A lot of the content marketing we end up doing for certain companies requires a good understanding of demographics, and the ways we market our content to the groups of people that our client is most likely to make a sale to. As far as successful sales go, it’s prudent to generalise up to a point, especially when we are using sales and client data we already have. Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about the ways companies can use data and marketing to get the most out of the demographics that most often use their services.
Analysing Your Customer Base
The best way to get your head around demographics in your company is to take a few minutes to sit down with the raw customer data, and get it into a database or onto some other more easily accessible system where you can make comparisons and draw up charts. Simple bar graphs of age and gender of clients or customers can be useful, and you can go into various levels of detail and age range. You can also look at where customers are from, how much they spend, and then of course you can line up multiple factors to see which age groups spend more, for example.
In order to do this first you must translate customer data into something like a spreadsheet, or if you like doing things the old fashioned way you could use a logbook or ledger – although we would highly recommend you input customer data into a digital platform to back it up online. Google Docs provides both cloud capability so you don’t lose your data, plus a free spreadsheet program similar to Microsoft Office Excel. From here you can build graphs and charts and generally play around with the data. Cloud storage means users can access this remotely or while travelling to input more data as required. There’s a great WikiHow article on how to accomplish this just in case you get stuck.
Turning Data Into Content Marketing
Once your data is assembled the next step is to turn that data into something useful. In analysing data you’re likely going to come across demographics of people (age group, gender, etc.) that are more represented than others. In order to best exploit these more represented demographics you need to tie it in with an advertising strategy or an email campaign. Using the information you have gathered, you can use targeted Facebook ads which correspond to your local area, or an email marketing campaign which targets certain age groups accordingly.
We’ve got guides on how to do email marketing and Facebook ads elsewhere, but the main thing to remember is you don’t have to necessarily target just one demographic as you go. With email marketing you can actually customise the emails that get sent out to the groups you send them to. Older people might respond better to larger print or adverts that offer services more likely to suit their needs, whilst for younger people you might want to appeal to an audience that’s more technologically minded. With email marketing you can also link your emails to custom landing pages in an attempt to keep up the personalisation process as people progress out of their email inbox and onto your site.
With social media marketing, targeting demographics is often much easier. In the case of Facebook you can fine tune the final advert to target people whose interests include certain keywords, as well as their location, their age and also their gender. This gives you an unprecedented level of control with regards to who your final advert will reach – it’s a little difficult to work out if you’re new to the system, but if you’ve done this before it shouldn’t be too difficult to customise an advert.
Local marketing is one of the most effective ways to get your business noticed when you are just starting up, and Facebook makes it much easier. Statistics show it’s becoming the hot new trend in marketing, with 7 million advertisers logged in 2019. Take a look at Hubspot’s list of statistics to find out even more. For example, accountants may want to fine tune an advert for middle-aged, predominantly business minded audience in the local area, and also want it to go to both men and women equally. A car company might want to fine tune a countrywide ad towards middle aged or older men interested in a certain car brand. These possibilities are pretty much endless, it just takes a little practice.
The final main method of advertising is through Google ads and this is a bit trickier, as your main option for customising your advert all hinges on which keywords you select. You may find yourself offering services to different demographics and then having to carefully target keywords through Google AdWords in order for the advert to actually ‘land’ where you want it. If you’re marketing towards older people, the choosing of the keywords relating to this demographic is key – phrases like ‘over 65s’ or ‘retirees’ can be really useful. Again, practice makes perfect, and thinking outside the box can reap you some great rewards in terms of return on investment.
Measure Your Successes
Once this is all done you should have a pretty well defined set of demographics and a set of ways to appeal to them best. Different demographics and age groups tend to use different social media, so it’s important to watch the trends in your business and see if they line up with reported marketing trends. Even when your campaign is underway, it doesn’t necessarily mean your research and development has come to an end. You’ve got to be able to have something to show for all the work you’ve put in, and the easiest way to do that is to wait a business quarter or two after your campaign is fully deployed and compare your results.
For example, did your campaign to focus on the needs and preferences of older people actually work? The easiest way to do this is to see how many people from this demographic clicked through your custom email marketing flyer or social media ad. You can do this fairly easy through the back end of Facebook’s advertising tool, and by measuring hits on the landing page you’ve designed specifically for this group.
Do the numbers add up? Has your campaign had an effect? Or are your numbers pretty much the same as before? Either of these can indicate how well you fared and how important the demographic is to your business. Thanks to graphs, figures at the start of the campaign and at the finish can be put side by side using Excel. This is only the beginning of how you can compare and contrast data, but you absolutely should in order to test how well you’ve done, and whether the modest investment you’ve made has paid off in terms of increasing sales to the target audience.
What To Do Next
So to cap off our article on demographics we’re going to run through the bullet points of our lesson, in the hopes that you, the reader, can form some form of concrete action plan and take your marketing skills to the next level. When it comes to choosing the right target audience for a marketing campaign you can never be too refined, so let’s review everything we’ve learned.
Early stages –
- Collect your data and get it uploaded into the cloud or at least onto a digital format.
- Analyse your data – find out what your company is doing best and for which groups.
- Define your targets, and therefore define your targeting strategy.
Build your campaign –
- Pick one to three of your most sellable key demographics and define them on paper.
- Do your research on the needs of these groups and how to work for them best.
- Customise and personalise a marketing ‘experience’ for each demographic.
Deploy and observe –
- Monitor your campaign ‘in the wild’ and see if it hits its targets.
- Gather data together in the same way as when you started.
- Compare and contrast your final results and see if you made a return on investment.
For even more marketing tips and tricks you can check out many more articles on our blog, and of course there’s also our companion book to the blog “Digital Marketing For Professionals” by Nick Bagga – you can pick it up on Amazon. For all your digital marketing needs, don’t be afraid to send us an email through the links above – we may have a solution for you.