As a brand, you want to be reaching the right people.
Target audience analysis is a central component to any marketing strategy, as it gives you an informed view of who your audiences are, who your audiences are not, and, equally important, audiences your brand could be reaching out to with a few tweaks to your strategy.
But what exactly is audience analysis? How do you go about it? We’re here to help you get started with this guide.
What Is Audience Analysis?
There was a time when this kind of analysis was a painstaking and time-consuming process that all-but required you to hire an agency to help you complete it if you wanted to be sure the information you were getting would be useful and properly sourced. The pace of campaigns has also ramped up, therefore making it difficult to keep up with conventional methods. Thankfully the age of digital and social media analytics has also made gathering the information you need more efficient.
The analytics tools we now have access to have sped up research and data collection significantly. What would have taken months of work before can be completed in a few clicks- whether its data on your own audiences or if you’re keeping track of your competitors’ performance.
This is not to say that agencies have been made obsolete. On the contrary, a combination approach can be the best method to collect as much valuable information about your audiences as possible.
On the other hand, agencies are always looking to keep up with client demands and deliver the best actionable data possible. With multiple clients running an increasing number of campaigns simultaneously, digital audience analysis seems the only way to go.
Why Audience Analysis?
You’re likely already familiar with the stages that make up the marketing funnel: starting from the top you have Awareness and Interest, where your work will be all about the visibility of your brand to consumers.
The middle of the funnel is where audiences will be considering your brand and you will be working on developing customers’ buying intent in order to secure conversions.
At the bottom of the funnel you can find those who have purchased, meaning that your work switches to efforts to maintain relationships and retain customers.
Each of these steps requires different kinds of content and timing, but what they share is a reliance on you understanding who your audiences are, where should you be reaching them- with what content, at what time- and how much will you have to spend to convert them? To answer all of the following you need to rely on as much data as possible - luckily, digital marketing has made it readily accessible.
Cut Your Costs
However, knowing your audiences and gearing your marketing strategy to reach out to them effectively helps to counter that problem in a big way. Case studies have shown a reduction in costs of up to 56% for businesses using quality audience analysis to back their marketing efforts. Numbers like that can go a long way in improving your ROI and allowing you to re-allocate some of that budget.
Beat The Competition
Pinning down what your ideal audiences look like will go a long way in helping you attract people who will not only engage with your content and brand, but boost your conversions.
Don’t Bore Your Customers
The Marketo Engagement Gap report puts this in clear numbers:
- 61% of marketers believe they engage with the right content.
- 56% of consumers believe businesses need to have a deeper understanding of their needs.
- 51% of consumers believe brands send too much irrelevant content.
To do that, you need to understand your audience inside and out. How well do they know your brand? How close are they to a buying decision? What are their motivations? You will need gather whatever data you can at every level of your marketing funnel. To get the job done, you’ll need to bring in different tools.
The opportunity exists to do very well in business by understanding who your audiences really are.
Known and Unknown Audiences: What’s the Difference?
On the other hand, unknown audiences are those you don’t have a lead or specific identifier for (yet!). Also in the category of unknown audience are people who match up with your current audiences, but who don’t know about your product. You know they’re out there, but they aren’t easily targeted. In attracting new customers, it’s up to you to target these unknown audiences effectively and successfully.
Cost-Efficiency in the Funnel
This, of course, has merit: the customers at the bottom of your funnel are already interested, and have either passed through the other steps already or simply entered lower in the funnel. But there are a couple caveats to this. Times, tech, and the tools you have access to as a marketer are constantly changing; so is the market.
Improving on Convention
One of the main reasons that top of the funnel marketing efforts tend to be more of expensive is that businesses cast too wide a net. That is to say that they use top of the funnel marketing in a more catch-all way, targeting mostly the right people - but also wasting resources on marketing to people for whom their content is irrelevant. In order to make the top of the funnel efficient, you need to be reaching out to specifically targeted audiences you understand, with the content they are looking for in the places and times that they are online.
If you’re spending your budget on building awareness and interest in the wrong audiences, you won’t have many, if any, conversions. Yet, this highlights a method to make top of the funnel marketing much more efficient and decrease its potential costs per new customer - by really knowing your audience throughout your marketing funnel and reaching out to the right people at the right time.
Remember: quality content is good, but the right content is even better.
So, now that you’ve made the decision to be more efficient, cut costs, and improve your audience analysis and targeting - where do you get the data for your audience research?
Where Does Your Data Come From?
Google Analytics and In-Market Segments
A good example would be individuals who are currently looking to buy a car, or who are tourists looking for a hotel in a specific city. They have searched for options, compared possibilities, and maybe read up one some reviews - all indications that they are actively searching to make a purchase. More importantly, these actions are all tracked by Google.
With this information, you can consider how your brand can best position itself to reach out to this audience to grab their attention and show them that you have what they are looking for.
These metrics help to develop an idea of a person’s general, long-standing interest. These can help you develop an idea of what people who like your product also like, which can in turn allow you to expand your reach.
With page likes and self-reported information as the basis for its data, you can explore things in a range of informative metrics. You can view data on things like demographics, interests, page likes, and affinities, all of which will help you build a more complete picture of who your Facebook audiences are.
You can use it to see an overview of your Facebook audience or manually set up filters to segment your data to look at trends and characteristics within your audience.
None of it is particularly in-depth, but Instagram does two things very well in terms of your audiences: engagement and influencers.
Influencer marketing has taken off and is now a mainstay in effective social media marketing strategy. There are a lot of reasons why you should embrace influencer marketing, but much of it boils down to the way consumers make decisions about what to purchase, with 86% of respondents stating that they take advice from their friends about making purchases. Influencers position themselves to pick up one this by functioning as amplified word-of-mouth.
Influencer campaigns have become a tour de force in social media marketing as an effective and flexible marketing option - you’ll want to incorporate them into your social media marketing strategy to get ahead of the game.
Consolidating Your Audience Data
Consolidating your data isn’t something that native tools will allow you to do, but that’s where those third party platforms and tools we mentioned earlier come in!
There are a few options for this, but the main goal here is to bring all your social media data into one place so you can view it holistically and really dive into the data. Once you have a full view of where you stand, you can get to work refining your content plan to more effectively engage with your audience.
How do you consolidate all that audience data without wasting too much time and make it start working for you? We’ve got it covered in Socialbakers Suite - give it a try and see how easy it can be.
Once you’ve consolidated your data, arrange it into buyer personas. If you need a little help creating these efficiently and accurately, you can turn to a buyer persona template, or use a tool for generating personas.
Making Your Data Work For You: Actionable Insights
- You’ll lower your targeting costs significantly.
- Studies show significant reductions in Facebook advertising costs with effective audience analysis, allowing you to save time and money in the long run.
- You'll improve ROI by converting easier and faster.
- Knowing your audience’s affinities and behavior will help you target the right people at the right time to increase your Facebook relevance score.
- Audience Analysis will allow you to pinpoint your own audience and find the right influencers to help your brand reach them. You can find everything you need to know about influencer marketing in our beginner-friendly guide here.
- With quality audience analysis, you’ll understand where your audiences are in their customer journey. You’ll be able to distinguish between those who are ready to buy, and those who may need more time or awareness of your brand. All of which will help you organically, improve your SEO, and help to reduce your costs.
- Similarly to the points above, improving your knowledge of your audiences will help you reach out to them more authentically and personally. In this day and age, customers stick with brands they trust, and a big part of earning that trust is being able to speak to them in their language.
- Your audience might not just be the people you’re already working to target. Audience analysis can give you insight into niche segments, allowing you to reach out to groups that you may not even know exist yet.
- In an oversaturated market, getting leads is a race against your competition. With clearly defined audience personas, you can get an edge that will allow you to overtake the competition trying to target the same audience.
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