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Written by Sam Yadegar on Jun 7 , 2021

To create effective marketing campaigns, properly targeting your audience is key.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why audience targeting is important
  • A list of targeting types
  • The best places to leverage audience targeting
  • Expert targeting tips

Audience targeting will help you set parameters for paid search ads, design personalized offers, adjust your email marketing campaign, write effective content, and much more. Not only that, but being able to reach the right people with your message has a huge effect on the ROI of your marketing campaign.

Audience targeting basically means dividing your customers into groups based on their behavior, interests, and demographics. The goal: to create a personalized message for each segment. Segmenting is important, since most brands don’t have an audience that shares the same region, financial status, or job title. 

Let’s take a closer look at audience targeting and how to approach it properly.

Why audience targeting is important

Knowing how to target your audience is a key part of designing an effective marketing campaign. After all, you need to know who you’re speaking to and what they’re looking for from your company, right? 

The main benefits of proper segmentation include:

  • Budget friendly: With the right approach to audience targeting, you don’t waste money or time showing ads or creating content for the wrong consumer. Plus, it helps you optimize your return on ad spend (ROAS).
  • Resource distribution: Knowing which parts of your audience engage with your content and ads (and ultimately convert) can help you put more funds toward the right marketing efforts.
  • Leads with high potential: Knowing which audience to target helps you attract leads with high conversion potential.
  • Turning customers into long-term partners: Designing personalized messages for existing customers and re-engaging them with remarketing tactics helps build brand loyalty and can boost customer lifetime value.
  • Better SEO: Audience targeting allows you to increase website traffic. You can make sure the right consumers are visiting it and create content that’ll get you visibility on the search engine results page (SERP).

With well-defined audience segments in mind, you can get hyper-targeted and reel the right consumers in.  

large audience of people outdoors

Psychographic targeting requires a closer look at your potential and existing clients to figure out how they think. (Image via Unsplash)

Types of audience targeting

Audience targeting aims to help you create a high-converting campaign for specific parts of your audience. With that in mind, it helps to be aware of different audience targeting types.

Demographic targeting

Demographic information is the most common way to target an audience. These parameters include things like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race/nationality
  • Family (parental and marital) status
  • Income
  • Education
  • Job status
  • Location

For some campaigns, this data may be enough to create at least one ideal client persona. Other campaigns may need extra details for a more personalized approach.

Example: Design paid ads to target 40-year-old married men from Denver with incomes of over $75,000 per year.

Psychographic targeting

Psychographic audience targeting divides your audience into groups based on the psychological traits that may influence buying habits. You can pinpoint these traits by studying your audience’s lifestyle, habits, and preferences.

Psychographic targeting requires a closer look at your potential and existing clients to figure out how they think. Consider traits like:

  • Social status
  • Lifestyle
  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Activities
  • Interests

Additional things you may want to study to help with psychographic targeting include:

  • Food, sleep, entertainment habits
  • Activity on social media
  • Online behavior patterns

When it comes to this type of targeting, looking at your existing customers can be a great help. Get a clearer picture of how to approach new consumers by studying them through tracking and surveying.

Example: Create an email campaign targeting consumers who enjoy road trips and camping.

Behavioral targeting

Behavior targeting involves segmenting your audience according to their behavior when making purchasing decisions and browsing the internet.

  • Types of ads they click
  • Types of websites they visit
  • Items they’ve purchased in the past
  • Interactions with an app
  • Interaction with your brand

Besides making your message more personalized, behavioral targeting lets you identify buying trends and make predictions to improve your future tactics.

Example: Show flower shop ads to people who have visited flower e-commerce websites in the past 90 days.

Need more help with your audience? Let’s connect!

audience of people indoors at a presentation

Proper segmenting can help you take a direct shot at the consumer’s pain points. (Image via Unsplash)

How to use audience targeting

There are a handful of tools you can take advantage of to get the most out of your audience targeting efforts.

  • Google Ads: Google has a handful of useful features to work with when designing paid ads. Pay special attention to in-market audiences.
  • LinkedIn Ads: LinkedIn’s lookalike or matched audience feature uses the information you collected about your audience to generate more leads.
  • Facebook Ads: Facebook creates a huge playing field for companies that know what their audience wants. Consider exploring custom and lookalike audiences.
  • Email marketing: Segmented email marketing campaigns get almost 65% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. You can use the information you collect to design the perfect offer.

When you need to create a precise message, audience targeting can help you do it. From paid ads and email marketing to landing page content and blog posts, proper segmenting can help you take a direct shot at the consumer’s pain points.

Audience targeting tips

Looking to improve your audience targeting tactics to streamline your marketing campaign? These pro tips can help:

  • Take the time to dig into your existing audience so you can better understand how to build and segment effectively.
  • Engage with your potential customers through a variety of channels to gather information for psychographic targeting.
  • Save money by creating one ad and personalizing it for each segment of your target audience.
  • Avoid hyper-targeting your audience. Segments are great, but micro-segments are rarely effective.
  • When using paid search ads, make sure to explore all the opportunities presented by the platform. Google and social media platforms offer a huge variety of targeting opportunities. 

The takeaway

Audience targeting is one of the most effective ways to reach consumers with a high buying potential. Without segmenting your target audience, you may be struggling to match your message to the right buyers. 

On the other hand, taking advantage of the available audience targeting tools across different channels can help you maximize ROI, increase brand loyalty, and design marketing campaigns that convert.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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