5 Tricks to Discover a New Target Audience Online

Every brand has a specific online target audience — the customers that are the lifeblood of your business. The NFL goes after men 18 to 55 years old. Dove reaches out to women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. And Spotify hits Millennials hard. A tried-and-true part of your marketing strategy is identifying your customer niche, but this practice shouldn’t stop after you find a primary audience segment. Whether you’re trying to attract your 100th customer or your 10,000th, identifying new audiences is a crucial part of growing your business. You may know your ideal customers now, but plan to expand your online target audience over time to continue to bring in new buyers. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned from our recent digital campaigns that you can steal to attract a new target audience online that you may not have tapped into before.

1. Put insights to work across all your channels.

If one of your campaign tactics, like display, shows that users who self-identified as fast food enthusiasts have a higher conversion rate than your traditional healthy living audience segment, don’t be afraid to apply those learnings to test groups across other channels and maximize your insights. In this case, look for comparable foodie lifestyle and interest group segments on paid social media, Amazon and other third-party data platforms.

2. Remember, the user isn’t always the buyer.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to know who is making a purchasing decision. And in many cases, it is a joint decision. So, we recommend media strategies that target beyond the user. For instance, rather than just selling cologne specifically to men, also target the wives and girlfriends who are shopping for them.

3. People who search alike, act alike.

Reaching people interested in “running” is pretty broad. Instead, you can use keyword trends and SEM tactics to target shoppers who searched for similar terms to those that brought in your best online customers, such as “marathon training” and “lightweight pavement running shoes.” Uncovering trends in similar search behavior will help you expand your target audience online and reveal seasonality and geo patterns you may have not previously known.

4. Take advantage of the doppelgangers.

You’ve collected loads of data on your best customers. Now, you can use that first-party data to map common characteristics and build look-alike audiences just like your best buyers through your DMP, Facebook and Amazon. When you can see that your best customers are thrill-seekers who like to travel in the fall, look-alikes take the guesswork out of targeting for haunted houses around Halloween.

5. Don’t overlook other devices used by your customers.

OK, so they may not be a totally new audience, but don’t forget there are several ways to turn your single-channel shoppers into omnichannel buyers. You can upload your email database into almost all social media platforms and find your customers there. Or you can onboard your first-party data into an identity resolution platform to match all of their devices to their profile for better retargeting. Even with these examples of how to find a new target audience online, the process still comes back to simple testing to pinpoint shifts in your audience preferences. That’s why it’s important to remember that understanding and growing your customer base is a dynamic process. If you still have questions about how to expand your target audience online, share them with us and learn how to take advantage of the latest digital marketing tools.