Demographics and consumer data are hugely important to digital marketing.

So you need to analyse both. Because you’ll learn more about the needs of your customers. And walk away with a better understanding of their thoughts and behaviours.

But what’s the best way to focus on your audience in the age of information proliferation?

The answer just might be something they call: microtargeting

What is microtargeting?

Some products and services are born lucky. Everybody needs them. So they kind of sell themselves (I’m looking at you, toilet paper).

Others are much more niche.

In some markets, competition is brutal; Brand Name Battle Royales where dozens of different businesses look to settle the score for market dominance.  

In other industries, the playing field is decidedly more level.

Either way, consumers always get divided into groups. And its market segmentation like this that helps determine which products and services are best suited for which consumer groups.  

Enter: microtargeting – a method of taking useful demographic and consumer data, using it to identify groups of similar consumers, and then producing marketing collateral designed to influence the thoughts and actions of said consumers based on established preferences  and actions.

It’s a way of looking at specific customer characteristics, like need and purchasing preference, and using that data to predict the behaviour of your consumer base. And once you’ve determined which segments of the target market are most suited to your offer, it’s the job of microtargeting to hone in on them with messaging that’s been tailored to their preferences.

And even though microtargeting deals in specifics, it begins with the use of big data analytics. Because before you can cater to an audience, you need as much information about your real and potential customers as you can collect.

That’s one of the reasons microtargeting has become so useful and often used in political campaigns. It’s an excellent way for politicians and campaign strategists to reach constituents that are already likely to support them.

How to use microtargeting?

So how do you put microtargeting to work for your brand or business?

The first thing you’re going to need is data. It’s important to understand the needs and behaviours of your current customers. Social media networks and free tools like Google Analytics are useful for gathering demographics like gender, age, location, income level and education.

Beyond the basics, it can be helpful to determine other stats. Like whether your customers are predominantly single or married with a family. Are they business-minded? Do they like to travel? Are they mostly pet owners?

It’s impossible to know exactly which combination of factoids will produce the best results. So the more intel you can collect, the stronger your microtargeting efforts will be.

Once you’ve got a better understanding of what your current customer base looks like, it’s easier to grow it. Because there are many other consumers out there with similar traits that have yet to discover, or try out, your brand or business. And that’s who you’re after.

Microtargeting allows you to take all that useful data you’ve accumulated, and create specific customer subsets with it. That way, you can target buyers with similar traits, wants and spending patterns and start adding to your market share and overall audience. Because what good is “reach” if your messaging isn’t getting to the right kind of people?

The last step is converting your microtargeted leads into new customers. And thanks to your earlier analysis, you know things about these targeted customer subsets that make it easier to get those conversions. Like the type of devices they prefer to use, times they’re likeliest to be using them and even the kind of messages audience members prefer to receive – and are most likely to respond to.

Social is also great for this. Facebook has all kinds of helpful targeting tools that can help make sure your marketing message is reaching its most relevant audience.

Which is important. Because if a marketing campaign feels too aggressive, it can have the opposite effect to what you were hoping to achieve,

Marketing messages should feel relevant to your potential customers and focus on an offer currently available from your website. It needs to be intriguing, yet clear and easy to understand. Not too long. And subtle in a way that entices them to convert without pushing them to buy your products.

What you can achieve with microtargeting?

Because microtargeting focuses on smaller groups within a larger audience, you’re talking to buyers with a predisposition to becoming your customer. And it’s that hyper-personalised element of microtargeting that will really help you meet your marketing goals. Whatever they happen to be.

Especially if you’re a small to medium sized business. Because the comparative costs of using microtargeting and email marketing to collect customer information and monitor customer behaviour make it easier to compete. Even with a more modest marketing budget.

It’s the old approach of predicting and directing buyer behaviour to meet your business goals – only using today’s advanced technologies.

Predictive big data analytics shows you how customers behave. And why. Which is helpful when you’re putting together marketing messages meant to influence them. Because the key to higher conversion rates is being able communicate your message to the right audience, in the right way.

It’s how you build good relationships with customers. Which leads to customer loyalty. And that results in bigger sales and better word of mouth.

Microtargeting boosts your odds of converting potential customers into real ones. It optimises marketing campaigns by focusing on the buyers most likely to become your customers.

Which saves you time and money appealing to a wider audience that would return a weaker result.

Microtargeting is a way of increasing revenue, growing faster and taking your brand or business to new heights of  profitability. But you can’t rely on it exclusively.

Growth can come from anywhere. So even if you decide to up your microtargeting game, don’t completely abandon marketing efforts aimed at those who are less likely become customers on paper. 

Successful SEO is all about finding those combinations of tools, techniques, ideas and strategies that deliver higher page rankings with Google and other search engines.

Find a way to make microtargeting work alongside the other weapons in your SEO arsenal, and it’s only a matter of time before your site is #1 – with a bullet.