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Welcome to the Brand and Demand Solutions’ Marketing Impact Vlog. Today we’ll be sharing actionable strategies to improve audience insights.

As technology continues to become more and more intertwined with marketing, we have a wide variety of options in our “marketing toolbox” to better help us understand our customers. We feel very confident that those of you watching this VLOG have at least Google Analytics at your disposable.

If you don’t, then if there is one takeaway from your time today, it better be to get access ASAP.

Adam:
So true Nicole! For those of you who aren’t familiar or comfortable with GA, I highly recommend you check out Google Analytics Academy. A free resource for all things GA.

But I digress. We’re not here to talk about GA specifically; it’s just a perfect place to start because I’m consistently amazed by the number of marketing professionals who don’t truly understand their target market(s). A successful marketer MUST nail down their precise prospect and customer community demographics, behaviors and interests to be successful. If we aren’t able to nail down our target communities, then we’ll never be able to sell more widgets OR be able to scale our products and services.

However, building successful buyer personas are notoriously difficult to build and therefore are really underutilized.

I don’t know about you, but we’re always trying to learn more about our customers and seek answers to questions like:
• What are their challenges?
• What will they buy more of?
• What websites do they frequent?
• Where do they live?
• What are their interests?
• How can I better target them and their network?

We’re sure you could come up with a dozen more questions off the top of your head. You know where we’re going with this.

What many people completely forget is that the advertising platforms we leverage already, have all of this data. Specifically in the area of Audience Insights.

Nicole:
You’re right Adam, most ad platforms provide their own audience insights. Obviously, Google which we started with, but also Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

In short, we have limitless opportunities to learn more about our target audiences.

I don’t know about you, but I was like a kid in a candy store the first time I jumped into these insights in a platform. There is just so much to learn about the audiences we have in our accounts.

But then analysis paralysis sets in! So much data, but how do we leverage it?

Adam:
Yep – it happens to the best of us and that’s really the point of today’s VLOG. We want to focus on a few key tips to leverage the insight and avoid analysis paralysis. So, here we go:

Tip 1 is right where we started this conversation: Google Analytics

Ten million plus websites use Google Analytics for good reason. The free version is amazingly robust and you can start gaining insights about your target market almost immediately.

You’ll want dive into the Demographics and Interests sections of Google Analytics. Basically what you’re trying to figure out is, of the people who actually visit your site and purchase, what are the common denominators? You can start basic like this snip it of who they are, but absolutely can dig deep to understand how much time they take on your site and how many times they visit before purchasing.

Gaining these insights and behaviors will not only help you build proper buyer personas but help to shorten sales cycles and improve customer service and product management.

I’ll end with a Google bonus tip. Did you know that Google Ads can show you which In-Market and Affinity categories the users in your audience fall into. That’s huge! You now have new targeting you can test.

If you’re looking to expand your reach, there couldn’t be a better place to go, this is where Google sees your audience online.

Our 2nd Tip is going to help you Improve & Refine Your Targeting by Better Analyzing Patterns

This is a favorite way of mine to adjust targeting within a platform. We’ll use LinkedIn as an example.

Say you’re seeing strong performance from your campaigns, but as we typically do, you feel there’s room for improvement. Guess what? LinkedIn’s Ad platform makes it amazingly simple to improve and refine your targeting for optimal performance.

Here’s how: When you’re in your account, click the checkbox next to the campaign(s) you want to review performance for, then click the Demographics button at the top of the navigation.

You’ll be taken to a view where you can breakdown the performance within your campaigns by which targeting groups had higher impressions, clicks, and conversions.

This is great, but here’s the BONUS Tip!  Linked In provides this information for a variety of targeting options, whether you’re actively using them or not.

Even though we weren’t targeting them, its clear Operations folks simply aren’t into what we’re selling.

Adam:

Nicole – I’m going to add a second bonus tip into the equation. Did you know you can also search and refine job titles, function, and other demographics criteria on LinkedIn’s Ad platform, without even running ads?  It’s such a great tool.

Our 3rd and final tip for today is this:

Gain additional audience insights from Twitter Audience Insights and Facebook Audience Manager.

If you’re not leveraging Twitter and Facebook, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity. We know some of you might be rolling your eyes at this point, but hear me out. We’re not currently advertising on Facebook, because we’re 100% B2B and don’t see a lot of value on Facebook. However, its short money to run some tests to track the data and gain deeper audience insights. You can use both platform tools to figure out the different interests, demographics, occupation, lifestyle, consumer behavior, political affiliation – there are honestly too many options to list.

On Twitter, you can analyze your followers and any Twitter ad campaign that you run. From this analysis, you can reach people who aren’t already your customers, based on the patterns of those who are and the algorithm that Twitter places on similar audiences. The best part, it’s an unbiased perspective.

And here’s another BONUS Tip – did you know you can upload your email distribution list to both Facebook and Twitter and they will do a demographic analysis on your lists. There are just so many options to improve our audience insights.

Our hope today is that you grabbed one or two golden nuggets to improve your audience insights from free platform analytics. To be successful marketers that drive growth, we MUST dedicate more time to understanding our target communities. Using today’s tips and tools, it’s easier than ever to do the research and create fantastic buyer personas.

If you’re looking for more opportunities to learn from your peers in the industry and apply marketing best practices to your day to day efforts, we highly recommend you attend the 20th anniversary of our Marketing Impact event. This is a Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange and if you’ve never attended one, you MUST place this event on your calendar. I’ll be there and look forward to meeting you. For more information, please visit marketingmindxchange.com.

As always – remember to Grow Your Brand. And Drive Demand. See you next time!

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