It’s a blessing and a curse: online advertising allows brands to reach a very precise audience. Here at ViralGains, we’ve seen targeting parameters as specific as: “people age 25-34 who live in urban areas and own large dogs suffering from heartworm.” It’s a blessing because marketers can minimize waste by only reaching people they have determined to be their precise target customers. However, these same specific parameters can sometimes have the adverse effect of restricting advertisers from reaching more people and discovering new audiences that may be perfect for their brand.
Millennials are Incredibly Diverse: One Size Does Not Fit All… or Even Many
Narrow targeting is particularly a concern with millennials as they are the most diverse generation yet. They pride themselves on being original, authentic and creative. They have endless entertainment options, and content is highly fragmented. For example, you may find thousands of millennials of varying ages, genders, life stages and geographies who are into organic gardening and landscaping. If you only target males, age 30+ who own homes in suburban neighborhoods, you could be missing a sizable portion of potential customers; e.g. the 24 year-old renter who tends to her urban garden plot daily. She could prove to be a valuable customer and brand advocate for a fertilizer brand or home retailer.
Reach the Right Audience Through Sharing
In Part 2 of this series, we discussed the importance of making video sharing easy. According to a Harris Interactive study, almost 70% of millennial social media users are likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post*. Shares are powerful endorsements, even if they don’t originate from your specific target audience.
We have seen brands find success when they target beyond their core audience to reach friends, relatives or significant others that share their video with potential customers. One of our savvy customers wanted to drive sales among millennials for Mother’s Day with a compelling emotional video. Instead of limiting their target audience to just millennials, they included mothers of millennials. The video ended up resonating with the moms by orders of magnitude higher than with the millennials, and it was only after the moms shared it with their kids did the campaign succeed, ultimately driving record mother’s day gift purchases for the billion dollar greeting card brand.
Discover New Audiences
The beauty of online advertising is that we have access to audience insights that help marketers better understand the characteristics of different groups interested in a brand, product, or service. One of our auto advertisers used ViralGains to distribute a series of videos about their dealer services. Using our unique set of consumer insights, they learned that many of the people who engaged with their video were more likely to be women in their mid thirties. They also learned that the most engaged viewers were more likely to be shopping for a mid-size sedan or a pick-up truck compared to the general population. These are valuable insights that they may not have learned if they only targeted men. By using these insights, which were gathered by opening up the audience criteria early on in the campaign, they were able to find new audiences, new potential customers, and drive higher performance than by sticking to assumed targeting criteria from the get-go.
In summary, here are four recommendations to consider for your future video campaigns:
- Broaden targeting parameters at launch.
- Contextually target publishers and articles that are relevant to your product, service or message.
- Find audiences by optimizing video distribution for engagement instead of views and price.
- Listen and learn about your most engaged viewers through profile data, sharing, and surveys at the end of the video. You may discover new audiences!