you know your brand solves a problem in the agriculture industry, targeting people who work in that industry is a sure way of getting better results.
3. Location Targeting
Similar to demographic targeting, location targeting segments people based on where they live. An obvious example of this would be if you are a small business that services a defined area, you would target people who live in that area.
Where location targeting can really shine, however, is actually in saving you money on wasted marketing. Google Ads are great for bringing new leads to your website, but because of their pay per click (PPC) model, they can be very costly if you get a lot of clicks that don’t lead to conversions.
Consider a local Central Coast business that doesn’t service Sydney. Location targeting allows them to make sure that their Google Ads aren’t displayed to Sydney residents who are going to click, but then realise the service isn’t local and not progress to a sale.
Different locations are more competitive, which means their cost per click (CPC) is higher. So by exclusively targeting the Central Coast, this hypothetical business’s Google Ads would get more clicks, and cost less per click as well!
This is relevant for large, multi-location businesses as well. If a business services customers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, targeting each city/state separately would net better results locally and prevent costly wasted clicks.
4. Affinity Targeting
Affinity targeting works similarly to demographic targeting, except where a demographic describes characteristics about a person, affinities describe that person’s interests and lifestyle.
For example, if a person has a search history for hiking spots and a purchase history of hiking boots, they very clearly have an affinity for hiking. When all of their affinities are considered, there may be overlaps which show a sale opportunity.
For example, if a consumer has an affinity for hiking, swimming and nature documentaries, they are probably a prime candidate for a camping supplies or a travel agency. Their affinities show they enjoy the outdoors and a sense of adventure, so a brand who can deliver that could get a sale.
5. Similar Audience Targeting
Similar audience targeting is a great strategy for identifying new markets. Using Google Analytics and other free Search Engine Marketing (SEO) tools, you can identify key attributes of your existing audience and search for them in different audiences where you may not have expected to get any traction.
This works because there are many different factors that influence a customer’s buyer’s journey and engagement. While a new audience may not have the exact pain points that your current customers do, they may be in similar situations where the same pain points are likely to develop. They may also make purchasing decisions based on the same emotional needs.
Similar audience targeting is perfect for breaking out of an SEO plateau because you can search for new markets without changing your messaging for your existing customers.
A retargeting audience is one of the easiest to identify, and one of the most powerful to go after.
Whether someone simply visited your site and left, or they recently made a purchase, if they’ve made contact with you they are a great retargeting opportunity. The two most effective ways to retarget are through email marketing campaigns and paid ads.
If a past or potential customer has entered your mailing list, you can keep your brand relevant in their minds with a regular newsletter.
If you really want to elevate your lead nurturing abilities, you can create automation sequences that can build brand awareness gradually and persuade consumers over time to revisit your site.
With paid ads, including both Google and social media platforms, you can guarantee that past customers and visitors are shown reminders that help guide them back to your site.
Need Help With Your Audience Targeting Strategies?
Audience targeting is essential for any successful digital marketing strategy, but you need to be able to research them properly so that you target the right people. At Oddball, we specialise in collecting and actioning user data to create campaigns that convert.
If you want to enlist our help and get your brand the cut through in the market that it deserves, contact us today.