As technology evolves, so do the opportunities to connect with your audience in meaningful ways.
This especially rings true when effectively and efficiently acquiring leads online.
Join us as we delve into the what, why, and how of audience targeting, unlocking the potential to not only drive more leads but to truly connect with your clientele in the vast realm of online possibilities. Your journey to effective audience targeting starts here.
Let’s dive in together and transform the way you engage with your audience, both through online content strategy and your ad campaigns.
Table of Contents
In simple terms, audience targeting means figuring out who might be interested in your business or real estate services, and tailoring your messages to grab their attention.
Instead of treating everyone the same, you group potential customers based on things like age, location, interests, and behaviors.
This helps you create effective ads or content that directly addresses and speaks to what each group cares about, making them more likely to become customers and clients.
For example, you can aim your messages at specific age groups, people in certain locations, or those who’ve shown interest in your services. This not only makes your ads more effective but also saves you money by separating consumers and not showing them to people who aren’t interested.
In short, it’s about reaching the right people, making your messages interesting, and getting the most out of your advertising efforts.
However, to me, The Marketer, audience targeting is a sophisticated marketing strategy that involves tailoring your content and advertisements to a specific group of individuals – the target audience.
Just think of it as this: it aims to reach the right people with the right message at the right time.
Here are various dimensions to consider when refining your audience targeting strategy.
Demographic targeting involves narrowing down your audience based on specific characteristics such as age, gender, income, education, and occupation.
For instance, if you are a realtor promoting luxury homes, targeting individuals with higher income levels would be more effective than first-time buyers. Although you may be serving “buyers” of all price categories, a luxury home buyer resonates with different messaging and information than a first-time home buyer.
The first-time home buyer would need very basic messaging, as they have never gone through the process of buying a home. Whereas for a luxury home buyer, it’s safe to assume that this isn’t their first rodeo.
Here are some criteria to use to begin creating an audience segment for each of your prospective customers:
Simply choose the criteria that is most valuable to your business so that you can create a buyer persona for each of your target consumers.
I recommend using demographic information to tailor your content to address regional preferences or trends, which can significantly enhance engagement and your results.
Understanding the behavior and interests of your target audience is fundamental. Behavioral targeting utilizes data on online behavior, preferences, and interests to create personalized content to achieve effective targeting.
Advertising campaigns on platforms like Meta (Facebook & Instagram) and Google Ads, allows you to leverage third party data to target niche audiences across social media based on their behavioral characteristics.
Crafting content that aligns with the customer journey is essential. Tailor your approach based on where your audience is in the sales funnel – whether they are in the awareness stage, consideration stage, or decision stage.
In my experience, it’s a game-changer to create content and marketing messages that address the goals, challenges, and objections that potential customers have along the way to becoming a buyer.
Consider where your audience spends their time online. Carefully craft your strategy to the specific social media platforms, devices, or websites they frequent.
You can identify patterns in your customer data to better target users.
This ensures that your message reaches them in the places where they are most active. In modern times, your clientele will most definitely be on social media channels, and with a little research, you can reach your intended audience across the web.
Leverage keywords and topics relevant to your audience. This will help you understand the phrases they use when searching for products or services similar to yours.
That way, you can take advantage of multiple channels beyond social media, like Google’s Search Engine. This will allow you to then incorporate these keywords seamlessly into your digital marketing strategy to enhance visibility.
Understanding and defining your target audience is paramount for the success of any marketing campaign.
Creating customer profiles and conducting market research to gather in-depth data is actually the first step before you create ads or craft any type of user generated content.
Let’s explore the key reasons:
Defining your target audience ensures that your message reaches individuals who are genuinely interested in your products or services. This not only improves the effectiveness of your campaigns but also reduces wasted ad spend on irrelevant audiences.
Tailoring your content to your target audience enhances its relevance. When your audience finds your content relatable, they are more likely to engage, share, and convert to what you’re offering. This fosters a stronger connection between your brand and your audience.
By targeting the right audience, you maximize the return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts. Since you are reaching individuals more likely to convert, your campaigns become more cost-effective and efficient.
Defining your target audience provides valuable data and insights into consumer behavior. Analyzing this data allows you to make informed decisions and continually refines your targeting strategies for better results.
Understanding the different roles within your audience helps tailor your content to specific needs and preferences. You’ll have to adjust your marketing strategies so that you don’t lose ad spend in your digital marketing initiatives.
Let’s explore two common roles:
Supporters are individuals who may not make the final decision but influence the decision-making process. Tailor your content to address their informational needs and showcase the value of your products or services.
Decision-makers are the individuals responsible for finalizing a purchase or business decision. Craft content that speaks to their concerns, highlights benefits, and provides the information they need to make a confident decision.
When advertising online, consider these common audience types to refine your targeting:
Target individuals based on their search intent. Understand the keywords they use when actively searching for products or services like yours.
Platforms like Google Ads use third party data to capture target audiences based on the audience segment that you wish to attract.
Affinity audiences are groups of individuals with a demonstrated interest in specific topics, based on the third party data owned by Google.
Tailor your content to match these interests for higher engagement, as you can target specific audience groups like “auto enthusiasts,” or “sports fans,” or “luxury travelers.” Essentially, these people are likely to be enthusiasts.
When I’ve run successful advertising for pre-construction condo developments, running Google Display Ads using Affinity Audiences really made a difference. It not only raised awareness for the project, but also helped drive consideration amongst potential buyers, and aided in selling out the project in the registration/sales phase.
In-market audiences consist of individuals actively researching or comparing products or services. Targeting this audience increases the likelihood of conversion, especially for realtors who are in the market, or have expressed interest in buying or selling a home.
According to Google, they are useful in helping you reach consumers who are close to completing a purchase.
That being said, leveraging In-Market Audience segments also made highly-effective marketing campaigns for my pre-construction condo clients, leading to highly qualified leads being generated during the sales cycle.
Leverage lookalike or similar audiences to reach individuals with characteristics similar to your existing clientele.
I find that this works best if you have an already large existing pool of people, for example, thousands of website visitors or a large email list. This expands your reach to a broader yet relevant audience.
Utilize customer match targeting to reach existing customers with personalized offers or promotions.
According to Google, a Customer Match lets you use your data management platforms through advertising to reach and re-engage with your leads list and customers across Google’s Search Engine, the Shopping Tab, Gmail, YouTube, and Display.
Retargeting involves reaching individuals who have previously interacted with your website or content. This reinforces your message and encourages them to take the desired action.
Implementing effective targeting strategies requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some actionable strategies to consider:
Remarketing with Google Ads keeps your brand in front of individuals who have previously visited your website. This reminder often prompts them to return and complete a desired action.
Why not export your customer data from your data management platform, and upload it to Meta (Facebook) and Google to leverage their platforms with ads?
It’s amazing how you can leverage these platforms to provide specific marketing content to specific people. Perhaps you want to offer your current customers a special offer – Or rather, for your leads who have never bought from you, provide a special offer that will get them off the fence and finally buy.
All of this is possible with uploading your existing database.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is integral to attracting your audience. Optimize your content for relevant keywords to improve visibility on Google search, attracting individuals actively seeking information related to your offerings.
In my experience, being absolutely crystal clear on your customer profiles and their common characteristics, including their demographic data and behavioral data, are incredibly powerful tools that must be used when crafting content.
Do no underestimate these data points!
While audience targeting offers numerous benefits, small businesses may encounter specific challenges:
Narrowing your audience too much can limit your reach. Finding the right balance between specificity and inclusivity is crucial to ensure your message reaches a substantial yet relevant audience.
Inadequate personalization can lead to disengagement and are one of the greatest challenges companies face. Failing to tailor your content to your audience’s specific needs and preferences may result in missed opportunities for connection, ultimately losing their attention.
Bombarding your audience with targeted ads too frequently can lead to ad fatigue. Be mindful of the frequency of your campaigns to avoid overwhelming your audience and causing them to disengage.
For small businesses and realtors looking to kickstart their audience targeting efforts, consider the following quick-start guide:
Draw on your experience and insights to identify key characteristics of your target audience. Your understanding of your industry and customers is a valuable asset.
Take advantage of analytics tools and machine learning to refine your audience targeting. Here are some valuable tools to consider:
SEMRush provides comprehensive insights into your competitors’ strategies and allows you to identify relevant keywords and audience segments.
I personally use this tool almost everyday. I use it for ideas, keyword research, seeing how the best performing articles structure their content, and how my clients’ competitors are leveraging keywords.
There are endless possibilities, and I can’t recommend it enough. You can start for free with a SEMRush free trial here.
Google Search Console offers data on how users find your website on Google. Analyzing this data can help you understand user intent and refine your targeting.
Once installed on your website, you’re able to see various insights about your website visitors and how they find you. It’s a great tool for getting keyword ideas.
Google Keyword Planner assists in identifying relevant keywords for your content, enhancing your visibility on search engines.
I recommend using this free tool to get a robust list of keyword ideas and to do your research. It’s not as strong as SEMRush, but still a great tool.
Explore the “People Also Ask” section in Google search results for additional insights into user queries and concerns.
This one is the secret sauce. Search for your desired keyword, and use the People Also Ask section to get even more ideas about related search queries.
Your existing leads and customer list are goldmines of information. Use this data to create highly targeted campaigns that resonate with individuals already familiar with your brand.
Retargeting is a powerful strategy to re-engage individuals who have shown interest in your products or services. Experiment with different retargeting approaches to find what works best for your audience.
Audience targeting is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity for effective modern marketing. Defining your target audience ensures that your efforts are focused, efficient, and yield the best results.
So, before engaging in any marketing initiatives, take the time to define your target audience and tailor your strategies accordingly.
Your audience is waiting – make sure your message reaches them effectively.
Now, armed with a deeper understanding of audience targeting, start refining your strategies and watch your online presence and engagement flourish.