The best way to segment your audience and improve your marketing ROI
How much do you really know your audience?
Most marketers – and businesses – experiment with different marketing tactics using minimal data and with little knowledge of their audience.
Here’s a little experiment: how would you describe your target audience? Chances are, you’ll likely focus on a few basic elements: their gender, their location, jobs and – in some cases – a few interests.
But what if you could dig so much deeper than that? What if you could identify each particular segment of your target audience and understand what makes them tick, what truly interests them and how exactly they interact online and with whom?
That right there is a marketer’s dream because with that information, you can create truly targeted campaigns, spend less, and generate a much higher ROI (return on investment) on all of your marketing and advertising campaigns.
And while there are a lot of amazing tools out there, there’s nothing quite like Audiense when it comes to consumer insights and consumer segmentation. And I’ll show you exactly why that is.
In this blog post, discover the best way to segment your audience with Audiense.
What is Audiense?
Audiense is, in short, a consumer insights and segmentation tool; however, that doesn’t really explain how powerful this tool is – and how much actionable information you can get using it.
A big reason why it’s so good at what it does is because it has 2 extremely powerful partners: Twitter, which helps pull all that valuable Twitter data about users all over the world, as well as IBM Watson: the world’s leading AI technology that can help answer pretty much any question about your audience.
Audiense offers two distinct, but complementary products: Audiense Connect, which focuses on Twitter audiences and Audiense Insights, which is basically Audiense Connect on steroids: a tool to help to gain insights about any audiences you want.
With these two powerful tools, Audiense can help you build powerful audience segments and truly understand what makes each one tick.
And it’s all based on interconnectivity: who knows whom, who interacts with whom, how everyone in your audience is connected.
But enough of what it is and what it can do – let’s actually see it in action.
Audiense Insights: what is it and how can you leverage it?
When you log into Audiense, you’ll notice you have 2 options:
Let’s first take a look at Audiense Insights as that is the most comprehensive and powerful of the two products.
When you first set it up, you’ll need to create a report; once you name it, you can start by defining your audience:
As you can see above, you have 3 options here; you can search for audiences based on their profile attributes (such as their gender, job title, bio and so on), based on their conversations (so what keywords, URLs and hashtags they’ve used in the past) and finally, you can also upload your own audience.
Just pop into your CRM or social listening tool (or wherever else you have your audiences stored) and export them to add to Audiense and learn so much more about them.
It’s worth noting that Audiense is most powerful when using in conjunction with other tools – namely, your social listening tool.
I’ve chosen to find audiences based on Conversations – now, I need to enter the keywords, URLs and hashtags that I want to track:
I’ll start with something very simple: I simply want to learn more about the people who are sharing my links online. That being said, you can go into as much detail as you want at this stage and narrow down your audience as much as possible.
In my case though, this simple exercise will allow me to learn more about my audience and all the different segments.
As soon as you’ve set up your report, Audiense immediately creates a preview before the final report is ready; this way, you can already start examining your audience and gaining valuable insights:
As you can see above, Audiense creates segments of your audience – these are audiences that are interconnected and have certain things in common: the segmentation is done based on how people are interconnected by aggregating all these different segments and all the public information related to them, so that they can understand the affinities and interests that connect them.
And when I scroll down, I can get more information about each of these segments:
While I wait for the full report to be ready, I can see at a glance how big each segment is, distinctive affinities – i.e. accounts they follow), where they’re from, what their ages are, what their interests are and more.
Once your report is ready, you’ll be able to see a short overview of the findings in the main report dashboard:
From there, you can click on each element to go into more detail. For example, let’s take a deeper look at all the different audience segments:
Here, you can see an overview of each segment, as I showed you earlier as well; to get even more information about the different segments, simply click on View More Details:
This will then take you a new dashboard:
Here, you can explore each segment in very high detail, including:
- Demographics and socioeconomics (location, education level, job and role, relationship status and more):
- The influencers and brands they follow and have affinity towards
- A very in-depth look at their interests:
- Their media affinities, including the TV shows they watch, the radios they listen to, the events they’re interested in, the blogs they follow and so on:
- The content they like and follow and the hashtags and keywords they use
- A highly detailed look into their personalities and personality traits (for example, this audience seems to be predominantly neurotic and extroverted!)
- What motivating factors drive this audience:
- Their buying mindset, including their top purchase influence factors to help you understand where best to target each segment:
- Their consumer behaviour, including whether they’re likely to use credit cards for shopping, how likely they are to make spur-of-the moment buying decisions and even how likely they are to respond to marketing campaigns and targeted ads:
- Their online and social media habits, including the devices they use, what social networks are likely to be relevant to them, what types of content they post, when they’re most active and more:
And all of this data, as you might’ve noticed already from all these screenshots, is compared to the overall audience. For example, I can see that this particular segment uses mobile devices predominantly, just like the overall audience, however, they share considerably fewer third-party content.
Likewise, in the Influencers tab, I can see that there’s a pretty big difference in influencer and brand affinities for this audience segment, compared to the full audience:
This is something that you can do for numerous audiences and segments, and go as deep into it as you need to. And once you’ve collected all of these valuable insights about your different audiences, you can leverage to take action, improve your marketing campaigns and generate higher ROI:
How can you leverage Audiense Insights?
Your audience isn’t one huge collection of people with all the same interests, genders and jobs. People are much more complex than that, which means that your audience is likely formed of a huge array of different and unique segments. While they still have a few things in common (in some cases!) they are quite different.
And that means that the way you target them, either through ads or content, should be different as well. And the better your target them, the bigger your marketing ROI will be.
That being said, there are several big ways you can leverage Audiense Insights to improve your marketing and your ROI:
- Identify influencers for each segment (everything from nano to micro and to macro influencers) so that you know who are the best influencers to work with
- Discover the best sponsorship/partnership opportunities: what events are your segments interested in? What newspapers and magazines do they read? What radios do they listen to, what TV do they watch? You can go into a ton of detail here – and find out exactly what media each segment is engaging with
- Create customized messaging and ads for each segment: as you learn more about each segment, you’ll know everything from their actual interests (thanks to IBM Watson!) to the hashtags they use and to the content they engage with the most. With this information, you can create highly targeted messaging and content for each of these audiences, including advertising, and therefore, increase your marketing ROI
- Improve your advertising ROI: another amazing use for Audiense Insights is that it has the power to completely transform your ads, both online and offline. As mentioned earlier, you’ll know everything you need to know about each segment so when you want to target them you can create highly personalized and targeted advertisements for the network where you want to run your ads
These however, are just some of the ways you can leverage this powerful tool. As soon as you start using Audiense Insights – or at the very least, that’s been my experience with it – your mind will likely start whirling with possibilities, such as researching journalists and influencers, consumer research and perhaps most notably, identifying new business opportunities, such as creating new products and services for different segments of your audience that you’re not fully leveraging.
As I mentioned earlier, Audiense Insights is just one part of the tool – the second, is Audiense Connect which focuses specifically on Twitter.
I can add any accounts that I own to examine (i.e. any Twitter accounts that I have access to), or I can add any third-party Twitter account to examine their audience and the different segments:
When you add a third-party account, you’ll notice you actually have more options, including analysing Twitter lists and importing users from a TXT file to analyze, as well as exporting audiences to your accounts to help you create better targeted ads:
Once you’ve set up a report, you can start examining your audiences in great detail:
From there, you can click on each segment of your report to get into much more detail; for example, I want to learn more about my most influential followers:
On the left-hand side of the screen, I have numerous options to help me filter through this list of accounts and really dig deep into this segment:
I can also create audiences – both static (audiences that remain as they are, without adding any new users over time) and dynamic (audiences that will continue to update based on the rules you set):
What’s more, as you can see above, you can also create so-called Periodic Audiences; these are dynamic audiences that continue to be updated, however, it’s done so periodically, every week.
Once you’ve given it a name, you can go into a lot of detail to help set up your audience. In fact, there are 175 criteria you can use to create your audience segment:
I can add as many criteria and rules here as I need; in other words, I can create highly specific audiences. For example, some of the criteria I can set up includes:
- How often they tweet and how much they tweet
- What accounts they follow
- Where they’re located
- What languages they speak
- What interests they have (and this is powered by IBM Watson so it really is as in-depth – and accurate – as you can go!)
And finally, I can even connect this audience to a Twitter ad account to help me understand the best ways to target this specific segment.
Also worth noting is that apart from all of these amazing audience insights, there are a number of super-useful tools for Twitter users:
As you can see, you have access to all kinds of analytics once you’ve set up an audience report. You’ll be able to find out when best to tweet to reach that audience, gain community insights, create reports and visualize your interactions, among other options.
What’s more, you can also set up and run Twitter ad campaigns, create rules to automate your Twitter tasks and even create your very own Twitter Chatbots – how cool is that?!
As audience data becomes more accessible to businesses and marketers, it’s important to make the most of it: steering away from guesses and very basic audience insights (such as gender and location) and instead, moving towards more detailed insights, such as their actual interests, their media affinities and so on.
And perhaps even more importantly, you need to look at your audience in segments and not as a whole; that’s because your audience isn’t one big, homogeneous group of people. It’s much more complex than that, with numerous segments, each different and unique in its own ways.
And this is essentially what Audiense does; it helps you uncover all the different segments of your audience and generate huge amounts of data for each one.
Then, with this valuable information, you can create highly targeted marketing and advertising campaigns and therefore, massively increase your ROI.
So if you want to take your marketing strategy to the next level, this is the way to go.