Much of what market research does is identify a target audience that will respond best to your product marketing. The results of this research should steer the content, the message and which platforms to use for each customer type. It should also be flexible. Market research isn’t a one and done methodology. You should always be observing patterns and testing new options. Just because you think you got it doesn’t mean you got it for long.
I previously wrote about how to use research to craft your message and get in front of your target audience. Now I want to focus on a few more techniques to grow your audience based on what you know about your current audience. Primarily I want to focus on lookalike audiences and remarketing to visitors to your website.
All the major ad platforms (AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) have an option to use lookalike audiences. The way lookalike audiences work is you take a list of your current customers and upload it to the ad manager for the platform. The list must include email addresses, but it can include names and other information and usually needs to be in a .csv (comma separated values) format. (You can create a .csv file from Excel, Numbers or Google Sheets usually under “Save as”.) Once you compile this list and upload it, the platform will start parsing it.
The way it works is the platform will analyze the information they have about your list of people and compile similarities. Depending on the platform will depend on what similarities are available. Once these platforms finish analyzing the list, they build out a persona or personas of your target audience. It will then use the traits of these personas to deliver your ads to this newly compiled audience.
In my opinion, Facebook is probably the best at this. Facebook, more than any other platform, has the most personal information stored about you. If you are an active user on Facebook it knows your gender, your relationship status, your likes, your interests, plus many other data points too numerous to mention here.
I know what you’re thinking, why not just go into their Ad Manager and pick the interests from their list? You could do that but unless you compiled a really deep understanding of your customers, you are only making assumptions. Also, your customers may only tell you what they want you to know about them, whereas, on these platforms they may be more honest with their likes and dislikes.
If you are in sales, you know that most people don’t buy on the first interaction. Heck, they may not buy after the second or third interaction. What is frustrating is that they don’t necessarily want to add themselves to your email list even though they might be interested. Basically, when they leave you have no idea who they were or if they may be interested down the road. That is where remarketing comes in. Remarketing is delivering ads to visitors who have interacted with your website or app in some way.
We have all seen remarketing at work. We visit a site and then we see their ads all over the internet. The way it works is that you determine what path or pattern a visitor must take in order to be added to the remarketing list. For example, it could be someone who visits a product page, and is on the page for more than 30 seconds. They would be a good candidate because they may have an interest in their product but may not be ready to buy. However, what you don’t want to do is target every person that visits your site. Besides being annoying, it’s a waste of money.
Remarketing is particularly useful if you have a vitamin product. If you are not sure what I mean by that, read my article about 5 Critical Mistakes To Avoid When Marketing Online and I give you an explanation of what a vitamin product is. With a vitamin product, the decision to buy might be a longer process. Keeping your product top of mind by “following” that person, and reminding them about your product could shorten the decision to buy. Particularly if you include an image of that nice new shiny product of yours.
Using these techniques are great because it takes a bunch of the leg work out of finding new audiences. However, if your messaging doesn’t resonate with your audience, you will find that your ROI (return on investment) isn’t going to be stellar. Because it is easy doesn’t mean it is simple. There still needs to be research done on who your audience is, what their state of mind is, what messaging they are going to respond to, etc. Skipping over all those other steps to this one will only lead you to scratching your head as to why it’s not working. With that said, lookalike audiences and remarketing is a great tool in your digital marketing toolbox. If done correctly, it can help you move the needle on conversions.