In the world of online marketing, there are many experts claiming that dialing in your perfect audience is the most important thing you can do.
And while there is a lot of truth to this, most marketers get this wrong. Typically marketers will fall into one of these two categories…
The Demographics Devotee
This marketer takes a look at their product and service, and defines their core Avatar (perfect customer) based on demographics.
For example, if a company is selling yoga mats, they would see that most people in a yoga studio are females in the 25-45 year old range. And, if a woman has the time and money to be going to the studio in the first place, she obviously has some disposable income.
The logical conclusion for this marketer is to then target their advertising to 25-45 year old females with a certain amount of disposable income. The strategy is fully supported by many of the large ad platforms, and will result in a large audience, thereby making traffic relatively inexpensive.
But, is this the best strategy? Let’s look at the opposite strategy…
The Super Target Fanatic
This marketer defines their core Avatar based on very specific interests. To continue with the yoga mat example, this company would target their audience very specifically. They would notice that the majority of people in the yoga studio are not only women, but they are typically moms, and most often are in the 32-40 age group. So the targeting would be very “tightened” to a specific group of women who are in the right age group, married, have children, have disposable income, live in large cities, and like websites or fan pages that are yoga related.
Again, we could draw a logical conclusion that their marketing is super-targeted, so they would only be advertising to individuals who have a very high likelihood of buying a yoga mat. This is true, and many ad platforms will support this amount of detail, but now this company is left with a very small audience to advertise to, resulting in much higher ad costs.
What neither of these two marketers are addressing is SCALE. In other words, how can they find bigger and bigger audiences, yet still have things dialed-in enough to have their ads be effective?
Affinity Marketing To The Rescue
The best strategy to scale up your advertising lies in a very simple 3 step process…
Step 1: Define Your Avatar, and advertise to both larger demographics and obvious direct interests. This is your starting point.
Step 2: Put your thinking cap on, and start asking yourself, WHAT ELSE might this Avatar like? For example, if they like yoga, they might like physical fitness, spirituality, meditation, natural health, personal development, and so on. These are all large “affinity” categories that should be advertised to.
So, don’t just split-test ads for headlines, ad-copy, and pictures. Split-test your ads to these groups to find more people that resonate with your messaging. This grows your audience, reduces overall ad costs, and allows you to learn the “sweet spots” of your audience. Make sure that when you test, you have tracking pixels in place to aggregate the data.
This is the step that is crucial to scaling your advertising, yet most marketers miss this one completely, and just go to step 3. Being lazy here will NOT serve you, and will cost you a lot of money. Once you’ve got this in place, things get easier.
Need some further insight into how to do this? Here’s a great article on how to use Facebook’s Audience Insights.
Step 3: Leverage the AI (Artificial Intelligence) of the ad platform that you’re using. In other words, now that you’ve set things up correctly, it’s time to let the big boys do the heavy lifting. For Google, it’s called “In-market,” for Facebook it’s called “Lookalike Audiences.” In either case, your tracking pixels are allowing the ad platform to learn what your audience is responding to. In turn, they can give you larger audiences that are also more responsive….the best of both worlds!