Digital, Media Buying

Six Steps to Developing a Target Audience for a Digital Campaign

By: Digital Department, MassMedia Marketing, Advertising, PR

One of the many advantages to running a digital campaign is the ability to hyper-target specific audiences and subsets. Obviously, your marketing strategy will work best when built around your exact target audience and this requires a thorough knowledge of the audience and subsets, including:

• How they think/feel
• How they engage with your product/service
• How they make buying decisions

Once you truly ‘know’ who your audience is, you can convert that knowledge into a viable digital marketing strategy that reaches them and moves them to action.

Read on for five steps that will help you research your target audience and unearth insights that can be used specifically for digital campaigns.

Step 1: Assess

During this phase, consider everything you know about your current customers and research additional data points. There’s a variety of research methods you can use and all of them hold merit. Use the ones that make sense for you or seek out the help of an expert to garner even more findings. These methods may include:

• Analyzing your website and social media data
• Conducting a short audience survey through email
• Meeting one-on-one with a few of your previous or current customers
• Brainstorming with your team and combining their insights

Identify commonalities from the findings to create a better idea of ‘who’ your audience is. You’re looking for specific, relevant factors that unite them. This can include demographic and geographic information such as:

• Age/Income/Geographic Location
• Industry or Job Title
• Revenue Potential

Beyond just demographics and geographics, your initial findings should also delve deeper and shed light on your customers’ psychographics and behavioral segmentations, as well as their level of knowledge of your company’s products and industry. Additionally, knowing what matters to them most as it relates to your industry is important as well.

Step 2: Identify the pain points

Ask yourself: What are the main problems my customers are trying to solve when engaging with my brand?

To ensure a successful digital campaign, you need to address the major pain points your audience might be facing at specific phases of their buying journey.

Couple the audience information you have with the problems they’re looking to solve and consider how various digital assets in your campaign might best address these challenges and present solutions to the customers.

Step 3: Map out their process

Marketing is often described as a funnel, and digital marketing exemplifies this analogy to the fullest. Most digital marketing funnels include the phases: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.

With their pain points in hand, begin to map out your audience’s entire digital buying process with the phases of the marketing funnel serving as a guide. Answering the following questions will help you develop this journey map:

• What is the initial problem they’re trying to solve? What created the problem in the first place?
• What information are they looking for at the beginning of their journey? The middle? The end? After the journey?
• How do they seek out solutions to their challenges on the Internet at each phase of the process?

Step 4: Develop a persona

With all of the information in hand, you now need to convert your research into a brief description – a persona – about your target audience. This will help you and your team think of your ideal customer as a real person rather than as a large faceless and nameless group of people that share a set of demographics and behaviors. It will also force your team to really think through how the potential customer will move from awareness, to engagement, to purchase, to repeat customer.

Step 5: Determine viability

Now that you’ve mapped out your audience’s digital buying journey, you’ll need to ensure each channel you’ve selected for the journey has the inventory needed to effectively target your intended audience as well as increase conversions.

• Google Search: Convert the pain points you identified into Google search terms and determine which keywords you should incorporate into your digital marketing strategy based on search volume, competition and targeting parameters. There’s a range of free and paid tools you can use for this process, including Google Keyword Tool, SEMRush, UberSuggest, and more.
• Social: Examine the size of your target audience on each of the social platforms used in your campaign and ensure each platform has a wide enough pool to effectively increase awareness or drive leads

Step 6: Repeat

As you conduct your research, you’ll likely find there are more than one audience group that would benefit from your products and/or services. This is a chance to broaden your reach, but it requires conducting the entire target audience research process repeatedly and building a digital strategy for each audience.

To really make it work, start by identifying your most viable target audience with the largest opportunity overall. From there, pinpoint the audience with the second-largest opportunity and go from there. It is recommended that you keep your target audiences narrowed to a few groups that are most likely to convert rather than spread your budget too thin by casting a wide net to multiple audience segments.

As a final note, we advise you to never stop researching your audiences. The world changes quickly, and your audiences do too. Even after your digital marketing strategy is in place, continue to identify new audience segments and measure the value of your current audiences as well. By staying well-informed and continuously leveraging what you know about your audiences, you’ll ensure your digital marketing strategy remains meaningful and impactful for your organization’s ultimate marketing goals.

Our specialists are experienced at developing target audiences specifically for digital campaigns. Contact us today to learn more!

[wp_live_search target="#searchResults" type="posts,pages" results_style="inside"]