General Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices -Audience Targeting
The In-Market audience technique and BEM approach are two general content marketing best practices strategy being used in Audience Targeting. Both methods have proven success rates and customized versions are provided by multiple players in the market.
Best Practice Name: In-Market Audiences approach
- In-market audiences are primarily defined as those users who have shown prior intent in comparing and/or purchasing a specific category of product. This segment is essentially valuable for marketers who are looking for high-intent shoppers for a particular item and are easy targets to get converted.
This is known to be an advanced version of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) based on browsing and search history. Both Google and Bing have rolled out in-market audiences for their search platforms and are known to cover audiences that are in the market for products and services in industries ranging broadly from apparel to travel.
- In-Market technique necessarily uses machine learning to analyze trillions of search queries and browsing activity to predict purchase intent. For example, when a user reads through camera reviews on websites and/or watches camera comparison videos, Google (or the Search Engine) may deem him to be a potential target interested in Cameras and thus put him in the relevant in-market audience.
Likewise, the content marketer, thus has access to audiences who are likely to be incredibly valuable to their businesses, as they are precisely curated to be in the market for specific products and services. Such audiences are expected to have a higher likelihood of converting compared to other audiences.
- The primary reason of using the method is to be able to save time and reach more customers with minimal resources. Marketers use In-Market Audience approach due to proven success in:
- Expansion of Audience — This method is conveniently able to increase the audience count with high-quality searchers, ready to buy. These audiences can further be utilized in combination with other audience targeting solutions like Remarketing in Paid Search and Custom Audiences.
- Performance Boost — Audiences in this category are more likely to convert thus helping drive greater click-through rates and conversion ratios. Ads displayed to In-market Audiences have seen an increase of up to 28% click-through rate and 48% greater conversion rate than the same ads without In-market Audiences.
- Conversion Uplift — In-market Audiences helps directly focus on the bottom of the funnel as these curated lists of people have been identified as “in-market", who are ready to make a purchase in a particular category.
- Easy Set-up Process — In-market Audiences can be set up in as few as five minutes and does not require a website tagging. Organizations like Microsoft or Google or Bing have created such audience lists that can be associated to any combination of ad groups.
- Success Statistics: Ads displayed to In-market Audiences have seen an increase of up to 28% click-through rate and 48% greater conversion rate than the same ads without In-market Audiences. Organizations like vegas.com was able to tap into a larger audience and were excited to see nearly 27% increase in return on their ad spend.
Similarly, VONT used this method for a business banking supplies client and found that traffic from the in-market audiences to have driven a 21% higher ROAS compared to the non-in-market audience traffic.
Best Practice Name: The BEM approach
- The BEM approach, also known as the BEHAVIORS, EMOTIONS AND MOMENTS method, is a productive middle ground approach between mass reach and segmentation targeting, where more productive audience models can be built based on the demographics of the audience. In the BEM approach, demographic data is used only to remove outliers. The approach helps us understand:
- Behaviors: That indicates interest in a specific or related product area.
- Emotions: Focuses on consumers posting emotional responses that suggest they would be receptive to certain brand messages?
- Moments: Has a trigger like weather, transportation snarls, or other live events that can cause a product or service to become suddenly relevant.
- The BEM model allows the planning and buying teams to improvise on targeted and tailored messaging. This is done by combining programmatic buying along with new data sources and triggers that include conversation scrapes, content emotion analysis and real-world factors.
Since BEM is positioned on top of the brand-building activity is can have a broader reach, thus enabling marketers to identify consumers moving into a consideration phase and speaking to them directly with relevant messages. The can result into dramatic increase in brand preference and purchase intent which can nearly double when compared to other traditional demographic targeting.
- This approach is primarily used to analyze the conversion and audience intent by use of demographics. For example, a test run for a blue-chip client (with advertised product positioned around breaks and relaxation), BEM model was used to analyze the Facebook conversation data and understand consumers’ daily ‘stress’ moments.
The approach is also used because of its elevated accuracy in audience targeting model than demographics alone. It is far more efficient than blanket audience coverage and has been found to increase media effectiveness and media efficiencies by turning data from filter to facilitator.
- Success Statistics: Air Asia has directly benefited from using the BEM model where instead of using demographics alone, the airline leveraged its own CRM database to define and value audiences based on travel frequency and brand advocacy on social media. The resultant was a 58x return on ad spend by the use of programmatic buying that was eventually used to serve individual consumers through custom messaging.
Another company, New Balance used emotional targeting to increase brand awareness levels by targeting video to consumers exhibiting preset emotional receptivity signals. The result was a 135% increase in awareness vs. control.
Though all information sourced in the request has been fetched from pre-compiled sources, the approach used in building the logic has been creative. The below section details the methodology followed along with the way the research was built.
Strategy and Approach
The research was initiated by first understanding the content marketing landscape along with the audience targeting concept. Multiple resources like Wordstream, Microsoft, Bing Adwords, SEJ, etc. were used to deep dive into the current challenges and progressive solutions in the market.
The next effort was dedicated to looking for Industry best practices which though were not available pre-compiled. For this, we waded through multiple sources like Mckinsey, Deloitte, KPMG, etc. that are known for their strategic consulting approach along with sites like IGW, Siege Media, ClickGiant that are known Content Marketing agencies. The idea was to generate a correlation between their suggested strategies for clients and the current market trends, which, however, did not succeed due to the dearth of publicly available information.
The next approach was thus focused on defining the way these Best Practices were developed. We focused on:
- Gathering the latest and widely used concepts in the field.
- Comparing them against multiple sources in terms of presence and usage.
- Assessing the adoption rate of the practices by various players.
- Providing success statistics to prove them to be one of the best strategies available.
- Checking the endorsement levels of these practices by trusted marketers/companies.
Each of the chosen best practice was then researched thoroughly for other required details, along with authentic acceptance rates in the current market. Care was thus taken to include those practices that can be used with any form of media and by a marketer from any open industry.