Whether you know it or not, your company makes inferences or predictions about customers all the time. We predict what types of messaging will work best on social media, what calls to action will incite a positive response in emails, and what PPC advertising will target consumers best.
Fortunately, we don’t have to guess about these things anymore, thanks to analytics.
You might think you know a lot about your target market, but wouldn’t it better to know, rather than assume? Analytics is the aggregated information collected based on your consumers’ interactions with your website, social media accounts, purchasing patterns, and more. This data is being collected all the time, and to new depths as we learn how to better use analytics to research and respond to our customers.
One way we’ve learned to harness this power is by creating buyer personas, or, the fictional representations of our consumers—the more detailed the better.
You might already have a detailed buyer persona, or maybe it’s a little rough and needs some work. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in which you can start collecting more analytics on your consumers to strengthen your understanding of them, which will ultimately drive more successful marketing campaigns, PPC advertising, and social media marketing.
In addition to gathering data on interests, geographic location, and the technology your consumers use, Google Analytics helps you segment smaller, in-market audiences, which can help you find people who are researching (Googling) products similar to your offerings, so you can reach out to them more directly.
Once you gather some preliminary information about your buyers, LinkedIn is a great resource to do some detailed reconnaissance work.
Let’s say you know that most of your consumers work in technology. While that’s a great starting point, there’s so much more to discover. With LinkedIn, you can be a fly on the wall by joining groups or communities of professionals working in that field. Study trending topics, interests, and problems that seem important them, and use this information to build better buyer personas and marketing campaigns.
The Facebook Ad Manager is a powerful tool that can help you succeed on Facebook, as well as with other marketing initiatives, like PPC Advertising on Google or Bing.
Here, you can find more detailed information than you can get with Google alone, on things like age, gender, language, relationship status, education level, and more.
Bringing It All Together
What’s really great about collecting diverse analytics is that you can combine these efforts with new tools like retargeted marketing.
Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that “follows” your audience members online, and serves them specific content based on previous actions or behaviors.
For example, if you strengthen your buyer personas using Facebook Insights, and adjust your PPC advertising accordingly, you can retarget consumers who come to your website, see a particular advertisement, or engage with a particular post you share on social media.
The relationship between your analytics gathering and your evolving buyer personas is cyclical: the better you get at one, the easier the other becomes.
Don’t limit your analytics to one place or one style of information gathering. Analytics are everywhere, and each set of analytics offers a unique vantage point.