5 Keys to Audience Targeting

Understand your data, know your options. Posted on Tuesday, February 13 in Building Your Brand.

Most small business owners know they can benefit from better audience targeting in their marketing and advertising campaigns. However, they may not know the specifics of what to do and how to get started with audience targeting.

1. Know Your Data

Audience targeting based on simple demographics like age and gender had its day when only traditional media dominated and broad reach was the focus. However, now you can leverage richer individual and household data, including media habits, lifestyle characteristics and even shopping intent. All of this can give you both a fuller picture of who your customers are, and the ability to target look-a-likes in your marketing campaigns with a great deal of accuracy.

2. Know Your Customers

When you understand who your existing customers are by applying data insights, you can also form a picture of prospects for audience targeting. Depending on your business goals and the market, this might be look-a-likes or a whole new audience segment. Additionally, customer insights can provide direction for what you need to do in order to drive business growth by increasing purchase frequency, maintaining customer retention or identifying unmet customer needs.

3. Know Your Options

When you have a clear picture of your ideal audience segment, you will need to consider audience targeting options and how they coincide with different digital ad formats and platforms. Audience targeting criteria will vary from one social media network to another, as well as one content publisher to another, and even on demand side ad networks.

4. Know Your Effective Reach

Even though a dozen criteria might best match your ideal audience, the resulting audience size and/or deliverable impressions may be too small. You’ll want to compare different mixes of criteria, including through testing, so you can land on the right balance.

5. Know How to Optimize

Through testing and adjustments over time, you can identify not only which audience targeting criteria performs best for your marketing campaigns, but also which creative, message or call to action performs best with that audience. Advertising campaign optimization can help you create more efficient marketing by revealing what works. Additionally, learnings here can help you optimize your organic marketing campaigns (and vice versa).

The big audience targeting message is to understand available data, and know your options on how to use and optimize that data for more effective and efficient marketing and advertising campaigns.

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