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5 Tools to Find Your Audience on Paid Social Platforms

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Preparing to launch a new social media marketing campaign can be a daunting task. The first big hurdle you have to tackle is figuring out what platform or channel is going to best achieve the results you need. The second is determining how to reach the right audiences on those platforms. This article will overview five tools that can be used to identify profitable audience segments on some of the leading social media platforms.

Google Analytics

Perhaps counter-intuitively, the best place to start with social audience research is not a social platform at all. Google Analytics is a great source for evaluating your current website traffic and, in particular, the highest-value interactions that you’d like to see more of. Before you begin drafting a campaign proposal, take some time getting to know your customers through reports like:

  • Geographic Location
  • Demographics
  • Device Use
  • Content Engagement
  • Top Conversion Paths
  • Time Lag
  • Interests

These reports should give you a pool of information from which you can begin to draw insights. You can overlay behavior and audience composition data to develop segments and personas that will be highest value to your company. That is the seed for your social targeting strategy.

Facebook Page Insights

Facebook allows for a similar assessment of your Page Followers using the Audience Insights tool within your Business Manager. You can view how People Connected to Your Page compare with the benchmark of Facebook users overall. Facebook’s Audience Insight Tool shows relative data for:

  • Demographics
  • Job Title
  • Interests (Page Likes)
  • Locations
  • Languages
  • Device Use
  • Engagement

You can also compare custom audiences (e.g. connected to your page and live in a selected region, or with a selected education level or relationship status) to define more specific segments.

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LinkedIn Demographics

Another powerful tool at the disposal of advertisers utilizing LinkedIn is the Demographics breakdown, available on the account, campaign group, campaign, or ad level.

picture of demographics button in linkedin campaign manager

To utilize for audience research, advertisers can select retargeting campaigns using website visitor or list upload audiences. From there, LinkedIn will show actual volume and engagement rates broken down by:

  • Job (function, title, seniority)
  • Company (name, size, industry)
  • Location (metro, county, country/region)

The LinkedIn segment breakdowns are also available in the left sidebar during campaign creation. While this view only shows the percentage makeup rather than volume and engagement, it is valuable for determining whether any exclusions or additional targeting layers are needed to reach a desired subset of your website or list audiences.

Quora Topics

Targeting research on Quora can seem intimidating. You’re given estimated weekly impressions during ad group creation, but how can you know whether those are truly reaching the right audiences? Before you start with building a new campaign, navigate to the organic side of Quora (the feed) and do some native research.

Start by searching the topics you think are most likely to fit with what you intend to promote. Reading through the questions that are being asked and answered should give you a feel for the type of information users are seeking. It can also tip you off to irrelevant questions or topics that you want to avoid. Researching natively on Quora rather than relying solely on the Ad Manager will also help you choose the right targeting option. For example:

  • Topics targeting works well when you want to reach users reading broadly about a subject or where your product/service is a direct fit for the problem that topic addresses
  • Interest targeting works well when you want to reach users who have previously engaged with a subject but are not necessarily on that topic page now
  • Keyword targeting works for instances where your product/service answers questions that align peripherally with multiple topics but are not cleanly matched to any one particular subject
  • Question targeting or retargeting are a great fit if you find specific threads that perfectly match your audience’s intent and have a high volume of followers and weekly impressions
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Hashtagify for Twitter

Twitter Ads are a surprisingly underutilized option for paid social marketers. If you’re new to Twitter Ads, get the scoop on targeting options first. Criteria like keywords, followers, and events can be tricky to sort out manually. Hashtagify.me is one of my favorite free tools to conduct research on Twitter audiences: search any hashtag and it will show related terms, top accounts, trends over time, and more.

picture of hashtagify.me summary scorecard

This will help you generate ideas and find segments that connect with your product or service. Best of all, you can plug those criteria in during Twitter ad group creation to get a range of estimated reach that will fuel your forecasting model.

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In Conclusion

Finding and targeting the right audience is key to successful social media marketing. The next step is forecasting spend potential for your paid social campaigns and drafting a compelling pitch to drive buy-in from the decision-makers for your organization. These essential research steps will be explored in-depth alongside other strategic and tactical execution tools at the Paid Social Workshop during Hero Conf Austin in April. Register now for yourself or your team to save on conference + workshop passes.

MARKETING

Fix Outdated Content To Boost Your SEO Results

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Fix Outdated Content To Boost Your SEO Results

If your organization has been around for more than a year or two, your website probably holds a mountain of published content. Much of that content no longer helps your audience or your brand because it’s outdated or irrelevant.

But it doesn’t hurt anything, right?

Wrong. Old content may negatively impact your content’s search rankings and visitors’ experience.

For example, published content might link to articles, research reports, or other useful web pages. Over time, pages move offline for one reason or another. Those links might now go to defunct pages. That hurts your search performance because Google frowns on content with broken links. And audiences don’t love them, either.

You also might have content about topics that don’t fit your current content or business strategy. You wouldn’t want those pages to turn up in search.

Many brands hesitate to delete content, but the results are often surprisingly positive. For instance, HubSpot deleted more than 3000 outdated content pieces. In a matter of months, the company saw an improvement in its SEO results.

Many marketers hesitate to delete old #content, but the results of doing so can be worth it, says @Fintech_LeeLi via @CMIContent. #ContentMarketing #SEO Click To Tweet

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Start with a content audit

HubSpot’s experience doesn’t mean you can or should delete all your old content. You can improve much of your previously posted content to improve your SEO and audience experience.

Luckily, there are many ways you can improve previously posted content to improve your SEO. Even better, properly refurbished or updated content can serve you just as well as new posts. For example, according to Search Engine Journal, your site might see more page traffic and better SEO by deleting or refurbishing old content every so often. By practicing these strategies, you could save your brand money in the long run.

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If you’re going to take some digital scissors to inaccurate or outdated content, you’ll need to find it first. That means you’ll need to audit your content. Ideally, you’ll review every piece of content on your site (blog posts, tutorials, or interview posts) to see what works and what no longer provides authority boosting or informative benefits to your target audience. If the amount of content makes that task too daunting, start with one content category (blog posts, for example), then expand from there.

Delete or redirect content that’s:

  • No longer relevant because of changing industry trends or changes in your business
  • Not of use to your current target audience

The content you decide to keep may benefit from the SEO boosting techniques below.

Let go of #Content that’s no longer relevant to the audience you desire, says @Fintech_LeeLi. You may see an #SEO boost via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

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Top Options for Hosting (and Optimizing!) Your Content

Your website hosting decisions can make a big impact on speed, performance, and manageability – and the experience that you deliver to your content consumers. Before you choose a hosting solution, watch this chat with Harry Jackson of InMotion Hosting, where he outlines the three main options and explains the pros and cons of each. Watch now!


Update and republish good but old content

What to do with the old blog posts and other accurate and worthwhile content pieces you want to keep? Google loves recently published content– so republish them.

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But don’t repost them on your site as is – that’s a fast way to earn a rankings penalty in the computerized eyes of Google’s search engine algorithm.

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Instead, refresh the article by:

  • Adding new paragraphs
  • Updating existing ones
  • Adding new links and visuals

Then, republish your quality content with the current date. Databox, a popular dashboard tool for businesses, saw a 75% increase in website traffic after updating more than 20 old blog posts.

Look for the following opportunities as you work on updating older content.

Delete references to outdated stats in the content you’re keeping

Comb through reasonably good and accurate posts. Edit out any inaccurate data points or outdated references they may contain.

Say you have an excellent blog post for your small business on how to use a specific product. The article remains relevant but includes data points from five years ago. Do your brand a favor by removing those sentences.

Doing so prevents your content from suffering due to broken links. It also prevents your target audience from reading outdated information, then coming to incorrect conclusions about your brand’s authority or authenticity.

After getting rid of these outdated references or data points, you can boost the SEO value of previously published pages by replacing those old data points with current ones.

Go hunting online for modern, accurate, up-to-date references to replace each removed link. This guarantees that your links aren’t broken and that they link to authoritative sources.

Remember to review and refresh evergreen posts, too

Similarly, read through evergreen posts for references that aren’t accurate or compelling any longer. Consider the current industry, its trends, and what your target audience is searching for.

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Then put on your editor’s hat and get to work. Trim the fat from old content, add new sentences with new insights, and more without touching the bones of previously published pieces. You’ll spend less time doing this than if you created new content while improving your brand’s SEO.

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Weave in new SEO keywords and links

Lastly, you can update old content and improve its search engine optimization value by weaving in freshly researched SEO keywords and links.

If you’re still posting new content regularly as part of your content strategy, you can take the keyword research you’ve already done and use it to spruce up old content. Swap out or add new keywords to old posts, and consider placing a few fresh, high authority links within old blogs to make them more relevant and more authoritative than before.

Swap out or add new keywords to existing #content to make it more relevant and authoritative, says @Fintech_LeeLi via @CMIContent. #SEO Click To Tweet

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Wrap Up

Cleaning up old content and making it relevant to your target audience once again takes work. But getting rid of content that no longer works and updating what does can do wonders for your content marketing strategy.

You may improve organic traffic to your site without investing in fresh content, and you’ll better serve your audience’s needs. Try these strategies for yourself and see the results.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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