How to Target Your Online Marketing Like an Expert

Target Marketing

If you don’t target your marketing, you’re marketing to everyone and anyone. And that’s only going to waste your time and money.

Targeting your marketing is really a two-step process. First, you need to decide who your target audience is going to be. Then, you’ve got to know how to use the tools in your online marketing tool-kit to reach those people and only those people.

As marketers, we must be familiar with the four types of targeting:

1. Demographic
2. Geographic
3. Psychographic
4. Behavioral

You’ll want to be using all four types of targeting in both steps of the process. When you take a methodical approach like this, you’ll be making sure that all bases are covered and that you actually know what you’re doing.

Think about how you target your marketing right now. Is it carefully and strategically planned, where you can articulate exactly why it is the way it is? Or do you just market however you feel like, and hope for the best?

If it’s the latter, then you’ve got some polishing up to do. Keep reading to learn the expert’s approach to targeting your marketing.

Demographic Targeting

Demographics are the most basic way to segment the market. Think age, gender, income, and ethnicity.

Demographic targeting also encompasses parental status, occupation and employment status, education level, political orientation, sexual orientation, relationship status. These are the kind of details you would be expected to report in a government census.

Just the demographics alone allow you to paint a fairly detailed picture of your customer avatar.

For example, your customer avatar could be a married mother in her 30s who has two children under the age of 10. She works full-time in a white-collar profession and earns a salary of $50,000, her husband does very similarly, and she usually votes on the progressive side of politics.

Or, you could be targeting single males between 20 and 30 who graduated from university in the last 3 years. Or retirees between 60 and 70 who vote conservatively. You get the idea.

Obviously, your product is going to appeal to some people more than others. Think about which demographics those people fall into. Survey your customers if you need to, because getting this right can save you a lot of money.

How to do your demographic targeting:

Facebook ads – you can target your paid ads on Facebook by basically any piece of demographic information that Facebook users provide to Facebook, as well as a few that you might not expect.

As you create a Facebook ad, the immediate demographic targeting options are age, gender, and languages. However, open up the Detailed Targeting menu and you’ll see a whole bunch more. Relationship status, income, politics and the list goes on. This will filter the people who see your ad down to only the demographics you select. Then remember to use the correct messaging in your ad copy to hook in that demographic.

Organic marketing – your first thought might be that demographic targeting is impossible with organic marketing. After all, you don’t have all the information that Facebook collects. But it’s still possible. The trick is to get the messaging right.

If most of your buyers are in their 40’s and 50’s who have grown-up children, you’re going to want to adjust your messaging to speak to those people. Don’t write as if you’re talking to people in their 20’s who have never had kids. That’s how you target the right demographics organically.

Geographic Targeting

Most offline business owners already know what geographic region they are targeting. Online business owners should, too – although they don’t always know it.

The internet may make it possible for you to target the whole world, but that doesn’t mean you should. Australians don’t have the same tastes as Americans and Americans don’t have the same tastes as Indians. Nor does every geographic market have the financial means to afford your product or service, especially if you require payment by credit card.

Your job is to identify which market(s) both desire and can afford your product or service.

How to do your geographic targeting:

Facebook ads – again, very easy to target your paid ads geographically. You can target by the radius around a particular address, which is ideal for offline businesses or live events. Or, you can target an entire suburb, city, region, country or state. You can also target multiple geographic regions or radiuses with the same ad.

Organic marketing – comment on blogs and join Facebook groups and online communities that are based in the area you’re marketing to, and have members or readers who are based in that area. And again, use your messaging to filter out the correct geographic market.

If you market to Americans, use American language or slang. If you market to Australians, use Australian language and make references to the popular culture and local tastes. You get the idea.

Even if you do choose to target more than one geographical market, it still might be a good idea to craft separate marketing campaigns with different messaging to appeal to different markets.

Psychographic Targeting

Psychographic targeting is a little bit less obvious, and it’s the type of targeting that most business owners haven’t worked out.

Here, we’re talking about your audience’s interests, attitudes, hopes, and dreams. We’re talking about what are their pain points and what keeps them awake at night.

In Australia, where I’m from, we have the Roy Morgan Values Segments. For example, “Real Conservatism” for the older, more conservative type who wishes for a return to the way things used to be. And “Look at Me” for the young, adventurous type who is self-centered, obsessed with looks and status and what their friends think of them.

Mind you, these are extremely broad and designed for looser advertising mediums like TV. But on the internet, you can be laser specific in your psychographic targeting. If you want to target people who are struggling to build their home business, you can. Or to target people who are interested in eating healthy, that’s easy too.

How to do your psychographic targeting:

Facebook ads – when you set up a Facebook paid ad, type any interest into the Detailed Targeting box. This could be a public figure, a magazine, a sport or hobby, a musical genre or band, a TV show, or a popular Facebook page. You can then target your ad towards all of the people who have that interest.

Then, just make sure that you work the messaging into your ad. Refer to the hopes, dreams, pains, and fears of your target audience.

Organic marketing – hang out on blogs that your target audience are likely to read, especially ones that talk about the pains and gains of your chosen psychographic market. Leave comments on these blogs, and offer to write guest posts to establish your name as an authority. Find Facebook groups based around the interests of your target audience, join these groups, and establish yourself as a helpful member of the community.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting is different from the other three forms of targeting. Rather than being concerned about who your audience is outside of your business, it’s all about how they’ve interacted with your business (or industry) already.

For example, there are:

* ice-cold prospects who don’t even know about your business.
* people who have been to your website, but not bought anything.
* people who have bought from you in the recent past and likely to buy again soon.
* people who have bought from you in the distant past and never returned.
* long-term customers who have spent many thousands of dollars with you, and will continue to do so.

Don’t forget there are also people who may not have heard of your business yet, but they’ve started researching some of your competitors. Maybe they’ve bought from your competitors. The possibilities are endless.

How to do your behavioral targeting:

Facebook ads – use custom audiences to target those who have been to a specific part of your website. Then, use the correct messaging to speak to that sub-market. For example, you could run an ad that explains your business to people who have visited your front page. Or, you could run a new promotion to those who have already been through to the last page of your funnel.

Organic marketing – think about the different audiences you have. There are your email subscribers. There are your Facebook group members. There are your high ticket buyers and there are your low ticket buyers. There are people who have communicated with you in some way – leaving a blog or Facebook comment, spoken to you on the phone – and then there are your lurkers.

Be mindful of who you’re speaking to. If you’re talking to buyers, you don’t need to sell them on why they need your service. They already get it. But if you’re talking to people who are interacting with your business for the first time, you may need to slow down and explain things more clearly. Don’t use too much jargon or make assumptions about how much they know.

You’re going to be marketing to a number of different groups, and you don’t want to address each group in exactly the same way. Be nuanced in your communication and it will resonate better.

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