Top 4 Ways to Target Your Audience

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Top 4 Ways to Target Your Audience

Photo by Pratik Gupta on Unsplash

In the marketing world, there’s one tool that has exceeded all expectations in recent years: artificial intelligence. Now valuable across all sorts of platforms and systems, AI allows for more personalization than ever before. Rather than simply predicting what our target market needs to see, we can learn this information and then reach out in the most efficient way possible.

With this in mind, we have seen a number of different solutions enter the market with their ad platforms and lookalike services. As well as touching on other topics along the way, this guide will go into the top four ways to target your audience this year!

Finding an AI Solution

Before we go into the big four services in this arena — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat — we want to make a note on the truthfulness of marketing technology companies. In recent years, there has been some confusion as to whether marketing tools use machine learning, and some companies are even reluctant to talk about how their service works.

For example, many companies claim to use AI in order to help businesses with building marketing campaigns and segmenting customers. In a recent report, it emerged that this wasn’t entirely accurate of some big names. Not only did this include IBM and Optimove, the report analyzed AgilOne and SAP.

With this, we should say that the legitimate machine learning and artificial intelligence services are more likely to come from younger companies founded by data scientists. They aren’t older companies trying to expand another of their huge services into this new niche.

If you are interested in a reliable machine learning and AI service, read on. We’re going to talk about four ways to target your audience.

Shared Ads Audiences and Adaptive Ads Targeting

We’re mostly going to look at lookalike audiences today, but we also want to explain two other areas that have been gaining traction.

Adobe

With Adobe and its ‘shared ads audiences’ platform, it’s possible to create audience segments based on the behavior you choose. From here, use the Adobe Experience Cloud to share them. At this stage, you can also activate the segments across all Adobe Experience Cloud products.

One reason we wanted to mention Adobe is because of their Analytics platform. While the creation and management features excel, this wouldn’t be as good without the analytics. With creation, management, analytics, and the ability to share everything across Adobe Target, Campaign, and Advertising Cloud, it really is possible to have everything in one place and allow your marketing department an efficient system even as you scale.

Trapica

We couldn’t avoid Trapica when talking about audience targeting. We’re going to see how lookalike audiences work, and this is certainly a brilliant tool, but what Trapica does is different. Using adaptive ads targeting, Trapica will continually assess the position of your ads, make changes, and suggest how to improve results. With the artificial intelligence on offer, you can optimize and automate bidding, creatives, scale, and targeting. Suddenly, Trapica does all the hard work and all you have to do is take advantage of the new leads coming your way.

Trapica works with all marketing campaigns. It integrates LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google Ads, Quora, Reddit, Pinterest, and Spotify; so you can use all four of the main ad platforms we’re going to discuss here today. Once the campaigns are up and running, pair them with Trapica and you will be good to go.

4 Ways to Target Your Audience

As promised, the second half of this guide will go through the lookalike audiences features from four of the biggest players in this market:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat

1. Facebook

Lookalike audience features can’t work magic. Ultimately, the results you see all depend on the data you have. Luckily, Facebook is one of the most data-laden websites on the internet. Over the course of a day, Facebook will collect several data points from each individual depending on the information shared about their career, pages and posts they’ve liked, browsing activity, education, and more.

Why is this helpful? Because it means, using your own audience, Facebook can find people with similarities, and hopefully people who will also have an interest in your brand and products. With Facebook using a list of most profitable and successful customers, it will scan through its database to find people with similar characteristics. Essentially, Facebook says ‘here’s a list of the top 1% of Facebook users who have similarities to your existing audience.’

If you’re wondering why you should use Facebook, the first reason is obviously the huge user base. With nearly 2.5 billion active monthly users, it’s fair to say that ads lookalike audiences would work well for your business. Elsewhere, they tend to cover most age groups, jobs, interests, and hobbies. As long as you feed Facebook good enough data, it will find people who would theoretically have an interest in the brand.

Let’s say you have a target market of professional men aged between 25 and 35, and that you sell clothing. With your lookalike audience, Facebook might focus on those between 25 and 28, who live in certain cities, who work in sales or other white-collar areas, and who follow pages like ASOS, Jack Wills, and Hollister. Of course, Facebook will also pull data points from your existing customer base to find people with the same characteristics.

2. Twitter

Next up, we have Twitter and a lookalike audience feature that Twitter says will help you find people ‘broadly interested’ in topics. By finding users based on who they follow, you can get names of those likely to have an interest in your products and services.

What makes Twitter a strong option? For us, it’s the ability to either narrow down on specific interests or create a broad spectrum. For example, you can select over 300 sub-topics and 25 main interest categories. The more you home in on your existing audience, the smaller the lookalike audience will be (but they should also have a higher chance of liking your service!).

If you don’t want to target via interests, you also have the option to target via following instead. In a similar way, type certain usernames when setting up the lookalike audience. Immediately, you’ll see a list of users similar to people who follow that Twitter handle. Whichever route you choose, you can ‘Add’ names to your list and start building a lookalike audience. At this point, it’s just a matter of reaching out with the right creatives (something with which Trapica can help!).

3. Pinterest

If you didn’t already know, Pinterest is a great way to find a new audience. While most marketers focus on Facebook and Instagram, you can find just as much success on this image-based platform. Like Twitter, there are different ways to create a lookalike audience with Pinterest. While some will target based on interests, others will choose either audience or keyword targeting.

  • Keyword Targeting — Use Promoted Pins and reach out to people ready to make a decision. This has been shown to increase traffic, boost in-store sales, and also generate online actions because it shows products to people ready to take the next step in their purchasing journey.
  • Interest Targeting — As we saw with Twitter, this one will get Promoted Pins to people based on their chosen categories and interests. Rather than advertising randomly, you can find people interested in food, baked goods, homemade gifts, sportswear, etc.
  • Audience Targeting — Otherwise, follow in the footsteps of Facebook’s ads lookalike audiences and target those likely to be most receptive. Whether it’s gender, location, or any other demographic, we recommend trying this way of targeting.

4. Snapchat

Finally, there are also three options with Snapchat. After logging into the Ads Manager, click on the ‘Audiences’ button and then ‘New Audience’. Once on this page, you can create a new ad lookalike audience based on Reach, Balance, or Similarity.

Conclusion

The above are the four largest ad lookalike audiences platforms, and we don’t expect this to change any time soon. However, we do urge you to consider Adobe and Trapica to complement your marketing strategy. With shared ad audiences and Trapica’s centralization of all campaigns, you will find new customers with much less effort on your end!