You may look at the title of this post and say, ‘Of course demographics matter!’ And you’d be right. But knowing how to use that information in a way that will grow your business, is the key.
Put another way, if you don’t know how to use demographics it doesn’t really matter if you have them or not. But, if you do know how to make the most of that information you can make better marketing decisions that will bring you success.
So let’s take a look at how analysing who your visitors can help you make strategic marketing decisions to grow your business and brand. But first, we need to consider where you can get your visitor demographic information.
Demographic Software Options
There are dozens of visitor profile software options online, and more are being developed all the time, even as you read this post. Finding the right software solution for you will depend on the size, and type of business you have, the kind of content you include in your marketing campaigns, and the kind (and depth of) information you need on your website’s visitors.
So Google Analytics (Sign Up) may be the perfect fit (see here) for one company or brand, while another company may need to pay for a more advanced service package.
The best advice, is to do your research and don’t be afraid to change software often, or even run two or more services simultaneously (if they are able to work in parallel, as many are).
If budget is a major concern, start with something free, like Google, and work your way up. Also, many premium services have free trials or cheap starter packages, so you can dip your toe in the water and try them out.
Demographic Reports Are Available Everywhere
Whatever software solution you choose for your website, don’t ignore the host of demographic information available to you for free from services you already have or pay for. For example, if your company is on Facebook (and chance are it should be), Facebook offers excellent insights (Here) into your who is liking your business page.
Your mail campaign provider, like Exact Target, Silverpop, Mailchimp, or Constant Contact, all have options for you to get to know who is subscribed to your list, either for free or as a paid, add-on service.
The same may be true with forums your company may have, other social networks you work with, or with RSS subscription analytics and podcast subscription reports.
All that information, when compiled and studied, can give you valuable insights into how your company’s content marketing efforts are working out. Below are two special insights you want to get from your demographic reports.
Are You Attracting the Right Audience?
Did a recent marketing campaign get you a major increase in traffic? Congratulations! You certainly deserve a high-five from the higher-ups of your company.
But, before you pop the cork on that Champagne and start preparing a pitch for a salary bump, stop and take a good long look at your visitor reports. Who exactly is visiting your website? And are they your ideal audience? Do the visitors match your buyer personas (see here) or ideal customer profiles?
Let’s say, for example, that your business is location-dependant. You represent a small business that exists in a single location, or perhaps your company has many locations spread out. But when you look at your report, it shows that half or more of your visitors are coming from elsewhere in the world.
Now, some of those visitors that show to be coming from another place, may still be viable customers, so you shouldn’t be too worried. After all, maybe some people are thinking of moving across the country, and they are planning out what services they’ll need upon arrival. But it is a danger sign that you could be targeting too broadly.
Or, let’s say you represent a network of retirement home facilities. Having visitors that are younger than retirement age is not necessarily a bad thing; they may be searching for options for ageing parents or grandparents.
That said, if your demographics reports show the majority of visitors are consistently outside of your ideal customer parameters, that should be a major issue to discuss in your next strategy meeting, since that will no doubt greatly influence decisions made on your next campaign.
Where is Your Traffic Coming From?
Another critical piece of information your analytics software can tell you is where your traffic is coming from. That can help you make important decisions moving forward.
For example, your visitor reports might show more traffic, but how much of that traffic is coming from paid ads and how much is organic traffic? (See here) Without that information, you may think your SEO efforts are paying off more than they are. Or, on the contrary, you may be getting mostly organic traffic and very little from costly ads, which may cause you the rethink advertising budgets next quarter.
You also want to break down social media traffic origins. You may be spending equal amounts of your time/money budget to Twitter and Instagram, for example, but you may find out that Instagram is pulling in more than twice the traffic as Twitter. If that’s the case, you have two approaches:
Play into your strengths. For some reason, Instagram is killing it right now, so put more emphasis on that network in coming months. If Twitter can’t pull its own weight, it may get a smaller budget.
Shore up your weaknesses. Analyse why Instagram is working well and why Twitter isn’t. You may need to rework your Twitter strategy to get it to perform better.
The point is, knowing where your traffic is coming from will help you know what’s working, what isn’t, and how your time/money budget can be adjusted in the future, for the overall betterment of your business.
Knowledge is Power
Visitor reports, or demographics analysis (See here), is just one way high-end software and AI can help you grow your business. True, no software can just generate a revised marketing plan for your company, and you’ll still have to make all the major decisions the old-fashioned way, but having AI solutions in your toolkit is a necessary step to taking your content marketing ventures to the next level.
Analytics and demographics software and services give you more knowledge (See here), knowledge about your own brand and business, knowledge about who is responding to your marketing efforts and why.
That knowledge can empower you to make the right decisions and succeed.