Big Focus: How Micro-Segments Can Boost Performance

October 23, 2020Sparxoo

Blog

Remember the good old days when there were three channels on television and everyone saw your advertisement if you bought a spot during I Love Lucy

Unfortunately for marketers, those days are long gone. Today, the most coveted ad slot for Americans, the Super Bowl, can draw in almost two-thirds of the United State’s population — but that’s about as big as it gets. It’s time to stop thinking macro if you want maximum impact.

This isn’t news to anyone who has been involved in marketing in the last 30 years. For decades, businesses have found success in micro-segmentation. Pre-internet days, micro-segmentation occurred in the form of industry newsletters and magazines (Sell pneumatic door openers? Advertise in the Garage Door News gazette!)

Now, with the evolution of the internet and the introduction of social media, we can use tactics heretofore unheard of to track and target even the most niche audience. How? Let’s dig in.

How to Find New Customers Using Marketing Software

Ultimately, the goal of every business is to find new customers. Consequently, there are hundreds of tools and resources available both online and offline that can help businesses do just that. We’re going to focus on the online tools.

Social Media Advertising

There are multiple social media platforms to pick from, and nearly all of them offer some type of advertising for businesses. The important thing to decide for your business is which platform you’ll invest in. Here are some quick tips on how to pick your channel, and some great ways to find new clientele in using each one.

Facebook and Instagram Ads. In the past five years, more people aged 50+ are using Facebook, while teens and young adults are leaving Facebook in droves. That said, Facebook is still the most commonly used social media platform in the United States. So, if you’re looking for the Super Bowl of social media platforms to advertise on, Facebook might be the best choice for you — especially since Zuckerberg owns Instagram as well, which tends to be more popular for the younger audience. Here are some pros of Facebook:

  • You can target people based on their interests (“Liked” pages, “Followed” celebrities, etc.).
  • You can very accurately target ads based on age, location, gender, and other basic demographics.
  • The cost-per-click is comparatively low in Facebook ads (averages about $1.50). 

LinkedIn Ads. For business-to-business (B2B) companies, LinkedIn tends to be the obvious choice. While there are fewer LinkedIn users than there are Facebook, the benefit of LinkedIn comes with more specific targeting. Consider: if you have a LinkedIn account, you’re probably updating your career experience every time you get a new job or a promotion. When was the last time you updated your personal information on Facebook? If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t updated your Facebook’s “About” section in some time — maybe even since you first signed up. Here’s a quick summary of LinkedIn ad benefits:

  • Highly-specialized targeting based on demographics, experience, industry, and companies.
  • More serious customer base; people tend to like, comment, and share more often on quality posts in LinkedIn if the post is something that can be learned from.

The flipside to the micro-targeting capabilities LinkedIn offers is a high cost-per-click. The average CPC of a LinkedIn ad is $6 — that’s almost six times higher than Facebook. That said, the click-to-conversion rate is typically higher than that of Facebook. At Sparxoo, we often see a CPL of about $150 with LinkedIn ads, and when you think about how expensive a click is, that’s a very low lead cost. 

Twitter Ads. Twitter is a wildcard. User demographics tend to be all over the board, and targeting based on age and basic personal information is just as easy on Twitter as it is on Facebook and LinkedIn. However, when it comes to more specific targeting, Twitter branches out. Let’s take a look:

  • Twitter offers the option to target based on cell phone make, model, carrier, and operating system — which, if you’re a tech-based company, might be the most important data you could use.
  • With Twitter, you can target based on keywords or hashtags users have typed in previous tweets. This is a great way to target those who talk about your competitors.
  • Twitter also boasts a low cost-per-click of about $1 and a low cost-per-lead at about $15. This is likely due to the fact that targeting is a little less cut-and-dry than their competitors.

Lookalike Audiences. No, this isn’t another type of social media advertising platform. This is a tool that all of the above platforms offer, and it’s one of the absolute best ways to target a new audience of customers without spending too much time or effort building the perfect audience based on likes, dislikes, and demographics. “Lookalike Audiences” offer the opportunity to upload a list of contacts (like current customers) into your social media platform of choice. Each channel, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, will then evaluate the list of names you uploaded, link to their social profiles, and then aggregate their collective data to find a group of non-customers that look like the list you uploaded. You can imagine the possibilities with a tool like this. 

Google Suite of Advertising

It’s time to take a look at the platform that essentially built the way we advertise today — and, really, the way we use the internet today. We’re talking about Google.

Google Search Ads. Every time you use Google to answer a question or look for a product or service, you’re taken to the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). On that page, you’ve probably noticed that the top few options all say “ad” on them. That’s because, rather than optimizing their website to show up organically for the keyword you typed in, these companies bid on that keyword to show up on the top of the page. Here are the benefits of this option:

  • Search ads tend to produce more conversions than any other online ad choice. Why? Because you’re providing the product or service that potential customers are literally searching for. For example, if someone types in “plumber near me,” and your plumbing service shows up in the top spot, you’re exactly what they’re looking for, and they’ll probably give you a call.
  • The cost-per-click completely varies with Google ads. While it’s typically less than LinkedIn at $6, it varies based on the keyword you’re bidding on. So for some keywords, you could be paying fifty cents. For others, you might be paying ten to twenty dollars.
  • Want to narrow your segment? Target “long-tail keywords,” which are keywords that tend to be a little cheaper and are also more specific. For example, “hospital bills” is a basic keyword that likely costs close to $10 per click. If you’re a bank, it might be better to invest in the search string, “how to help pay off expensive hospital bills.” This is longer, more specific, and often tends to be cheaper.

YouTube Ads. If you haven’t already started using video for your business, you should. DIY and explainer videos reign supreme on YouTube. But here’s where experience in the traditional television ad space comes in handy: with YouTube ads, you can create commercials that appear in what’s called the “pre-roll” (the five seconds all users have to sit through before they’re taken to the video they selected). Your goal, then, is to create a video so enticing that someone will watch the full ad rather than skip it. Here are some benefits:

  • You don’t pay for the ad time before the five second mark. Once someone hangs on longer than five seconds, you owe Google (so if your video is unsuccessful, you won’t lose much investment on it).
  • You can target people based on the videos they’re watching. If someone is watching a lot of car repair videos, you might want to introduce them to your local mechanic with a pre-roll ad.

The challenge with YouTube pre-roll ads is that they could potentially be intrusive or frustrating for users. That’s why you need to make your content enticing. Get creative with how you grab viewers’ attention, and think about how to engage them.

Prospecting Software

Aside from advertising platforms, there are plenty of options for prospecting software out there that can help you scrape and score new leads. Here are just a few:

LinkedIn Navigator. As a Navigator, you have the ability to search for other LinkedIn users who fit specific demographics, psychographics, and experience levels. If you’re looking for CXOs in the manufacturing industry in the state of Illinois, type that in and get to networking. And you can get way more segmented than that! LinkedIn Navigator allows you to find and connect with people on a one-on-one basis, and it basically unlocks all features of LinkedIn that aren’t available to regular users.

Seamless.ai. Where LinkedIn Navigator can help you find more people who fit a certain profile, Seamless.ai can help you find their best email. One of the biggest problems many salespeople run into when working online is that they end up with peoples’ personal junk emails. Seamless.ai allows you to find users’ work emails using basic information about them (their name and company). You can even export large lists of contacts using this tool, which could make for some great prospecting outreach.

How to Use Automation to Reach Customers

Once you’ve built your audience using the various tools listed above, it’s time to actually do something with them, right? Again, there are multiple ways you can manage your clients, but put simply, you’ll need a tool with a user-friendly customer relationship management (CRM) database. At Sparxoo, we like these two:

HubSpot. HubSpot is a CRM, CMS, advertising, social media, and email platform all wrapped up in one. The greatest overall benefit of HubSpot is that it allows you to track your relationships with contacts in an easy-to-manage database. You can tag contacts as specific levels of quality, enroll them in automated workflows that send them specific emails, and report on their behavior. HubSpot can automatically notify you when a contact reaches a certain stage of “readiness” so you can perfectly time and notate your in-person touchpoints with those who seem ready to buy. 

MailChimp. While it started as a simple email-exchange platform, MailChimp has evolved into a marketing behemoth. With MailChimp, you can easily create drag-and-drop email templates that inspire and surprise your database of contacts. By organizing your contacts into various segments, you can customize your emails based purely on what your audience cares about — and nothing else.

Knowing the type of person that uses your product is all it takes to get started with these solutions. If you’re interested in targeting your micro-segment to get just the right person, evaluate which social media channel(s) your audience is on and what answers they’re searching for on Google, and get advertising. 

If it all seems a bit overwhelming for you, give the team at Sparxoo a call! We’re always happy to help you grow your business.