The digital audience targeting landscape today is not the same as it was pre-pandemic. Since our lives have mostly migrated online, there has been a massive influx of digital ads from companies trying to move their physical-world ad spend to the web.
What does this shift mean for you? For one, it means that all online ads have become much more competitive, more expensive, and less effective.
If you thought that digital audience targeting was difficult before, today it’s on a completely different level. The only way to win and not waste your ad budget is to make sure your digital ads are shown to exactly the people you seek to serve.
Luckily, learning accurate digital audience targeting isn’t impossible. It’s essentially data-driven, and the key here is to know how it works and spend enough time to get your system set up properly. Let’s go over a few targeting fundamentals.
What Is Digital Audience Targeting?
Digital audience targeting is essentially matching the ads for your offering and the people who are interested in it and have high buyer intent.
There are a few ways to do it. You can set your digital ad campaigns to target individual demographic characteristics, behavior, or expressed interests.
The key is to know your audience really well. This is probably the most common reason for poor digital audience targeting — if you focus on presenting your product or service to people who don’t care about it, you will waste your budget with meager results to show for it.
So how can you ensure you’re targeting the right people? And what are the methods for finding out the buyer intent of your audience?
Different Types of Digital Audience Targeting
Even if you’re looking for a particular type of customer, there are different ways to connect with them, with each one informing the voice and tone of the messaging you’ll use to lure them into your conversion funnel.
The three most popular types of digital audience targeting are demographic, psychographic, and behavioral.
Demographic targeting relies on pure demographic data, such as age, gender, income, marital status, level of education, and occupation. Using demographic targeting you can single out men under 30 who have a master’s degree and make more than $150,000, for example.
Psychographic targeting is used when you know what your target audience is interested in, what they value, how they behave, and what kind of personal traits they have. As an example, you can try to show your ads to people who work out at least three times a week.
Behavioral targeting focuses on the actions your audience takes online. You can find out which websites your audience goes to, what kind of links they click on, and what kind of products they purchase. So you can target people who have visited at least five of your webpages, for example.
The good news is you don’t have to choose only one targeting method. Effectively combining them is an amazing advantage of using digital ads.
Finding Digital Audience Targeting Data
Seeing all the ways you can target your audience might bring up the following logical question — where does all this data come from?
It’s customary to classify targeting data into three buckets: first-party, second-party, and third-party data.
First-party data is what you collect yourself. This is the data you already have on your customers, prospects, and leads. Most sales teams record this type of data in the CRM, but it can also include your email newsletter or website data analytics that are automatically collected through the tracking pixels.
In general, first-party data is the cheapest and the most reliable type of data, and it converts fairly well. The downside is that, unless you’re Facebook itself, you can’t generate lots of first-party data on your own.
Second-party data comes directly from someone else. These would be referrals, partnerships, and some data providers. While it is less accurate than first-party data, it allows you to greatly expand your reach.
Third-party data is the most abundant but also the most variable in accuracy. This is the type of data sold by various data platforms and data exchanges. Third-party data requires no time to be spent on actual data collection and can be used to scale your digital campaigns or explore new market opportunities with no delay.
But what if there was a way to leverage the scale of third-party data with the accuracy of the first-party one? Thanks to the innovation in artificial intelligence and machine learning, there is! It’s called Lift AI.
Lift AI is a leading anonymous buyer intent solution on the market today. Using its robust proprietary machine-learning model, Lift AI has processed more than one billion data points and trained its model to make real-time decisions based on 14 million live sales engagements.
The goal of Lift AI is to accurately determine the buyer intent of everyone who visits your website, even if they are anonymous (e.g. via using a VPN) or unknown to you (e.g. haven’t been recorded in your CRM). Studies show that up to 98% of your traffic can be anonymous, a number that is likely to grow even higher with the introduction of Apple’s Private Relay functionality. All of this makes Lift AI a unique solution to an ever-growing problem.
Being trained on enormous amounts of data but also working locally with your visitors is the key to Lift AI’s success, which can predict the visitors with the highest buyer intent (about 9% of the overall traffic) with 85% accuracy.
The way Lift AI works is by assigning every website visitor a score (low, medium, high), connecting high-scoring visitors directly to your BDRs through your chat platform (e.g. Drift or LivePerson) and funnelling medium and low-scoring visitors to a nurturing bot or a self-help solution.
As a result, your BDRs spend most of their days talking to visitors who are very interested in your offering. This is digital audience targeting at its best. In fact, Lift AI customers have reported that their chat conversions grew anywhere from two to 10 times within 90 days.
Aligning effective digital ad campaigns with the hyper-accurate targeting of Lift AI is one of the best ways to stand out in the online marketing landscape today and grow your sales practically in real time. Success today is all about process integration and using the latest technologies to work with datasets that were simply inaccessible to anyone before.