5 Data-Driven Ways to Improve Audience Targeting with Content

Audience targeting via content marketing can be difficult to navigate. There are numerous ways to improve audience targeting, and they all harness the power of data. Data is becoming one of the most valuable assets for content marketers. Applying data-driven concepts can ensure that your audience receives personalized, relevant content that will make them convert.

Audience targeting at the enterprise level can be complex, as you deal with many types of audiences and products. With the right data-driven strategy, you can achieve and scale audience targeting.

What Is Audience Targeting?

improve audience targeting

Your content team may be familiar with the concept, but it’s worth a quick review. Audience targeting describes segmenting buyers into buckets, depending on their interests, demographics, and behaviors. How you segment depends on your content strategy, buyer profiles/personas, and content goals.

For example, you may target by industry if you serve several and your solutions are industry-specific. You could also segment by the products that interest your buyers if you have a large portfolio. Buyer behaviors are another category to consider. You may use lead scoring or other conversion goals to move buyers into groups.

Benefits of Audience Targeting

Why should you seek to improve audience targeting? It can deliver benefits for your brand.

  • Expand your market by identifying new opportunities or buyers.
  • Increase conversions as buyers identify with the content more, feeling confident your brand “gets” them.
  • Reduce marketing costs by being purposeful in targeting and not wasting money on “broad” campaigns.
  • Create better relationships with customers because your content is relevant and provides value to them.
  • Save time in creating targeted campaigns because you have data to back up your assumptions.
  • Outperform competitors that aren’t targeting well—if audiences compare your messaging, they’ll notice that yours is more in sync with them.

Leveraging Data-Driven Tactics to Improve Audience Targeting

Ready to learn about the best tips and tricks to improve audience targeting by leaning on data? Here are our top suggestions.

Use Google Audience Targeting Features

Google has some data-driven tools for audience targeting ads. A Google Analytics report can help you determine Affinity Categories and In-Market Segments. These insights allow teams to build out ad groups that will resonate with specific audiences.

The in-market audiences are the most valuable, as they reflect a group of users that are actively searching for products like yours. You’ll be able to widen your reach with those that already have a legitimate interest in your solutions.

Try Facebook Custom Audiences and Retargeting

Facebook leads all other social media platforms when it comes to audience and advertising. If you’re part of a large enterprise, you are probably already using Facebook as a channel to distribute content and engage new buyers.

Facebook is unique in targeting because you can do so based on interests. Facebook creates these opportunities from user profile data, meaning they’ll be more relevant to those targeted.

To extend what you may already be doing, you can define your custom audiences more narrowly and expand them with lookalike audiences.

Further, you can then retarget those that interact with your initial content to move them further down the funnel to conversion. Your first ad may be a whitepaper on a hot topic. If the user clicks on this, you could retarget with an offer to demo a product, receive a free trial, or look at a comparison chart highlighting your product and competitors.

Develop a Data-Driven SEO Approach

Keywords are integral to all your content marketing for which you want to rank on Google or other search platforms. Using keywords can also be a way to target specific audiences if you’re using long-tail keywords that include specificity like industry, job title, or location.

Use all the tools in your SEO arsenal to design a data-driven approach, which could include:

  • Checking organic ranking for keywords every 30 days and looking for trends that could indicate audience search patterns.
  • Finding emerging or trending keywords via Google Trends or other SEO tools. This information informs you of what new challenges or concerns your audience has.
  • Defining what keywords pair with each audience. You can use Google Analytics reports as well as other SEO platforms to understand how buyers search. Use that information to create more content that will align with their searching.

Review Content Performance

With your content analytics platform, you should be able to view data from many streams—website, social media, email, etc. It’s a gold mine for investigating how content performs with your audience. It can also help you plot out a more refined customer journey.

From this data, you can improve audience targeting by:

  • Understanding the formats of content each audience prefers (blogs, infographics, video, etc.)
  • Finding out which channels have the best engagement for audiences
  • Learning the role of content in conversions for audiences

Employ Lead Scoring to Target by Behaviors

Lead scoring is an essential function of most marketing automation solutions. Once an inquiry reaches your CRM (customer relationship management) tool, you can begin scoring. A lead receives a score of a specific number, set by you. As their score increases, you can segment these audiences into email nurture campaigns that align with their level of interest.

For example, if you receive a lead from a gated content landing page, you could award them 25 points. Next, you’ll send them through a series of emails. As they open or click, you can increase their score. Once they hit a number that you define, you can convert them as sales-ready.

The key here is to automate as much as possible, so it’s not manual, which would make it impossible to scale. If you aren’t using lead scoring now, start small and make adjustments. You could see excellent results as audiences respond to messaging that makes sense.

Ready to Wow Your Audiences?

Every buyer desires some hint of personalization—show them you really understand their needs and present them with content that matters. With a data-driven approach, you can accomplish and win at audience targeting!

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