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Everything digital marketers need to know about target audience analysis

A core part of any marketing strategy is target audience analysis as it gives one a more discerning view of who your audiences are. As a brand, you want to be reaching out to the right people and making tweaks to your strategy to achieve that desired outcome.

What exactly is audience analysis? How do you go about it?

Audience Analysis: What’s it all about?

Audience analysis is the research of demographics, language, location, preferences, interests, and other metrics within a group. It is then analysed to provide useful and actionable consumer insights for a brand in the form of buyer personas.

Previously, this kind of analysis was a painstaking and time-consuming process. 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.

However, 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.

Why Should We Analyse Our Audience?

Each step of the marketing funnel 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? You need to rely on as much data as possible – luckily, digital marketing has made it readily accessible.

• Cut Costs

As campaigns lean towards a smaller scale format, along with an increase in frequency, knowing your audiences and gearing your marketing strategy to reach out to them effectively helps reduce costs.

Case studies have shown a reduction in costs of up to 56 per cent for businesses using quality audience analysis to back their marketing efforts.

• Stay Ahead of The Competition

Blanket advertisement and poor targeting on social not only reduce the amount of leads and conversions you generate, but they also allow your competition to catch the customers you’re missing out on.

• Keep Your Customers Engaged

Marketers are failing customers by not reaching out to them in the right way. According to a Marketo Engagement Gap report, 51 per cent of consumers believe brands send too much irrelevant content.

What’s the Difference Between Known and Unknown Audiences?

Targeting audiences comes with a catalogue of options for how to go about it and where to set your focus. This is where a somewhat new idea comes in: known and unknown audiences. Making the distinction between these can help you be more effective across the funnel and collect the right data.

Known audiences are those you have had some kind of contact with already. They might have visited your site or signed up for a mailing list, giving you their email.

On the other hand, unknown audiences are those you don’t have a lead or specific identifier for. Also in the category of unknown audience are people who match up with your current audiences, but who don’t know about your product.

Where Should You Get Your Data?

Digital methods have left conventional data collection behind due to the sheer pace and scale at which data can be collected – especially at the top of the funnel. It’s good to have access to all the data you need – but where should you be getting it from?

• Google Analytics and In-Market Segments

In-Market Audiences will show you users who are already active searching and comparing your brand to alternatives in the market. These are people who might be interested in what your brand has to offer for a limited time.

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 and comparisons – all indications that they are actively searching to make a purchase. More importantly, these actions are all tracked by Google.

• Affinities

Google Analytics also offers Affinity Audiences, which delves deeper into who your audiences are. It looks at a person’s lifestyle and interests to get a sense of their identity and habits.

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.

• Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights is, at its heart, a research and filtering platform allowing you to better understand and report on the audience and potential audiences of a Facebook page.

With page likes and self-reported information as the basis for its data, you can explore things in a range of informative metrics such as demographics and interests, all of which will help you build a more complete picture of who your Facebook audiences are.

• Instagram Insights

Normal Instagram profiles don’t have access to analytics, beyond tracking likes and views for individual pieces of content yourself. The main Insights section you gain access to when you make the switch to an Instagram business account includes all the usual metrics on likes, follows, and impressions, along with data on profile visits, actions taken on your profile in general, and the reach of your account.

Co-written by Jacob Porteus, Jr. Content Marketing Writer.

Charles Tidswell

Charles Tidswell is the Vice President of JAPAC at Socialbakers and is based in Singapore. For the majority of his professional career, Charles has been involved with early stage start-ups and companies entering the high growth stage across the South East Asia region.