Are you renting your audience online? The thought process is that you keep having to feed the ad platforms, search engines, and social media platforms time and money in order to get in front of your audience. What we will discuss today is do you need to do that and if there are alternative ways.
So do we need to rent your audience? We will get right to the point, You are almost always renting your audience whether through paid or organic means. There is work involved all around and these platforms will certainly have you jump through hoops to get in front of your audience.
The moment you stop talking about your product or service you stop being talked about.
When it comes to online whether you are doing paid ads or organic means, you do not own the audience, the platforms do. The only place you own the traffic is your own website but you have to get them there first. Even offline, you need to get your audience’s attention, so you are always renting them until they find rent somewhere else that is more appealing, cheaper, or better quality. While there are many subcategories online to your audience the main ways online to build an audience is through paid and organic media.
How do renting ads get you in front of your audience?
We view ads as the opportunity to get in front of a highly targeted audience. Quite frankly in our opinion, it is the quickest and most accurate way to do so. When you pay for ads you are paying for ad platforms’ ability to identify interests, behaviors, demographics, job titles, life events, and so forth. These powerful platforms have already identified who you want to be in front of. Are they perfect, no, but close.
Outside of the platform themselves, there are lots of tools to identify who your target audience is.
These platforms are also able to reach your target audience at different parts of the funnel based on the nature of the platforms. Although we really know that today consumer doesn’t follow a perfect triangle from top to bottom, rather they fluidly move up and down in your funnel.
How do ads reach different parts of the funnel?
There are many different types of ads such as search, social, display, native, connected TV, and radio/podcast ads all touching the funnel.
Audience targeting with Search ads
Search ads always seem like the first place to start because they are directly searching for what you offer. But this is the most expensive place to play. Search ads are when someone goes to Google or Bing and directly enters keywords. So they are at the very end of the funnel. But it really isn’t that simple anymore.
This space has changed so much and has become looser and looser. Keywords matter less and less. Buying keywords alone has gotten too expensive and it’s not really how consumers make buying decisions online. They go to multiple sources.
Google has introduced new types of ads called performance max campaigns that take advantage of all of their types of placements such as YouTube, Gmail, Display, Discover, and Search.
Google has also recognized what we recognize, that the funnel is all over. When placing ads further up the funnel the ads at the bottom because less expensive because they are more likely to convert.
Audience targeting with Social ads
Social ads which encompass many platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Linkedin, and more tend to be higher up in the funnel.
When you go to social media, you are usually there to be entertained not be sold. Now while certain types of industries such as retail will do better at being at the end of the funnel on social ads, most won’t.
Does that mean you shouldn’t do it, of course not! Social media still has unique ways of the ability to target your audience with interests, behaviors, demographics, and more. Social ads get them interested and to your website. Then it’s up to your website and remarketing efforts to keep them coming back until they are ready to buy.
What about renting my audience with organic media?
What can you get with organic reach? First, let’s describe the types, there is organic social media and SEO. Organic social media is placing your content on organic social media that is targeted to speak directly to your target audience.
With recent updates in organic social media, your content with short-form videos is being placed in front of people who are not necessarily following you but enjoy similar content. This can expand your audience in ways that were previously done by growing followers and likes.
The other way is with SEO, which is for the most part still creating content on your website that resonates with your audiences. There are technical aspects as well associated with SEO.
In our opinion though it is largely content-related. As the same with organic social media, you are attempting to draw your audience in but with a twist, they are searching for the answers in a search engine. This makes them closer to actually being who you want to attract.
Building audiences in organic social media and SEO are excellent places to be but take a lot of content and time. You do not earn credibility overnight with search engines and social media platforms. More importantly, they own your own audience. You are still renting.
The Search engines and social media platforms are always changing the rules in order to get people engaged and using their platforms. Why do they do this? To sell ads. So while it might be free to be there, creating the content is certainly not free.
We still highly recommend it, but patience is key. You might even be able to reduce ad spend, depending on your growth goals with organic only.
The long-term approach vs. the short-term approach of your target audience
How do you get away from renting your audience?
Online you are never really going to get away from it but you can lessen it. When you build a brand, that takes time and effort eventually you will have a whole level of word of mouth where people come to you because you are recommended. You can get there, slowly albeit offline, but today’s world lives online. Building your credibility online is well worth the effort, after all, do we think the internet is going anywhere?