The most important aspect of marketing online and on social media isn’t the quality of your images, the genius of your copywriting, or the uniqueness of your campaign itself. You can have the cleverest copy and most gorgeous images in the world and still witness your imarketing campaign flop if you don’t nail down your target audience’s most important demographic and psychographic factors before deploying the campaign.
To ensure you have a thorough understanding of the audience you’re trying to reach with your online advertising and social media ads, here are eight questions your brand should ask before planning your next campaign:
This may seem like a simple question but far too many brands assume they’re either targeting all ages of adults or they’re primarily catering to people within a decade of each other (e.g., 20-somethings or 60-somethings). To fine-tune the scope of your target audience, analyze recent impressions on your social campaigns to see which age groups were most responsive to your ads and which groups clicked on your links most frequently.
If you’re under-utilizing the geographic audience targeting features on social media, then now is a great time to start narrowing your audience to specific locations. While this may reduce your overall impressions, your CPC rates are likely to improve because you’re now only targeting those who live in areas where your products/services are available and/or you’re targeting people who are most likely to purchase because of where they live.
It’s not enough to settle for non-monetary demographic factors like age, gender, race, and employment background. Instead, you should be examining how much discretionary income your target audience has, because this reveals whether your products/services are too pricey for your target audience or you should add more expensive items that your wealthier audience members would be more than happy to pay for.
If you’re targeting younger demographics but spending the majority of your ad budget on Facebook and Twitter, then your brand should conduct more thorough audience analyses because research shows younger consumers are much more active on SnapChat and Instagram. The opposite applies for elderly consumers (they’re more active on Facebook but not so much on Instagram), so make the best use of your advertising budget by figuring out which social channels are most frequently used by your target audience.
Do you need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on an influencer to promote your brand? That depends on whether your target audience is receptive to recommendations from paid influencers. On the flip side, should you focus more on user-generated content to boost the appeal of your brand with everyday consumers? Analyzing your target audience to understand what drives their purchasing decisions can help you answer these questions.
Finally: what does your target audience care about? In other words, what are their values, goals, beliefs, and lifestyle patterns? Do they value quality time with loved ones or spending money on nice things for friends and family members? Are they environmentally conscious or animal rights advocates? Do they want to pay more for an item if it means a portion of the profits are going towards a worthy cause?
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to define your target audience for online and social media marketing. There will always be outliers who you never expected as part of your target audience, but it’s still preferable to have a clear understanding of the consumers you’re targeting with your ads, rather than going in with your eyes closed and hoping for the best!