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6 Traits You Should Know About Your Digital Consumers

There’s an abundance of data on your consumers online. And while we’re often told that the more data the better, it can be difficult to understand what to prioritize or track about your consumer when mapping out your marketing strategy. To learn how today’s marketers are extracting meaningful data from the noise, I asked seven digital professionals the below question.

What’s one fundamental characteristic that I need to know about my digital consumers to reach them better? Why?

Their answers are below.


geoff blosat headshot

“Age. Gender. Geographic location. By knowing who my consumer are, I can get smarter about where I invest my dollars in the paid social space, which platform to emphasize my time on, and how to style my message. If I know that my fans are mostly between the ages of 18-24, I might consider investing my dollars in Instagram video. If I know they live in a certain area, I can use references to that specific region in my digital copy or images. Figuring out those core demographics is key to getting anything off the ground.” – Geoffrey Blosat, The Washington Redskins

Website Engagement

headshot of marketing manager trevor igoe“Take a step back and look at your current digital footprint. The way visitors engage with your website can provide context for your future marketing initiatives. Ask yourself, why are consumers engaging with your site? Visually, you can have the most beautiful website–but how are users actually interacting with it? A highly engaged audience is not accidental. By understanding their behaviors and motivations, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your overall marketing strategy. Remember to go beyond tracking page views. Track significant events, like downloads of your case studies, to infer what people really seek from a brand like yours. Constantly ask yourself, ‘Why is this happening?’ and create more of what people love.” – Trevor Igoe, MetroStar Systems

Social Identity

headshot of digital consultant shane barker

“In today’s world, you need to know your consumer’s social identity. While global internet penetration last year was 46.8%, global social media penetration was 37%. The numbers are huge and you can be sure that a majority of your customers have at least one social media profile. The benefit of associating your customers with their social identity is that you can use many tools to segment your customers. You can also track their active engagements and likes. This will serve two major purposes: (1) You can find the similarities among your customers and target people who fit your existing customer’s social behavior, and (2) you can do sentiment analysis around how your customers feel about your brand. This will help you improve and connect with your customers better.” – Shane Barker, Shane Barker Consulting

Posting Time & Frequency

headshot of social media consultant mike johansson“By knowing the typical times that your consumers are likely to be active on social media, you can time your posts for greater effectiveness. Although algorithms and paid social can help get you in front of particular groups of consumers, reaching those secondary groups of consumers (and thereby growing your pool of potential consumers) is much more likely to happen with timely posts. If you understand the frequency of their activity, you can identify those who are most active as those who are more likely to see and respond to your posts.” – Mike Johansson, Rochester Institute of Technology & Mike Johansson Consulting

Behaviors & Interests

anjelica macgregor and geoff desreumaux zimmerman

“When looking at consumers through the lens of social media, what really helps us target them better is understanding what triggers them to take action. These behaviors and interests help us ‘flip the funnel’ to find more potential consumers like them. This is at the core of our strategy to build advertising content that really appeals to our key audiences and drives our clients’ businesses. Interest and behavior targeting also benefit our SEO keyword targeting, query building and trend forecasting.” – Anjelica MacGregor & Geoff Desreumaux, Zimmerman

Purchases & Passions

headshot of senior vice president of research and insights

“I need to know the role digital plays in that consumer’s life and how that is relevant to the business objective at hand. The two most pressing examples of this are: (1) Understanding purchase—when are your digital consumers likely to purchase? How and when do they use digital to make that purchase decision? Because digital content is an increasingly cluttered space, connecting with the target audience in the closest proximity to purchase gives an advantage over competition, or at very least a point of influence near the decision. (2) Understanding audience passions—how do your digital consumers use digital to facilitate a passion? Passions get their very name as they are meaningful to the consumer. Tapping into a passion and helping to facilitate the passion creates a connection between a brand and consumer that is incredibly powerful, offering the opportunity for engagement and influence.” – Shelley Pisarra, Wasserman

Editor’s top picks:

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Thought Leadership

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