As with traditional marketing, knowing your audience in digital marketing is extremely important. There are many ways in which researching your target audience can help, particularly as they are not always as obvious as you may think.
For example, if you are selling a beauty product, such as makeup, one of your most obvious target audiences will be women who use makeup. However, another audience could be partners of those women who want to treat them to your product as a gift.
Because of this, building personas for your audience targets can help you to develop your customer approach in many ways and plan campaigns around them.
How online audience can vary from offline audience
Your offline audience can often vary from your online audience in several ways because peopleâ€™s habits online can be very different from their offline ones. The time someone spends reading offline media, and the location that they see it, means that it can be reaching very different people. For example an advert in a national newspaper would reach a much different group of people than a paid post on Reddit.
This means that it is important to analyse your online audience and target your campaigns to them. There are many tools to help you identify your audience, from Google Analytics data and social media to surveys – the more data the better! Once you have your data you can start to put together personas and plan your online marketing activities around them.
Using personas to target content ideas
When writing content for your website your main goal is to interact with your audience, and provide them with interesting information to keep them coming back to your site for more.
By identifying your target audiences and getting to know what their habits are, what they like and donâ€™t like and what interests them you can create content that they will keep coming back to. By developing personas you are able to have a person in mind when you are writing, allowing you to create your content with that specific individual in mind.
Targeting the content you have does not just mean the subjects that you are talking about and the language that you use, but also the images and videos you include. Creative audiences may respond better to more visual content, while a more intellectual subject would benefit from an in-depth written piece.
Targeting social media to your audience
Social media gives you the opportunity to engage with your audience and reach out to people in a personal way. Because of this, social media opens a lot of opportunities to engage with new people and reach out to a wider audience.
Social media is also a good tool to help you to find out more about your audience. You can analyse your followers and likes to find out what posts get the most engagement, as well as the age, gender and other demographics of your audience.
Aiming outreach campaigns to your target audience
Knowing what websites your intended audience is likely to read and trust means that you can work to get your product or service featured on it, and gaining exposure on these websites can help to promote your product further.
By understanding your target audience you will be able to know who influences them, the websites they read, the bloggers that they relate to and the social media platforms they use. This will help you to target your product and brand promotion to the people your audience trusts.
Targeting your online ads
Although a lot of PPC advertising campaigns focus on keywords and not audiences there are ways to target your ads to audiences using Google AdWords. When setting up ads for the Google Display Network you are able to target them to people with certain interests, and you can view these in the Display Planner by searching for a subject and choosing the interests you want to target.
You are also able to target your advertising on social media platforms to the audience that you want to engage with. For example, Facebook allows you to target your advertising to many different demographics meaning that you can target your promotion to specific audiences, you can read more about setting up Facebook advertising here.
By knowing your audience it gives you an important insight into many parts of your marketing strategy, from your content to your online ads.