“When was the last time you saw an ad that wasn’t relevant to you?” asks Roy Hinks, one of the most successful SEO experts of this decade in an interview with SimilarWeb. In the past few years, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and many other platforms have gone out of their way to improve audience targeting for businesses.
To put it simply, audience targeting means separating consumers based on aspects such as interests or demographics, in order to reach those that are most likely to be interested in your brand. Audience targeting is used by companies, personal blogs, e-commerce businesses and virtually any website that wants to improve their reach because it heightens the chance to attract users that are actually interested in their content.
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Roy Hinkis has been in the marketing industry for 12 years and has collaborated with several successful companies, such as Kylie Cosmetics, TELUS, Lyft, and most recently, Waze, to help them grow their consumer base through digital marketing. Throughout his career, he has noticed the many changes that happened in the way people use digital media and the internet, and how Google adapted to those changes.
Search results have become more personal than they ever were, as Google continues to update its machine learning to deliver more accurate results to its users. With these changes, Hinkis points out that personalization and relevancy have become more important than ever. Now, Google shows results based on your location, personal interests, and other demographics data it can gather. This way, if you are looking for a restaurant on Google, it will first show you restaurants that are in your area, or businesses that you have interacted with in the past.
How can I improve audience targeting?
The most important thing you need to do is look at your analytics and learn as much as you can about your website visitors. Who are they? What are their main interests? How did they discover your website? This will tell you if your content is attracting the audience you desire, or if you are creating content suited for your existing audience.
Let’s say you are running a website that reviews music gear and your content is targeted at music producers. Upon exploring your analytics, you discover that a significant portion of your viewers does not consist of music professionals, but rather music aficionados. Now, you don’t want to lose those visitors, so why not develop some lighter content that is suited for them as well?
Facebook has some impressive audience targeting options for businesses as well, allowing you to choose the age, gender, language, location, and interests of your targeted audience. This way, your ads will reach only users that have a high chance of being interested in your company. What’s more, you can even target people based on their behavior, which includes purchase history, connections they have or events they like or attend.
Ultimately, Hinkis goes on to say that it is important to treat each platform individually and to remember that, what works for Google may not work for Facebook or Instagram, so you should aim to use each platform for its intended purpose.