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3 ways to understand your audience better with analytics tools and techniques

2 November, 2017

The start of October marked the fifth anniversary of one of the biggest business events outside of London, Leeds Business Week. I had the pleasure of getting it off to a flying start with the annual ‘Social Media on Toast’ event, which was held at Everyman Cinema.Leeds Business Week

I also hosted an event on the Tuesday, ‘Facebook Ads: the importance of knowing your audience’, and the Wednesday, ‘Running brilliant digital campaigns: monitoring and measuring success with Google Analytics’. You can look back on some of the events and follow the conversation on Twitter with #LeedsBizWeek.

I had some really interesting conversations during the week, including topics such as the Leeds 2023 bid, Leeds Digital Festival, and how the Leeds Business Week organisers had done a great job with tapping into millennials.

But it was some of the conversations that came out of the three events I was directly involved in during Leeds Business Week that really got me thinking.Leeds Biz Week

With marketing opportunities in so many different places, from social advertising to event sponsorship, it’s no longer enough to only target your customers on one channel. And just think about how many different brands there are, all trying to promote their own message. It’s so easy to get lost in the noise.

That’s why an integrated campaign can be so effective. Using consistent messaging across a range of these online and offline channels can significantly boost your brand credibility. After all, how can you expect your audience to trust you if you’re confusing them with mixed messages?


Understanding your audience

I spoke about the importance of knowing your audience at my second event of the week. Whilst this was actually in the context of Facebook Ads, it’s something you need to consider with all of your marketing efforts.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are their common traits and interests? What channels are they most likely to see your message on? Are there any current trends or events you can jump on to reach out to them?

There are many digital tools and techniques that you can use to get to know your audience. Today I’ll be talking about three of the most effective methods that I have used for my own business, and regularly use with clients.


Target personas

To get a better idea of who your audience is, it can help to create several ‘target personas’, i.e. a semi-fictional representation of a typical or ideal customer. When working with new clients, this is one of the first things we usually do in order to gain a real understanding of their audience. We can then keep these personas in mind when putting together the marketing strategy, writing blogs, crafting social media content, and so on.

Try putting together between 3-8 different target personas, depending on the diversity of your audience. Don’t be afraid to stereotype. Make a note of their age, gender, location, some of their different interests and so on. It can help to give them a memorable name too!

If we were working with an events venue, this could be what one of their target personas may look like:

Event Organiser Ellie

Female, 25-30, has a busy schedule, tends to book their venue 3 months before the event, often works out at Pure Gym, has a team of 15+, company turnover £1m+…

From here, you could put together a piece of content to target other event organisers who are similar to Ellie. For example, you could write a blog about some of the most effective time-saving tools, put together a Facebook Ads campaign to target 25-30-year old women, or even offer vouchers for discounted gym membership for Event Organisers who book your venue!


Audience Insights tool

As I mentioned, there are some really useful tools out there which you can use to understand your audience more. If your company has a Facebook page, the Audience Insights tool can be really useful.Facebook

In the left-hand column, underneath ‘pages’, select your Facebook page. The Audience Insights tool will generate in-depth analytics of your audience, with insights including age, location, page likes, interests and activity.

If you’re launching a new product, where you may be expanding into new audiences, this can be really handy too. You can use this in the same way as you would when looking at your own page, but looking at your competitors’ instead. Simply search for your competitors in the ‘interests’ column on the left, and you’ll be shown their audience demographics and interests. It can help to do some competitor research before this, as your competitors will only show as an option in ‘interests’ if they have a large Facebook following – usually over 100,000 page likes.

I’m sure you can see how useful this data can be, and you could even feed your findings into your target personas.


Google Analytics

Do you measure the results of your campaigns? You can use Google Analytics to see the sources of your website traffic, your bounce rate, and to get a real understanding of your ROI.Website visitors

Did you know that 40% of mobile website visitors will leave the site if it takes more than three seconds to load? That’s a lot of potential customers lost! You can use Google Analytics to identify any slow-loading website pages, as well as the average page load time across your site. Simply visit the ‘Behaviour’ tab, then ‘Site Speed’, followed by ‘Page Timings’. From here, you can customise different variables to see the effect this has on your audience bounce rate, exit rate and more…

You can also use Google Analytics to analyse what devices or browsers your audience use to view your website. Of course, this can be really useful for understanding the most effective design for your website. But you can also use this data in your other marketing campaigns. For example, if you use Facebook Ads this data can help determine the layout of your adverts. When viewing your adverts on a desktop, your audience will be able to see more of the advert copy than they would on mobile, where a ‘See More’ option would show. Therefore, if your audience is made up of a lot of mobile users, you’ll need to be more direct or strategic with the advert copy.

If you really want to make the most out of Google Analytics, it can help to learn some of the more advanced techniques. When you discover some of the different ways you can analyse your results, Google Analytics can be used to optimise campaigns across the board of digital marketing.


Using these tools, and others, in conjunction with each other can be even more effective in understanding the behaviour of your audience. By using the Facebook for Business portal and by triangulating data in Google Analytics, we can ensure that all of our campaigns are effective and deliver return on investment. Each tool in its own right is really valuable, however by looking at several tools together it can provide far deeper insights.

A perfect example of this is seen in the screenshots below. Looking at the first screen, which is Facebook, it would suggest that our best performing campaign, with a 2.64% click through rate (CTR), is the 42-55 age group. But then triangulating this data with Google Analytics, we can see that only 6.08% of them then convert into taking action. Whereas we can see that 34-41-year olds take far more action after clicking through to the landing page, with a 10.34% CTR. So, our assumption of spending more money in the older age group would not have been as effective as the younger age group, who are clearly more engaged once they click through.

Facebook Ads

Google Analytics


The amount of data you can get from some of these tools is phenomenal. And it’s easy to underestimate just how powerful this data can be. As we mentioned in our blog about ‘The future of big data’, companies like Dominoes have used data to transform their business. I’m always intrigued to learn more about different audiences in different industries, particularly when you come across that piece of data that makes you stop and think “Wow, I never would have guessed that!”.

Do you have any tips, techniques or tools for getting to know your target audience better? I’d love to hear more! Why not leave a comment below or send us a message on Twitter or Facebook?

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