Do you cater to anyone and everyone, or is your business niche specific?

In other words – do you target your custom audience and deliver specific experiences for every segment, or is your approach more general.

When you don’t take the time to know and understand your customers, even if you think a larger audience can use your products and services, you might find yourself in trouble.

What kind of trouble, you might ask? 

It’s simple – your cost of acquisition goes up across all channels, but you don’t see the same in revenue. You spend more, while you earn less. 

this is a chart showcasing the rise in advertising costs over the course of one year.

Long story short – miss the audience’s heart, and the only wallet that gets hit will be your own. 

But how DO you find your audience’s heart? Through audience targeting. 

This article breaks down the subject while looking at what it means – and how it helps. 

Let’s start at the beginning: 

What is audience targeting?

Audience targeting is the act of selecting specific clusters of potential customers and creating different strategies and campaigns for each group to increase conversion rates.

With audience targeting, you can separate both your customer base and potential customers into smaller groups of people who share similar characteristics. 

You can arrange these smaller groups – usually called segments – into clusters based on their demographic characteristics (age, gender, location), shared values, or even online behavior. 

Instead of a “one size fits all” approach to audience targeting, you segment your customer base into custom audiences and deliver personalized campaigns for these audiences of people.

Let’s look at a clear example of audience segmentation and how you would approach the process.

For example, let’s say you sell smartphones. After researching and looking at your data, you notice two different segments:

  • Young professionals who need their phones in their professional lives. They take full advantage of all the features: Social Media & Banking Apps, Gmail, the phone camera, etc.
  • And middle-aged parents, who only use the phones to talk with their children, friends, relatives, etc. 

You could craft two specific directions for both segments. 

Young professionals will learn about the phone’s functionalities, how they can use a phone to work from anywhere, you would sell them the sweet life of digital nomads, etc.

However, the second segment doesn’t care about the freedom of working a job using only a phone. With the latter segment, you could talk about:

  • communicating with their loved ones
  • being close with their children, no matter how far they are
  • always being able to share the good news with their relatives

And so on.

So you see – even if you are promoting the same product, your message is evidently different for both segments.

You look at specific criteria, analyze your existing customers, and adapt to them using particular targeting options.

The concept is relatively straightforward: 

  • The more specific you get in your segmentation, the better the results of your targeted ads or email campaigns will be.
  • The more you try to reach everyone, the more chaotic your messages and experiences will get

Benefits of audience targeting

So, will it work for you, or is it just another buzzword in the marketing industry?

There is a common misconception amongst entrepreneurs and marketers alike: if I leave out specific demographics from my campaigns, won’t I lose potential customers?

As we explained in the phone example, you might lose clients without audience targeting. 

And along with these clients, you lose respect, awareness, and the opportunity to reach out to new clusters of audiences in the long term. 

If you think about it, when trying to reach everyone, you actually get no one. 

On the other hand, you can develop a compelling story or a strong USP that converts when you know who you want to attract.

You have to learn how to pick your fights. 

This means targeting specific people who need you, who will like you, and who can become brand advocates and recommend your services. 

However, this only happens if you don’t define your audience. Let’s what happens when you DO put in the time and effort required to segment and target your audience.

  • You end up getting more clients while investing less in advertising.

How come?

When you break down the mass of potential clients into specific segments, you can create both marketing campaigns and customer experiences that cater to the particular needs of said segments.

You start speaking in a specific language, pinpoint core problems and beliefs, and fulfill specific desires. 

By doing so, you create multiple personalized experiences for target audiences, and you become more persuasive. 

Therefore, you spend your budget wisely. While you still invest the same money in your marketing efforts, you attract highly qualified leads. It happens because you are already talking to people who need you.

Therefore, those who don’t resonate with your brand, bargain-hunters, and detractors tend to wither themselves out. 

This is how you minimize wasted ad spend and save your resources. In short, you find the best-performing products that attract and convert new customers.

Reveal by Omniconvert can help you improve Facebook ROAS with its Audience Builder feature. 

Do you want to learn how to spend less on advertising while getting better leads?

Check out this article on using the Dynamic Audience Builder in Reveal, or this article about Custom Audiences for Facebook Ads.

  • You create a better, stronger business.

Audience targeting allows you to create a niche. You identify your rockstars (best-selling products) and build up from there. 

But you can also see where you need to improve. Once you get to know your target audience, you create and promote more products and services for your audience. 

You can use marketing insights to declutter your inventory and only focus on the solutions your audience needs

This means you become more laser-focused on improving in certain areas of your business, and again – you don’t waste resources on products that don’t sell as well as you had hoped.

Read more about improving your Product Assortment and becoming a customer-centric business here.

  • You attract more clients who behave like your best customers.

We know you have a specific group of customers with whom you love working. They buy often, recommend you to their peers, and don’t return your products. 

At the same time, you also have clients who are a handful to work with, even though they don’t add any significant revenue to your business. 

You could let go of the latter segment in an ideal world and focus your efforts on the first one, right?

With audience segmentation, you can turn this ideal world into a reality. 

Both Facebook and Google give you the option of using lookalike audiences to target people similar to your best customers

Use this option and increase your customer base with your desired clients – and let go of those who take up most of your time but bring you the most negligible benefits.

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Types of audience targeting

Needless to say, you need data to target your audience appropriately. In business and marketing, data is the goldmine AND should be the driver behind your decisions. 

As Kurt Andersen (EVP Marketing and Sales Enablement) so beautifully puts it: 

“The end has come for making marketing decisions based on gut instincts; everything marketers do in the digital world can now be tracked, from the first click to the deal close. CMOs who do not embrace and accept this concept will likely not be CMOs for very long.”

So, look at your first-party data/ third-party data like you would look at a treasure. 

Safely guard it and use a data management platform to make sense of it and drive crucial information about your clients or potential clients.

Even when living this cookie-less reality, there are specific ways you can gather data from people interested in your brand. 

By processing and making sense of your data, you can segment your audiences into multiple categories. 

For your convenience, we could break them down into three key categories. 

However, you can continually expand and adapt them (or even create custom combinations) based on your specific needs. 

As of now, here are three key categories your audiences could fall into:

  1. Socio-Economic Targeting

With demographic targeting, you look at the objective data you’ve gathered. 

We mean age, gender, education level, income, race, marital status, occupation, etc.

Of course, you can always go even more profound and break down demographic data into even more specific clusters. 

For example, you don’t stop at targeting women in their forties, but you target single moms who live close to your offline store.

  1. Psychological Targeting

From here on, it gets more specific. You must pay close attention to interests, activities, opinions, values, personality traits, or lifestyle choices with psychographic data.

Ideally, you would target the people who share your values, beliefs, etc. This way, your message comes across as more genuine and authentic. 

  1. Online Behavioral Targeting

Here you target an audience who manifested certain behaviors. They visited a website, clicked on an Ad, purchased an item in the past.

It’s a bit trickier to obtain in a world without cookies, but you can always look at your existing clients and create lookalike audiences based on them. 

Reveal by Omniconvert is very helpful here – as you can use Audience Builder and create targeted Facebook Ad Campaigns based on the data you already have. 

Audience targeting strategies

By now, you are probably thinking: OK, I’m convinced. But HOW do I do it?

Targeting audiences is a never-ending dance: 

  1. You gather data – from your existing customers
  2. You build profiles based on your data
  3. You segment your audiences, group them into specific clusters
  4. You activate campaigns for each segment
  5. Then you evaluate your performance and revise your targeting strategies.
  6. Lather-rinse-repeat, ad infinitum.

Here is where we must get a little less specific since target strategies for target audiences should be, well, targeted – specific and tailored to your objectives and your audiences.

However, your potential clients tend to spend their time on Social Media and search your products on Google more often than not. 

Therefore, your strategies should rely on both these channels. You can get more specific (Instagram vs. Facebook, SEO vs. Google Ad) as you get to know your audiences better.

So, as a starting point, you can focus on creating targeted Ads on both mediums, take advantage of audience targeting options and target your website visitors with retargeting Ads. 

For example, if you advertise on Google Ads, you can use affinity audiences. They allow you to use the interests of an audience segment to show them specific Ads. 

In the beginning, it will be a game of coming up with creative copy and firm promises for every audience type you might find.

After you get the ball rolling, though, you become better at it, and you can innovate and even become a trailblazer in your field.

Audience targeting makes the difference between shouting from the rooftops towards a busy highway or talking on a stage. 

You might have fewer people in front of you, but your message will more likely be heard. 

Frequently asked questions about audience targeting.

How do you use audience targeting?

Target audiences help you segment all your potential customers into specific groups of people. By doing so, you deliver better, more persuasive messages and increase your ROI. 
Moreover, you can learn more about your potential clients with target audiences. 
You learn their likes and dislikes, wants and needs, and pain points. With this information in mind, you can craft solid messages and make relevant promises towards them. 
For example, you can target an audience with high purchase intent. 
(Purchase intent is the probability that a lead will become a paying customer).
You send strong messages to them, and you polish your promise to create the feeling you address each person directly. In turn, you get increased chances of success.
But you don’t stop here. You can also look at your existing clients and create similar audiences to target in the future.

What is an example of a target audience?

A target audience means all people that share specific traits. For example, if your product is a gym that focuses on body-building, your target audience might mean all men aged between 24-35, who have busy professionals lives, and are looking to bulk up fast.

Why do we need audience targeting?

Without targeting your audience, you won’t be able to deliver solid and powerful messages – and, in the long term, you won’t convert as much as you wanted to. 
Moreover, you risk wasting your budget on unqualified leads, who might not need or even want your products without targeting your audience.

Why is audience targeting important in digital marketing?

With digital marketing, you have a plethora of advertising options. You can use Youtube Ads, Facebook Ads, email marketing, even Influencer marketing to try to sell your products. 
However, without learning what makes your audience tick, you will waste a lot of time and money trying to appeal to people who might not even need your product. 
This is why marketers worldwide take advantage of a mosaic of audience targeting options to increase their customer base with less money advertising spending.