It’s not them, it’s you; understand your audience

As a digital marketing agency, we do our best to understand our audience first and foremost. This is important to determine which tasks need to carried out and what type of marketing strategy should be implemented. Its always surprising how many marketing teams haven’t profiled their audience and don’t really know where best to find them.

We run monthly digital marketing workshops and a question that keeps popping up is, “well, how do I know who my audience is?” Wait… you don’t know who your customer is? Every marketer needs to know their audience. There is no easy way of defining your customer because everyone’s audience is different and audiences evolve. Additionally, there’s not one correct way of finding your audience. However, defining your audience remains a pinnacle part of any marketing campaign, meaning it is important to get right. We’ve created this blog so that you can start your voyage of discovery, soon you’ll be able to profile and target your audience on the right platforms saving you time and effort!

Understanding your business … and therefore your audience

Personally, business development usually have a strong steer on understanding this. Their role is to use their time as effectively as possible to secure the most return. Consequently, they evolve fast to recognise who to target, who responds well and who to avoid… a conversation with these elite units might help you understand things a lot better when it comes to service/product positioning. If this doesn’t help the easiest way to get your head around your audience is by looking at your competitors. Who are they targeting or interacting with? You can quite easily see this on their social platforms.

“What you then need to think about is what you want for your business and what you want from your audience.” – Showtime Digital

Defining your rough audience can be as simple as brainstorming and having a discussion. Think demographics; look at age, location, interests, jobs, hobbies, interests and estimated income.

“Another great idea is to look at your brand values and decide what audience you want to engage with and how this specific audience can benefit you. You can then manoeuvre your marketing efforts to fit this audience.” – Da Ricardo’s

“Understanding the audience’s wants and needs is perhaps the most important aspect of marketing any business. Like supply and demand, an audience’s desires help shape what your business should be offering instead of creating a solution in search of a customer.” – Andy Abramson, Comunicano

Vanessa a marketing strategist, consultant, coach and digital marketer from Vivacity Marketing states “the first step for any business needs to be to do market research so that they can understand the following about their audience:

– What problems that they are seeking solutions for?
– Where do they search for solutions to their problem?
– How do they compare solutions that they find?
– What attributes are important to them when seeking their specific solution?
– What information do they need to see and use to help them make that purchase decision?

Once you understand all of the above you can then build a marketing plan with a variety of marketing channels that feature in their path to purchase, and help to guide them through their buying journey. And ultimately guide them to purchase your product/service. You need to understand also where does your audience hang out online and offline, what blogs are they reading online, what groups are they part of, what are their interests. And really go and hang out in those places too”

In much the same way, Jakub Kliszczak, a Marketing Specialist from CrazyCall adds “it is essential to know your target audience as everything you produce has to be tailored to that audience. Thus, if you don’t know who is the recipient of your content then how would you be able to create a piece of content that interests him or her?

Therefore, you must know your target audience in order to create articles, blog posts, landing pages, ads, etc. that appeal to that audience. Otherwise, you’ll be shooting bullets straight to the sky trying to ‘get lucky’.”

Understanding Digital

Digital marketing is great for marketeers as it offers 100% transparency and traceability. Some platforms also collect data as they go, providing you with a demographic breakdown of people who responded to your brand and promotion. Digital marketing efforts are different to those that are ‘out of home (such as billboards, Radio, buses) because there are direct numbers that can be used to monitor and adjust campaigns. The first thing that we tell clients, industry professionals and aspiring marketeers is that tracking is essential. This is the first thing that you need to do if you want to start making real progress with your digital marketing.

In today’s digitally connected world, you want to be collecting as much data as possible. This data will help you understand your audience and the success of your campaigns at present. Additionally, this data will be even more important in the future. Collect as much as you can now to prepare for your marketing endeavours in years to come.

Allisa Lindo from Brandox advises “audience targeting is crucial to marketing and even more so when it comes to digital. Knowing your audience means less time and money wasted on campaigns. The more effort that goes into figuring out your target audience before you launch a campaign, the more likely it is you’ll get a good return on investment. If you aren’t targeting the right people then you might as well toss your cash in the nearest trash can and set it on fire – the heat from the fire would provide more ROI.”

Reactive Marketing

“This is one of the best ways for digital marketers to define, analyse and target their audience.” – Digital Pigeon

Reactive marketing is essentially you and your business reacting to the data collected from your digital campaigns. This often puts businesses off as it requires experimental budget, however this could be scaled down to suit your budget. It also relies on utilising paid platforms and using the data that is collected by this campaign. This allows you to know what works well and helps you to analyse the audiences that react best to your ads. The advantages are that you can quickly asses what works and what doesn’t with tangible data!

Targeting your audience

Facebook – the Facebook Ads platform allows you to target users using rather unique information. This can be targeting based on those who are interested in domestic pigs to football players who are interested in ballet.

“The targeting options on Facebook include user categories such as ‘operating system’, ‘connected devices’, ‘education level’ and ‘engaged shoppers’, just to name a few.” – Detail Central

LinkedIn – this has much the same targeting options as Facebook, however, a very useful option here is that you can target ads based on job role. Although users can pick a job title on Facebook, LinkedIn tends to be far more reliable. Although this isn’t super accurate, this allows marketers to target on a rough income.

These two platforms are useful in themselves. However, it is essential that tracking is set up to track users from these social networks to the sites that you are advertising. Google Analytics allows you to track the journey from the network to a website of your choice. Once the user is on the site, you are then able to track anything that they do in the form of conversions.

Sky AdSmart – this is another paid option that many people don’t initially relate to digital marketing. However, it is arguably one of the best platforms currently available. Through the help of their partners, AdSmart can target using incredibly precise information. Experian offers the ability to target on credit information and lifestyle categories such as ‘country living’ and ‘local folk’. There are location options based on region, city and postcode. Other options include ‘expecting mother’, ‘age of children’, ‘home ownership’, ‘second mortgage’, ‘south facing garden’ and ‘age of vehicle’. Sky AdSmart is a superb platform that’s only going to become more important in the world of marketing.

The Bernie round-up

Digital marketing allows you to track audiences and collect data at numerous points along their journey. This is essential, and so you must start collecting as much data as possible. This data will help you define your audience and fine tune your marketing efforts.

Paid marketing offers the best targeting and tracking. We suggest manually looking at your business and picking a rough audience. Then start targeting this audience as best you can on the platforms mentioned above. Monitor the performance of this and monitor the audience. In response to this monitoring, tweak your approach and better your performance.

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