Years ago, advertisers had only a few methods that could be used to understand and know their customers and prospects. Demographic information, viewer/listener ratings, and sketchy psychographic information were about the only ways to define the target audiences and even then advertising dollars were over or underreaching the people who were most likely to purchase.

In today’s digital environment, identifying a target audience is much more refined than in the past. It is no longer enough to define your customers by age, income, gender, and geographic location, particularly when there are so many available tools at your disposal. Lifestyle, Internet/digital usage, and personal interests are now paramount to layering more pertinent information onto your customer avatar. The more you know about them, the easier it is to direct meaningful messages that will bring them in closer to the point of sale.

Target marketing helps appropriate a marketing budget more carefully. For example, why spend money on those who are not likely to buy immediately? Particularly when it is possible to appeal to those that are primed and ready to buy now. At the same time, efforts can be made to keep those other segments interested and engaged until they are ready to purchase.

There are several digital tools that will help identify much more than your prospects’ demographic information… and many of them are free!

Google Analytics

What Does it Do? Google analytics has been around for a very long time and continues to be one of the most utilized tools available. With it, you can monitor your website’s traffic and learn an amazing amount of information about those who are coming to the site. You will also be able to see the “bounce rate”, which will tell you how quickly people are landing on the site and quickly leaving. This is because the site is not what they thought it was or that it is opening very slowly. The average Internet attention span is now about nine seconds, so the website has to open quickly and immediately attract the visitor with information for which they have been looking.

When you review the Audience section of Google Analytics, you will see your visitors’:

  • Demographics
  • Geographic location
  • Behaviour (time spent and pages visited on the site, new vs returning)
  • Technology (browsers being used, operating system, and network)
  • Mobile or Desktop
  • Personal interests (preferences, interests, habits, etc.)

Followerwonk

What Does it Do? Followerwonk provides audience insights for Twitter. It is capable of analyzing Twitter accounts, bio comparisons, tracking, sorting, and more. Although there is a paid version of this software, the free version can reveal authority rankings, followers, follower locations, and learn viewers’ activity patterns.

By using this tool, you will notice followers’ behaviours and interests that may not have occurred beforehand. For example, let’s say you have an e-commerce website that sells high-end sports watches. By using Follwerwonk, you may discover that your Twitter followers are interested in national and international running marathons. Knowing this provides an angle that can be weaved into marketing messages, thus creating a closer connection.

Keyword Tool

What Does it Do? Keywords are still relevant, especially when it comes to search engine marketing. This free keyword tool uses Google’s autocomplete to find common, short, keywords that have high search volumes. By using this tool, you will have the benefit of the Google Keyword Planner’s hidden keywords. Both long-tail and related keywords will provide marketing ideas that will inspire more meaningful angles and approaches.

Although the Keyword Tool Pro costs, it will provide up to 20 additional keywords per search so may be worth the price for your situation. There are three monthly plans from which to choose.

Think with Google

What Does it Do? When you subscribe to the Think with Google newsletter you will receive the latest in consumer trends and insights. You will receive data reports, guides, infographics and articles that will help deep dive into your prospects’ behaviours and interests. When you become privy to more insights,? you will be able to develop persuasive audience-tailored advertising.

Answer the Public

What Does it Do? This interesting consumer insight tool gets to the heart of what your prospects are asking as relates to your products’ industry. It is invaluable to learn the types of questions that are being asked in searches so appropriate information can be provided. There is a simple beginners course that can take you through the steps of how to view the results provided by Google & Bing. You will discover a treasure chest of insights that can be incorporated into any creative, SEO, or content campaigns. The cloud-based insights will allow you to see what types of questions are being asked which allows you to select which answers to provide.

Talkwalker Alerts & Google Alerts

Set up alerts using keywords that identify with your target audience. For example: If your target audience is Baby Boomers, then set your alerts pertaining to that group. Content that is set up in the alert will be sent to your inbox. Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts are both very helpful and can be scheduled in a variety of ways. Both are powerful social media monitoring systems and are free!

In Summary

If you are interested in providing highly targeted content, advertising, and social media then understanding the minds and hearts of your target audience is paramount. You’ll be speaking into their listening – make sense? They will hear your messages loud and clear if the information is tailored to their needs, wants, and interests.

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