For many, interest-based targeting is limited to social media advertising, and Facebook in particular.

But is there another way to think about how this method can be applied to your wider marketing?

With ready access to complex consumer data, a new kind of interest-based targeting is emerging, used by brands looking to engage their customers in more personalized ways. Here’s how to reach consumers based on their self-professed hobbies and interests.

Segment your audience.

Audience profiling is a crucial part of a modern marketing strategy, as today’s consumers have come to expect a personalized experience from brands, from start to finish.

With the help of deep consumer data, you can build detailed profiles of your target consumers, integrating essential elements like lifestyles, attitudes, self-perceptions and, crucially, interests.

Having a clear and trustworthy view of your target audience’s personal interests opens the door to a whole new arena of targeted marketing that simply wasn’t possible before.

Identify the right marketing channels.

Channel planning is already a go-to for any marketer looking to optimize their campaigns, and interest-based targeting takes this one step further.

With detailed information on the hobbies and interests of your consumers at hand, you’re able to find the online communities where they’re proven to, or most likely to, spend their time.

After profiling your key personas and knowing what matters to them, you can understand what touchpoints of the consumer journey are most important. For example, our latest statistics show 43% of online mothers find brands through ads seen on television or via search engines, while 3 in 10 millennials find brands via TV shows and films.

This shows while these two consumer groups are in similar environments with similar channels open to them, they behave in very different ways, highlighting the need for deep insight of this kind.

In short, knowing your audience means knowing where to engage them.

Find the most relevant influencers.

Thirty-three percent of internet users say they discover brands via word-of-mouth recommendations, and 24% via comments on social networks. In other words, brand advocacy from influencers is crucial.

This is especially true for the latest consumer group to come of age – Generation Z. Over 40% of Gen Z consumers claim to be easily swayed by the opinions of others and this group over-indexes considerably for following celebrities on social media.

They also have a great interest in vlogs, with 57% admitting to watching at least one in the past month, and a fifth saying they watch celebrity and vlogger videos on YouTube.

Celebrity endorsements and vlogs are key to targeting this young audience, who are digital natives and have been marketed to online their entire lives.

When you have a clear and trustworthy picture of your target consumers’ interests and online activities, you can map out not only where they spend their time but on what content.

By generating advocates and involving influencers your audience responds to, you’re targeting them by offering the content they’re genuinely happy to consume, which will generate positive feeling and results for your brand.

Build tailored campaigns.

With all this information at hand, brands can rest assured they know what they’re doing and why.

By revealing the interests of your audience and using this information to target them where they’re present and susceptible to your brand message, you can create a marketing strategy built on a solid foundation of reliable insight.

Combining this strategy with an authentic approach, using elements like ‘real’, human language, identifiable humor, and brand transparency, will create well-rounded campaigns that truly speak to the modern consumer.

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